First Look: DT Swiss EXC 1200 Spline Wheelset

Aug 8, 2019
by Dan Roberts  



DT Swiss has in recent years been going through their wheel lineup and introducing top of the tree wheelsets for each riding style. The XRC wheels cover XC duties. Their XMC wheels cover more all-mountain demands, and the final piece of the puzzle was the EXC wheels, which are pointed directly at the more aggressive end of little bike riding.

This missing jigsaw piece of the lineup didn’t force DT into a rush to have it filled. Instead, they took their time to engineer something that they see fit for the job.


EXC 1200 Spline Details

Intended Use: Enduro
Wheel Size: 27.5" and 29"
Axle & Hub Width: 15x110mm & 12x148mm
Rotor Mount: Center Lock
Rim Inner Width: 30mm (29") & 35mm (27.5")
Claimed Weight: 1670g (29") & 1659 (27.5")
Price: 2198 EUR or $2735 USD
More info: DT Swiss
As is always the case with something new from the Swiss brand, it’s engineered to within an inch of its life and always deserves a minute or two to sit down and just appreciate the quality. Maybe this is just what engineers do and could be construed as a bit odd, but the EXC 1200 Spline is a lovely bit of kit when you get it out of the box.

As is the same with a whole bike, a wheel is a system of multiple parts that work together to do the job. It’s necessary to break the system down to its constituent parts for easy digesting of information, but it should be remembered that DT engineered this as a system and looked at how each part played its role in the grander scheme.







Hub

The EXC wheels use their new 180 hubs. We took a closer look at these a couple of months ago and, as pointed out by Mike Kazimer, the hub is often something taken for granted. DT's previous design had been a mainstay for quite some time but, they didn’t rest on their laurels and they set to work fine tuning it to extract even more performance. The old Lotus philosophy of simplify and add lightness rings true here.

The hub is primarily constructed from aluminium and the attention to detail is fascinating. Intricate machine work is rife and removes any and all unnecessary material. Even the end caps got the treatment and are slimmed down to the bare minimum. Hub spacing is 15x110mm front and 12x148mm rear only.


There's a brilliant interactive view of what's going on inside the new hubs on the DT Swiss website.


The hubs run on SINC ceramic bearings and thanks to the new freehub design the bearing are also spaced a little further apart and offer a better support to the forces coming through the hub.

The SINC bearings were developed by DT Swiss and further show their engineering focus on the details. The balls are made from silicon nitride, which is tough as old boots both in consideration to wear and corrosion. The bearing races are made from a specific steel alloy which was used to match the properties of the ceramic balls to reduce the rolling resistance to next to nothing while giving a greater durability than conventional bearings and removing any issues with corrosion. Given the high toughness of the ceramic balls, they are constantly smoothing out the steel races to keep the bearings running smooth.

DT have a very tight control on the tolerances, inspecting and testing each and every SINC bearing. Balls, races and seals all fit together like a dream.


Straight pull spoke holes, center lock rotor mounts and everything machined to within an inch of its life.


There are 28 straight pull spoke holes, rather than slots, which should remove any issue of spokes popping out of the hub shell in high load situations. Something which has been seen on other straight pull hub designs.

The rotors are attached via a center lock mount, but, if you have 6 bolt rotors then there are adaptors to fit between the two different mount systems. Max rotor size is 230mm.


Freehub maintenance is a doddle and tool free. There's also options for every drivetrain.


One of the biggest changes to the previous hub design is the new freehub body, called Ratchet EXP. The new system reduces the number of parts and simplifies one of the best functioning freehub systems that was available on the market. In the same way that many an Intense M1 was re-branded back on the day, the previous Star Ratchet system was hiding away in many other brands hubs, a testament to how good it was.

The simplification comes from physically screwing one of the Star Ratchet pieces into the hub shell. Therefore, they could ditch one spring and make it a constant diameter, compared to the previous tapering spring design. Overall there’s two less parts but the same Star Ratchet sound is still present. It’s an absolute piece of cake to take apart and service and requires no tools to do so.


Ratchet EXP layout on top, older Star Ratchet layout on the bottom.


The wheelset comes standard with a 36T ratchet system but has the option to upgrade to 54T. The only downside of the new system lies in this upgrading. If you want to do it, you’ll now need either the tool or have a well-equipped local shop who can unscrew the ratchet piece threaded into the hub shell.

The wheels come with either an XD driver body or the new Microspline body needed for Shimano’s new 12 speed cassettes. There’s a standard Shimano freehub body available too.







Rim

The rims are constructed from carbon fiber and for the EXC versions DT focussed more on impact resistance given the riding intentions of the wheelset. Internally DT set its standards incredibly high for their required impact resistance and used clever engineering to align the fibers as best they saw while having a composite structure with a good ratio of fiber to resin content to handle the energy from impacts. They also focussed on the production process quality to ensure that this intended fiber alignment and resin content was repeatably attained in manufacturing.


The rim has more of a focus on impact resistance and DT took their time to make sure it exceeded their high standards.


Some of the stigmas for carbon fibers are carried over from the industries other metallic materials. Aluminum is homogenous. If you were to cut it, you’d find the same aluminum all the way through the structure. On the other hand, carbon fiber composites are anything but the same if you were to cut through them. The multitude of individual fibres and resins on offer, each having their own stiffness and strength properties, can be blended together in so many ways that no two carbon structures, or rims, are the same. Often lots of the engineering that goes into a carbon composite is hidden away inside the interior and it’s come from the collective minds of some very intelligent people, so it’s also often closely guarded secrets.

Tarring every “carbon” rim with the same brush isn’t going to help to separate the wheat from the chaff. Because one manufacturer's carbon rim doesn’t stand up to the job doesn’t mean that another’s will suffer the same fate. We’ll be putting in the miles on the EXC wheelset at our Champéry-based testing area and throwing everything we can at the wheels. Look out for a comprehensive long-term test on these wheels in the future to find out if they hold up.

The rim's profile is a hookless design and uses an internal width of 30mm for the 29” wheels and 35mm for the 27.5”. The rims came taped out of the box and even a set of Magic Mary wired DH tires seated with the gentlest pushes from a track pump.

DT don’t advise using inserts such as ProCore. The added air pressure from the inner chamber drastically reduces the spoke tension in the wheel. Their mantra regarding spoke tension is to build the wheel as close as possible to the maximum given spoke tension while keeping the deviation in tension between individual spokes to a minimum.





Spokes & Nipples

The hubs and rims are laced together with DT’s own Aerolite and Aero Comp bladed spokes and Pro Lock Squorx aluminum nipples. The front wheel uses the slimmer and lighter Aerolite on both sides while the rear wheel uses a mix of Aerolite on the brake side and the slightly more meaty Aero Comp on the drive side to handle the added input forces present at the rear wheel.

For their carbon wheels they managed to do away with the small PHR washers between the spoke and rim.

As mentioned above, DT focus on building a reliable wheel with the use of maximum allowable spoke tension and minimum variance from spoke to spoke. They then use the geometry of the spoke to adjust the stiffness to reach what they require.


28 straight pull spokes in a 3 cross pattern and Squorx nipples attach them to the rim, but without the PHR washers used on the aluminum rims.


Spoke lengths for the 29” wheel are 300mm on both sides, front and rear. Meaning you only need one spare spoke length and you’re covered.

DT also carefully control the additives that are used in their resin to stop any galvanic corrosion between the rim and aluminum nipples and keep everything running as it should for a long time.







Valve

The attention to detail didn’t stop there as they even threw their attention to the valves. There’s a lighter aluminum valve that is claimed to be 40% less weight than the brass version used elsewhere in their wheel line. 40% of a valve may be the same grams as a gnat’s whisker, but spinning that valve up to 60kph results in the equivalent valve weight increasing. Most of the World Cup race bikes now employ additional weights stuck to the rim or clamped on the spokes to balance out the wheels when they are spun up to race winning rpms. Reducing the valve weight really may seem insignificant, statically. But dynamically its gains are multiplied.


The new aluminum valve has a built in core remover on the valve cap.


The new valve includes a valve core remover in the cap and the internal rubber shape of the valve base is circular and conical, meaning there’s no worry in valve orientation to ensure a good quality seal.





System

After examining each individual part, we now zoom out to the system.

The carbon rim used on the EXC wheels is inherently stiffer than its aluminum counterpart and as a result DT used the spoke count and the different spoke geometry of aero spokes to generate the wheel stiffness they were after. They set their target to be at least as stiff as their aluminum wheels, while not crossing over the threshold into the realms of too stiff.

DT tested a lot of their own wheels and also many competitor wheels internally in their own testing facility and also out in the real world with a variety of rider skills and styles to determine how they wanted their wheels to behave and also where this limit of useful compliance and too harsh was.

There’s a maximum system weight of 130kg (287 lb) on the wheels. System referring to the rider, dressed up all ready to go, plus the bike.





Facts & Figures

DT generally aren’t a company to throw around cliché claims when marketing a product. Their engineering DNA shows through in the use of facts and figures to explain the performance. Their biggest fact comes about impact resistance.

Using their "Puncture Test” (dropping a fixed weight from certain heights vertically onto the wheel, same as the UCI Impact Test) to examine the local fracture behaviour of the rim, they’ve recorded an 18% energy increase with their EXC wheel without critical failure. This was compared to two of their most relevant carbon rim competitors, although no exact names were mentioned. It seems it took perseverance and over 20 different layups to get to something that stood up to their high standards.


DT's Puncture Test to examine impact resistance and their rotor testing to verify their max rotor size of 230mm.


DT also talk about the moment of inertia of a wheel. One way of describing this is how the mass of the wheel is going to determine the force needed to reach a desired acceleration. It’s not a linear change either, with the square of the distance that the mass sits from the axis of rotation coming into play too.

Seeing as we’re talking about 29” wheels that distance is fixed, so the remaining factor to work on to lower the moment of inertia is the mass. Frankly, I’ve not helped matters with mounting a set of DH tires, but at least DT has gone the extra mile to lower the weight of the components furthest away from the wheel axle thus lowering the amount of force needed to accelerate and decelerate the wheel. According to their testing, they’ve measured a 6% increase in average speed with the EXC wheels when compared to the aluminum 1501 Spline wheels due to the weight reduction they achieved at the rim.

Claimed weight for the wheels is 1670g for the 29” version and 1659g for the 27.5” version. That’s without valves or tubeless tape and with XD freehub body.

Putting all the parts of the 29” wheelset on the scales we have:

Rear wheel with XD freehub: 896g
Rear wheel with Microspline freehub: 905g
Front wheel: 794g
Two valves: 7g

So that makes 1697g for the pair with an XD freehub and valves fitted. A touch heavier than the claimed weight of 1670g but, the difference is due to the tubless tape.

As mentioned, we have a set of these wheels currently being ragged in Champéry and will report back with a long-term review in the coming months. DTs claims seem to be more factual based rather than cliché, but only more ride time will tell how the wheels perform. But for now, they're as impressive a piece of kit as any top tier DT Swiss component should be.









92 Comments

  • + 25
 The best thing about all of this is the valve cap with built-in chore remover
  • + 5
 More than 2,000 dollars for all these explanations and new acronyms.
  • + 8
 @colincolin: Both are true
  • + 3
 @colincolin: get the new valve caps for ONLY 69,99€ each. Not cheap but enduro made !
  • + 4
 E13 beat them to it...
  • + 1
 @vtracer: so did peaty
  • + 1
 I do have to wonder if the added weight of the valve core remover cancels out the gnat's fart of savings from the aluminum valve.
  • + 11
 too bad the enduro version is 35mm inner width which i find too wide. sweetspot is between 25 - 30mm for me when running 2,3 - 2,5 tires.
  • - 9
flag Primoz (Aug 8, 2019 at 3:20) (Below Threshold)
 Go 29er.
  • + 3
 @striveCF15 100% agreed!
  • + 2
 Agreed. I'm on 32mm rims right now. In the future I won't go over 30, and I think 28mm would be perfection.
  • + 2
 35mm front 30mm rear is the idea set up.
  • + 0
 @thenotoriousmic: going for it as we speak. EX511 rear and XM521 front. At first I thought of HX531 for the back but then I remembered how tough EX471 has been for me and my friends.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: I run 30mm on one bike 35mm on the other. 30mm work better with a 2.3 that I prefer to run on the back and the 35mm work better with the 2.5 I run on the back. I have to compromise with both set ups. In future I’m going to try and run 35mm f / 30mm r for the perfect set up. Between the two though I’d pick the wider rim front and rear though. I think it makes everything better except drag with a 2.3 on the back which is the only reason I’d run a 30mm on the back.
  • + 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I am a fat tyre bloke. I like squish and drag is mainly a matter of thread pattern to me, not width. Soft Magic Marys or DHR2 will always roll like sht. Aggressor or Assegai will always roll better than DHF. I have a very vivid memory of rolling 10km on asphalt on a softish Bonty G5 the day after I rode exactly same road on DHF front maxxgrip and SS dual... it was like that meme “guess I’ll die”
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: If you put a 2.3 on a 35mm rim the centre and side nobs touch the ground at the same time causing lots of drag.
  • + 1
 27.5" isn't exactly the enduro market anymore. The guys most likely forking out the cash for these wheels will either be using 27.5+ on an ebike, or spending $15k on the latest and greatest 29er enduro build. In other words, if you're still running 27.5", then these probably aren't for you
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: now I get you, yes.
  • + 1
 @webby01: careful there, you're going to get downvoted!
  • + 5
 Impressive sounding stuff. I've got two sets of XMC 1200s that just keep on working perfectly.

They came stock on a couple of high end race bikes I had over the years. Funny, I sold the bikes with "other" wheels.....

So OEM is where their sales will come from, because at near $3,000 not one single enduro buddy of mine will even give these a glance.
  • + 8
 I don't like the new permanent ratchet. It's less user friendly. The weight savings are paltry.
  • + 5
 The only way I'd upgrade away from DT's conventional Star Ratchet system would be for less noise. The EXP system makes no improvements in that regard and the whole "needing specialize tools to swap out ratchets" is a major turn off, so here's hoping that DT350 32h J-Bend hubs stay in production for a long time.

I was hoping that DT would have taken over Shimano's development of the Sylence hub to combine the Star Ratchet's simplicity with a silent freewheeling hub.
  • + 5
 I will never move to a new ratchet. One evening I wanted to swap cassettes on my DT Swiss wheelsets. One Shimano cassette, one Sram with XD driver. I pulled both using my fingers and pushed them into respective wheels. Took 1 minute.
  • + 0
 But it reduces manufacturing and assembly costs. With such low prices, they have to improve their margins somewhere.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: it wouldn't change anything...
  • + 7
 Impressive amount of technical detail for a wheelset review. No sarcasm intended at all. Well done
  • + 7
 Another reason to stay on EX471 and save thousands
  • + 1
 Bingo. I run them on my DH bike and when my current rims eat it on my trail machine, EX471's will be laced up there as well.
  • + 2
 I cannot wait to get the older 240's at a smashing deal. Being a fat middle aged punter - it seems like I have issues with every hub mainstream hub brand (formula, bitec, easton, shimano etc..) other than DT. I really do not want to mortgage my house so I cannot comment on Industry Nine or Chris King other than with CK you have to mortgage the house to buy the hubs then someone else has to mortgage the LBS to get tools to work on these hubs.

Nice Tech! Nice review but as always they are expensive.
  • + 2
 Check out Onyx. They are my only other "no-fail" option as a big rider with lots of torque on a 29'er.

As an overall package DT are my 1st choice - everything else (apart from Onyx) fails Frown
  • + 4
 @jitenshakun: I have heard really good things about Onyx. My issue is that I have a road, gravel, fatbike and mountain bike then my kids have mountain bikes. As a result, I try to stick to DT swiss with spare bearings, grease etc... My favorite thing is the 5 minute freehub service and its an 80 dollar tool and that's it for bearing replacements. I keep 2 extra drivers XO and Shimano just in case. Also they seem to get all the updates quickest - ex micro spline.
  • + 1
 You should look into hadley as well.
  • + 0
 @jitenshakun: aren't onyx DT swiss hubs?
  • + 3
 @clink83: you are thinking the old Onyx series stuff. Onyx Racing Products make some of the best hubs going. They run with zero drag, zero noise, and they engage instantly due to their unique sprag clutch engagement mechanism.
  • + 2
 I was always surprised that the DT SWISS XMC 1200 30MM comes specced on bikes such as the Yeti SB150 or the GG Smash. However, it seems to hold up to the abuse.
Due to the simpler hub and spokes, I would stay with the XMC (IF I would buy one).
  • + 2
 well, both their Enduro and Allmountain lines have the same ASTM Classification (4)
  • + 1
 the valve and cap are definitely cool, will be looking for those after market.

the hub seems like its really best applied to xc and road. although maybe moving the bearing outboard could help for enduro if the strength/stiffness claims can be believed.

i assume the inner ratchet can actually be removed to be replaced (maybe with a special tool?), but still, it's not exactly adding a great deal.
  • + 4
 why can`t they just put the 54th star ratchet in and stop with the 36 for the price ofthis wheelset?
  • + 0
 The 54t is damn annoying?
  • + 1
 @clink83: Is it? Do you mean the sound?
  • + 1
 Not sure why people want the upgrade. Zero issues ever with a 36...never an issue at all with engagement either.
  • + 2
 @mtb-journal: yea I have the 54t on my XC bike and honestly I would go 36t next time if it was a trail bike.
  • + 4
 DT still stocks 18T in most of their hubs. Would be nice to see 54T as stock, but given the choice I prefer faster engagement for times when 1/2 and 1/4 pedal strokes are called for. Technical climbing situations really benefit from higher engagement IMHO.
  • + 2
 There's a big difference in 20 degrees engagement and 10 (18T-->36T ratchets) but less so from 10 degrees to 6.66 degrees engagement (36T-->54T). strength/durability also go down as the teeth get smaller. I too would think for a top-shelf wheel, DT would sell them stock with the 6.66 degree engagement.
  • + 2
 The 54t is too much rolling resistance compared to whatever benefits there are. I actually 'downgraded' to 18t for my downhill wheels. It makes a difference to maintaining speed in flatter sections.
  • + 1
 @thesharkman: good point. I have new hubs and I feel the drag but like the quicker engagement. And I did never want more from my 350 with 36 ratchet. Just figured at that price it should have all upgrades.
  • + 1
 I briefly considered the DT180 hubs for a new build but the US distributor made a real point of telling me that they are NOT rated for anything but XC. I even sent the distributor a link to an enduromag article testing these exact wheels and hubs for Enduro usage and they reiterated, 'XC ONLY'. Do wish they'd offer that rear in a 32 spoke as well. Looks like a nice product if DT could clarify these points. Lastly, I've determined that tire inserts front and rear are absolutely necessary to prevent trail tires from rolling off the wheel in the turns and ultimately results in a better result than running DD tires on a trail bike.
  • + 1
 Inserts are fine. They're saying specifically Procore is not, since it can reduce the spoke tension of the wheel. And since QBP has discontinued ProCore, that probably won't be an issue for most people. And Cushcore is a better product anyways in most applications.
  • + 4
 So about $3500 CAD for wheels. Got it. Ya ya I know “high end”.
  • + 3
 I’m no mathematician but thats like equivalent of three sets of Agent wheel-set’s.

Hmmmm
  • + 2
 @PocoBoho: Agent/Insider wheels are the best value wheels on the market right now. I would argue they offer better performance than most wheels that are double and triple the price.
  • + 2
 Why isnt Richie Rude running them?

And >$2K with no lifetime (or at least 10yr) warranty? Glad the Swiss are still positive on the economic outlook.
  • + 3
 Stopped reading at the price tag...
  • + 29
 Reading about cool new tech is free bro
  • + 8
 @hobbnobs: my employer would probably disagree
  • + 4
 CTRL-F "Warranty" 0/0
  • + 1
 the standard 2 years
  • + 1
 Also, does this type of freehub system have a lot more coasting resistance than say a 321 or an Onyx?
  • + 1
 Makes absolutely zero difference in the real world. Maybe if you're an xc racer the placebo effect could mean something...
  • + 1
 any freehub resistance gain by those two is lost in the weight of the hubs. It's a wash
  • + 3
 @bman33: I don't think that's the case. Weight at the hub hardly makes an impact on the acceleration of the wheels, and even less again on a wheel once it's in motion.

I believe Duke university did a study on this and found the Onyx mechanism yielded something like a 5% gain in efficiency over most other hubs. They are the lowest rolling resistance hubs on the market. Maybe not appreciable by many, but that's pretty cool.

Also - the instant and silent engagement is awesome.
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc: Link to Duke study please.
  • + 0
 @privateer-wbc: Weight makes a difference where ever it its if climbing or even pedaling on flat...physics. DH, weight can help with stability and possibly downhill momentum. Onyx hub work great and look very cool. Just a sizable weight penalty. I hear they are looking to lighten up the mech.....
  • + 1
 @bman33: weight at the rims makes much more of a different than weight at the hub. Yeah, of course weight anywhere makes a difference, but in terms of the feel and "snappy-ness" of a wheel, location of that weight matters. You can actually have a heavier wheel that feels faster, believe it or not, if most of the weight difference is located at the hub, and the extremities are lighter (tires/rims/nips/spokes, in that order). THAT is physics. If you are gaining 100-200g at the hub, but eliminating drag appreciably, I would say they are well worth it. I say that also from the standpoint of having real world experience with them.

There is a great video out there on location of wheel weight, where a tester rolls two wheels of identical weight down a slope, one with a heavy center, one with a heavy rim, and you can see quite easily the one with the weight towards the center is noticeably faster ...now if I could just find it...

Onyx has already made them lighter. Check out their new hubs called Vesper. If you are weight sensitive, they may change your mind. Personally I'm not all that bothered by hub-centric weight. I do like to avoid weight closer to the rim and at the tires where possible however.
  • + 2
 @privateer-wbc: Thanks.

All weight matters, but weight at the hub matters much less than weight at the tire tread and weight on the frame matters even less than that. Still your money/ attention should first look at removing weight at tire/ insert/ outer rim and move inwards in decreasing importance from there. Those DT180 hubs are unbelievably light weight, which means the rather average weight of these wheels means the rim itself is no lightweight, for reliability.

Turns out that by the time you get CF wheels strong enough, they just might be heavier than aluminum wheels!

Heavy hubs and derailleurs seem to have a notable effect on rear suspension performance for me. Rear wheel doesn't track the ground as well as things get heavier.
  • + 2
 @privateer-wbc: That's the inertia aspect. There was a motorcycle magazine test of CF wheels years ago and wheels that weighed the same had the weight located in different places, and this made a tremendous difference in the inertia.
That said, Project 321 rolls down as well as Vespers and are 1/3# lighter.
  • + 1
 @SunsPSD: Yes, you are right on the sprung/unsprung weight side. I find I notice that less however, than the effect of a heavy rim/tire vs heavy hub, as to me heavy rims and tires definitely make a wheel feel more sluggish. Onyx hubs if anything, make a wheel more snappy, to my feel.

And yes, in a lot of cases, the weight of a good strong carbon rim isn't that much less than a good alloy rim. They are however, much less susceptible to dings/dents and flatspots, and thus spend less time in the truing stand and keeping even tension better because of that - or so has been my experience.
  • + 1
 @SunsPSD: I like Project 321, but I don't get to build with them often at all. I do recall them being pretty low drag, and I am a huge fan of even their stock "non-upgrade" option EZO bearings. But do you really think they roll as well as Onyx?! I will have to compare next time I have a set in.
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc: I don't have much experience with Onyx, only rode them one time and really dug them. However, Jake at 321 claims that he set up a test stand and that his silent hubsrolled very slightly better than Onyx and his loud hubs rolled a bit slower.

He also acknowledged that the differences were pretty small.
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc: I replaced a pair of 1700g DT alloy wheels with a pair of 1700g carbon nextie rims and there is a huge difference between them in acceleration. The carbon rims are "heavy" because of the 32 spokes and high flange 350 hubs vs the 28h straight pull 350 hubs...but they feel like a million bucks.
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc: Correct, weight at the rim/tire is worse than weight at the hub. That wasn't being debated. Rims, tire, spokes all being the same, 5% 'freer spinning' freehub isn't worth the 170 or so gram difference between a DT 240 Boost rear or an i9 Boost rear vs. a Vesper Boost 148 rear. (regular Onyx rear 65 or so grams heavier). Onyx makes cool high-quality stuff. However, still a good bit heavier.
  • + 1
 @bman33: I think that is subjective. I'll take the 170 grams for the lower rolling resistanc,e along side the instant and silent engagement. But I'm not all that sensitive to the little bit of weight at the hub.
  • + 1
 @privateer-wbc: instant engagement is overrated at best. Aside from some very cheap Chinese low end OEM hubs, no one I'm aware of was complaining about engagement, not even BMX racers. No it's a "thing"...most think it's a performance issue. With the exception of maybe trails riding...there isn't much benefit. A few degrees isn't really perceptible when in motion. Once you are engaged, you are engaged. Again, Onyx makes super nice stuff...just heavy. If that is cool with you, rock on. It's your machine , ride what makes you happy. Now the quiet part is super cool indeed. I run i9 on my bikes now with the Hydra. Used to have DT. Both over a 1/3 lb lighter. Never think about engagement or resistance with either
  • + 1
 @bman33: I think the engagement is definitely something many care about. But, the caveat with that, is that it really does follow the law of diminishing returns. The difference between Onyx and Hydra, is imperceivably small. A little more noticeable versus a Torch, Factor, or Vault, or something with the benchmark 120 poe. The difference starts to get pretty noticeable against DT (54T/36T) or Hope (44T), in my experience. I think it's important to remember also, that while 36T gives 10 degrees, it's also spinning and some times you may be right on it, and other times you may have to catch up to your driving star ratchet. I understand that won't bother everyone, but for sure drives some people mad - that comes down to style and preference I think.

And YES, silence is pretty amazing!

Ultimately they are all good products. I actually really like Industry Nine as well, and own a couple sets of Torch hubs. I've built a few sets of Hydra's also, and they are quite impressive. The whole Industry Nine operation is super impressive.
  • + 2
 No lifetime warranty like We are One or Santa Cruz Reserve wheels?
  • + 1
 What's up with the glowing hot orange disk in the last picture? Is that really a design aspect?
  • - 1
 $2735 seems a bit extravagant considering you can't use tire inserts with it (perhaps Tannus would work over Cushcore?). All that money and you can't protect it from blowing up to smithereens vs a wayward rock...
  • + 5
 Well, according to reasoning behind this, I think they've had air based tire inserts in mind, Schwalbe Procore is the only I know about. Its basicaly tube inside tube, where the inner tube has much higher pressure to withstand impacts and protect rim.
Common poolnoodle-like tire inserts (Cushcore etc) does not add any air pressure and are ok to use with this. Not that I'm gonna rush for a set righ away Smile
  • + 5
 Have a closer look at the article. You can't use Procore because of the pressure difference. But any kind of foam based insert (Cushcore, Huck Norris) will be fine because it doesn't compress the rim.
  • + 1
 DT Swiss wheel names always have misleading me. Why they are called 1200 when they have 1700gr, or 1700 and have 2000gr ??
  • + 2
 See's price, goes to industry nine website and buys from them.
  • + 1
 So what’s the weight difference b/t these and their aluminum equivalent ?
  • + 2
 I understand that for $2,700 they couldn’t just include the 54t upgrade.
  • - 1
 You lost me at "boost only"
  • + 3
 You had me at boost only though
  • + 1
 @JohanG: no super boost plus, ill pass.
  • + 3
 Go back to 2014?
  • + 2
 Most likely anyone running a non-boost frame/fork isn't ponying up almost $3000 for a set of wheels either so there is that.
  • + 1
 @bman33: I didn't make it far enough to read the price. The hub standard was stated 1st. However there are plenty of high end hub manufacturers that offer their hubs in many different standards that could be used to build up 3k wheels if anyone was so inclined. But you're probably more right than wrong
  • + 2
 @zyoungson: 2016 actually, and it works just fine

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