DT Swiss Spline 1 Wheels – Sea Otter 2013

27.5 29er Wheels

The new DT Swiss Spline One wheel follows in the design footsteps of their upscale Tricon brethren, and offers high performance and technology in a value-added package. The tubeless ready aluminum rims use 28 straight pull Competition spokes in 3 cross pattern, come in 26″, 27.5″ and 29″ sizes and are offered in three models. The cross country XR 1501 has a 20mm inner width, the general-purpose XM 1501 has a 23mm, and the enduro EX 1501 has a 25mm. Currently, the EX 1501 doesn’t come in a 29″ model, but that may change. They come with 15mm TA front and 12x142mm TA rear, and include 5mm QR end caps and a set of RWSs, and are priced from $1070-$1140.

XR – 24mm/20mm width, 26″ 1410g, 27.5″ 1470g, 29″ 1520g
XM -27mm/23mm width, 26″ 1545g, 27.5″ 1595g, 29″ 1680g
EX – 30mm/25mm width, 26″ 1660g, 27.5″ 1730g

The new rim extrusion has a lower sidewall height, which saves weight, locks the tire in place, quickens installs and decreases burping and air loss. The welded rim is shot peened and anodized for strength and durability, and the rim joint is seamless. The waterslide decals are baked in an oven for increased durability and to prevent peeling, and the decals include the spoke’s length for the wheel if replacement is ever required. The rims come with thick and durable tubeless tape, to prevent tearing during tire installation.

They developed the Squorx nipple (Square-Torx) for the Spline, and the funky Torx head allows greater tension to be applied to the spoke during the build, which makes for a stiffer and stronger wheel. The shoulder of the head is rounded, and it sits in a concave steel washer, which then floats in the bottom of the rim. This synergistic design is called the Pro Head Reinforcement System (PHR), and it acts like a ball and socket, and gives a better ride, more even spoke tension, increased durability, and spreads out the load and decreases stress riser issues at the threads. The bottom of the Squorx nipple still has the normal spoke wrench interface, so adjustments can be made without having to remove the tubeless tape. The PHR and the Squorx are both pretty interesting and thought-provoking designs, and should make for a better wheel.

The two piece forged hub, uses a more robust build on the brake side and a thinner and lighter one on the other, and the sections are then bonded together for a solid and strong entity. The hubs use their excellent 240 internals, and the rear uses their 36-tooth star ratchet system, with options for XD or normal body (swappable). I am also happy that they went with only the IS 6-bolt brake interface.

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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