A budget trail-riding wheel from one of the leading names in wheel design and manufacturing
The DT Swiss M1900 is the brand’s budget trail riding package using tough aluminium rims available in 25, 30 or 35mm internal widths
DT Swiss has built a solid reputation for complete wheelsets under its Spline banner. The wheels are built around centre-lock hubs with reinforced spoke cradles for the straight-pull spoke heads.
The sealed cartridge bearings used at both ends are easily replaceable and the DT Swiss M1900 wheels come set up for tubeless with DT’s own super-sticky rim tape that’s proven to last ages and not peel off, even when often changing tyres. The centre-lock disc mount requires a special rotor or adaptor (which might be an extra expense worth factoring in), but the interface works fine in our experience and makes changing rotors significantly faster.
28 DT Swiss Champion spokes are laced thre-cross in both wheels; this spoke count is lower than some, but they are no-nonsense, cold-forged, 2mm thick, plain-gauge spokes that should build a durable, tough wheel. One downside, however, is the straight-pull spokes here being slightly harder to source from a bike shop than standard J-bend equivalents.
The M1900s use a three-pawl freehub rather than DT’s famous ‘star ratchet’ hub to keep the price down. There’s a slower pick-up (only 24 engagement points), but we’ve had no issues on multiple sets of test wheels with slipping or poor engagement. The extra lag in this department is noticeable if you’re used to fast-engaging hubs, but it’s not a deal breaker.
The 30mm internal rim is sleeve joined, not welded, and uses spoke eyelets, rather than lighter, in-built, rim support. On several test bikess with M1900s we’ve had no spokes unwinding or coming loose, and the wheels feel solid and robust from the off. We’d argue the rims are super strong and dent resistant too, after smacking them on multiple rocks with no damage.
DT’s wheels roll over rough ground smoothly and feel energetic enough without being jarring or harsh. Power transfer is decent, but not being the lightest means acceleration from a standstill isn’t the fastest and the (just over 2kg a pair) bulk is also noticeable when climbing uphill.
Over the last decade, DT has transformed its reputation for cheesy soft rims that dented too easily, to alloys so tough World Cup DH champions have ridden them down mountains with no tyre on and they’ve survived. Toughness and reliability are the main selling points here, and this bombproof package does the job for a fair price. You’ll need to spend considerably more, and reach much higher up the DT range, to save weight, but lighter wheels are available for a similar price from less prestigious brands. And this, plus repairs or spoke replacement on your travels being potentially more difficult are worth thinking about.