First Look: 2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheel Series

Apr 1, 2016 at 1:09
by Olly Forster  
What started out 22-years ago, manufacturing state-of-the-art spokes for the bicycle wheel market, has now transformed into a globally recognised and respected brand that also produces nipples, hubs, rims, complete wheels as well as suspension forks and shocks. But it's their wheels that many of us will now associate with this iconic Swiss brand, extensively supplying them to some of the biggest names in racing, not to mention a growing list of bike manufacturers from around the world. And in a world where standards come and go as quickly as the seasons, it is the wheel and indeed the tyre manufactures who have had to adapt - and quickly - to recent changes. Most notably the demise of long established wheel sizes, the rise of newer sizes and widths, not to mention an ever increasing array of hub widths to contend with as well. What this has ultimately created, is an attitude of innovation within the leading brands, eager to deliver the right products to the right riders with as little confusion as possible.

2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels

After launching their original Spline One range in 2014 and watching the wheel market continue to diversify and expand, DT Swiss decided that a concise range of complete wheels under one banner was the way to go. Covering everything from cross country to enduro, while utilising the growing trend for wider rims to increase traction, the Spline One 1501 series offers rim widths ranging from a 22.5mm all the way to a whopping 40mm with hubs to suit all frames and forks.

With a grand total of five different rim widths available - all of which manufactured using the same technique and sharing a near identical look - and utilising DT's proven 240S hub series, their Competition spokes and new Squorx nipples, the Spline One 1501 Series has a wheel set suited to the riding that most of us do - the tricky part perhaps will be choosing the right rim width for your individual needs.
Details:
• Purposes: XC / Trail / Enduro
• Sizes: 27.5". 27.5 Plus and 29"
• Rim: Welded aluminium
• Rim widths: 22.5, 25, 30, 35 and 40mm
• New 240S Spline One hub, 6 Bolt IS or Centrelock
• 36-tooth-engagement ratchet system
• Available with standard and XD Driver free hubs
• Nipples: Pro Lock Squorx
• Spokes: 28 x Straight Pull Competition
• Build: 3 Cross
• Tubeless ready, including valves
• Front hub sizes: 15x100mm and 15x110mm
• Rear hub sizes: 12x142mm 12x148mm
Wheelset MSRP's:
• XR1501 and XM1501 22.5mm: $1211
• XM1501 and EX1501 25mm: $1236
• XM1501 and EX1501 30mm: $1261
• XM1501 40mm: $1313

2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels
Now that might look like a lot wheels, which it is, but what the team at DT Swiss have done with the Spline One 1501 series is limit the confusion surrounding which wheels to go for. They've done this by clearly identifying the wheels into 3 categories: XR (Cross Race) for XC and trail, XM (Cross Mountain) for heavier trail duties and EX (Enduro Cross) for all-mountain and of course, enduro. The most important thing to consider is rim width, which must be based on your personal needs and then choosing the correct hubs to fit into your frame and forks, which should be easy enough...

2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels
The alloy hubs - their lightest to date - have a unique two tone anodised finish, which looks amazing in the flesh and coupled with the 36 tooth ratchet system, renowned DT Swiss internals and a tool-free modular hub system that allows the ends to be removed and swapped around to reconfigure the hubs for different standards, adding a good degree of future proofing.


2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels
2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels
The rims are welded before being bead blasted, anodised and transfers applied. Using a unique nipple that prevents cracking of the eyelet under load and with 28 spokes per wheel, the 27.5 XM option with 30mm rims comes it at a claimed 1670g for the pair.

2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels
This is where a degree of potential confusion could arise and understanding your own needs is critical to choosing the right rim width. To help, DT have split the Spline One 1501 series into 3 sub categories: XR for cross country, which as you can see is represented by a single asymmetrical rim with a 22.5mm width. The more trail focussed XM range covers all rim widths from 22.5 to 40mm and the more specialist EX range has only 25 and 30mm options - both of which intended to create a desired profile with the current crop of popular 2.35 and 2.4" enduro tyres.

2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels
The biggest reason behind the new Spline One range is to offer more riders access to wider rims - wider rims will increase the volume, increase the performance of modern tyres and ultimately increase traction. Understanding what rim width to choose is the important part and will be heavily dependent on both the tyres you predominantly use and of course the clearance in your frame and forks, especially for the 40mm 'plus' option. This graphic clearly shows the approximate tyre profiles on each rim - remember that not all tyres are measured in the same way and you will possibly want to avoid a tyre profile which is too square, requiring an increased level of 'break away' force when it comes to leaning hard into corners and railing off-camber sections of trail.

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On the not so grassy slopes of Grasse

The small French town of Grasse in the stunning Maritime Alps would serve as the testing ground for a solid day of hammering on DT’s latest hoops; the Spline One 1501 series. Slightly off the radar compared to some of its more iconic neighbours, Grasse’s trails didn’t disappoint with a good selection of rough and ready trails, all of which varying in severity and a good location to punish some new wheels.

Starting the day off on the unique looking Swiss made Bold Linkin Trail 29er with the trail ready XM rims in the 22.5mm width option and running some 2.25” Onza tyres, we were ready to shred. Jumping on a bike you don’t know while simultaneously hitting a series of trails you really don’t know either can be a tad distracting, but flailing about as you do in such situations, the Spline One 1501's did little to give me any concerns handling everything with ease.

After the last steep and technical descent on the Bold and looking around at the other faces in the group, everyone seemed happy with the wheels and with zero mechanicals all around and only one puncture sustained. It was then time to head back to base camp to swap bikes. The next vessel was the Cube Stereo 160 laced with the marginally wider 25mm EX rims and a pair of proportional 2.4” Onza tyres. The next trails on the agenda had previously been graced by some of the best enduro racers in France, having been used in a national level event - that pretty much means the best riders in the world as the French are
2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels
in a league of their own when it comes to this enduro malarkey. And these really weren’t for the faint hearted either - technically demanding and physically challenging from the start. At nearly twice as long as some national level UK DH race tracks and packed with everything from steep wooded sections to flat-out open piste littered with yet more boulders, separated by short, punchy and annoyingly technical climbs, these trails were as tough as they were utterly exhausting to ride.

After a few hours, we were all done for the day and the wheels? Still round, still true and the tyres still full of air. This was of course not a concise and conclusive test, after all, what could I ascertain in only a single day on two relatively unknown bikes? I do however know that DT’s rims have come a long way in the last 10 years. There was a time in the early 00's when DT's rims were often referred to as being soft and ‘cheese’ like. They had a habit of dinging rather easily and certainly more than their competitions, but there really was method to their madness, even then. A rim with several small dings – remember tubeless was less of thing back then – would have more chance of getting you down the hill and finishing your race run with air in your tyres than a stiffer rim which could fail catastrophically rather than marginally deform and quite possibly cause a flat tyre. The racers loved them, but the press gave them a hard time.

2017 DT Swiss Spline One 1501 Wheels

Remember Aaron Gwin’s World Cup run from Leogang in 2014? The one where he did nearly a full run sans tyre? Well, lets just say DT has ultimately delivered an alloy rim that has reached legendary status! And thanks to years of meticulously altering the ingredients used in the production of the alloy used in their rims - a closely guarded secret no less - DT’s position as a world leader in alloy rim production is well rooted in the industry these days and for a good reason. Coupled with their renowned and highly reliable hubs and some sensible price points throughout, I think it’s fair to say DT Swiss have a lot to offer with their new Spline One 1501 series. I would however recommend doing your homework and choosing the right rim width that will not only work with the tyres you like to use, but also on the trails you ride.


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147 Comments

  • + 172
 Bad day to release new wheels
  • + 54
 "It's just a prank bro" - pinkbike
  • + 36
 So basically what I gather here is go buy an Industry9 wheelset immediately.
  • + 53
 If the price was reasonable I would def think April Fools.
  • + 1
 The best comment!
  • + 11
 I think the most challenging part of pinkbike's April fools day specials is trying to figger out which articles are real
  • + 1
 They finally came out with a left side drive system for you lefties!
  • + 2
 @fecalmaster i9's aren't apples to apples with those. DT has wider options and have more reliable hubs. I've owned 2 sets of i9's and while they performed well they require yearly bearing replacements where DT's are typically trouble-free for years. Plus if you break an alloy i9 spoke good luck getting a replacement at your LBS.
  • + 3
 I love how they think a 36-tooth-engagement ratchet system is so great a feature.
  • + 7
 There's no 26" option; must be a joke!
  • + 6
 no 26"? must be april`s fools day.
  • + 1
 @ryan83: Ya I bought a couple extra spokes in the extremely rare event of breaking a spoke. Ceramic bearings for five years are running smooth as a boars ass. Plus I got the wheelset for $1000. If your spending this kind of money on wheels dt look pretty silly but I know the hubs are bomb proof. I9 bling factor is hard to beat.
  • + 1
 @Rasterman: Nothing wrong with a 10 degree engagement, especially when it's one of the most reliable freehubs on the market, and one of the lighter hubs to boot. You can hop up the DTs to 54 with a different star but there's a reason nobody bothers.
  • + 1
 @fecalmaster: Until you run into an issue on a road trip and the shop in nearest town doesn't stock nor has heard of your fancy ano hub and spoke setup
  • + 1
 If... I don't live thinking if but if it happen being a mechanic/wheelbuilder should get me thru. Big thanks for the concern though. Having backup wheels is worth gold on the road.
  • + 55
 Is this real?
  • + 100
 or is it just fantasy?
  • + 58
 Caught in a landslide
  • + 58
 No escape from reality
  • + 51
 open your eyes
  • + 51
 Look up to the skies and see
  • + 45
 I'm just a poor boy
  • + 30
 From a poor family
  • + 38
 @Funkybunch: I need no sympathy
  • + 38
 cause im easy come
  • + 36
 Easy go
  • - 52
flag Minibeast (Apr 1, 2016 at 2:36) (Below Threshold)
 because i'm easy come, easy go
  • + 5
 every way the wind blows
  • + 46
 wtf happened to little high, little low?
  • + 26
 nothing really matters
  • + 25
 @morcombemedia: tooooo meeeeee.
  • + 35
 @Lzbones:
Toooooooooooooooooooo
meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

(Piano solo follows....)
  • - 5
flag locoola (Apr 1, 2016 at 3:36) (Below Threshold)
 Sh*t. Too late.
  • - 5
flag WAKIdesigns (Apr 1, 2016 at 3:37) (Below Threshold)
 @locoola: you can always sing Galileo, it never gets out of fashion
  • - 3
 @WAKIdesigns: Turn to the left?
  • + 19
 nice one boys, we should hang out
  • + 1
 Mama..... just>
  • + 5
 @davidsimons:

You mean....
Mama,
My time has come..
  • + 5
 Sending shivers down my spine
  • + 5
 Body aching all the time...
  • + 2
 Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go,
  • + 2
 @marence: gotta leave it all behind and ...
  • - 6
flag Ryanrobinson1984 (Apr 1, 2016 at 4:40) (Below Threshold)
 @oldmanDan: nice boys!!! Love it! Y'all really kept it going! Haha
  • + 1
 @bootlegpegasus:
Excuse the interruption...


Face the truth..
  • + 4
 @oldmanDan: Mamaaaaaaaaa, ooooohooooo..
  • + 2
 @bootlegpegasus: didnt mean to make you cry
  • - 13
flag pakleni (Apr 1, 2016 at 6:08) (Below Threshold)
 ...and now imagine that Kanye West is singing that song. Big Grin
  • + 2
 if i'm not back again this time tomorrow
  • + 4
 @Minibeast: Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.
  • - 6
flag shawnca7 (Apr 1, 2016 at 7:30) (Below Threshold)
 Lol this is the best thread ever
  • - 5
flag tozey (Apr 1, 2016 at 7:31) (Below Threshold)
 (made my day better)
  • + 3
 I see a little silhouetto of a man,
  • - 5
flag Narro2 (Apr 1, 2016 at 8:38) (Below Threshold)
 so you think you can ....something and.... something in my eye?

(sorry I didn't speak English when I used to listen to that song)
  • + 9
 Scahramooch!..Scahramooch! Will you do the Fandango?
(let's be honest, we all make those 2 words up...)
  • + 4
 @italyn12: thunderbolt of lightning...
  • + 4
 very very frighteneing
  • + 0
 This is better than pun chains... Only on Pinkbike! We should do it everytime a product brings some song up to our minds...
  • - 3
 only in 26"
  • + 3
 @colemanb: Galileo...
  • + 7
 @bootlegpegasus:
Galileo, Galileo Galileo

Figaro!!


Magnificooooooooooooooo
  • + 3
 I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me.
  • + 3
 @Thustlewhumber: He's just a poor boy, from a poor family, spare him his life from this monstrosity.
  • + 3
 Mamma mia, Mamma mia let me Go
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Bismillah! No, we will not let you go. (Let him go!)
Bismillah! We will not let you go. (Let him go!)
Bismillah! We will not let you go. (Let me go!)
Will not let you go. (Let me go!)
Never, never let you go
Never let me go, oh.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
  • + 6
 Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for meee, for meeeeeeee!!!!
  • + 9
 @kes2903: *epic guitar solo*
  • + 4
 @kes2903: so you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
  • + 4
 so you think you can love me & leave me to DIIIIIIIEEEEEE
  • + 2
 ohhhhhhhh baaaaaaaabay
  • + 2
 Can't do this to me baaaaby
  • + 4
 just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of heeeerrrreee
  • + 3
 @cjkj1999: nothing really matters...
  • + 4
 anyone can see
  • + 2
 Nothing really matters...
  • + 3
 nothing reaaally matters.... TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
  • + 8
 *drops mic, smashes up guitar, launches drumsticks into the crowd*...... take a bow Pinkbikers, that was glorious.....
  • + 6
 @kes2903: NOOO NOOO NO. there's still one more lyric.


*ahem*

...any way the wind bloooowwsss
  • + 3
 Pshhhhhhh...
  • + 2
 Encore, encore
  • + 2
 @groghunter: my bad!
  • + 29
 Tought it was a "april's fools" when I saw no 26" in their range but it seems it's all real there Frown
  • + 5
 But are they going to come in Metric sizes?
  • + 4
 They said as much in that interview a few weeks back. Even though DT wheels are oot of my price range I used to be a big fan of DT spokes on all my wheel builds but, I will no longer buy from a company that has dropped 26
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Apr 1, 2016 at 9:43) (Below Threshold)
 I thought that if you like 26" so much to be so bummed then you also fancy narrow rims on hubs with cup and cone bearings. No worries, there's plenty of those and they are cheap as huck. Even in high end offerings. There's plenty of 260-ish silver DT champion spokes all over the place. Aero shmaero.
  • + 4
 or I could just support companies that provide for my ride style..... I don't have a problem with different wheel sizes, just the 26 is dead attitude
  • - 1
 @nojzilla: there is no "26 is dead" attitude. In this case it would be like saying that asteroids hate dinsosaurs.
  • + 5
 @WAKIdesigns: so DT didn't announce that they are no longer developing in 26? Did I just make that up? Do I not read 26 is dead comments on nearly any article to do with wheels or tyres?
  • + 8
 The 'old' XM1501 Spline One came on my new bike a few months back - fabulous wheels, I am so so impressed with all aspects - if these are better, I can imagine they'd be amazing.
  • + 2
 I have the XM1501 and they are amazing. These look to be the same with just some different rim widths.
  • + 2
 the old ones came with dt350 like hubs, right? 240 now.
  • + 2
 @sutter2k: Mine have the 240 hubs. 1600g for the 27.5 2016 version with rim strips and valve. bought them new off ebay for $435.
  • + 1
 @sutter2k: No the old had 2 piece hubs, neither 240 or 350 (but more like 240s). These are just rebadged 240s now.
  • + 5
 ---What started out 22-years ago, manufacturing state-of-the-art spokes for the bicycle wheel market,

wtf? where did that number come from 22? no, wrong I bought my first dt spoke built wheel 31 years ago. i'm sure they were around before that as well.
  • + 4
 Nice to see the older companies jumping on board with the newer trends, i just switched to ARC 30's and there is a noticeable difference in the way the tire performs, still not got my head around which pressures to run.
  • + 2
 dave
  • + 3
 Have always loved DT hubs, rims and wheels alltogether! But to be honest, for that price I would build some custom ones for myself - hope hubs, carbon rims, DT swiss spokes and I think I could squeeze in around 800 EUR. So pass on these, but they look good!
  • + 1
 you could probably get a custom carbon wheelset from light-bicycle for around that as well.
  • + 1
 @ashyjay: Sure, thats also an option, but it all depends on what you like. Smile
  • - 1
 LB wheels with hope hubs and aero spokes costed me around 600€. Sold them to spend 400€ on 350+ex471+comp+Prolock. A much better stuff than too stiff, expensive, yet still not that durable carbon sht. DT is fantastic since the days of cheese-like 5.1D and 6.1D are gone.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: So you basically just built the EX1501 wheel then. Slight difference in hubs but not much else.
  • - 3
 @dhridernz: kind of, 1501 has aero spokes and 240 hubs with 36 ratchet
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: That's, pretty much, what I did. DT350 straight pull, EX471 (27.5F - 26R), AeroComp spokes and Squorx nipples. Lighter than my old WTB i25 KOM wheels, much stronger and the SP hubs look great too :-)
  • - 3
 @deesta: I made the mistake of cheaping out and getting round competitions for the straight pull build... Took me 2h of building per wheel, with pliers and a patch of rubber. Now it will be at least one hour per wheel to true them. Fk...
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: AeroComps built up really well. I just put a slot in some wood with a hacksaw to hold them true. 30 mins/wheel :-)
  • + 1
 I bought a set of the 2016 model XM1501 off ebay for $435 brand new. The Deals are out there.
  • + 2
 Interesting, the 2014 Spline One's introduced an update to the 240 hub design that was very noticeable... Now this version looks like it went back to the classic 240 look. From Pinkbike's 2014 review:

"At the heart of the Spline ONE wheels is an all-new hub design. This is a big deal for DT Swiss as they are an update for their classic 240 hubs. Quite simply, the 240s were flawless, they were light, strong and lasted forever, more than holding their own as one of the premium hubs available for longer than we can remember. That was a tough act to follow, but DT are confident that they have surpassed them. The hub shell itself is now a two-piece design they claim has allowed them to create a more complex shape that reduces the overall weight without compromising the strength of the body."
  • + 2
 Hope their alloy is tougher than it used to be. I had some 540's that were like tin foil and rubbish to mount anything tubeless. They still do 26er wheelsets I think, but its a pity they havent managed to fit in one nice wide 26er wheelset or rim.
  • + 1
 I've been on 1501s for well over a year and they are amazing. A lot better than older DT Swiss rims (540s included).
  • + 1
 @headshot - those days are long gone. EX500 was already good, but now EX471 is just crushing it in the rim world
  • + 4
 That tire rim visual is hilariously worthless. If you double the rim width, the sidewalls and tread will magically each grow 2x longer and your tread will get thicker too!
  • + 2
 Yep that is terrible for making a comparison
  • + 1
 While these look nice the price has increased a lot compared to the old version. The old ex 1501 had an msrp of $1035 when it was released back in 2014. And that's on top of the dollar being much stronger now compared to the euro.
  • + 2
 best wheels ever, my EX1501 survive to 2 EWS Races, Andes-Pacifico 2016, Megavalanche 2015, 11 Brazilian Enduro Races, without any big dent, front wheel is perfect, rear a little bit used, CONGRATS DT SWISS
  • - 3
 You obviously haven't tried Enve... not only they are lighter and stiffer than EX471s, but a few people already told me about their on hand experience with ENVEs industry leading crash replacement program. If you know where I'm getting at... Wink
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: www.pinkbike.com/photo/8443369

3 rims broke in 2 years, ENVE only for fixies!

Smile
  • + 1
 @brazilian-monkey: I said it with a tongue in my cheek. Many owners of ENVE rims know about the fantastic crash replacement warranty, because they were forced to use it, since they broke their rims Smile
  • + 3
 DT Swiss only offers 28h wheels now?
  • + 2
 I have been noticing this with a lot of pre-built wheelsets now. The website says that these new sets of EX are good to 130kg while the old ones (and new XM) went to 110 kg. Is 28h not really an issue?
  • + 2
 Cant go wrong with just one part number for every damn wheels set! fking love the first.
  • + 2
 That run of lyrics was the best one ever,well done all you pinkbikers out there,keep on keeping on.
  • + 3
 I spent way too long looking for the joke in this
  • + 1
 Just got my XM481 29" rims laced up; I decided to jump off the carbon rim train, after two cracked rims last season...
  • + 2
 i wish dt just started shipping wheels with the 54t ratchet.
  • + 2
 That jump at 0:47 !!!!!! Take my money !!! Hahaha april fools
  • + 2
 Stick with the ex471 on hope 4 - sweet
  • + 2
 Way too much to read for an 1. April fool...
  • + 2
 Are whitewalls a thing now?
  • + 2
 ahem, they are called gumwalls or tanwalls as they are beige in color, and yes, they are a thing.
  • + 1
 @PHeller: Can you tell me what brand of tires those are and if they are any good???
  • + 2
 @left-to-fate: Onza and Maxxis both make tanwall or gumwall tires, and in popular, well reviewed models.
  • + 2
 @PHeller: Thanks. I had gumwall Tioga mtb tires back in the early 90's. Haven't seem them on anything other than beach cruisers and Harley-Davidsons in more recent times. Not sure it's a throw-back that has aged all that well...
  • + 1
 I Think they look pretty sweet!!!
  • + 1
 Nice hubs, can I get them separately? No 20mm option is a NO GO.
  • + 1
 1k for two wheels or not ?
  • + 1
 Worst April Fools joke ever. These guys have no sense of humour..
  • + 1
 Not paying $1200 for DT Swiss wheels.
  • + 1
 Wheels looks great would love to try one
  • + 1
 stop reading and went to comments when I saw no 26 Frown
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