DT Swiss announce Hybrid MTB Light Support Wheelsets for Lightweight eMTBs

DT Swiss are now offering two distinct lines of wheelsets for eMTB riding. Alongside the existing line of Hybrid MTB Wheelsets built for full-power high-torque eMTBs, DT Swiss has added a new line of wheelsets designed to suit the similar, but not identical requirements, of lightweight lower-torque eMTBs; the likes of the Orbea Rise, Specialized Turbo Levo SL, and the more recently announced Trek Fuel EXe.

DT Swiss say their testing showed the loads experienced by wheels on these lighter light-assist eBikes are different to the loads experienced by the wheels of the full-power eBikes. That comes as no surprise, of course; with battery capacities often well in excess of 600 Wh, and motors with maximum torque values of 90Nm, those rims are carrying a heavier load, and the hubs resisting greater lateral and torsional (and braking) forces than the wheels of eBikes with 240-360 Wh batteries and 50 Nm torque motors.

dt swiss hybrid mtb ls light support carbon and alloy rims

The opportunity to build fresh wheelsets purposefully built for this rapidly growing segment of the eMTB market was spotted. Enter two new wheelsets; the Carbon HXC 1501 SPLINE ONE LS and the Alloy HX 1700 SPLINE LS.

DT Swiss Hybrid MTB LS Wheelsets 

Is there really justification for a distinct wheelset for lightweight light-assist eMTBs? Well, the information DT Swiss has provided on their new Hybrid MTB LS wheelsets makes much of the system weight differences between full-power eMTBs and the new breed of lightweight light-assist eMTBs. That’s the weight of the rider and the bike combined. Let’s take an average American male as an example here: he weighs around 90 kg (198 lbs). Your average long-travel full-power eMTB weighs around 25 kg (55 lbs), while the Orbea Rise weighs a claimed 16.2 kg (36 lbs). 

  • Total System Weight for Full-Power eMTB = 123 kg
  • Total System Weight for Orbea Rise = 114.2 kg

The percentage difference between those two hypothetical system weights is just 7.4%. The weight of the bike doesn’t account for a lot in the grand scheme, and the spectrum of rider weights we see can be vast in comparison. I just thought it pertinent to put that into perspective here.

dt swiss hybrid mtb ls wheels on lightweight rotwild emtb

Regardless, what’s undeniable is that these lightweight light-assist eMTBs do deliver more torque to a rear wheel, and for longer periods of time, than a regular mountain bike does, but a lot less than a full-power eMTB does. It’s reasonable to assume the torque, and associated lateral and torsional forces come somewhere in between. Indeed, this is what DT Swiss found in their simulations, and outdoor testing.

Thus, they saw fit to “close the gap” between the requirements of a regular mountain bike wheel, and the requirements of the wheel of a full-power eMTB. They also wanted to tailor these new wheelsets to fit the needs of the rider who has chosen to purchase a lightweight light-assist eMTB over a full-power option because they prefer the more natural ride feel of the lighter eBike. 

So, what’s different? Well, as compared to the DT Swiss Hybrid MTB Wheelsets for full-power eBikes, the Hybrid MTB LS wheels have:

  • A lighter rim
  • Lighter Spokes
  • A lower maximum system weight of 130 kg
  • Adapted Hybrid Hubs

Both the carbon and aluminum offering meet the ASTM Class 4 requirements, but importantly, internally at DT Swiss, they are tested to meet higher requirements than the wheelsets aimed at regular mountain bike riding.

dt swiss hybrid mtb ls wheels shredding on lightweight light assist emtbs rotwild loamy gully

The DT Swiss Hybrid MTB LS wheels are lighter, but have a lower maximum system weight than the original Hybrid MTB wheels, in line with the maximum system weights of lightweight light-assist eMTBs

HXC 1501 SPLINE ONE LS

dt swiss hxc 1501 ls carbon wheelset for lightweight emtbs

This is the lightest, most expensive wheel that DT Swiss offer in the new Light Support range, owing to the fact that it runs a carbon rim. That carbon rim is still 30mm internal, but it is lighter than the one seen on the original Hybrid MTB wheels. Twenty-eight custom-butted spokes lace it to the hub. The butting of the spokes is different, though; while the spoke body remains at 1.8 mm, the spoke head is narrower at 2.15 mm, but still chunkier than the 2.0 mm head of the spokes seen on the DT Swiss EXC 1501 SPLINE ONE wheelset – the equivalent wheelset built for regular mountain bike riding.

dt swiss hybrid mtb ls spoke butting profiles

The DT hybrid 4 straight-pull spokes thread into DT ProLock Squorx Pro Head nipples at the rim bed

The hub is the 240 Ratchet EXP (OS) Over-Sized hub, with a 30t ratchet. As compared to the regular DT Swiss 240 hub, this one is built to withstand greater braking forces, higher torque over longer periods, and greater torsional and lateral forces. The free hub runs a 17 x 28 x 7 bearing in place of the smaller 15 x 26 x 7 bearing. This one has more ball bearings inside it, which are also larger; thus, it can withstand greater loads before succumbing to wear.

dt swiss ratchet 240 exp os hybrid mtb ls

The brake interface is center lock only

The 240 Ratchet EXP OS hub also gets a larger diameter (+6.7%) star-ratchet ring, and thus, larger diameter thread on its outer surface. Loads are therefore distributed over a larger surface; this is said to reduce the load peaks, improving the longevity of the hub and allowing higher torque to be transmitted. the internals of the 240 Ratchet EXP OS hub seen across the Hybrid MTB and Hybrid MTB LS wheels are the same, but the hub shells get a slightly different profile optimized to accomodate the different loads expected to be experienced by each.

dt swiss hub sheel shape size comparison

Claimed weight for the HXC 1501 SPLINE ONE wheelset is (from) 1691g; we assume that’s for the 27.5″ wheelset. A 29″ wheelset is also available of course, as is a mullet wheelset consisting of a 29″ front wheel and a 27.5″ rear. The spacing on those wheelsets is 15 x 110 mm Boost (front) and  12 x 148 mm Boost (rear). No word on a Super Boost offering.

HX 1700 SPLINE LS

dt swiss hx 1700 ls wheelset aluminum rims

The HX 1700 SPLINE LS wheelset is DT Swiss’ aluminum offering to riders of lightweight light-assist eMTBs. Again, though still 30mm internal, it runs a lighter alloy rim than that sported by the equivalent Hybrid MTB wheelset directed at full-power eMTBs.

This one is laced to the DT Swiss 350 hubset (center lock only) with 24t ratchet system. Again, this is a specifically developed double-butted Hybrid spoke, lighter than those employed on the Hybrid MTB wheels. This one is also available in 27.”5, 29″ and 27.5″/29″ wheelsets, in Boost dimensions only.

For more information on the DT Swiss Hybrid MTB LS Wheelsets, and the more rigorous testing they were subjected to, head to the DT Swiss website.

Pricing & Availability

Pricing for the DT Swiss HXC 1501 SPLINE ONE LS starts at 1668.80 €, or $1446.20 USD. The aluminum offering is considerably cheaper; pricing for the HX 1700 SPLINE LS wheelset starts at 798.80 €, or $692.10 USD.

dtswiss.com

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