DT Swiss has an all-new light & strong premium steel spoke with a cold-forged, fluted profile called the RevoLite. Something of a mash-up between their best lightweight round double-butted spokes and their best lightweight aero-bladed spokes – this one ends up with a round center flanked by squared-off wings throughout the reduced mid-section in the spokes’ overall length.
So what do you get when you mix Revolutions and AeroLites? The result is a spoke that combines lightweight, increased stiffness, and improved durability – an ideal balance for building light & strong off-road wheels.
DT Swiss RevoLite lightweight & strong, semi-bladed steel spokes
Can I just nerd out for a few minutes on why DT Swiss created these truly all-new RevoLite spokes? I mean, who among us thought that we really needed a completely new cold-forged steel spoke shape that was somewhere between aero and not, in an effort to increase strength and keep weight down at the same time?
I build all types of wheels for my own use – for road, cyclocross, gravel, touring, XC, trail & enduro – and I was perfectly happy with either picking DT AeroLite spokes when I wanted to build something more aero or really stiff, or picking a DT Revolution spoke when I wanted a lightweight wheel with a bit more give for riding harder off-road, and with fewer sharp edges. Sure, I’d sometimes build a wheel with Sapim spokes, but I never felt like DT’s offerings didn’t do everything I needed for a stainless steel spoked wheel build.
Plus, if I wanted something ultralight, I’d likely task a more experienced builder to try something silly like flexible fiber or bladed carbon spokes.
OK, spoke nerd rant over.
What’s Actually New?
The RevoLite is made by DT Swiss in a new, and tightly-guarded process similar to their top bladed spokes. As we saw when we toured DT Swiss’ HQ in Switzerland a few years ago, coils of stainless steel wire get straightened and cut into spoke lengths. Then, premium double-butted spokes go through a cold-forging process where automated rotating and oscillating hammers smash the straight spoke blanks to make them skinnier and give them butts – making the spoke a smaller diameter in the middle than the ends, effectively increasing elasticity. This process aligns the structure of the metal and increases its density (also a bit longer).
Premium DT AeroLite spokes then go through a 2nd flat cold-forging step that hammers them another time to give their central butted section the aerodynamic blade, also making it stiffer and increasing tensile strength.
Now like those AeroLites, the new RevoLites also combine these multiple round & flat forging techniques (although DT is vague on their precise patented process). This time though, it seems a specially shaped mandrel must be used to create the new spoke’s unique pseudo-cross-shaped cross-section. The resulting fluted shape in section appears to have a thing circular middle, crossed with a box-shaped wing.
DT says this creates a spoke that is extra stiff like an aero wing spoke, lighter overall due to the thinner section from the cold-forged butting, and still as durable against repetitive stress like a round-butted spoke because of the constant circular section through the thinnest part of the spoke.
Where does it sit in the DT spoke lineup?
DT calls the new RevoLite the best mix of durability and lightweight in their MTB spokes. That’s an important delineation, as the on-road-focused AeroLite is lighter and equally as stiff, and it is also not the absolute lightest in the MTB line-up.
Weight-wise, DT claims the stiffer bladed RevoLite to be 4.45g per spoke (260mm), compared to the simply double-butted Revolution at 4.42g (264mm) or the thicker but still butted Competition Race at 4.88g (260). Compared to the aero-bladed road spokes, the butted AeroLite is lighter at 4.34g (264), while the thicker but still butted AeroComp is 5.9g (264).
Price-wise among DT Swiss standard silver steel spoke offerings, per 20-pack of spokes the new RevoLite is effectively the same price as the top aero spoke at ~50€ for the AeroLite. The AeroComp costs ~30€, Revolution ~22€, and Competition Race cost around 18€ for the same set of 20.
Unsurprisingly with it more complex cold-forged shaping, the RevoLite is clearly the top-tier of spokes for off-road wheels, while only giving up about a 2.5g weight penalty over their absolute lightest spoke in a complete modern wheelbuild.
The DT Swiss RevoLite is a double-butted, bladed (fluted?) stainless steel spoke – 2mm in diameter at either ends, and first butted to approximately 1.57mm in the middle before the bladed shaping. The resulting bladed/fluted cross section in the middle is 1.3mm across in the smaller dimension (the circular central shape) and 2.3mm across in the wider dimension so it will still fit through regular round spoke holes in your hubs.
All spokes get a DT stamp on their head. J-bend spokes feature a 90-95° head with a low 6.2mm head height (from outside of the head to outside of the spoke) to ensure a smooth, tight fit against modern thin hub flanges. Threads are rolled on the 2mm spokes to FG 2.3mm.
Even with the unique new bladed shape, DT assures us that the new RevoLite spokes can be built up and tensioned with a standard aero spoke holder. And wheel builders can use their regular spoke tension meters. DT has updated the ideal tension numbers in the charts for their Tensiometer for the new spoke.
DT Swiss RevoLite – Pricing, availability & options
The DT RevoLite spokes are available in 194-316mm lengths with a traditional J-bend or a straight pull head, in classic silver or more stealth black. Officially they sell starting at $70 / 50€ for packs of 20, or $350 / 251€ in packs of 100. Get them now wherever you buy DT Swiss wheelbuilding components, or have a reputable wheel builder laced them into your next mountain bike wheelset. I’ll for sure build some new off-road wheels this summer with the new RevoLites.