Launched after a gestation of nearly 10 years back in March 2010, the RR 1450 Tricon wheelset by DT Swiss not only looks good, with its pearlescent white finish and crisp CNC-machining, but promises something a little different in the world of wheels thanks to a couple of truly interesting features.
First of them is the spoking pattern, which at first glance owes something to the crow’s foot pattern popular in the 1970’s. It has the same combination of radial and tangent lacing in groups of threes, for sure, but differs in the way the spokes are located in the hub by an insert threaded into the flange. The lobular shape of the flange permits spokes to exit either radially or at a tangent. The radial spokes save some weight while those at at a tangent provide drive – in the rear wheel at least.
More interesting, in this reviewer’s opinion at least, is the rim design. Featuring concave sides designed to improve axial stiffness, the rim also has a flattish hub-side wall suitable for machining into an oblong hole, into which a socket for the rim-end spoke nipple can be inserted at an angle. Once straightened up, the socket locks into the rim and securely locates the nipple. Torx-type nipples permit the use of high spoke tension without risk of rounding off the usual flats.
The system avoids the need to perforate the rim bed, ensuring that the rim is airtight and able to accept road tubeless tyres once fitted with a suitable valve.
Skewers are DT Swiss RWS, which have impressed more this time around and are proving well-suited to use with fork dropouts bearing “lawyer’s lips”.
So, first ride… is impressive. Not in the sense of exceptional speed – or at least the sensation of exceptional speed. If anything, the wheels feel “slow”, in that there is little sensation of road buzz or bumps. Despite their high spoke tension, the wheels feel amazingly plush – or devoid of the kind of feedback that makes them feel fast. Sure, there’s no discernible loss of power under hard acceleration, the tangent spokes and high tension ensuring excellent power transfer. And the all-bladed spokes keep air drag down nicely.
One possible explanation for the ride sensation lies with the rim sockets. They look to be made of some sort of high-strength plastic but in any case may have a powerful vibration dampening effect. We’ll see. But very nice, so far.
RR 1450 Tricon wheelset £424.99 (front), £524.99 (rear); white only, wheel weight claimed 1450g per pair excluding skewers.