DT Swiss takes revered 1501 Spline One wheelset to the next level with carbon fibre

Full range of 1501 Spline One wheels and 240 hubs get an overhaul for 2021

DT Swiss XCR 1501 Spline One mountain bike wheelset

The new DT Swiss 1501 Spline One wheelsets get a host of updates for 2021, including full carbon-fibre rims with modified characteristics, depending on their intended discipline, and lightweight Competition Race spokes across the range built around the all-new 240 hub, which runs on DT Swiss’s Ratchet EXP system.

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Widely regarded as one of the best-performing wheelsets around, when we tested the enduro-specific set in 2019 we gave it got four out of five stars, so it comes as a bit of a surprise to see DT Swiss depart from the revered alloy rim construction.

DT Swiss XCR 1501 Spline One carbon mountain bike rim
Depending on the intended discipline, each rim has been specially-tuned.
DT Swiss

There is logic behind this decision, though. DT Swiss claims carbon fibre makes it easier to build lighter wheels, which, it also claims, should help improve the ride feel of the wheels across disciplines.

It also says it’s managed to maintain the old wheels’ characteristics while shaving off up to 180g per set, although it doesn’t specify which set – XC, all-mountain or enduro – that headline saving is made from.

2021 DT Swiss 1501 Spline One wheelset general updates

The range’s carbon rims have been built with a specific discipline in mind and vary depending on their niche. The new 1501 wheels are made for cross-country, all-mountain and enduro.

DT claims that because carbon rims are stiffer compared to alloy ones, by using its ultra-light DT Competition Race spokes in the wheel builds it’s managed to tune the wheels to be precise without feeling overly stiff.

DT Swiss XCR 1501 Spline One mountain bike wheelset
By reducing spoke thickness, DT has managed to shave weight and keep stiffness in check.
DT Swiss

It also says its new DT Competition Race spokes are “ultra light and super strong”, with a middle section that’s 0.2mm thinner than the old ones, helping to save further weight over the carbon rims.

DT Swiss XCR 1501 Spline One 240 hub mountain bike wheelset
The 240 hub is widely regarded as one of the best money can buy.
DT Swiss

The new wheels are built around the new DT Swiss 240 hub that uses the Ratchet EXP freehub system. It’s got 36 points of engagement – one every ten degrees – and is claimed to be more durable than ever.

2021 DT Swiss XRC 1501 Spline One cross-country wheelset updates

DT Swiss XCR 1501 Spline One cross-country mountain bike wheelset
The XCR 1501 Spine One is DT’s cross-country 1501 wheelset.
DT Swiss

Rightly so, DT Swiss states that cross-country riding and racing is all about speed. According to its mathematics, “on a rough surface, rolling resistance can make up to 69 per cent of the total resistance”.

According to DT Swiss, increasing internal rim width to 30mm from 22.5mm – or 25mm, depending on which specific model of the previous 1501 rim the new one is being compared – improves tyre support which means lower pressures can be run and in turn reduce rolling resistance on rough tracks.

In order to further justify the increase in rim width, DT Swiss explains that during cornering, lateral forces cause the tyre to move in the opposite direction of the input force. When cornering with a tyre mounted to a narrow rim, the tyre’s contact patch moves because the tyre is less supported by the narrow rim.

This causes tyre folding or roll and carcass tension, which can pull the bead away from the rim, causing a loss of air (if the tyre is set up tubeless) known as ‘burping’. Harder pressures do help combat tyre roll and subsequent burping, though.

A wider rim, it argues helps mitigate this issue without the need for increasing tyre pressures. However, according to DT Swiss, increasing tyre pressures isn’t desirable because of reductions in rolling speed, increased rider fatigue and, arguably, less grip.

While increasing the rim’s internal width from 25mm to 30mm, should, according to DT, improve tyre stiffness at lower pressures and reduce rim weight, DT has forgotten to mention in its press material the advantages and disadvantages of having flatter, squarer tyre profiles caused by wider rims.

And, while wider rims might bring the benefits DT mentions, they also force the tyre to be particularly square, which might not be to everyone’s tastes.

2021 DT Swiss XRC 1501 Spline One cross-country wheelset prices, specifications and weights

  • Wheel size: 29in
  • Axles: 15 x 110mm (f), 12 x 148mm (r)
  • Hubs: 240 Straight-pull hub with Ratchet EXP System
  • Brake mount: Centerlock (with six-bolt adaptor)
  • Rim: Carbon fibre, hookless bead, tubeless ready, 30mm internal width
  • Spokes: DT Competition Race
  • Nipples: DT Pro Lock Squorx
  • Weight: From 1,544g (claimed)
  • Max weight: 110kg
  • Price: From $1,899 / €1,499

2021 DT Swiss XMC 1501 Spline One all-mountain wheelset updates

DT Swiss XMC 1501 Spline One all-mountain mountain bike wheelset
The XMC 1501 Spine One is DT’s all-mountain 1501 wheelset.
DT Swiss

For DT Swiss, the theme dictating the direction of its all-new all-mountain 1501 wheelset is saving weight.

It argues that weight savings help the rider get to the top of the mountain easier, but also stresses the wheels need to be strong enough to tackle roots, rocks and gnarly descents.

The new XMC 1501 Spline One all-mountain rim is claimed to strike the perfect strength to weight ratio.

To prove this, the press pack is supplied with a chart which illustrates how it takes less energy to reach higher speeds using the new carbon wheels compared to their alloy version.

DT Swiss also claims its XMC rim is impressively strong with a “maximum system weight of 120kg”, which is the same as using the wheels over hardcore terrain.

Like the XRC rim, the XMC has a 30mm internal width.

2021 DT Swiss XMC 1501 Spline One all-mountain wheelset prices, specifications and weights

  • Wheel size: 27.5in / 29in
  • Axles: 15 x 110mm (f), 12 x 148mm (r)
  • Hubs: 240 Straight-pull hub with Ratchet EXP System
  • Brake mount: Centerlock (with six-bolt adaptor)
  • Rim: Carbon fibre, hookless bead, tubeless ready, 30mm internal width
  • Spokes: DT Competition Race
  • Nipples: DT Pro Lock Squorx
  • Weight: From 1,545g in 27.5in (claimed) / from 1,639g in 29in (claimed)
  • Max weight: 120kg
  • Price: From $1,899 / €1,499

2021 DT Swiss EXC 1501 Spline One enduro wheelset updates

DT Swiss EXC 1501 Spline One enduro mountain bike wheelset
The EXC 1501 Spine One is DT’s enduro 1501 wheelset.
DT Swiss

Like the all-mountain rim, the enduro-specific EXC rim also focuses on weight saving but with an added emphasis on impact resistance and strength.

Saving weight means the wheels should be more precise because lighter wheels are easier to manoeuvre compared to heavier ones.

Lighter wheels can save rider energy on the climbs as well as the descents, too.

Compared to the outgoing alloy EXC, the new carbon rims, as well as being lighter, are claimed to also reduce unsprung mass, helping improve suspension performance. DT says this made it decide to change from alloy to carbon rims for the new 1501 Spline One wheels.

Like the other wheels in the new range, the enduro version also has a 30mm internal width.

The 240 hubs on the EXC rims are sold with either a centerlock disc or six-bolt option.

DT Swiss EXC 1501 Spline One 240 hub mountain bike wheelset
The 240 hub is now available with either centerlock or six-bolt disc mounting options on the Enduro-specific EXC wheels.
DT Swiss

2021 DT Swiss EXC 1501 Spline One enduro wheelset prices, specifications and weights

  • Wheel size: 27.5in / 29in
  • Axles: 15 x 110mm (f), 12 x 148mm (r)
  • Hubs: 240 Straight-pull hub with Ratchet EXP System
  • Brake mount: Centerlock or six-bolt
  • Rim: Carbon fibre, hookless bead, tubeless ready, 30mm internal width
  • Spokes: DT Competition Race
  • Nipples: DT Pro Lock Squorx
  • Weight: From 1,609g in 27.5in (claimed) / from 1,719g in 29in (claimed)
  • Max weight: 130kg
  • Price: From $1,899 / €1,499

DT Swiss Product Support Tool

To improve inter-model compatibility, DT Swiss has developed a web-based tool to provide information about all of its products’ parts and how they’re inter-compatible with other DT Swiss products.

From model year 2021, all of DT’s products will have an identification number that can be entered into a computer or scanned via a phone’s camera to bring up compatibility information, user manuals and spare parts lists.

DT Swiss carbon wheel lifetime warranty and crash replacement scheme information

Companies have to offer a 24-month statutory warranty with any product, however, longer periods of warranty coverage are entirely discretionary.

DT Swiss will now offer the “original and verifiable owner a lifetime warranty for material and workmanship defects” on its carbon wheels, and are going one step further with a ‘Fair-Share Policy’ crash replacement scheme.

Under the policy, it’ll offer the original and verifiable owner 10-year damage and crash replacements where a payment of $249 / €249 per damaged wheel can be made to DT Swiss to obtain a new one.

However, the Fair-Share Policy is only available on model year 2020 and later wheels and the policy doesn’t apply to consumables such as bearings, freehub bodies, freehub system components and spokes.

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Other terms and conditions apply, and if you’re basing your purchase on DT Swiss’s lifetime warranty and Fair-Share Policy, be sure to check the terms will suit your needs.