There has been a fair bit of noise over the past two years about wider rims. The theory being that a narrower rim and a wider tyre creates excessive tyre roll, and doesn't optimise the amount of cushioning we can have, for the weight of the rim and tyre that we are pushing around. So while we knew the benefits of a wider tyre, with lower rolling resistance and better cornering traction and more 'float' over trail debris, mounted on a narrow rim (for sake of argument, something with 21mm or less internal width) it makes it hard to get the full advantages.

The explosion of carbon rim manufacturing out of China has fuelled the move, with options availble in all sorts of sizes. Those rims came with their own question marks about quality control and durability. Brands like NoTubes brought wider options out with wheels like the Bravo, and have since made their aluminium rims wider too.

If you're familiar with DT-Swiss you will know they make some of the best parts for bicycle wheels in the world. From the star-ratchet mechanism found in their top hubs, to the industry leading 240 design, and of course their range of spokes. It's hard to find a cycling workshop with a stack of DT spoke boxes. Their rims have been less well-known in comparison, until more recent years. With riders like Richie Rude (and the rest of the Yeti Factory Team) on DT rims, plus Nino Schurter and the Scott SRAM Team on them, it might be worth paying more attention to their range.

Schurter made a habit of winning. On wide rims. Photo: Phil Gale

Go Wide with DT-Swiss

It's well-known that gravity riders will benefit from a wider rim, something with about a 30mm internal width. But when Swiss XC professionals started reaching for the trail wheels from their sponsors DT-Swiss, the engineers at the Swiss wheel company decided it was time to do some testing.

Nino Schurter was known for his use of the 27.5" carbon tubulars. When he moved to the new Scott Spark, not only did he move up a wheel size to 29", he also moved to clinchers on carbon wheels. That was the fastest choice for Rio, and the change proved highly successful. BUt that success ran through all of 2017, where Schurter won every World Cup, and the World Championships.

Despite the weight penalty of the XRC 1200 Spline, Schurter chose to run the 36mm wide, 30mm internal XMC 1200 spline wheels - which we have just received to test. Florian Vogel was racing on 30mm trail wheels too. Check out the testing they did with DT-Swiss.