DT Swiss has been talking up a complete overhaul of their road wheel line-up since they introduced the new wide & aero ERC1100 carbon Endurance road wheels last fall. The next wave of what they are calling a road R:evolution for model year 2018, DT is rethinking their priorities on the road and developing new wheels to meet the actual needs of today’s riders. The latest road wheel family is being dubbed Performance, and is essentially the bread and butter of road cyclists trying to get a little bit faster every time they head out on the tarmac. While the ERC wheels were about defining a new category, the new PRC wheels take DT Swiss’ popular RC65 & RC38 Spline family and update them to contemporary standards into wider, stiffer, more heat-resistant wheels at essentially the same weight, plus disc brake options for each new wheel…
DT Swiss Performance Road – PRC 1400 Spline 35 wheels
The PRC 1400 Spline family of wheels comprises two rim depths in both rim & disc brake models. Resulting from 5 years of pro team sponsorship and development that started with the RC38 and IAM Cycling back in 2013, the wheels had already evolved into the updated super light Mon Chasseral version as recently as last year. Now with improved carbon lay-up, tweaked hubs and spoke layouts and a reshaped rim profile, the new PRC wheels promise improved stiffness, more precise braking, and a wider, more comfortable tire contact patch that also delivers lower rolling resistance.
That’s a lot of subtle progress out of a wheel update that would be easy to overlook if you didn’t get into the details. Starting with the already race winning RC38, DT trimmed the NACA profile down 3mm in depth while growing it 3mm wider to 18mm internal for the new PRC 1400 Spline 35 wheels. The rim moved wider following the shift of elite riders to wider 25 & 28mm tires, offering both a wider contact patch for better grip & lower rolling resistance, as well as an increase in lateral stiffness.
Not visible to the eye, the slightly reshaped rim also gets a new, more precise carbon layup with more continuously aligned carbon and a new resin, that delivers a sizeable 20% improvement in braking heat resistance. While that might not sound like a big concern to many switching to disc brakes, the change also results in an overall more durable wheel (and likely continued progress will lead to even lighter constructions, no matter the style of braking.
Stiffness gets taken up another notch with a tiny update to the spoke flange spacing that ended up delivering measurable improvements. Don’t say little changes don’t add up. DT increased the driveside spoke flange diameter by just 0.8mm, which resulted in a 0.2° driveside bracing angle increase to 3.5°. But the result turned out to be an almost 15% improvement of rear wheel lateral stiffness, something the DT engineers could improve with almost nominal weight impact.
The all rounder PRC 1400 Spline 35 race wheels are available in both rim & disc brakes, sharing the same overall rim profiles (plus of minus a brake track). That makes them suitable for just about any type of terrain from mountains to flats for a blend of aero performance and light weight. The rim brake wheels are a bit lighter at 658g front/828g rear when compared to the disc brake wheels at 715g/859g, while they sell for almost the same price at 1958€/1978€, respectively. Availability is slated at October 2017 for either variant of the tough and light wheels.
(note: These could have been the wheels Canyon was alluding to back in December.)
PRC 1400 Spline 65
On the deeper front the rim of the 65mm PRC 1400 Spline 65 is a carry over NACA shape from the RC65, which DT had recently updated. The PRC 1400 65 gets the wider 18mm internal rim, and improved rear wheel bracing angle stiffness update of the more shallow wheel, but with improved aerodynamics.
The 65mm rim was already developed as an all around aero wheelset, first tested in the wind tunnel, and then in the race field through the IAM Cycling partnership. It also gets slippery in the wind straight pull spokes with the 1400 series Spline hub with 240s internals, a 36T ratchet drive, and steel bearings.
Again available in rim or disc brake variants with the same overall rim dimensions, the rim brake 65s weigh 759g front/910g rear and will sell for 1958€ when they hot the streets in October 2017. The disc brake version is again ever so slightly a bit heavier at 786g/912g and adds another 20€ to the price.
Like all of the wheels that DT Swiss produces, both the PRC 1400 Spline 35 & 65 are fully tubeless ready and come stock with DT tubeless-ready rim tape and the appropriately long tubeless valves.