By Eric McKeegan
These wheels are quite a departure for DT Swiss, away from the standard J-bend spokes and standard lacing patterns and into the brave new world of wheel systems. Billed as all-around trail wheels (what DT calls cross mountain), these should be right at home on any 4-6” trail bike.
The big news for the new Tricon system is welded rims with a solid bed. No spoke holes means no need for airtight rim tape. To keep weight down and stiffness up the outer walls of the rim are concave, which DT claims helps counteract the pull of the spokes and pressure of the inflated tire. Torx nipples with DT’s Prolock thread-locker seat into oval inserts in the rim. Rim widths are 26mm outside, 20mm inside.
The spokes are bladed stainless steel laced in an open crowfoot pattern (single cross followed by radial) and threaded at both ends, no J-bend. The hubs spin on cartridge bearings and use the Center Lock rotor mount (Hooray!) with an included adapter for 6-bolt rotors. The freehub uses DT Swiss’ well-regarded star ratchet system with 20° between engagement points. I tested the standard quick-release front and 135mm rear set. A 15mm thru-axle front and 142x12mm rear are the other options, but converting between standards on the same hub is a no-go.
Also included are DT’s RWS skewers, which claim to have 50% more clamping power than standard skewers, as well as tubeless valves and a rubbery rim strip. In other words, this is a very complete kit. Greasing the freehub mechanism is quick and easy, no weird tools needed. There’s also no bearing preload adjustment, loose bearings mean it’s time to replace them.
Mounting tubeless tires was pretty painless. UST tires aired up with no issues, while looser-fitting tubeless-ready tires required installation of the 24g rimstrip to seal the beads to the rim during inflation. There were no issues with tire burping while riding. In fact, other than a very slight (~2mm) wobble on the rear rim, there were no issues whatsoever throughout the test. With a stiff, quiet freewheel sound, and plenty fast feeling, I wouldn’t feel out of place toeing the line at an XC race or dropping in on a sketchy all mountain line riding these wheels.
My only complaint is the torx fittings on the nipples. I didn’t have anything around my home workshop or Dirt Rag HQ to straighten the rear wheel (not that a 2mm wobble stopped me from riding), and I’m sure there isn’t a multi-tool with a wrench for this either.
Those looking for less weight can choose the XM1550 wheelset ($1,450), which has a 9mm/15mm convertible front hub and a Lefty option. Nothing flashy here, just a sturdy set of tubeless trail wheels from a company with a well-deserved reputation for quality.
Weight: 1,670 grams
Country of Origin: Made in Switzerland