One of the major wheel manufacturers, DT Swiss produces a wide range of hoops covering pretty much every price point and discipline.
Its wheels have an enviable, dependable reputation and never raise a tester’s eyebrows when spotted on a test bike.
The M1900 Spline wheels are among DT’s cheapest mountain bike hoops, but still come with a broad alloy rim built around its DT 370 hub.
DT Swiss M1900 Spline specifications and details
My 29in test wheels came with a Shimano Center Lock rotor attachment and Shimano HG freehub body. However, DT Swiss also offers the wheels with Shimano’s 12-speed Micro Spline and SRAM’s 12-speed XD freehub options.
A 27.5in (650b) version and 25mm internal-width rims are available in this family of wheels too.
The rims come pre-taped, and included are a pair of DT Swiss valves, which I’ve found to be dependable. The rubber base of the valve has a curved oblong form that conforms to the rim bed well once the lockring, which encloses a rubber seal, is tightened.
Removing the front hub end caps isn’t the easiest, however getting the freehub body off, if it needs a clean, service or replacement, is just a case of giving it a sharp tug.
Both rims have 28 eyeletted spoke holes, and the spokes themselves are straight-pull DT Swiss Champions.
Straight-pull spokes can be a touch harder to get hold of than J-bend ones, and can be a little fiddlier to replace should you snap one.
Though the wheels come with a Center Lock rotor attachment, DT includes a six-bolt adaptor, which is easy to use, just requiring a standard bottom bracket tool to tighten the lockring.
DT Swiss M1900 Spline performance
Getting tyres on and off the rim posed no particular issue, even if the central well of the rim bed doesn’t drop as dramatically from the outside diameter of the rim wall as others.
With a relatively shallow, and inwardly angled, rim wall, getting the hook of a tyre lever over the edge of the rim is easy, if your tyres are particularly tight.
The rim well is reasonably wide and has a smooth curve – this meant I was easily able to get both beads of the tyre down into the well, and either side of the valve, and tyres seemed to slip up the rim well upon inflation – I managed every time using only a track pump, rather than tubeless inflator.
Tyres popped into the rim wall without having to pump too furiously or to particularly high tyre pressures.
I had some initial issues getting one of the wheels to hold air, with some leaking through the rim tape and exiting via the sleeved rim joint.
However, a little extra sealant plugged whatever hole there was with minimal fuss and the wheels remained airtight throughout testing.
On the trail, the M1900s performed as expected. They weren’t noticeably harsh, and so I had no hand pain issues, nor were they soft – something which 28-spoke wheels can be prone to.
As such, I was able to hold my lines easily over off-camber roots and never felt like I was being pinged all over the place.
The freehub body’s 15-degree engagement angle is wider than most, so if you’re looking for the snappiest or buzziest rear hub you might want to look elsewhere.
However, the flipside is that on a full-suspension bike there might be a little more leeway before pedal kickback comes into play on bigger hits.
With a system weight limit of 120kg, heavier riders on e-MTBs might need to be careful, although at this combined weight we suspect riders may appreciate wheels with a higher spoke count for peace of mind.
DT Swiss M1900 Spline bottom line
Overall, DT Swiss’s M1900 Spline wheels performed well for the money. There are plenty of options to keep every rider happy, and the pricing is competitive.
I didn’t feel that there were any obvious performance downsides and, in terms of feel, they’re pretty middle of the road – neither the harshest nor the flexiest.
My only concern would be for aggressive riders who regularly snap spokes, or those with a higher system weight, who might want to look at wheels with a higher spoke count.
How we tested
Wheels are a pretty pricey upgrade, so we put 12 trail/enduro sets to the test to find out if there’s an inherent benefit to pricey carbon fibre hoops or is alloy better for hard-hitting rims?
The wheelsets were taken on back-to-back runs down selected tracks in the Welsh woods and at BikePark Wales. They were pummelled over and into rocks and drops, turns and berms, and off-camber roots.
To keep things fair, all our testing was done on the same bikes, both hardtail and full-sus, with the same tyres (thanks Specialized!) at the same pressures.
We tested 29in wheels, but most are offered in 650b versions too. While we predominantly ran 2.6in rubber, we also slung some 2.3in tyres on, and we varied the pressures between test sessions to see what difference we could feel.
Bikes shouldn’t be a pain to live with, so we took into account the ease with which tyres could be fitted and inflated. Likewise, we considered how easy it was to access bearings and swap freehubs, too.
Also on test
- Nukeproof Horizon V2
- Zipp 3ZERO MOTO
- ENVE MTB Foundation AM30
- Halo Vortex MTC Enduro
- Hope Fortus 30
- Hunt Enduro Wide V2
- Mavic Crossmax XL S
- Reserve 30 I9 Hydra
- Shimano MT620
- Syncros Revelstoke 1.0
- Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro Alloy
|Price||GBP £380.00USD $439.00|
|Weight||2,040g (29in) – per wheelset|
|Features||Weight (f): 950g
Weight (r): 1,090g
Engagement angle: 15 degrees
|Rim internal width||29.6mm|
|Spoke count||28 front, 28 rear|
|Spokes||DT champion® straightpull|