Tubeless-compatible wheels are becoming more common these days, and DT Swiss’s RR1600s are both relatively affordable and lively. At 1,588g a pair, the weight is bang on for a mid-priced tubeless wheelset, while their on-road responsiveness gets a significant boost from a couple of their features.
The hubs, based on the DT Swiss 340, have the excellent Star Ratchet freehub clutch, and offer a very quick yet silent pickup. And though these don’t have the Tricon screw-in spokes of DT’s top wheels, the 24 front and 28 rear bladed spokes thread into separate inserts on the rim. This makes very high tension and wheel stiffness possible – with each wheel being finished by hand and signed off with an individual card for reassuring quality control.
A welcome result is that there are none of the creaks and twangs you often experience from factory-built wheels as the spokes settle in. On our back roads test routes there was no sign of any loosening, softening or wobble from the wheels either. In fact, their cornering precision is their strongest aspect. While there’s no aero advantage on the straights you can really throw them into corners at neck-straining angles to gain metres on your mates. Add in the super-quick pickup and you’ll be tackling the twistiest country lanes faster than ever, the extra security of DT Swiss’s RWS skewers boosting the wheels’ already stiff feel.
They should prove reliable too. DT Swiss’s Star Ratchet hubs are easy to service, though their renowned reliability means it’s a very rare need. The conventional J-bend spokes are easy to replace should one snap.
The downside to the stiffness is that it reduces the smoother ride quality that tubeless is known for, so we could barely tell any change to our standard clincher and tube setup when running Maxxis’s tubeless Padrones. However, Hutchinson’s Fusion tyres offered a noticeably smoother experience, making a more convincing case for kicking inner tubes into touch.