They might be a lot of money but these DT Swiss RRC 65 Dicut clincher wheels are fast and stable, and they offer a good braking performance too.
These wheels are at their best when slicing along at high speed. They maintain pace beautifully with an appreciably lower resistance than shallow section rims. The RRC 65s also accelerate well, especially considering their 65mm rim depth. Weighing 745g (front) and 885g (rear) – excluding skewers; combined weight is 1,630g (DT's official total weight is 45g lower) – they spin up to speed with little fuss. For comparison, Zipp's 58mm deep 404 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers have claimed weights of 725g and 895g (1,620g total).
Some people might consider 65mm a little deep for general road use but I've been riding with these wheels on both a road bike and more occasionally on a TT bike for the past six weeks and they've been superb. I really rate these wheels highly, and not just for racing against the clock.
Okay, they've been a bit of a handful on a couple of very windy days when the front wheel has become hard to control, but I'm talking about conditions where the trees are blowing all over the place. In general, these are impressively stable in crosswinds for their depth. I'm pretty large by cyclists' standards and I probably find it easier to hold a line than a lot of smaller riders, but you won't get buffeted about any more than usual when an HGV overtakes too close.
The RRC 65s might not be your first choice for an Alpine climb but they handle the hills we get in the UK just fine and they're excellent over rolling terrain, where my impression is that you gain much more in efficiency than you lose in a little extra weight. Get out of the saddle for a tough climb or to sprint and the wheels feel remarkably stiff. It's the same going into a fast corner where the high spoke tension makes for barely any detectable flex when you lean the bike over hard. That's always reassuring.
The rims are made from unidirectional carbon fibre. As with many aero wheels these days, the spoke-side of the rim is fairly blunt, although the profile isn't as wide or as U-shaped as that of a Zipp Firecrest rim, for example.
The internal rim width is 18mm while it's 25mm measured from outer to outer. This means the contact surface of the tyre and the road will be just a smidge larger than it is with a narrower rim. The idea is that you can fit wider tyres with more stability, less pressure, and lower rolling resistance.
I've been using these rims with both 23mm and 25mm tyres. I can't say I've noticed any difference in speed although, as you'd expect, 25s are the better option in terms of comfort. The rims are tubeless ready so you can go down that route and run compatible tyres at lower pressures without the risk of pinch flats.
The braking performance is good too. The SwissStop carbon-specific pads included bite well and I've found the feel to be consistent during prolonged braking, although I've ridden these only in the UK, not on long Continental descents. Wet weather braking lags behind aluminium and it's not as impressive as that of the Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL C wheelset we reviewed recently either, but it's still pretty good when compared to most other carbon rims.
The DT Swiss 240 hubs feature SINC ceramic bearings as standard and the freewheel is equipped with the DT Swiss Ratchet System 36 T. This uses spring-loaded star ratchets that disengage when you stop pedalling and move together again when you resume. It's a smart design that works really well to ensure you drive the rear wheel almost as soon as you move the pedals.
I wouldn't normally get too excited about QRs but the RRC 65s are held in place by RWS (Ratchet Wheelmounting system) skewers which have been around for a few years now. There's no cam, you just wind the skewers tight. They are super-secure. Once you have the tension set, you can easily move the lever to the resting angle you like without altering it.
I've really enjoyed my time with these wheels. They've performed well on the flat and in still conditions, but don't make the mistake of limiting their use too much. They're almost as impressive in a breeze and over rolling terrain. Plus, they look badass, and that's a definite bonus!
Exceptionally good carbon clincher wheels that hold their speed well and provide impressive stability
road.cc test report
Make and model: DT Swiss RRC 65 Dicut clinchers
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the wheel is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
These carbon clinchers are designed for racing/high performance.
DT Swiss says, "The RRC 65 Dicut was developed together with the IAM World Tour Team in the wind tunnel and during the Tour de France. Perfect aerodynamics, good performance in crosswind and top-quality braking performance were the key points. SINC ceramic ball bearings, wide-based tyres and tubeless-compatible rims provide excellent rolling performance and comfort. The RRC 65 Dicut therefore guarantees perfection in both the Tour de France prologue and team pursuits. Equipped with the 36T DT Swiss Ratchet System for quicker engagement, it is made for powerful acceleration and direct power transmission."
This write up (above) only mentions races against the clock. The RRC 65s are definitely suited to that but I've found them equally good for general road use over rolling roads. A lot of people are reluctant to use rims deeper than about 50mm for this kind of riding, but stability is about more than just rim depth. These rims feel more stable than many that are considerably shallower.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
The rims have an 18mm internal width, 25mm external width. The idea is to better support wider tyres which allow for lower pressures and increased comfort.
DT Swiss also says that a wider rim used with a wider tyre has lower air resistance than a narrow rim used with a wider tyre because fewer and smaller vortices are formed: "The air flows more smoothly past the tyre and rim; the system creates less drag."
The high quality build should result in good durability. I've only been using these wheels for about six weeks so it's difficult to comment, but they still look pretty much box fresh.
You can get much lighter wheels, obviously, but these are a very good weight for the 65mm rim depth.
A set of 65mm deep full carbon clinchers is never going to be cheap, but these aren't as expensive as wheels of a similar depth from Zipp or Enve.
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
They've stayed perfectly true. The spoke tension is pretty high.
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
I fitted Continentals in both 23mm and 25mm width easily enough.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
The RWS skewers are great, allowing you to get the right tension and then move the levers to whatever angle you like. You also get tubeless valves, wheel bags and SwissStop carbon-specific pads.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The wheels accelerate quickly and hold their speed really well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Their ability to maintain speed.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Of course, we'd like them to be cheaper. Always the way.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? This is clearly a lot to spend on a pair of wheels, but I'd consider it.
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
I've loved using these wheels in a variety of conditions over the past few weeks and the performance is clearly exceptional. That warrants a 9. You could argue that £2,000 wheels of any quality are never going to rate highly for value, but it's only fair to rate these against deep-rimmed carbon clincher wheels from the likes of Zipp and Enve.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.