- Build quality
- Rim brake skewer design
Price as reviewed:
£495 for pair
The only downside to the 1600 Spline 23 wheel was the odd skewer it had for the rim brake version. We now have the disc brake version, which doesn’t have that issue and so rubber stamped its way into Editor’s Choice for 2019.
DT Swiss has really performed with its high-end wheels over the last few years and that again is evident in the lower categories. The latest DT Swiss 1600 Spline 23 aluminium wheelset from the brand offered plenty of performance out training recently and I’d go as far to say one of the best £500 wheelsets available on the market and definitely on par with the likes of Mavic and its Ksyrium Elite.
The shallow rims are on of the nicest looking wheels around this price point too. The 23mm black rims offering with white hubs giving a classy look.
Those rims measure up 18mm internally meaning that they are a smidge wider than most others recently tested, giving a nice wide stance to the tyre on the road. This ultimately means that tyres tended to measure up a little larger, by a millimetre or so, compared to other narrower wheelsets: Cero AR30 Evo’s spring to mind here.
Weight wise you are looking at typical values around this price point. DT Swiss 1600 Spline 23 weigh in at 1591g.
Unlike the Fulcrum Racing 3s these are tubeless ready too and come with all the necessaries to be able to set up tubeless yourself at home.
DT Swiss is known for its decent hubs and spokes. You get the 350 hub that claims to have the same performance as its higher end options, just with a little less weight refinement. DT Swiss aero comp bladed spokes are used here; 24 front and 24 rear which are straight pull – a good quality spoke can make the difference to the wheels!
The QR levers what DT call 5mm quick releases, which aren’t exactly quick release. Think bolt-thru here.
These feel robust and secure, although I had a little bit of a hard time getting the rear wheel straight as this system, like bolt-thru on disc brake wheels, require you to tighten until you can’t tighten anymore, which can make it a little awkward to get the wheel in straight first time.
You can pull the leaver outwards at one end of the QR and move it independently, which helps positioning of the wheel.
Thankfully, with the disc brake version you get that conventional bolt thru axel that works as it should.
I’ve been impressed with the DT Swiss 1600 Spline 23, they do ride very nicely and perform much higher than their sub-£500 price tag suggests.
Yes, jumping off more expensive carbon offerings does mean a decrease in performance but the increase in braking confidence and the fact these wheels will take on pretty much anything, it can often leave you thinking why buy anything else?
Typically, you don’t have that zip or that floating effect on wheels like these but stuck in the Specialized S-Works Tarmac I’m using at the moment I had to really think where the more expensive carbon offerings gave me gains.
Yes, aerodynamics and the use of Ceramic Speed bearings come into play, of course in the out-and-out stiffness of a wheelset – but it wasn’t totally night and day between wheels, wheels that cost nearly £2000 more.
Good job DT Swiss.
Ultimately these are a great set of wheels for training, racing or just a general upgrade. You'll be getting good quality hubs and spokes from the brand who supply much of the industry as well.
Internal rim width: 18mm