At this year's Sea Otter Classic, DT Swiss showed off an ultralight version of the current OPM O.D.L. suspension fork. Aptly named the OPM O.D.L. Race, the new fork gets a slick carbon fibre crown and steerer tube that brings the total claimed down to a staggering 1,480g (3.26lb) for a 100mm-travel 29er modelincluding the 100x15mm thru-axle – making it more than 100g lighter than a RockShox SID World Cup.
Unlike carbon fibre upper assemblies from other companies, DT Swiss isn’t making the crown and steerer as a single unit. Instead, DT Swiss moulds them separately and then bonds them together. DT Swiss has a novel construction method for the crown called Tailored Fiber Process, where carbon fibres are mechanically embroidered onto a substrate before it’s all cooked in a mould. According to DT Swiss, this makes for more consistent parts than when individual swatches are placed by hand.
The unique texture comes from DT Swiss' proprietary TFP moulding process
DT Swiss’ carbon fibre upper assembly also differs from some of its competitors in that the crown and steerer aren’t actually moulded as a single unit but rather formed separately and then bonded together after the curing process. Regardless, the switch to composite construction certainly saves a lot of weight, dropped 120g over the aluminium parts on the standard OPM O.D.L. fork.
Also featured on the OPM O.D.L. Race fork are new seals developed in cooperation with SKF, which use the usual spring-tensioned lips to keep oil inside but a sharper, spring-free wiper that DT Swiss says does a better job of scraping crud off the stanchions.
The burly-looking magnesium lower legs are fitted with new seals from SKF
Carrying over from the standard OPM O.D.L. fork is the remotely operated, three-position, compression damper. Like Fox’s CTD arrangement, the DT Swiss fork can be set in Open, Drive and Lock modes to suit the task at hand.
DT Swiss will offer the new fork in 27.5in and 29in wheel sizes, both in 100mm or 120mm travel configurations. The first 300 samples will also get limited-edition team-replica graphics and special green fork seals (a nod to SKF Racing’s trademark hue in motorsports racing). As expected, retail price is on the premium side at a whopping US$1,300.
Carrying over from the standard OPM O.D.L. fork is the three-position compression damper, which in concept is similar to the Fox CTD system
New Mon Chasseral carbon clincher climbing wheels
Also new from DT Swiss is the relaunch of the company’s old Mon Chasseral road bike climbing wheels. Whereas the original Mon Chasserals were somewhat underwhelming with their aluminium clincher rims and middling 1,450g weight, these new ones are unquestionably feathery at around 1,150g – and that’s still with a clincher rim, not a more restrictive tubular.
At just 1,250g per set, this person's arms aren't going to get tired any time soon
The new Mon Chasserals borrow the rims from the DT Swiss RC 28 Spline C, carrying over the same 28mm depth, 15mm internal width, and tubeless compatibility. The Mon Chasserals shed more than 100g from the RC 28 Spline C with slick carbon fibre front and rear hubs, however, plus milled-out star ratchet drive rings and hybrid ceramic bearing cartridges.
Retail price for the Mon Chasserals is still to be determined, but ‘expensive’ is a safe bet. DT Swiss expects them to land in stores around July or August.
For more information, visit www.dtswiss.com.