DT Swiss has their US headquarters around the corner from my facility and a lot of local riders sport their wheels. They have also been a big supporter of local mountain biking so when I decided to get a new pair of wheels for my freeride bike I went to see what they had to offer. After talking with them about what kind of riding I was doing they suggested a FR 2350 wheel set and after throwing those sexy red wheels on my bike I put them through their paces for the past few months.
My 2350’s have a 20mm through axle up front and a 10mm through axle hub in the rear. The rear skewer screws down using a cool system that lets you crank down tight on it and then set the “handle” out of harms way. You can get the rear in 135mm or 150mm spacing and upgrade to a 12 or 15 mm through axle if you need.
Around Grand Junction we have some seriously rocky trails. We have some pretty big jumps and drops at The Ranch. We also have some of the best lift access riding in the country within a few hours drive. Add it all up and you have a serious proving ground for any wheel set.
Now, I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo. You can find all of that out by clicking this link. I do know that I like that they don’t require special tools to service and the Star Ratchet system is pretty trick, but at the end of the day if it don’t translate into a better ride then none of that matters. Instead, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned about these wheels over the last few months –
I do know that they certainly roll better than the stock wheel set I had. Super premium bearings and shedding a few grams makes a noticeable difference on the trail. The extra speed and smoothness is noticeable and welcome on a 43 pound bike.
I also know that getting a 10mm through axle on the rear stiffened things up considerably. Once you use one of these you’ll never want to run a regular skewer again. It just feels like a noodle once you get used to the extra stiffness.
More importantly, I also know that I have pounded the living crap out of them and they have stayed strong and true. I even had a mishap where I cased thelanding on a 30 foot hip and had my derailer thrown into my spokes. The wheel came out fine – I did not even have to change any spokes!
I’ve spent 3 days at Keystone and 1 day at SnowMass since I got them and they have yet to show any signs of the high speed pounding those places put on your wheels. I have overshot every jump at the Ranch (I have a problem with going too fast) and have only needed to tighten a few spokes here and there.
I have also avoided getting a single pinch flat which is pretty good. I run relatively low air pressure for around here – usually about 35 psi – and have heard rock hitting my rim without consequence. The rims have also avoided flat spots, something I have heard a lot of riders ask me about. Yes, the softer metal helps you avoid pinch flats but it is not so soft that the rims get whacked too easily.
They are a bit of a pain to mount brand new DH tires on but once the tires have broken in a bit and the sidewalls aren’t as stiff they are much easier to deal with. Of course, when you don’t get that many pinch flats you don’t have to worry about constantly taking tires on and off unless you ride a different tire every time you ride.
Sure, you can find cheaper wheels but if you want a wheel set that rolls fast, stays strong and true and resists pinch flats you’d be hard pressed to find a better option. They look sweet, too, which is always nice.
DT Swiss is also a great company that stands behind their products. I’ve had to deal with some bad companies in this industry and I can tell you that paying a few bucks extra to know that there will be an intelligent person who cares about helping you on the other line when you call with a problem is huge.
I’m also riding a pair of their 1750’s on my trail bike I’ll report back on. I was just so impressed with how well these wheels have stood up to the abuse I’ve dished out I wanted to let you guys know about them first.