DT Swiss Tricon XM 1550 wheelset £900

Fresh wheel technology from DT

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

DT have come a long way, supplying spokes, hubs and, finally, rims and complete wheels. The Tricons are the current pinnacle of all that evolution, designed to deliver cross-country weight and big-hit toughness for the modern rider. But what do they feel like out on the trail?

In a word: stiff. On your initial rides, you’ll be carving everything a bit closer than you’re used to, your steering will feel sharper and your tyres will seem about 5psi harder than they are. This all makes it easier to pick the finest, fastest lines and hold them, regardless of how hard you’re pushing.

Combined with our 15mm-axle DT test fork, the front end yields laser-accurate singletrack sweetness.

The exceptionally stiff hub-to-rim connection and impressively low 1,577g pair weight mean you’ve got a definite performance boost out back too. As soon as you plug them in, the Tricons will pep up your acceleration in the same ‘extra gear’ way as carbon-soled shoes.

The performance comes from a combination of the bladed white spokes that thread straight into the hub flanges. The load-spreading inserts in the rim let them use super-high tensions.

The ‘open crowfoot’ lacing mixes straight pull and crossed patterns to combine lateral strength and direct tightness. You’d certainly never know there were only 24 spokes in each end.

The rims use a concave profile and solid outer bed for increased stiffness, and they seem harder to dent than previous DT hoops. It also gives them tubeless compatabilty without the need for separate strips.

DT say the centre design and separate hub flanges make for a smoother spin, and we’ve certainly had no trouble so far. In addition, DT’s well-proven star ratchet freehub is quick to react, durable and easy to maintain.

Screw-thru 9/15mm axle front hubs are available, as are 9/10mm QR and 142/12mm Syntace rear hubs.

The Tricons are undoubtedly expensive, but innovation costs. We love the stiffness, accuracy and speed upgrade these wheels provide, although we wish the rims were wider for more secure support of bigger tyres – even 2.25in rubber looks and feels pinched at the base.

A thinner 2.1in is fine, but you’ll lose a lot of the wheel’s advantages because of the reduced traction. We hope to see a 20mm thru-axle front version soon too.

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