DT Swiss FR 541 gravity MTB rim promises to be the last you will ever need for DH & Freeride

News of DT Swiss’ all-new FR 541 overhauled heavy-duty aluminum freeride and downhill mountain bike rim doesn’t seem earth-shattering in the days of modern carbon MTB wheels. But thanks to a unique new profile, DT’s new FR rim promises increased impact resistance for longer wheel life, built-in pinch flat protection so your tires will also run further, and lighter weight for faster accelerations & more reactive handling.

DT Swiss figures these likely won’t be the first rims that freeride & DH riders will have put on their gravity bikes. But built up well, the new FR 541 “ aspires to be the last.”

DT Swiss FR 541 alloy freeride & DH MTB rim

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, 27.5" DH

c. DT Swiss, photo by Claudia Tischler

It looks like pretty much any other modern wide aluminum mountain bike rim, but the new shape of the DT Swiss FR 541 freeride & DH rim promises tangible durability and performance upgrades. Push harder, go faster.

What’s new?

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, new rim profile

The secret to all of the gains comes from a new sidewall and bead hook shape compared to the old FR 560 that the new FR 541 replaces.

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, profile comparison

old FR 560 (l) vs. new FR 541 (r)

Instead of sloping the sidewall in to resist the outward forces of the tire’s bead, the new rim gets a straighter sidewall that even kicks outwards a bit at the top. The first result is that the new wider top to the bead is more resistant to hard impacts from rocks and roots, better distributing impact forces into the body of the rim to increase strength & durability for gravity riding.

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, impact testing rig

The other benefit to the revised profile is a 17% increase in pinch flat resistance (vs. the FR 560). DT explains that the flared top of the rim hook and the transition to a more vertical rim sidewall creates a smoother & wider area of contact where a tire carcass folds over under extreme compression. Spreading the pinch ‘shock’ over this larger area reduces the risk of pinch flat punctures piercing the tire carcass, according to testing DT did with a leading tire maker.

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, nipples with PHR washers

Lastly, lighter weight. At 570g for 27.5″ it’s no featherweight, but still a 25g reduction over the eyeletted FR 560, instead switching to DT’s PHR (Pro Head Reinforcement) system that requires curved nipple washers to spread wheel tension loads better on the inside of the rim. The rims are ASTM 5 rated for gravity, DH & “extreme jumping”, and DT recommends a max rider+bike weight of 140kg/308lb.

Tech details

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim

The new extruded aluminum & welded-joint rim is still 30mm wide internally, with a 21mm overall rim height. The tubeless ready alloy rim also still retains a small hook, both for the improved impact resistance and secure low-pressure tire retention.

DT Swiss FR 541 – Pricing & options

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, colors

The new DT Swiss FR 541 alloy freeride and downhill rim is available in 27.5″ or 29″ diameters with 28 or 32-hole drilling. Rims sell for $151 a piece with classic red DT graphics, but also include gold, chrome & black decals to let you customize the look of your new wheels to match your gravity bike.

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, wheel build

Get them from your local DT Swiss dealer or wheel builder now, and then…

DT Swiss FR 541 lightweight durable alloy freeride DH MTB rim, Hayden Stead DH

c. DT Swiss, photo by Claudia Tischler

Push a little harder on the rocks and jump a little higher on the jumps, this new rim allows for improved impact resistance and better pinch flat protection to forgive you if your landing is farther away than expected.

DTSwiss.com

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Marshall
Marshall
17 days ago

The outward-splaying bead hook looks familiar… It was used on Roval’s alloy MTB rims from 2014 onward.