DT Swiss EXC 1200 Carbon Wheel Tech Check


DT Swiss EXC 1200 Wheels

Words, Photos and Video by Cole Gregg

DT Swiss has just released what seem to be some pretty interesting carbon mountain bike wheels. The new DT Swiss EXC 1200 Classics feature some firsts for the company as they roll out new manufacturing processes, new spoke construction and more. DT’s EXC 1200 wheels feature DT Swiss’s Revolite bladed Spokes, a ceramic bearing driven DEG 180 hub with 4 degrees of engagement, and DT’s Out Of The Mold production process for the hoops that minimize waste while maximizing strength and reliability. They do all this while keeping weight at just 1,725g for a 29” wheelset.

Seeking to optimize strength and traction, DT Swiss have designed unique front and rear specific rim profiles. It backs up DT Swiss’ aim at a no compromise strength to weight ratio for this enduro-ready wheels. The front wheel uses 28 spokes while the rear is 32 maximizing strength where it counts and giving some traction-enhancing compliance up front. Both front and rear specific wheels have an inner width of 30mm. Wheels are offered in both 27.5” and 29” options with both having a 148mm rear and 110mm front hub. There is no hiding DT Swiss’ pride and manufacturing investment in the new wheels with a price tag $2,911.80 USD.

The EXC 1200 is DT’s Enduro-specific Carbon option aimed at taking on gnarly descents under the world’s fastest racers and discerning riders looking for the pinnacle in wheel performance, reliability and serviceability. The focus with this wheel was to deliver on their brand’s ethos of no compromise durability and with that they are ASTM Class 5 rated.



To achieve this, DT Swiss has a patent pending production process dubbed “Out Of The Mold”. This allows them to pull the wheel straight from the mold without having to remove excess resin. This results in in fewer imperfections thanks to uninterrupted fibers. These sections of carbon enclose the entire rim to better solidify the rim horns against heavy impacts. All in all, this process provides a wheel free of imperfections straight from the layup. Another benefit of this production process is the reduction of material waste.

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DT’s Revolite spokes play a huge factor in the riding characteristics and durability of this wheelset. Revolite spokes are produced using a flat, cold forging method that increases the density of the material. The double-butted spoke’s forging method creates a uniform shape that not only increases strength and cuts down on weight, but also retains the elongation properties, ultimately extending the lifespan of the wheel build.

DT’s cold forging technique creates a spoke shape that has never been seen before while also providing distinct mechanical advantages over a traditional spoke.

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The Ratchet DEG Hub features two oversized 90 tooth ratchets and the lowest engagement of any DT Swiss hub ever made at just four degrees. These hubs allow for tool free bearing replacement should those ceramic bearings ever wear out. The enlarged ratchet size increases the contact patch over a pawl driven mechanism, the DEG hub has full engagement on the ratchets at all times, resulting in a more balanced load transfer and a longer lifespan of the system. Within the hub, there are two separate floating steel ratchets transmitting power to the ground.

DT Swiss EXC 1200 Carbon Wheel Tech Check


With only a few rides on this new wheelset this is by no means a long-term review, however I just wanted to share my experience out on the trail for these first few rides. As a rider who’s notoriously hard on equipment, I am a big fan of DT Swiss’ XM 1700 wheelset, which are spec’d on many OEM complete bikes. When I found out that DT Swiss was going to be releasing a new “Halo” wheelset, I was more than excited to learn all about them, and of course, put them in the dirt.

Just pedaling from my house to the trails, the four degrees of engagement on the EXC 1200 hub was very noticeable and appreciated. On the technical climb right out of the parking lot, the extra engagement definitely helped with pedal placement around some tricky rocks. This is a great addition to the wheels in my opinion. There is still enough float in the hub to keep pedal kickback at bay as I have not yet noticed any excessive feedback into my feet on these first few rides aboard my Specialized Stumpy Evo. That’s not to say the feeling wouldn’t be there on a VPP or other stiffer suspension platform, but we’ll hopefully test that in the coming months.

DT Swiss EXC 1200 Carbon Wheel Tech Check

When it came time to head downhill, the EXC 1200 wheels provided a very smooth riding experience, dare I say an aluminum-like ride feel. Although my home trails are pretty short they provide enough technical terrain to tell if a wheel is harsh, and these were far from it. On the other side of the spectrum when pressing into corners, the compliance I felt through rock gardens turned into a snappy supportive feel under heavy load. Is it the spokes or the hoop? I kept asking myself as the trails quickly changed from chunk to flow. The balance of comfort and support is managed very well. I am excited to get these wheels up to Silver Mountain and really put them to the test in the durability promise. Silver Mountain has an outrageous amount of vert you can do nonstop and is well-known for it’s rocks and wheel-eating tendencies. That will be the true test of comfort and strength for these enduro wheels.

So far during my initial test rides there were no loud pings even at a relatively low tire pressure for me (22/25). Mounting my current Continental tires was no issue with the use of a single tire lever and I was able to seat the bead of the tire with just my standard floor pump.

Our short time on these wheels have been a pleasant experience, and I only see it getting better with more time on them. I am curious how the Revolite spokes will hold their tension as this is my first time riding a wheel with those. Time will tell but we’ll be sure to report back after plenty more miles on the DT Swiss EXC 1200 Classics. For now though, if you’re in the market for a top-tier, $2,900 set of carbon enduro wheels, it seems like these could be podium contenders for those who demand the best.

For more info visit, DTswiss.com


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