Weight: 800g + 920g = 1,720g
Freehub lag: 10°
Sizes: 27.5 inch, 29 inch
They might be pricey for alloy but the DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline family is more than good enough to make a mockery of most carbon-fibre wheelsets. In fact, whatever width and wheel size I’ve tried, DT’s flagship alloys have delivered a balance of responsiveness, excellent ride quality and mechanical and structural toughness that makes them my favourite trail wheels.
There’s a full range of rim widths available, but these 29mm internal hoops are spot-on for 2.35–2.6-inch tyres that blow up to around 60mm wide. They come pre-taped too and the shallow sculpted rim-bed makes them an easy tyre fit but still securely sealed right down to extremely low pressures.
DT has overturned its reputation for soft hoops and now the alloy is noticeably tough. Despite that, the low-weight rims and super-tight but long straight-pull spoke construction give them a super-responsive and precise feel.
They still shrug off hits and float through the rough better than most carbon wheels and they offer an instant speed and ride-feel upgrade to any all-round trail bike you plug them into.
DT has been making and refining its hub designs for decades and the results are strong. While pick-up speed from the spring-loaded ratchet clutch is slightly slow compared to the fastest free-hubs on the block, that gives them solid durability.
However, if the slow pick-up really bothers you, you can get clutch plates with more teeth for a faster catch and the whole setup is easily pulled apart and rebuilt for cleaning and servicing if it needs it.
There’s also a new range of e-bike 1501s available if you’re working with more wattage than your legs can provide.