DT Swiss designs a dedicated aero wheel for gravel

Aero-gravel wheels are now a thing with the GRC 1400 Spline 42 wheelset

DT Swiss’s wheel line has been revamped over the last year or more, with new designs in road, cyclocross and time trial/triathlon deisgns. Now, as part of its R&D collaboration with aero-specialists Swiss Side, it’s launched its new GRC 1400 Spline 42 wheelset.
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The new wheel features a 42mm deep aero rim with a broad 24mm internal diameter that’s optimised to work with 35mm wide tyres.

This all-new rim is laced through a Spline hub that’s based on the flyweight 240 internals. At the rear the freehub body is convertible between Shimano, SRAM XD and XDR for 12-speed AXS systems.

The rim depth is pretty significant and properly aerodynamic compared to most gravel wheels we’ve seen so far. That’s really putting them in line with Zipp’s 303 tubeless disc (45mm deep, 21mm internal, 1,645g weight, £1,986), which has found favour in both ‘cross and gravel.

Weight wise, it’s a similar story to the 303s with the DTs coming in a tad lighter at 1,634g (700c) and 1,562g (650b), and the larger internal width should give the DTs an edge when it comes to larger tyre widths.

Gravel road wheel wheelset
With a 24mm internal width the GRC1400’s are DT’s widest road rim to date
Warren Rossiter/Immediate Media

DT claims that the new rim profile is not only significantly quicker than its previous CRC1400 offering — the CRC1400 being one of our all-time favourite gravel wheelsets — but also, that the GRC’s wider reshaped rim (24mm compared to 22) improves traction by significantly enlarging the contact area of the tyre and improving sidewall stability when using the same 35mm tyre.

It also claims that the reshaping allows for more air volume, and you can therefore run less pressure and improve comfort. So it seems that DT is claiming wins all-round for the new rim shape.

The new GRC1400 is available in both 700 and 650 sizes with 100×12 and 142×12 axles for the front and rear. Prices are set at £724.99 for the front (either size) and £999.99 for the rear (either size), or £1,724.98, €1,958, $2,438 for a pair.

Gravel road wheel hub
The GRC1400 freehub is interchangeable between Shimano 11-speed, SRAM XD and the new 12-speed road compatible SRAM XDR standards
Warren Rossiter/Immediate Media

The wheels come with converters for both QR and 15mm axles as standard, as does the rest of the GR range.

If you can’t stretch to the 1400’s price tag, DT has also introduced two lower-priced models as part of the GR range.

The GR 1600 Spline 25 has an identical internal dimension to the 1400 but as part of a 25mm deep welded, aluminium rim that’s tubeless-ready and is built onto Spline hubs based on 350 internals, with the same convertible freehub body.

The wheelset has a claimed weight of 1,811g (700c) and 1,723g (650b), and a more modest price of £214.99 (front) and £279.99 (rear), or £494.98/€558/$694 all up.

There’s also a new entry-level gravel wheelset, the G1800, with a sleeved alloy rim that has the same dimensions as the 1600 — 25mm deep, 24mm internal width built onto Spline hubs based on the base model 370 hubs and a convertible freehub body.

They’re claimed to weigh in at 1,806g for the 650b and 1,895g for the 700s, and will retail for £149.99 for the front and £199.99 for the rear, or £349.98/€388/$694 for the pair.

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We’ve got one of the very few sets of the GRC1400s available in on test now, so we’ll report back on how they perform as soon as we’ve had chance to get them good and dusty.