Barely a week goes by that we don’t hear of a new piece of gravel bike tech launching - just take a look at Trek's new Checkpoint machine for one recent example - and this time it’s the turn of DT Swiss with its new CRC 1400 Spline and CRC 1100 Spline T wheels.
With a dual focus on the cyclo-cross and gravel scene, both wheelsets are positioned as high-spec carbon disc hoops for challenging use off-road. The gravel-focussed 1400 wheelset costs £1,674.99, while the cross-specific 1100 hoops will set you back £2,069.99.
Let’s take a closer look at the CRC 1400 Spline wheelset first. Central to the rim is a hookless design said to allow DT Swiss to optimise the layers of carbon fibre for improved reliability, while meeting a claimed 390g weight thanks to its shallow 24mm depth.
The rim bed is 22mm wide, ideal for cyclo-cross tyres as well as wider gravel-oriented rubber, and it’s tubeless-ready, too. Overall claimed weights are 622g for the front and 767g for the rear wheel (total 1,389g), not including tubeless gubbins.
The hubset uses DT Swiss’ 240s design, with steel bearings and a 36-tooth star ratchet freehub, whereby all the teeth on the two ratchets engage simultaneously to improve engagement. The hubs are said to offer a 15 per cent improvement in stiffness over the previous-generation RC Spline wheelsets, achieved through widened flanges and spoke angles. The hub body also features press-fit caps for tool-free servicing, and both wheelsets come fitted with DT’s Pro Lock spokes, which effectively stick the nipple thread to the rim, allowing for a more secure and reliable fit.
Meanwhile, the CRC 1100 Spline T is a tubular wheelset designed specifically for the cyclo-cross race scene - Belgian rider Eli Iserbyt used the wheels en-route to winning the recent men's under-23 world title. It features a carbon rim straight-laced to a hub, based again on DT’s 240s design but this time with ceramic bearings.
This setup is said to produce maximum reliability alongside top-end performance, with a carbon rim that measures 26mm wide and 38mm deep. The rim bed itself is less pronounced than you would find on road-specific tubular wheels to better support 33c cyclo-cross tyres, effectively allowing it to move more flexibly and provide better grip, according to DT Swiss.
The wheels and carbon layup are apparently stringently tested to the UCI’s and DT Swiss’ own standards to ensure reliability, while meeting a 589g and 733g claimed weight at the front and rear respectively (total 1,322g) .
Both wheelsets accept the RWS Plug-In thru-axle, a system that allows the removal of the lever for a clean look on the bike, although this isn’t supplied with the wheels.
Website: DT Swiss