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First Look: CRC 1100 and CRC 1400 Spline cyclocross and gravel wheels launched

DT Swiss has been on a roll recently, launching loads of new wheels that have continually impressed us in terms of performance and durability. Today the Swiss company has just unveiled two new wheelsets aimed at cyclocross and gravel riders, the CRC 1100 Spline T and CRC 1400 Spline.

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CRC stands for crossroad carbon and is a range of two wheelsets that DT Swiss says has been inspired by the demands of cyclocross and gravel riding. With these new wheelsets, it reckons it has built the perfect wheels for riders wanting to tackle everything the off-road and mixed surface cyclist needs, provided they have suitably deep pockets: the 1100 wheelset costs £2,069.99 and the 1400 wheels are £1,674.99.

CRC 1100 Spline T wheels

These are the wheels that any aspiring cyclocross racer will likely hanker after. They have a carbon fibre tubular rim laced to 240s hubs via straight pull spokes, DT aerolite for the front wheel and DT aero comp spokes in the rear wheel, with Pro Lock squorx nipples and CINC ceramic bearings.

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As you’d expect for the price and aspiration, they are very light. A claimed weight of 1,322g puts them up there with the lightest contenders.

DT Swiss reckons this rim profile is perfect for cyclocross tubular tyres, with what it reckons is a cyclocross-specific rim depth and width. The rim measures 26mm across and are 38mm deep. The company also reckons the rim width provides the best support for a 32 or 33mm tubular tyre. A narrower rim wouldn’t provide the necessary stability, while a really wide rim would limit the necessary movement of the tyre, it explains in its press release. The 38mm rim depth was arrived at because DT reckons its presents the best balance of weight for the fast accelerations necessary in a cyclocross race, and better handling in deep mud or sand.

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The rim bed is also less pronounced than regular tubular rims supposedly to work better with cyclocross tyres. It claims the 5mm shallower rim bed gives the tyre greater flexibility as the tyre is sitting higher on the rim, resulting in more grip in the corners and a larger contact patch.

The company also adds that the carbon structure of the rim has been designed to provide the highest durability, but doesn’t go into much detail about what this actually means.

“Developed with a clear focus on cyclocross racing, one of the main targets was to find the ideal rim width that gives maximum support to the 32 mm & 33 mm wide tubular tires. While a narrow rim couldn’t give as much side stability to the tire as needed, an extra-wide rim would limit the necessary movement of the tire. The rim width of 26 mm secures an ideal support without limiting the tire. The rim depth of 38 mm presents the perfect balance between lightweight and usability for all different,” explains DT.

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The new wheels have already been ridden to success, Eli Iserbyt winning the under 23 cyclocross world championships with them.

“Those new CRC 1100 SPLINE wheels are really a massive step forwards. I already liked the previous model, but you directly feel the difference with these wheels mounted on your bike,” commented Eli Iserbyt.

CRC 1400 Spline wheels

These wheels are aimed more at your gravel and adventure cyclist, intended to be suitable for everything from cyclocross racing to gravel adventures. They feature a tubeless-ready carbon fibre rim laced to the same 240s hubs with straight pull spokes.

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Compared to the CRC 1100 cyclocross wheels, the new CRC 1400 feature a 22mm wide hookless carbon rim with a 24mm depth, and is designed for tyres 32mm and wider.

The rim weighs 390g, with the wheelset a claimed 1,389g. The hubs are compatible with all quick release and thru-axle standards. Each wheelset uses the high-end 240s Spline hubset with the company’s proven ratchet system whereby springs push two 36-tooth star ratchets together to engage when you pedal, all of the teeth engaging at the same time in just 10 degrees, instead of pawls.

Both wheelsets are disc brake-specific, with quick release and thru-axle compatibility.

We'll be getting a set of the CRC 1400 Spline wheels in for review soon, so watch out for that. More at www.dtswiss.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.