Interview: Downhill Wheel Tech with DT Swiss

Aug 10, 2023 at 15:56
by Nick Bentley  

Next in our tech deep dive series is DT Swiss. The Swiss wheel manufacturer has been making wheels for 25 years, so they should know a thing or two about what makes a good downhill wheel. DT Swiss has notched up plenty of downhill World Cup wins, with their rims and wheels becoming a mainstay of downhill racing and a firm favourite among privateers. So much so that they have a service pit on hand at the World Cup to help riders with wheel builds and maintenance, ensuring the world's fastest riders keep rolling.

We spoke to DT Swiss's Chris Brattle and their wheel builder Swen Heil for their input on DH Wheels and some tips on tubeless setups. Then, Continental Nukeproof's Jack Chapman gives us a team mechanic's point of view, along with Ronan Dunne, to get the rider's view of DT Swiss Wheels.

DT Swiss: Chris Brattle and Swen Heil

Your new wheels the FR 1500, came out this year didn't they?

Yep, these were launched at the first round at Lenzerheide. So new wheels this year, the new FR 1500s. These are our new premium downhill race wheelset, although actually, they're significantly lighter than the previous version, the old FR 1950, which was a bombproof wheelset that was a bit chunky. The new FR 1500 is actually at the point where it's actually viable for sort of heavy-duty trail bikes and super-enduro and things like that. It's a bit more of a versatile wheelset. The big thing this has of course, is the new exp hubs, which are some of the lightest hubs on the circuit, still some of the most reliable, easiest to service etc. And, of course, the new FR 541 rim. Based on our multiple World Champs and World Cup winning EX 511, which you still see everywhere, it is very similar overall. The big difference it has over the EX 511 is the size of the bead, you've actually got a wider, blunter bead there, which makes it harder for it to cut into the tire. In lab tests, it takes about 70% more actual kinetic force to pinch a tire versus the EX 511 and that's what you're really gaining from that new design.

So you're just going to see much less kind of pinch flats on the side of the tire?

Pinch flats are 95% luck. Yeah, there are so many variables, for instance, one thing we're seeing a lot is different suspension setups can actually have a massive effect on how quickly you go through rims. So there are huge amounts of variables, but all of those things in isolation, you're looking at about 17% more force to pinch flat a tire. In reality, the riding styles will have more of an effect on it, but every little helps.

Are tire inserts a big thing that you factor in now? Is it a thought process?

In a way. A lot of people don't like the feel of tire inserts, quite a few of the World Cup teams aren't using them. It's an optional thing. Some riders really like to feel them or like to run particularly low pressures and the added support that the insert gives. Others really don't like that feel. So that's very much a suck it and see. Rider style, suspension design has a big effect on that. We're happy for our rims to be used with inserts. The only thing is, we are talking about foam inserts here. The only potential issue is the inflatable inserts. The thing with them is they put a lot of pressure on the inside of the rim and actually, it's the equivalent of running a very high or like a road tire kind of pressures in them and if you haven't slackened off the spoke tension and built the wheel for that pressure this can then lead to wheel issues down the line. If we're using one of those inflatable inserts that pressurise the rim you'll need to install it and then check your spoke tension to make sure that works.

What tips do you have for people setting up a wheel for tubeless?

Firstly, make sure you've got the rim properly clean, ideally use a good, strong degreaser on it to make sure you've got any sort of grease or gunk removed because it will improve the adhesion which means you get a nice flat finish and you're much less likely to get a sealing mount to work its way underneath.

Second thing, make sure you've got the right width tape for the rim. Most rims are measured between the internals of the bead hooks, so for instance this is a 30mm rim. Ideally, you want a rim tape that's going to cover all of the bed of the rim, to actually tuck under the bead hooks. So for this we're going to use a 32mm tape. In an perfect world you also want a rim tape that's ever so slightly wider than the rims internal width.


Always start at the spoke hole at the side of the valve hole, because you'll use that to anchor it at the end. One thing that can happen with a lot of tape, including ours, is if it's really, really cold the glue doesn't activate so, I mean, we've had Fort William World Cups where it's been really, really cold and there have been times where I've just stuck inside my jacket, under my armpit, to warm it up for 10 minutes, not possibly the most hygienic solution but it just means the glues a bit warmer, you can just leave the tape on the radiator or something if it's cold day. On a normal warm day or spring day it would be fine, but in the winter it's good to warm the tape up.

So start at the valve hole go a little bit past and get your thumb in there to get it nicely pressed down. The big trick with the tape is get a lot of tension on it, do nice big sections so you can line up easily, and you follow it with a thumb to make sure you get rid of any wrinkles. You can always pull it off again if it doesn't go quite right. Slow and steady wins today. Just lay on slowly and keep that tension on it, don't let it off because if you do, you'll get a wrinkle which will allow sealant to get around the edges and under it. You just overlap it by one or two spoke holes, it's not a precise science as long as you have a nice overlap. It also depends on how warm it is, if it's nice and warm, the glue works well and you need less overlap.

If you're worried about a bit of wrinkle it doesn't matter too much if it was a double-layer section but a single-layer section you want to make sure you haven't got any wrinkles. Just check it around to see - it should all look lovely, smooth and centred.

Next you need to put in the valve stem. There are several ways to do this, however we recommend firstly to make sure you got your tape overlapping past the valve hole, then feel with your fingers so you line up the valve stem with the hole and just push it through the tape with the valve closed. Make sure it's fully seated down. It does not need to be super tight, if you need to do it up with a set of pliers there's probably something else going on there and you can actually end up breaking the bond between the valve core and the rubber on the end of it and you end up having a valve failure down the line which is really tricky to fix. So just finger tight.

Is there anything that you do different wheel build-wise for the downhill riders that you would do for any other disciplines?

It's dependent on the track and the bike, specifically the fork. So we're doing four different hole patterns sometimes in the front we go for 28 holes, and in the rear 32. But it all depends on the rider, or even the fork, so like Fox 40 is really stiff, so you might choose to have a more compliant wheel for a stiffer fork and the opposite with a less stiff fork. It's just about trying to find the right balance.

What are the things that people should do if they are going to build their own wheels at home or even just maintain them?

Pay attention to the spoke tension. The biggest thing is that you have equal tension all the way around, that's the main goal and that will make sure the wheel will last as long as possible.

Do you see a lot of the teams pulling seals out of hubs?

I think it's a mental thing to have to a degree. I mean, maybe on track racing it will make a big difference but not so much in downhill. When you're running something like an Assegai or Magic Mary that's going to be creating more rolling resistance than anything the hubs seals will do. If it gives the riders a mental edge and makes them feel that they've got the fastest possible bike then I guess it works. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for consumers.


On these builds are we talking all brass nipples? Do you use any reinforcing washers or anything?

So with our rims we use aluminium DT Swiss torx head nipples and we fit washers as well. I also use the DT Swiss Proline Nipple Wrench for our nipples to tension them so that we don't round off the nipple itself.

Do you see a lot of mechanics changing the spoke tension depending on the track conditions? Do you see spoke tensions being slackened off?

Yes, but it's not something that the average rider is going to be able to do right because you need a truing stand and a trained mechanic, not to mention an expensive tension meter.

Is there a big variance between the tensions across the teams?

It depends on the rider but people have different tensions.

What are the biggest issues you guys see here at the World Cup?

Dents. We very rarely see a rim that's actually unrideable it's usually just dented and they'd rather replace it to make sure they get a better seal for the tire.

Mechanic: Jack Chapman

So you're riding the new DT Swiss rim out this year. How are you finding it?

So far, so good really. We've actually had a lot less casualties of rims than what we've ever had in previous years running the older wheels. So certainly better. No complaints here. So far at this race we have had no issues with rims.

So when you build up a wheel, does it differ from track to track?

No, not really. We've found sometimes, or one of our riders just complained a bit, about the wheel feeling too stiff in these open turns, like especially at the top. Like on the flatter turns where they're not super bike-parky, the wheels feel a bit stiff, like they're skittish. So we've slackened the spoke tension off a bit and that seems to have improved it. Not a drastic amount, it's not like a huge change, but that seems to have done the trick. I feel like, I've obviously not seen the track, but like Mont-Sainte-Anne for example, that might be something you look at there. Like when you're sort of off camber on a ski piece that has harsh impacts, just to give the wheel that little bit more compliance and hopefully a bit more traction.


What's the biggest issue you see with wheels at the World Cup? I mean, is it normally just getting smashed into rocks?

Yeah mainly, like, we've actually found that this year we've only ever had a puncture due to something actually cutting the tire in extreme cases. We've never actually had a rim so badly damaged that the tires gone down. It's always been, they've obviously hit such a square edge, it's cut the tire as well as broken the rim, just unavoidable. So yeah, really, I guess the biggest concern would be that that would happen but like I said, it's never actually happened so far.

Any top tips for people when they're building up wheels?

If you don't know what you're doing, get someone that does. I would say the main thing with a rim is not to worry too much about how straight it is, obviously that's within reason, you don't want to be all over the place. The main thing for a strong wheel is even tension. So if you find that you're having to make the spokes not evenly tension at all to get a straight rim then your rim's had it and it's done. The main focus is rather than worrying too much about a straight rim, especially on a mountain bike, worry about how evenly tensioned everything is because then ultimately that's going to be as strong as it can be.

Oh one more thing, tubeless top tips. The most common thing I see, not at a World Cup but from customers bikes, are people complaining their tires won't go tubeless and the sealant coming out the spoke nipples. It's because they have punctured the rim tape with tire levers. Most common thing. So when you put a tire on, that's tubeless, don't lift the tire lever all the way up vertical, try and like lever it on halfway and go little steps around the wheel as you go.

Tape wise are you just running normal tape? You haven't done anything funky in there?

Nothing funky no, we just got the standard rim tape, DT rim tape.

No silicone in the bead?

No, we're not gluing them on, like I said we've had no issues with punctures.

You guys use alloy, is this a conscious decision to use alloy rather than carbon?

Yeah, we've been running these and they've been fine. We've not had any issues with them not getting down and weights not an issue. If it's not broke, don't fix it.


Rider: Ronan Dunne

I see you're on DTs Ronan. How do you find them? Do you like an aluminium wheel?

Yeah so I've never for one ridden carbon wheels but our bikes are full carbon fibre so it makes sense for an alloy to just get that flex and even going into like loosing up the spoke tension to get you more flex and working with that kind of stuff is super cool. Yeah, with DT Swiss, this is our first year on the team properly with them and it's a game changer. Like I used to be known as a wheel killer, I think one day in Val di Sole I broke eight wheels back to back and two in one go. So yeah, like I was missing out on results just due to punctures. It was getting pretty frustrating and worrying as well. But this year, I haven't actually had a puncture on any race run and even on practice days I rarely get punctures. Even when you're at home training you don't have to worry about breaking wheels and ringing up the team so yeah, definitely a game-changer.

The whole spoke tension thing, do you make any changes or just leave it to a mechanic?

I leave it to the mechanic and depending on the track. Now if it's a real wet track we definitely use an upper spoke tension and just get that little bit more grip or just depending how you're feeling but no not crazy man as long as it's strong. We'll go for stronger over like traction radius. Yeah, we really haven't been having much problems this year at all, which is great.

Tubeless wise you always run tubeless, you're not running inserts?

So yeah tubeless for sure, no inserts. So this is the first year I've just given up on the whole inserts. Like last year definitely just ran them because like why not, but then I found even if you get a small flat spot sometimes the insert stops the sealant from getting out, so it's a mixed bottle like if I'm having a bad week punctures I'll just be like I would throw an insert in but luckily that hasn't been happening so just no inserts.

Have you got any top tips for people back home for looking after wheels?

Yeah, I'd say tire pressures for sure and then just keeping an eye on spoke tension. So like if you do ride just quickly fiddle through and then instead of having a loose spoke and being like "oh, that'd be grand" or missing a spoke, like that's one thing we've done every run, check to spoke tension. So you start breaking them when you start doing your own thing and not checking them. Yeah, just get your tire pressures right and check the spoke tension, and you should be good to ride around from there.

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Member since Nov 28, 2019
244 articles

  • 33 0
 DT Swiss makes some good quality stuff. Easy to maintain and rebuild their hubs.
  • 6 9
 if you have an expensive ratchet start tool Wink
  • 9 0
 @ciechan: What tool is the ratchet start tool? I have never used any special tools with my DT Swiss 350 hubs.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: because you have old hubs... the newer EXP hubs require a special EXP tool to disassemble
  • 2 0
 @ciechan: expensive? I have one I picked up for $10 and can rebuild the entire hub with it plus the bearing press.
  • 1 0
 @f00bar: 350 exp?
  • 3 0
 @bman33: Yeah, the ratchet tool is not too expensive.
  • 19 1
 70% = 17%
talk to text?
  • 9 0
 There was also a line about inserts that said "Suck it and see" that I didn't understand (or maybe want to understand haha).
  • 8 0
 @rocky-x: Also "ski piece" must be "ski piste".
  • 7 0
 @rocky-x: nah, that’s legit how you check if it’s absorbing sealant
  • 2 0
 Definitely a few weird phrasings on Ronan's bit, maybe it struggled with his accent? Should have been picked up by the sub-editor though, obvs.
  • 6 1
 @rocky-x: No, that's a pretty standard phrase, at least in the UK, just means to try something and see how you like it.
  • 3 0
 @RobinLaidlaw: Ha! No way, that's interesting - learn something new from across the pond everyday. Thanks!
  • 10 2
 There's some quite compelling information that spoke tension isn't a tuning parameter when it comes to wheel stiffness. It's somewhat surprising to see people at this level considering it as such.
  • 5 0
 If it gives the riders a mental edge and makes them feel that they've got the fastest possible bike then I guess it works. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for consumers.
  • 7 0
 "A bicycle wheel is nothing else than a curved beam on a elastic foundation by which stiffness depends solely on the brazing angles, number of spokes and modulus of elasticity of rim and spokes, being flange hub flex contibution almost negligent"
  • 2 0
 @Vindiu: Amen to that! I might add that lateral stiffness depends on spoke length to a small extent. Because of this, wheels laced with 2-cross lacing are nominally stiffer than ones laced with 3-cross lacing.

This is a good read for anyone interested in the topic.
  • 9 1
 Should get the option to have ex471 rims, I like the tyre profile better with 25mm, cuts through muck better and you get more lean-over before grip break away in corners
  • 2 0
 Custom wheel building is more affordable than you might think.
  • 1 0
 @sfarnum: cheaper than the factory wheelsets for sure
  • 10 0
 I wish all of my bike parts were as fuss free as DT wheels.
  • 8 0
 I really appreciate this series!
  • 3 0
 My problem has been dents, not punctures. Even with inserts and DD tires. I have used 25 psi in the rear and my weight is about 78 kg/180 lbs. I hope that my new fr541 rim that I have just ordered will better than previous E1900 and M1900 wheels and Stans flow ex3 wheels that I have had problems with. On the other hand I think I will also try DH casings without inserts. Lets see how fr541 will work with that combo.
  • 2 0
 Edit. 78 kg is about 170 lbs, not 180 lbs.
Ps. Why I can sometimes edit my posts and sometimes not?
  • 14 0
 25 Psi is a little bit low for a DD and your weight, you should use DH casing instead . Also check your rebound. If your shock is "packing" it is more easy to dent a rim.
  • 5 3
 Im about 75kg all geared up, michelin raceline tyres(~1500g each), riding local enduro trails on my spire. Even with proper pressure, the 541 lived 5months with me before i managed to dent the bed and collapse the rimwall. I'll just go back to e532 probaply with an insert, or bite the bullet for a reserve al. The lifetime warranty is pretty tempting.
Note it tho i'm pretty sure any other rim would have been toasted after the hit, yet i'm a bit disappointed.
  • 5 0
 I agree that you should bump up to about 27/28 psi for your weight. DD with inserts or DH without should be better with that pressure and the new rim
  • 1 0
 My Chromag BA30 outlasted any other rims I’ve had. I’m almost the same weight and run a similar setup as you (on Schwalbe SuperGravity casing with Cushcore).

I also had the first version of the BA30, which cracked around the nipple holes, but I believe they have updated it with a thicker nipple bed. No issues since.

On a side note, I wonder if all the added unsprung mass defeats the purpose of the increased strength VS a lighter setup?
  • 5 0
 @JAK79: there's a threshold of 1min or something to fix a post
  • 2 0
 As silly as they are, I have not had a single issue whatsoever with EX471's. Those rims are legitimately indestructible and track really well I feel. Weigh about 180-185 fully kitted and just rain trail casing tires usually. I've ridden the set I have in Moab, St. George, Grand Junction, Bellingham, Whistler, Squamish, Wind Rock, Asheville, Santa Cruz, etc. over the last year and they are legitimately dent free.
  • 1 0
 @Loche: I’ve been wondering about those, since they seem similar to the fr541. Maybe a bit stiffer with the extra bracing? Not sure if they’re 6061 or 6069 though.

I really like the idea of a tough alloy rim with wide beads. Not too many options I know of other than fr541, ba30, and blackbird sends. But with the Ibis wheels they only come 35mm and the joint isn’t welded.

Ideal rim for me would be:
-wide bead
  • 1 0
 Having had that many problems on that many rims, DH tires and/or higher pressure would've been the first things I would try. Also, check travel and damping on your suspension.
  • 1 0
 @lehott: ok, thanks. I might have been 1 or 2 minutes too late.
  • 3 1
 Every DT wheel I have had has dented easily. As far as aluminum goes I really like the Spank wheels, they are harder to dent. Do keep in mind that if you aren't denting the wheel you're putting that energy into the tire instead so you will almost definitely get more pinch flats.
  • 2 1
 @CobyCobie: +1 on spank with one big asterisk: From the factory some of the 350 and 359 wheelsets don't hold spoke tension well, fine if you check tension real often though. Interestingly Spank actually recommends wheel builders use blue thread-locker on these wheels, but doesn't seem to add anything to the spoke threads themselves
  • 1 0
 @flowisforpussies: depends on tire width
  • 2 0
 @IsaacWislon82: That's weird. I bet some green threadlocker would do the trick. Just a drop on the base of every spoke and give it some good spins.
  • 2 0
 @CobyCobie: Im trying out Stans powder w/ Sapim secure lock nipples right now, I guess time will tell but I think they simply need something to keep them from spinning then they should be fairly bombproof
  • 8 0
 EX471. That is all.
  • 5 0
 Very interesting to prioritize even wheel tension over straightness. I'm going to incorporate that lesson into future wheel builds
  • 3 0
 That's more relevant to wheel maintenance or builds using damaged rim. New rims build up straight and even by default if you don't count minor runout at the seam.
  • 1 0
 It was nice to hear pros say that. I've been living by that mantra for years as a bike park rat with bike shop people always giving me shit for it
  • 2 1
 @IsaacWislon82: I work in a bike shop and I've always considered my rim "straight/ fine" as long as it isn't rubbing the frame, much to the despise of everyone else who has to work with me haha!
  • 11 5
 Alu nipples. Butter nipples.
  • 1 1
 Whatever floats your boat, but I don't like to butter my nipples.
  • 1 1
 They are not made for Scandinavian winter. Brass nipples ftw
  • 1 1
 RS rims with Buttercup Nipples for the ultimate small bump compliance built right into your wheels when
  • 2 0
 The bit about inflatable inserts confuses me a little. I suppose he is aiming the Syntace/Schwalbe ProCore system or something DeanEasy/Vittoria has or had. He recommends to slacken off the spoke tension which makes me wonder by how much. Inflating a tire (and/or insert) around the rim will typically compress the rim, lowering spoke tension already. I also wonder what's so hard about this system really. I've been running it on a pair of Syntace wheels without issues. Yes obviousy the wheels have been designed with the ProCore system in mind (including two valve holes per rim) but there isn't anything special about them otherwise. These seem to be regular Ryde Trace 29 OS rims. I'd say DT would be able to make rims at least as good as their direct competitor (considering Ryde is part of Sapim).
  • 2 0
 Cushcore/ regular air pressure is only putting the amount of pressure you put in the tire on the rim. Most MTB rims are designed with probably 15-50PSI in mind. Procore uses 120PSI or something like that, and sits right on the rim, thus putting that amount of pressure on the rim before taking any impacts. 120psi is well outside of the normal pressure ranges they design mountain rims for...I would assume... as an arm chair non-engineer.
  • 2 0
 I wonder if he meant increase spoke tension but said the wrong thing?

I'd think you'd want to aim for the same spoke tension and stresses in the wheel *after* the insert and tire are all set up and inflated.
  • 2 0
 I'm over 4k miles on my hand laced EX 471s and I'm a 250 lb + . Been on 3 different bikes at this point, and the hubs have gone through about 4 full bearing swaps. Still straight, still undented.

The EX 471 might be DT Swiss's best rim ever.
  • 2 0
 "it should all look lovely, smooth and centred"
I don't know about DT tape, but the one I've used (the pale yellow one, some was by Hope, the other I don't know) is quite stiff and surely can't be smooth.
  • 7 0
 DT tape is pretty good to work with. Much better than Stans.
  • 1 0
 @rojo-1: Tesa 4289 from Viking Tapes is the go.
  • 1 0
 I have had very good experience with the rim tape from DT Swiss. Easy and safe to glue and beautifully malleable, no comparison to the stiff tapes from other manufacturers. I am curious about the outstanding experience with the EX511, which is new in my rear wheel.
  • 3 1
 From what l have heard us that the EXP hubs aren't as good as the old hubs. Lighter and more serviceable yes but not as reliable and free hub issues.
  • 5 0
 There was an issue with an early batch of EXP ratchets back in late 2020, unless you were unlucky enough to get one of those the EXP hubs seem solid so far.
  • 2 0
 All I got from this article is that when it comes to using tire inserts, “that's very much a suck it and see.” Suck you for the advice, AI.
  • 2 0
 “Suck it and see” is an expression- means you don’t know until you try.
  • 2 0
 I just want to know what crazy prototype fanatic bike got for their videos. Seen so many fr541s destroyed from much smaller impacts.
  • 11 11
 It's disturbing to read that people still change spoke tension to change the stiffness of the wheel. It's probably the most "I have no clue what I'm doing"-thing out there.
Changing Tension makes no difference to the wheels stiffness and is pure placebo for the clueless rider/mechanic. Please don't try lower tension for more grip - only thing thats happening is your wheels will be destroyed quicker than with higher tension and you have to true it more often.
  • 9 0
 To give you some further explanation ... spokes are used in their linear part of the force/elongation graph. therefore it makes no difference where you are on the graph, stiffness (force per elongation) is the same, nomatter if you have for example 1100N tension or 900N tension.
Problem with lower tension is, that you have less elongation in the spokes which reduces the capability of handling dents in the rim. Also tension will start to get too low on the flatter side (for example: front non brake side) which can lead to cracked spoke holes, as the alloy will start cracking due to cycled deformation (not because of too high spoke tension).
Trust me, I'm an engineer ;-)
I was a mechanic for MS Mondraker when DT was their sponsor - had many discussions with their WC mechanics which had the same experiences as me.
As an engineer for a carbon rim company I also built a test stand for wheel stiffness and did several tests which showed, that the stiffness only changes at the point where spokes start to be loose in the unloaded wheel - which clearly isn't useable.
  • 1 1
 @muzzLe: There are obviously lots of moving factors/ variables with mountain bikes and riding them on trails, but on my dirt jump bike I can absolutely feel the difference in stiffness in the wheels via spoke tension. The difference between my wheels/ spokes having backed off a little bit (maybe my "little bit" is actually "a lot bit") versus right after tensioning them is night and day. Especially when doing 3 taps, turning while manualling, or just plain landing a bit sideways from whips. The wheels feel MUCH more responsive after tensioning the wheels, and way less noodly (under my 225lbs of lunch muscle). I'll admit to just doing a squeeze test with the spokes after noticing the wheels feeling flexy, and then tightening them back up equally around the wheel from there. Would this just be the case of the spokes losing too much tension or having unequal tension before I actually check and tighten them up? These wheels (which I got second hand 4-5 years ago now) are starting to show signs of the nipples pulling through the spoke holes/ starting to crack in places which sounds like what you mentioned above. I'm also low key hoping these rims fail so I can justify getting some totally unnecessary, but totally cool WR1 rims on the jump bike.
  • 4 0
 @leon-forfar: To me it sounds like way too less tension before you tightend it. if you squeeze cross sections and you can easily flex it for a good part, you would probably be shocked how low the tension is, if you measure it with a tensionmeter. With many hubs you get something like 1100N (for example Ex471 max tension) on steep side and 750N on the flat - which is on the lower limit. I guess what you feel is spokes unloading, so the force is distributed to less spokes, which is the only possibility to in fact make it softer. But the wheel would need regular trueing, the spoke holes would tend to crack and the spoke heads can rip off over time. All due to cycled loading/unloading.
DT sometimes built wheels for us when time was tight. They strictly stuck to max tension on the steep side, because they said it's the most reliable build and if we wanted to change stiffness of the wheel we would have to change spoke gauge.
We where using DT Swiss Competition Race (2,0 - 1,6 - 2,0) left and right on 27,5" EX471. Was perfect for us.
  • 2 3
 @muzzLe: it sounds like you have tested wheels without load, waste of time, spoke tension is rarely equal when riding. Next time adjust you test stand to apply some load inline with forces at wheel contact patch during cornering over bumpy surface. Spokes around the contract patch might lose enough tension to allow extra lateral compliance.
  • 3 0
 Ronan Dunne approved. That's enough of a recommendation for me!
  • 1 0
 Are there any decent "How to build a wheelset for enduro /downhill riding 101" on the web you can recommend?
  • 1 1
 Queue the lecture from the Jobst Brandt acolytes on tuning wheel stiffness with spoke tension.
  • 8 1
 *cue (it's an allusion to theater, where you signal the beginning of an actor's performance; not waiting in a line or queue)
  • 2 0
 Good info.
  • 1 0
 It's a pity about the straight pull hubs
  • 1 0
 "we spoke to DT Swiss" no pun intended
  • 1 1
 when are the new hubs dropping? I heard they were high engagement
  • 4 7
 I'm back on inner tubes.
  • 7 1
 Ew why?
  • 5 1
 Tubes: the original inflatable insert
  • 1 0
 Tubes - less faff because we are lazy
  • 1 0
 @jaydubmah: that provides zero protection against anything (that's including the special "DH tubes").
  • 2 0
 I run tubes for dirt jumping, less air leaks out
  • 8 0
 @threesixtykickflip: less faff at home, more on the trails.
  • 4 4
 @Bro-LanDog: Fewer tires popping off the rims and instantly deflating (happens fairly regularly when running notubes for me). Modern tires have ample puncture resistance and our woods are fairly forgiving, I get a flat tire only a few times per year. Can still change tubes in a few minutes without getting gooed up by latex milk, and I oldschool repair them at home. No notubes to dry out and replace every half a year on 3 different bikes I don't ride enough, no struggle with inserts.

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