DT Swiss GR1600 Spline
When it comes to gravel wheels most of the options seem to be weighted towards the higher end of the market. However, with lots of us looking to buy a gravel bike as a second bike or commuting workhorse, high-end, lightweight carbon wheels aren’t really what we’re looking for.
Thankfully, DT Swiss has a wide range of wheels to suit the adventurous rider and the GR1600 sits firmly mid-range, so this is an upgrade that won’t break the bank.
With an aluminium rim of 25mm x 28mm the wheel is wider than it is deep. The inner width is 24mm so it’s suitable for tyres over 50mm wide!
The wheels are hand-assembled using DT’s hard-wearing and ever-reliable 350 hub internals, which sit inside a fetching silver/grey CNC’d hub shell using DT’s straight-pull Spline design. The hubs look every inch a premium unit.
These wheels are built to be tough and the spoke pattern is the proven two-cross and rated to a max system weight of 130kg, enough for bike, rider and luggage, too.
DT includes plenty of extras in the package with tubeless tape, valves, IS six-bolt adaptors for the rotors, Shimano + SRAM XDR freehubs, 5mm (QR) endcaps and 15mm endcaps (they come as 12mm as standard).
Weight-wise the 790g front and 960g rear (including valves, tape, disc-lock rings and Shimano freehub) make them firmly middleweight. Out on the road and trail, though, they feel both light and responsive without being overly stiff.
With a large volume tyre in place, the wheels worked well in tandem absorbing rough washboard surfaces without bouncing or pinging you off-line, yet not flexing so much as to be detrimental to handling and control. They are a beautifully balanced wheel that’s been put together to a very high standard.
What’s not quite as up to scratch, however, is the tubeless-ready rim tape. It’s on the thin side and, between switching tyres from dry conditions to a more aggressive mud tyre for the winter, I noticed that some of the tape had begun to peel with sealant creeping under the adhesive and a couple of small tears, too, which meant cleaning and replacing the tape with something more substantial. I’d rather add a few grams for reliable sealing than chance it.
They are a beautifully balanced wheel that’s been put together to a very high standard David Caudery / Immediate Media
Spline hub: DT Swiss spline hubs use straight pull spokes
Spokes: The spokes on the GR1600s are DT’s wide aero design
Rim: The cross-section design is optimised for tubeless tyres