DT Swiss may be best know for spokes and hubs but they also has a wide range of complete wheelsets and the RC 28 Spline C carbon clincher is among them.
The Spline range was introduced last year as a mid-range collection of hoops and covers 11 wheelsets, including six full carbon clinchers: the 28, 38 and 55 (with each number referring to the depth of the rim), all in conventional rim brake and disc brake formats.
The 28, of which we’re testing the rim brake option, is, needless to say, the shallowest of the bunch, and is pitched by DT Swiss as a wheelset “born on Swiss alpine roads”. You’d expect a shallow carbon clincher like this to be light and the RC28 Spline C, to give the wheelset its ever-so-catchy full title, is just that, with a claimed weight of 1,385g (585g for the front wheel and 800g for the rear hoop), which is right on the money as ours weighed exactly 1,400g once we had installed the supplied rim tape.
The Spline range exclusively uses straight pull spokes across all road and mountain bike wheels in the collection as DT Swiss say that the absence of a spoke elbow eliminates the weakest point of a traditional J-bend spoke. DT Swiss say this makes for a stiffer and more reliable wheelset.
The straight pull-specific hubs are laced with 20 bladed, double-butted DT Swiss Aerolite spokes in a radial pattern on the front wheel, and 24 spokes in a two-cross pattern on the rear wheel, using aluminium DT Swiss Pro Lock nipples. The rear hub (11-speed compatible and supplied with a spacer to convert it to ten-speed use) uses DT Swiss’ ‘Ratchet System’ and is designed for tool-free servicing and adjustment. DT Swiss say both hubs have been designed to optimise the position of the spoke anchor points in order to create a stiffer, more responsive wheel.
As for the rim itself, it’s 28mm deep and 21mm wide, which, while certainly not the fattest on the market, is a nod to the current trend for wider rims and, with it, wider tyres. That said, a maximum tyre dimension of 700 x 23c is printed on the rim, though a range between 700 x 19c and 700 x 25c is quoted on the DT Swiss website.
Carbon clinchers always come with something of a question mark over reliability and heat dissipation under heat dissipation, and DT Swiss don’t make any specific claims about the treatment applied to their rim to prevent overheating and, with it, delamination. We’ll be seeking further information before we file our review. The wheelset is, however, supplied with carbon-specific Swiss Stop Yellow brake pads.
All that’s left to mention is the price – £1,329.99 for the wheelset. DT Swiss say the RC28 Spline C will provide “searing acceleration uphill, and solid cornering coming back down” – we’ll be hitting the road to find out.