Versatile companions for demanding endurance rides – that’s what the DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT 35 wheels are supposed to be. A new rim profile, increased inner width and the latest DT Swiss Aero spokes are meant to offer the perfect balance between aerodynamics and stability. We tested the wheels from Switzerland and found out whether the concept works.
DT Swiss recently updated their 1100 DICUT and 1400 DICUT series of endurance wheels. The focus has remained on aerodynamics and riding stability – even more so than the first generation of wheels. This second generation is supposed to fit into the complex aerodynamic system of rider, bike and components without having to accept losses in stability and handling. The ultimate goal of the new development is increased fun on long tours. The way to achieve this is through control and predictability, even in gusty winds, leading to increased safety and confidence for the rider and, of course, not to speak of more comfort. That’s where the increased inner rim width, which allows for more voluminous tires to be run at lower pressures, comes in handy. But let’s take a closer look at the specs of the DT Swiss ERC series.
DT Swiss ERC series technical details
The DT Swiss ERC series consists of six models, more precisely two of each of the ERC 1100 DICUT and ERC 1400 DICUT, both available in 35 mm and 45 mm rim heights, where smaller riders are also catered for with 650B versions of the ERC 1100 DICUT 35 and ERC 1400 DICUT 35 wheels. These should better fit the geometry of smaller frames and also reduce the likelihood of toe overlap. All six models have the same inner rim width of 22 mm, an outer width of just under 29 mm and internal nipples. There are differences in the hubs, freewheel and spokes. While the more expensive 1100 models come with DT Swiss 180 DICUT hubs, ceramic bearings and the new DT AERO COMP II and DT AEROLITE II spokes, the less expensive 1400 models come with DT Swiss 240 DICUT hubs, steel bearings and first-generation DT AERO COMP spokes. Keyword, spokes: DT Swiss don’t shy away from marginal gains for optimal performance. The new spoke generation has been put through the wringer and is another 23% thinner and has 35% more depth. Watch out for your fingers! The profile of the carbon rims on all models is a combination of a V- and U-shape. It is supposed to be optimised for maximum aero performance, with the compromise that this entails slightly increased steering force in crosswinds. That said, you shouldn’t worry about the wind tugging on your bars as according to DT Swiss, the increased force is negligible and could only have been avoided at the cost of major aerodynamic disadvantages. With its 22mm internal width, the rim is claimed to provide the optimal base for 28mm wide tires, which form a nice U on the rim instead of protruding like a balloon.
As we all know, a wide tire with optimal air pressure can offer a number of advantages. More comfort, less rolling resistance on rough surfaces, more grip, less susceptibility to punctures – all features that are particularly advantageous for endurance use. There’s basically no limit to the width of the tires for the DT Swiss ERC wheels. From 25–64 mm, everything is allowed by the manufacturer. Thanks to the hooked rim the new DT wheels are compatible with a huge range of tires. Tubeless ready? Of course! Nothing stopping you from taking them on some gravel tours too then.
DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT 35 wheels first impression
We received the DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT 35 wheels before their official release and have been able to rack up plenty of autumnal kilometres on them over the last two months. For this, we fitted Continental Grand Prix 5000 S TR tires set up tubeless. The wheels were usually fitted to a MERIDA SCULTURA V TEAM (read review here), which we have previously tested.
Visually, the new DT Swiss wheels look very modern: a wide rim, heavily bladed spokes, internal nipples – everything state of the art. Fitted to a lightweight and dedicated climbing bike like the SCULTURA, the ERC 1100 DICUT wheels impress. With a wheelset weight of 1,368 g, they come in slightly under the claimed weight and hit a competitive mark. The 35 mm rim height is a good compromise between climbing and aero performance on paper, which was confirmed in our test. Fitted to the MERIDA bike, the wheels accelerate light-footedly, even uphill and don’t hold you back on steep hills. When accelerating and braking, the stiffness of the wheelset also pays off, finding a good compromise between responding to pedal input directly and precisely, without losing sight of comfort. The system of bike, wheels and 28 mm tubeless tires provides good vibration damping and also reliably takes the sting out of bad asphalt. Despite the shallow rim, the aerodynamics are impressive: the faster you ride, the more you feel like you have an advantage over worse equipped bikes. The increased steering moment alluded to by DT Swiss is absolutely insignificant. Wind gusts from all sorts of different angles only very occasionally elicit some nervousness in the handling. As a rule, the DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT 35 wheels contribute to stoic stability of the bike. Thanks to their versatile features, the wheels are a good choice for more than just the endurance sector, being well suited to climbing, all-road or even fast gravel bikes.
DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT 35 conclusion
The DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT wheels combine smoothness, light weight and aerodynamics in a distinctly versatile wheel. There may be lighter or more aerodynamic wheels out there, but these Swiss endurance wheels make compromises to best cope with all the scenarios that can come up on long rides on variable terrain. Wind, climbs, descents, bad roads and even gravel, the DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT wheels cut a fine figure everywhere.
- great performance in a very wide range of applications
- high stability even in gusty crosswinds
- good aerodynamics
- spokes, hubs, freehub – the best of the best
- nipples not externally accessible
Test duration: 2 months
Price: € 2,387.80
Weight: 1,368 g (set)
Area of use: Endurance/Allroad
You can find more information about the DT Swiss ERC 1100 DICUT 35 wheels at dtswiss.com
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Words: Tobias Hörsch Photos: Benjamin Topf