Deciding on the most suitable option for you from the large DT Swiss wheels range can be tricky, so here's a guide to help you get it right.
The 2021 DT Swiss wheel range
The range has been restructured recently and many new models have been added. Here's how to navigate it.
DT Swiss wheel naming system
The name of each wheel can give you a lot of information, as long as you know what everything means...
The first letter of the wheel's name simply tells you which category it belongs to:
A – Aero
P – Performance
E – Endurance
G – Gravel
Then, an upper case R stands for Race and a C means that the rim is carbon. If there's no C, the rim is aluminium.
You'll almost always get a four digit number which gives you more info:
• 240s based hubs
• Ceramic bearings
• Ratchet System freehub
• Carbon rims
• 240s based hubs
• Stainless steel bearings
• Ratchet System freehub
• Carbon or aluminium rims
• 350 based hubs
• Stainless steel bearings
• Ratchet System freehub
• Aluminium rims
• 370 based hubs
• Stainless steel bearings
• Pawl system freehub
• Aluminium rims
The hubs are all DT Swiss's own, the 240s being the lightest of the ones mentioned here. The hubs with higher numbers use slightly heavier parts and aren't as expensive.
The Ratchet System mentioned is probably DT Swiss's best known feature. Most freehubs use spring-loaded pawls that engage with ratchet teeth when you pedal, but DT Swiss uses a different system in its higher end wheels. Ratchet System hubs instead use two star ratchets that lock together when you pedal – all the teeth engaging simultaneously – and glide over one another when you coast. Different hubs have star ratchets with different numbers of teeth – the higher the number the quicker the engagement when you start to pedal.
Other brands might disagree but DT Swiss says, "The Ratchet System is the best solution for a freewheel system, since it can transfer high loads while being super light."
Check out the DT Swiss Ratchet EXP hub system here
Each wheel name usually includes either 'Dicut' or 'Spline'. This refers to the interface between the hub and the spoke. Here's DT Swiss's explanation:
Dicut DT Swiss’s lightest, stiffest and most aerodynamic hub and spoke system, aimed squarely at competitive road and track riding where speed is the overwhelming priority, uses custom Nailhead spokes that can hold much higher tensions.
Spline DT Swiss’s classic straight pull system, a great balance between stiffness, comfort, low weight and easy serviceability, ideal for everyday road or mixed terrain use and uses readily available standard straight-pull spokes.
The model name then usually contains a second number that refers to the rim depth in millimetres, while 'DB' denotes a disc brake model.
All of the DT Swiss wheels below are tubeless-ready clinchers. Tubeless tape and valves are included when you buy them.
This isn't a test, although we do reference our reviews where relevant. This is simply an overview of the range, containing the highlights, to tell you what's what and help you decide what's most suitable for you.
In the heading for each wheel we've given the cheapest price we've been able to find from a UK retailer. Click on the heading to visit that retailer's website.
Underneath that we've given the RRP and a link to the relevant listing on www.freewheel.co.uk.
Performance category wheels
The Performance wheels are designed for racing and other types of road riding, with stiffness to weight and rolling resistance major considerations here.
Both carbon and aluminium rims are available in this category, with depths ranging from 21mm right up to 65mm. Rim inner widths are 18mm throughout and DT Swiss recommends use with 23-28mm tyres.
Nearly all of the Performance wheels are available in both disc and non-disc versions.
The top level Performance wheel is the lightweight PRC 1100 Dicut Mon Chasseral 35, available for use with rim brakes only.
The rims are made using a method developed by DT Swiss "to ensure continuous carbon fibres are aligned with the forces passing through the wheel, increasing strength and stiffness in use without adding weight".
The carbon hubs come with ceramic bearings and the 36-tooth version of DT Swiss's Ratchet System which engages in 10° when you start to pedal.
This wheelset has a claimed weight of just 1,266g.
Read more about the latest version of the DT Swiss PRC 1100 DICUT 24 Mon Chasseral wheels
Buy if: You want a lightweight wheelset especially designed for mountain riding
The regular PRC 1100 Dicut DB saves (a bit) on cost by using the 240 hub with ratchet freewheel rather than the Mon Chasseral's super-light 180 hub. With a few other tweaks to beef it up a touch, that brings the weight for a pair up to 1,435g, which is still a long way from shabby for disc-brake wheels with 35mm rims.
Buy if: You want light but sturdy high-performance wheels
The PRC 1400 Spline is available in two different rim depths – 35mm and 65mm – each of them in both rim brake and disc brake options (all versions are priced the same).
When we reviewed the 65mm rim brake version we called them "exceptionally good deep-section wheels that offer decent stability, good braking and plenty of reliability".
We added, "The PRC wheels use DT Swiss's well-respected 240 hubs (although the shell doesn't have the same level of aero efficiency that you get on the ARC models). The freehub features a ratchet system that works really well and durability is excellent."
Read our review
Buy if: You're after a reliable high-performance wheelset that puts in a great performance in a variety of conditions
These rim brake-only wheels come with aluminium rims in either a 21mm or a 32mm depth.
OXiC in the name refers to a process in which a ceramic coating is electrochemically applied to the rim surface.
When he reviewed these wheels, Dave Arthur said, "The chief benefit of the OXiC coating is the promise of improved and consistent braking performance in a range of conditions. Well, I've been testing them for several months through which they've seen everything from glorious sunshine to waterlogged roads and everything in between, ridden on the commute, daily training rides and weekend outings, and they've been excellent regardless of the weather... In the rain and mud and grit-coated surfaces of my local roads, the OXiC coating becomes a real benefit. Braking performance is powerful and predictable, and very consistent.
"As well as greatly improved braking in the wet, the other big benefit of a ceramic coating is a rim that is much more durable, better able to withstand the abuse a bike is subjected to when riding in grim weather."
Overall, these are excellent wheels – stiff and responsive, with no flex when putting the power down in a sprint or steep climb.
Read our review
Buy if: You're looking for excellent lightweight and responsive aluminium wheels with reliable all-weather braking
The PR 1400 Dicut 21 comes with alloy rims (but without the OXiC coating), straight-pull spokes and DT Swiss's 240-based hubs, including the excellent Ratchet System 36 SL in the freehub. The claimed weight of the wheelset is just 1,470g.
Buy if: You want an aluminium disc brake wheelset with low weight and fast engagement
The PR 1600 Spline 23s use aluminium rims and DT Swiss's 350 hub internals which are a little heavier than the 240s used for the more expensive wheels in the range. The freehub system is DT Swiss's Ratchet System 18, meaning that 18 teeth in each of the Star Ratchets lock together when you pedal. You'll engage (begin to drive the rear wheel) in 20° when you start pedalling, whereas you'll engage in 10° with a higher end Ratchet System 36 SL.
These wheels are also available in a disc brake version for £349.00.
Buy if: You'd like durable hubs, including DT Swiss's Ratchet System, on wheels that don't cost a fortune
The biggest difference from the higher level wheels in the Performance range is in the rear hub. Rather than using any of DT Swiss's Ratchet Systems, the 1800 has a three pawl design, quite similar to that of many other brands: spring loaded pawls engage with the hub's ratchet teeth when you pedal, and slide over them when you coast.
These aluminium wheels are available in a disc brake version too for £289.
Buy if: You're after a reliable wheelset that offers tubeless compatibility and wider rims at a reasonable price
Endurance category wheels
The Endurance category is designed for long-ride comfort and versatility – sportives, gran fondos, and general road riding – and it consists of disc brakes wheels only; there are no rim brake wheels here.
The carbon and aluminium rims have inner widths of 19-20mm and DT Swiss recommends use with 25-32mm tyres.
The ERC 1100 Dicut 47 was developed with aerodynamics specialist Swiss Side. It isn't aimed at the racing cyclist who wants the absolute fastest wheelset, it's aimed at the endurance cyclist who wants the aero benefit but doesn't want to compromise on stability, comfort and weight.
Reviewer Dave Arthur said, "The ERC 1100s are among the most stable and predictable deep-section carbon wheels I have yet tested. I rode the wheels in some very windy conditions and as a relatively lighter rider, I do feel the buffeting effect of deep section wheels more than some, but that wasn't the case with these wheels. Instead, they exhibited a calm stability normally only associated with much shallower profile rims."
The hubs are based on DT Swiss's proven 240 design, but they're wrapped in an aero shell and roll on ceramic bearings.
Read our review
Buy if: You're interested in fast and stable wheels that are ideal for endurance bikes with disc brakes and wide tubeless tyres
This wheelset uses the same 47mm-deep aero rim as the ERC 1100 Dicut 47 (above) but with Spline hubs/spokes. As with all other 1400-level wheels, the hubs are based on the 240s with DT Swiss's Ratchet System 36 SL freehub design.
Buy if: You're looking for an aero benefit with your endurance wheels and you want to save money over the top-level option
These wheels have the same hubs as the ERC 1400 Spline 47s (above), with a 36-tooth Ratchet System design, but they're well under half the price thanks to welded aluminium rims.
Buy if: You're after tough aluminium wheels with a tried and tested hub design
The ER 1600 Dicut 31 uses aluminium rims and 350-based hubs that are slightly heavier than those used higher up the range. The freewheel features DT Swiss's Ratchet System 18 which doesn't engage as fast as the Ratchet System 36 SL (it drives the rear wheel in 20° following coasting, as opposed to 10°), but it's equally durable.
These wheels have a higher maximum recommended system weight (bike plus rider) than the more expensive models – 130kg versus 120kg.
Buy if: You're interested in a durable disc wheelset at a reasonable price.
E 1800 Spline 23 — £NA
E 1800 Splines are designed to be all-rounders for training and everyday use. The 370 rear hub uses a three-pawl system rather than the star ratchet system for which DT Swiss is better known.
Buy if: You're in the market for versatile wheels that prioritise durability
Aero category wheels
As the name suggests, the Aero wheels focus on aerodynamics, DT Swiss having collaborated with Swiss Side here. These wheels are designed for triathletes and time triallists as well as road riders.
All of these wheelsets come with carbon rims with an inner width of 17mm. DT Swiss recommends tyre sizes of 23mm at the front and 25mm at the rear.
The Aero wheels are available in both rim brake and disc brake models.
Read all about DT Swiss's Aero wheels here
DT Swiss tested its ARC 1100 Dicut 48 in both rim and disc brake versions and found the equivalent of a two watt difference overall, the disc brake version producing slightly more drag at all yaw angles. DT Swiss puts this down to the larger hubs necessary for the disc brakes.
The ARC 1100 Dicut wheels are all about optimum aerodynamics and are available in three rim depths: 48mm, 62mm and 80mm (they're all priced the same). The 48 is intended for a wide range of conditions and terrains whereas the deeper section wheels are for flatter races and calm conditions.
The 48 is obviously the lightest of the bunch, the disc version coming with a claimed weight of 1,490g.
All use an aero version of the 240 hub with ceramic bearings and the 36-tooth Ratchet System freehub design.
Buy if: You want carbon race wheels with a huge focus on aerodynamics
The ARC 1400 Dicut wheels use the same carbon rims as the ARC 1100 Dicuts (above) in the same depth options – 48mm, 62mm and 80mm – it's just the hub and spoke specifications that are different to bring the price down.
Whereas DT Swiss uses the DT Aerolite spoke – the lightest flat spoke in its range – for the front wheel of its ARC 1100 Dicut, slightly heavier DT Aero Comp spokes are used throughout for the 1400s.
The ARC 1400 Dicuts use a 240 hub but you get standard rather than ceramic bearings here, and an 18-tooth ratchet system in the freehub rather than the 36-tooth design that you get with the 1100s.
All of that makes the 1400s a little heavier overall, although you're talking about under 100g between equivalents in all cases, and sometimes as little as 40g.
Buy if: You want most of the aero benefits of the ARC 1100 Dicut wheels at a slightly lower price
Gravel category wheels
Gravel is a new category for DT Swiss, the lineup encompassing both carbon and aluminium wheels, and 650b as well as 700c sizing.
The inner width of all the rims is 24mm, the idea being to provide plenty of support for chunky gravel tyres and also to reduce rolling resistance and increase traction.
All of the gravel wheels are disc brake-only – there are no rim brake models – and have a recommended maximum system weight (bike plus rider and any luggage) of 130kg (20st 7lb), so even the high end carbon ones can be pressed into bikepacking service if required.
The rear wheels feature a Shimano Road 11-speed freehub body but you can convert to SRAM XDR.
The cheaper gravel wheels don't currently seem to be available anywhere.
The highest specced Gravel tyre has a 42mm-deep carbon rim that was designed in co-operation with Swiss Side with aerodynamics in mind. Reducing drag might not be a big concern if you're bike packing but it could be if you're racing on gravel – which is much bigger in the US than it is in Europe.
DT Swiss says that the GRC 1400 Spline 42 has an aerodynamic advantage equivalent to about five watts over its GR 1600 Spline 25 (below) at 45km/h (28mph) – although, it must be said, that's very fast on a loose surface like gravel.
The tubeless-ready rim is reinforced around the spoke holes while the hubs are DT Swiss's 240s with a 36-tooth Ratchet System freehub for fast (10°) engagement.
The 650b wheelset has a claimed weight of 1,545g while the 700c is officially 1,611g.
Buy if: You're after aerodynamic efficiency on your gravel bike
GR 1600 Spline 25 — £NA
The GR 1600 Spline 25 has a welded alloy rim with a reinforced base and flange. The hubs are 350-based with an 18-tooth Ratchet System in the freehub. They might not be as posh as the GRC 1400's hubs (above) but these are still high quality and extremely durable.
Buy if: You're looking for tough wheels for gravel riding, including well-proven hubs
G 1800 Spline 25 — £NA
The most affordable of the Gravel wheelsets also uses a 25mm-deep alloy rim but with 370 hubs.
The biggest difference is that you get a three-pawl freehub system here rather than a Ratchet System design.
The G 1800 Spline 25 wheelset is a little heavier than the GR 1600 Spline 25 too: 1,895g versus 1,811g (700c versions).
Buy if: You're interested in gravel-specific wheels for off-road exploring, and you don't want to spend a vast amount
Explore the complete archive of reviews of wheels on road.cc
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