DT Swiss started a Road Revolution campaign to completely revamp their road wheel line ups almost a year ago with the introduction of the Endurance ERC 1100 wheels developed in the wind tunnel with SwissSide. Next came the Aero focused make-over topped by the ARC 1100 wheels and the Performance all rounder race wheels with the PRC 1400. Just two segments remained Cyclocross and Track, so DT has revamped the C & T series wheels to finish off the overhaul.
While the new Endurance & Aero categories were all about developing the newest integrated tech and most aerodynamic solutions for their segments, the overhaul of the rest of the road line has put a lot of effort into better defining a structure and intended use for each road wheel offered.
Road Revolution breakdown
The new five categories each have their target use type, their own rim internal width & ideal tire width range. The each identify design priorities that mesh with those use groups.
Another key point is a unified naming convention. While the previous names were all over the place making is just as difficult for a consumer to know what they were getting as it was for a product manager trying to decide on an OEM spec wheel on a new bike.
Now every road wheel name starts with the first letter of one of the five categories, then a more ‘race’ wheel will add on an ‘R’ and a carbon rim will add a ‘C’. The numbers then denote the hubs, with 1100 getting SINC ceramic bearings in a top-level low-profile Dicut hub (based on 180s), 1400 getting steel bearings in the same hub shell (based on 240s), 1600 stepping down to the machined hubs still with star ratchet internals from the 350s, and 1800 dropping to hubs with a classic 3-pawl engagement. With that you can sus out the full spec details, just from the name of the wheel.
DT is calling the cyclocross segment Cross Road in part because so many of the wheels they build are just as likely to end up on a gravel or adventure bike, as they would on an actual cyclocross bike. While we look at their Endurance wheels like the ERC 1100 as being gravel capable (and have gotten them plenty dirty along the way), gravel riding officially falls into the Cross Road category according to DT.
Cross Road wheels are “inspired by the tough world of cyclocross” but really open for any kind of mixed-surface riding you might task a 700c wheelset of tackling. Dirt roads, muddy forest paths, even singletrack.
For the time being Cross Road gets just two wheelsets – the CR 1600 Spline & C 1800 Spline – which use the same 23mm deep aluminum rim, now 22mm wide inside/26mm outside.
The difference is the hub internals, with the star ratchet CR 1600s selling for $762/578€ from 1728g, and the classic 3-pawl C 1800s retailing for $538/408€ from 1745g.
Both wheelsets are disc brake only and tubeless ready. Currently there are no carbon Cross Road wheels, nor are there any tubulars. But we’ve talked with DT Swiss about those gaps, and they seemed cagey on details, but it is pretty clear that they are working on more new wheels to fill out the category now that the whole update of the road wheel structure is finalized.
Track keeps it simple. At the top end these are wheels destined to spend their life leaning into banked left turns on the velodrome, whether that is smooth wood inside or deteriorating concrete outside. The rise of fixed gear crit racing has also supported the continued growth of top-level fixed racing off of the velodrome, but still on track wheels.
Then rounding out the lower end of the Track family is the continued need for urban fixed gear and singlespeed bikes searching for the deep track look, but in a more affordable & reasonable wheelset for rolling through city streets.
There are just two dedicated new track wheels as well – the TRC 1400 Dicut & T 1800 Classic. In fact the premium TRC wheels are available in either $2857/2168€ clinchers (1698g) or $2672/2028€ tubulars (1528g) both in a 65mm deep carbon rim profile borrowed directly from the PRC wheels and fixie hubs based on 240s. The T 1800 Classic sticks with a 32mm deep, 18mm internal tubeless-ready alloy rim for a $630/478€ pricetag and life on the streets at 1896g.