Review: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One 30mm Wheelset

by
October 8, 2017

The Spline One XM 1501 wheels from DT Swiss are a premium set of alloy hoops that are priced very close to carbon. So are they worth it?

Brand: DT Swiss
Product: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One 30mm 27.5 Wheelset
From: Madison, madison.co.uk
Price: £809.98
Tested: by David Hayward for 4 months

In Issue #110 of Singletrack Magazine, David tested some high-end alloy hoops from DT Swiss

Wheels. What are they? We just don’t know. I kid. You might not think there’s much to a wheel, but it’s more than you’d think, and DT Swiss helpfully sent these to me for investigation.

The 27.5in rims (also available on 29in) came pre-taped, with tubeless valves installed. I didn’t want to untape them to check, but these are also apparently built with DT’s new Squorx nipples, which stands for “Square-Torx Nipple”. They have an inverted Torx head on the back, and still have standard spoke key flats on the other end (As well as DT Swiss, several companies are making Squorx nipple drivers now). Like the spokes, the nipples on this wheelset are black (I do love a stealthy nipple).

dt swiss wheels
The Spline One range represents DT Swiss’ premium mountain bike wheels.

Should you have a disastrous time casing more jump than you can chew, rims are replaceable with DT Swiss XM481, or you can send your wheels back to the UK service centre to get rims with the same graphics the wheels ship with.

Straight pull spokes may sometimes make riders cringe, but they do save weight and, excellently, the hubs used in Spline One wheels are designed to use the same spoke length everywhere for a given size of wheel. The distributor tells me they should be readily available in most bike shops, but still, probably worth stocking up on a few spares to throw in your pack and/or toolbox. That said, I didn’t break any during the test.

dt swiss wheels spline one
The Spline One wheels are available in a variety of different rim widths. These ones feature a 30mm internal rim width.

While Boost versions are available on Spline One wheels, this particular set is non-Boost. The hubs have swappable end caps for different axles, and DT’s 36 tooth ratchet system. It’s a proven and reliable one, and while not the noisiest freehub, still has more buzz than most.

The rims on these have a 30mm internal width, and a digital caliper on them showed 34mm external width, with internal width bang on 30. That puts them near the middle of the internal width options DT Swiss spec, from 22.5mm to 40mm. 30mm is a good compromise width to allow use of normal and plus tyres and the 2.3in ones I tested the wheels with went up without squaring off or exposing too much sidewall.

The Spline One wheels are built around 240 hubs, with DT’s excellent Star Ratchet freehub mechanism within.

These were put on a 27.5in steel trail hardtail that was previously running a decent non-DT wheelset, and while I found my legs weren’t quite calibrated enough to distinguish any small differences in stiffness and weight that might exist between the two, compared to the 25mm internal rims on the previous wheels, I did find the wider DT rims resulted in far fewer dings while riding the same trails and tyres. That also meant I could drop my tyre pressures without burping as much as I’d expect.

The Spline One wheelset is firmly aimed at trail riding, trading a bit of beef out to get a bit of weight saving, but not so much they can’t take a beating. If you’re on the heavier side, more aggressive or tend to bend a lot of wheels, you could look further to DT’s tougher, slightly heavier EX 1501 wheels.

For riding trails and all of the mountains, the Spline One XM 1501 wheels are as good as it gets for alloy wheels.

Overall

The 30mm internal width is a good mid-range rim size for many sizes of tyre, including modern plus tyres, and reduces dings and burps. A light, competent, thoughtfully designed do-it-all wheelset for most riding.

Review Info

Brand: DT Swiss
Product: DT Swiss XM 1501 Spline One 30mm 27.5 Wheelset
From: Madison, madison.co.uk
Price: £809.98
Tested: by David Hayward for 4 months

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review wheels