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New ERC 1100 Dicut disc brake wheels designed for aerodynamics and handling

DT Swiss has teamed up with Swiss Side to produce the new ERC 1100 Dicut endurance wheelset that’s designed with aerodynamics, handling and stability in mind.

DT Swiss says that the ERC 1100 Dicut disc brake wheelset, with 47mm deep rims, offers very low drag at all relevant yaw angles along with comfort and reliability. The wheels are designed for use on gravel as well as tarmac.

The new wheels are the first to be developed according to what DT Swiss calls its Aero+ concept, based on drag, handling and efficiency. 

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“We at DT Swiss enter the desired properties of the wheel into [Swiss Side’s] software. The software then continuously alters the wheel's geometry and goes through the whole CFD calculation process with each alteration… to find the best matching geometry to the desired properties.”

The most promising geometry was then developed and eventually taken to the GST wind tunnel in Immenstaad, Germany. 

“The ERC 1100 Dicut has super low drag numbers at all relevant yaw angles,” says DT Swiss. “Best of all it is right in the ballpark with the competition both when run with 25mm and 28mm tyres.”

The competition in question is the Reynolds Aero 46 and the Zipp 303 Firecrest.

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This graph shows drag power (in watts) at yaw (apparent wind) angles of -20° to +20° at 45km/h (28mph). The blue line is the Reynolds Aero 46 with a 25mm tyre, the white line is the Zipp 303 Firecrest with a 25mm tyre, the upper red line is the ERC 1100 Dicut with a 28mm tyre and the lower red line is the ERC 1100 Dicut with a 25mm tyre fitted.

As you can see, the ERC 1100 Dicut’s drag is greater than that of the competition at many points but DT Swiss says that the differences are small and that it focussed on handling and stability to gain an advantage.

“In order to stay aero in the first place, you have to stay comfy no matter the riding situation, because only then will you be able to keep an aero position,” says DT Swiss. “This is why the handling characteristics of a wheel are key.

“The ERC 1100 Dicut is the best handling wheel in wind situations commonly found on the road. This is true independent of the tyre width you chose to ride.”

DT Swiss says that the rim’s geometry means that it reacts as predictably as possible when the yaw angles change, giving the rider the chance to react and keep control of the bike. The rim shape also means that the forces generated by the wind at the handlebars are kept as low as possible, allowing the rider to hold an aero position for longer.

DT Swiss says that the ERC 1100 Dicut’s wide rims – the internal width is 19mm, the maximum external width is 27mm – have been optimised for the use of wide (28mm) tyres because the wider contact area and lower pressure of the tyre results in more grip and more comfort. Plus, a wide contact patch leads to lower rolling resistance.

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The hubshell has been reshaped over that of the regular Dicut hub to minimise the airflow surface and reduce drag by 0.4 watts (at 45km/h). The hubs are based on DT Swiss 240s. They run on Sinc Ceramic bearings and are held in place by a new version of the RWS axle system with a Plug In lever that you can remove for improved aerodynamics.

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The ERC 1100 Dicut db 47 – the db denoting disc brake compatibility – has 12mm axles and takes centre lock disc rotors. The rims are tubeless ready. 

DT Swiss claims weights of 710g (front) and 820g (rear).

The wheels will retail at £1,999.98 when they go on sale in March 2017.

www.dtswiss.com

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.