DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One 30mm wheelset review£830.00

Tough-but-tidy wheels with premium performance

BikeRadar score5/5
  • Weight: 800g + 920g = 1,720g
  • Width: 29mm/33mm
  • Freehub lag: 10°
  • Sizes: 27.5 inch, 29 inch

They might be pricey for alloy but the DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline family is more than good enough to make a mockery of most carbon-fibre wheelsets. In fact, whatever width and wheel size I’ve tried, DT's flagship alloys have delivered a balance of responsiveness, excellent ride quality and mechanical and structural toughness that makes them my favourite trail wheels.

There’s a full range of rim widths available, but these 29mm internal hoops are spot-on for 2.35–2.6-inch tyres that blow up to around 60mm wide. They come pre-taped too and the shallow sculpted rim-bed makes them an easy tyre fit but still securely sealed right down to extremely low pressures.

DT has overturned its reputation for soft hoops and now the alloy is noticeably tough. Despite that, the low-weight rims and super-tight but long straight-pull spoke construction give them a super-responsive and precise feel.

They still shrug off hits and float through the rough better than most carbon wheels and they offer an instant speed and ride-feel upgrade to any all-round trail bike you plug them into.

DT has been making and refining its hub designs for decades and the results are strong. While pick-up speed from the spring-loaded ratchet clutch is slightly slow compared to the fastest free-hubs on the block, that gives them solid durability.

However, if the slow pick-up really bothers you, you can get clutch plates with more teeth for a faster catch and the whole setup is easily pulled apart and rebuilt for cleaning and servicing if it needs it.

There’s also a new range of e-bike 1501s available if you're working with more wattage than your legs can provide.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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