Preview: DT Swiss X1800 Wheelset

A very quick note on wheelsets:

We have not done a post on mountain bike wheelsets before, but before we look at this quality wheelset by DT Swiss, you should know why you should pay attention to the quality of any bike wheel purchase you make, and how to make the choice.

A mountain bike’s  wheelset is one of the most important – and often among the most expensive- components on the bike. The quality of the wheelset significantly affect your mountain bike’s weight, stiffness, handling and durability.  The configuration and build type of your wheelset determines what you can do with it (leisure riding on smooth roads, light cross country, spirited trail riding to more aggressive styles of riding like freeriding and downhill) and its compatibility with other components you have on your bike (such as brake systems and axles).


I recently got a DT Swiss X1800 wheelset for a new bike that I started building. I am yet to actually ride or test this wheelset, but thought I’d give you a quick preview on it, which might be useful if you are currently building a new bike or considering options for a new wheelset.

The X1800 is one of DT Swiss’ offerings in their XR line of wheels meant for cross country racing and trail riding. DT Swiss currently offers four other classes of MTB wheelsets: the TK for trekking and touring, the XM for all-mountain riding, the EX for Enduro and light freeride and the FR for freeriding and downhill racing.

First of all, why do they call it X1800? DT’s model designations are pretty straight forward: the two letter acronym f wheelset categories denotes the intended use ((XR=Cross Race, XM=Cross Mountain, EX=Enduro Cross), while the number denotes the total wheelset weight. That is, the X1800’s wheelset weight (including hubs) is 1800 grams. Not exactly featherweight but not too heavy either. You have to keep in mind the intended use of these wheels (all-around trail & cross country riding) and the assumption that the bit of extra weight goes towards a more durable and low-maintenance wheel build geared towards enthusiast riders and weekend warriors, not pro cross-country racers.

The DT Swiss X1800 wheelset and accessory package (wheel bags, QR skewers, Centerlock-to-six bolt adapters, rim tape and spoke wrench)

The x1800 has 28-spokes laced to DT’s “sleeve-jointed” rims and their “star ratchet drive system”. If you want more techno-babble look at DT’s website.
Like I said, these wheels haven’t seen any riding yet, so we can’t make a judgement now except for the fact that they look really nice with the black rims and the white graphics, and that they come with the most extensive extras package I am yet to see on a mid-range MTB wheelset. Not only do they include the standard quick-release skewers, but the also came with two very nicely padded wheelbags (individual wheelbags are usually anywhere between $20-$50), adapters for the Shimano centerlock hubs so that you can also run 6-bolt brake rotors (it is nice to have options, and a single Centerlock-to-Six bolt adapter is relatively expensive at around $30+), two rolls of quality plastic rim tape, a Prolock spoke key! Every single item is actually very useful and I love the fact that I can run different brake rotor styles with the included adapters.

More to come on this quality wheelset from DT Swiss as we go out and actually ride it 🙂