DT Swiss Spline wheels - Sea Otter 2013

New system available in three versions and three wheel sizes

Wheel and component manufacturer DT Swiss recently introduced a new wheel system that introduces several new technologies to their wheel line. Dubbed Spline, the new tubeless-ready wheelsets come in versions for cross-country, trail and enduro riding.

The XR 1501, XM 1501 and the EX 1501 are designed for cross-country, trail and enduro/all-mountain riding, respectively. All three models share the same 28-hole hubs and spokes. The difference between each model being the internal width of the rims: 20mm for cross-country, 23mm for trail, and 25mm for the enduro/all-mountain wheelset.

The hub shells are constructed from two pieces of forged aluminum. According to DT Swiss, this arrangement simplified the machining process while allowing more material to be shaved off the hub bodies.

The spline wheelsets use two-peice hubshells: the spline wheelsets use two-peice hubshells
The Spline's two-peice hub shells are bonded together after machining

Inside the hubs are DT Swiss 240 internals with the 36-tooth Star Ratchet system, which provides 10-degree engagement. The wheels are compatible with both quick release and thru-axle systems thanks to easy-to-swap end caps.

All three Spline wheelsets use straight-pull DT Swiss Competition 14/15 gauge spokes laced to tubeless-ready rims. Rather than having eyelets on the rims, DT Swiss came up with what the company calls the PHR (Pro Head Reinforcement) system, which uses conical washers inside the rim that work in conjunction with the nipple - much like a ball and socket joint - to align the spoke with the rim and hub.

The prolock nipples use a splined interface to aid in wheelbuilding and an internal washing to better align the spoke from the hub to the rim: the prolock nipples use a splined interface to aid in wheelbuilding and an internal washing to better align the spoke from the hub to the rim
The washers also spread the spoke’s load over a greater area of the rim, which should lessen the risk of cracks forming along the spoke bed


XR 1501    XM 1501    EX 1501 
26in: 1,410g   26in: 1,545g   26in: 1,660g
650b (27.5in): 1,470g   650b (27.5in): 1,595g   650b (27.5in): 1,730g
29in: 1,520g   29in: 1,680g   No 29in version
$1,059/€799   $1,099/€812   $1,139/€826

The 26in and 29in Spline wheels are available now. The 650b (27.5) version is expected to be available in the coming weeks.

Josh Patterson

Tech Editor, US
Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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