DT Swiss HX 1700 vs. Custom Build

BikeBert

Active member
Dec 10, 2022
70
376
Croatia
After two seasons on Roval Traverse wheels on my Gen 3 Levo, I sadly managed to damage the rear rim.

After years of experience with bicycle jewelry and and exotic wheels, I have become a pragmatist, especially in emtb category, where wheels seems to be more prone to damage.

It's led me to consider the DT Swiss HX 1700 (35 mm) as a replacement. However, I can't help but be a tad concerned about the lower spoke count (28) on the pre-built wheels.

To address this, I'm also contemplating going the custom route with DT Swiss 350 Hybrid classic hubs, paired with 27.5" HX 581 35mm / 29" HX 531 30mm rims, laced up with 32 Sapim Force spokes.

What's your take on the DT Swiss HX 1700 wheels, especially considering the lower spoke count? And does anyone have experience with custom-built wheels on a setup similar to mine?



For a bit of context, my ride is Gen 3 Levo Expert rocking few mods:
- Fox 38 170 mm fork
- Vorsprung Smashpot
- Öhlins TTX22 230x65mm shock
- Cascade long shock kit
- Trickstuff Direttissima brakes
- Galfer Shark 223 /203 mm rotors
- BikeYoke Revive MAX 213 mm
- SQlab 3OX carbon 12° / 31.8 / 45mm rise handlebar
- Hope Gravity 31.8 / 50 mm stem
- Schwalbe Magic Mary 29" 2.6 front
- Schwalbe Big Betty 27.5" 2.6 rear
I weigh in at 85kg and tend to enjoy the rough and rocky terrains.

Cheers!

2023-12-25-19-08-03-240.jpg
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,080
4,603
Weymouth
I have the HX 1700 Hybrid wheelset on my bike and it seems pretty bulletproof. As a complete factory build ( the new 350 hubs, HX351 rims, and reinforced Hybrid 1 spokes) I think it at least removes the potential for a less than perfect custom build. Bit pricey though!! The complete set up has been specifically designed to withstand the extra forces involved with an EMTB and the 24T ratchet system is also well sealed and very low maintenance unlike most pawl systems.
ps I would have thought the 30 internal diameter more suited to tyre widths for use on the Levo rather than 35mm.
 

BikeBert

Active member
Dec 10, 2022
70
376
Croatia
I have the HX 1700 Hybrid wheelset on my bike and it seems pretty bulletproof. As a complete factory build ( the new 350 hubs, HX351 rims, and reinforced Hybrid 1 spokes) I think it at least removes the potential for a less than perfect custom build. Bit pricey though!! The complete set up has been specifically designed to withstand the extra forces involved with an EMTB and the 24T ratchet system is also well sealed and very low maintenance unlike most pawl systems.
ps I would have thought the 30 internal diameter more suited to tyre widths for use on the Levo rather than 35mm.
Thanks a ton for sharing your experience with the DT Swiss HX 1700 Hybrid wheelset!

Your point about the 30mm internal diameter being more suitable for tire widths on the Levo caught my attention. I was initially leaning towards the 35mm rim width, but your perspective has me reconsidering. Could you elaborate a bit more on why you think the 30mm internal diameter is better suited for the Levo, particularly in terms of tire compatibility and performance? I'm running Schwalbe Magic Mary 29" 2.6 in front and Schwalbe Big Betty 27.5" 2.6 in rear, considering going up to 2.8.
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,080
4,603
Weymouth
30mm is ideal for 2.4 and 2.5 and perfectly suitable for 2.6.....once you get to 2.8 a 35mm is more applicable. you may want to check if there is enough clearance for a 2.8 on a Levo....especially if you ride in muddy conditions.
I ran 2.3 in the summer and 2.4/2.5 in the winter when I had a Levo. On my current Whyte enduro bikes I run Maxxis 2.4 and 2.5 . I found 2.6 far too vague and needing too much pressure at the expense of grip.............albeit that was the Specialized tyres which I did not rate!!
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,080
4,603
Weymouth
I run 2.6 tires on Newmen sl.eg 35 rims. The tires are much more stable at low air pressure on 35mm rims than on 30mm rims. I tested it 1 on 1.
I can believe that...but the tyre also adopts a more square profile with a wider rim so that can impact performance depending on the tyre in question. I think higher volume tyres increase comfort but as I said above that can be at the expense of stability on the rim in my experience. My preference is 2.4. in terms of tyre width.......each to their own though!
 

Jukka4130

Member
Jun 27, 2021
35
31
Finland
DT Swiss factory-built wheels are nice, but do not cross every box. First, even some of the heavy-duty wheels are still 28H which makes no sense. Secondly – and this is a bigger issue – DT wheels use alloy nipples which are known to be very soft, making serviceability quite poor. I can count at least 4 or 5 DT wheels that I've replaced nipples for this particular reason. A silly shortcoming in the quest for striving to save a few grams in my opinion.

With a know wheel builder you know exactly what you get, and can pick the components one by one. Worth the extra costs and time every time in my opinion. One example – Onyx Classic Hubs for an E-MTB.
 

RustyIron

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Jun 5, 2021
1,438
2,274
La Habra, California
I can't help but be a tad concerned about the lower spoke count (28) on the pre-built wheels.

I don't consider this a concern. There is a point of diminishing returns. Why is 28 bad and 32 good? Why not 36? For at least seven years I've been running 28 spoke Industry Nine, Ibis, and DT Swiss wheels, and despite my most heroic efforts, I haven't buggered any of them.

To address this, I'm also contemplating going the custom route with DT Swiss 350 Hybrid classic hubs, paired with 27.5" HX 581 35mm / 29" HX 531 30mm rims, laced up with 32 Sapim Force spokes.

Why not go with the factory-built wheels? They're assembled using top-shelf tools by people who assemble wheels every day of their lives, and the warranty is unquestionable. What "extra" does a "custom" builder do for you? In my experience, a custom build is done with off-the-shelf parts by a minimum wage pimply face prepubescent who's more worried about Tik Tok than creating a perfect wheel set.

Most recently I've been rolling on DT Swiss HX1501's. Yes, aluminum. It's been a long time since I've run aluminum rims, but I know there have been a lot of advances, and I'm curious to see what it's all about. These only have 150 miles on them, so ask me again in a year.
 

RoJo

Active member
Apr 24, 2019
200
169
Surrey
I don't consider this a concern. There is a point of diminishing returns. Why is 28 bad and 32 good? Why not 36? For at least seven years I've been running 28 spoke Industry Nine, Ibis, and DT Swiss wheels, and despite my most heroic efforts, I haven't buggered any of them.



Why not go with the factory-built wheels? They're assembled using top-shelf tools by people who assemble wheels every day of their lives, and the warranty is unquestionable. What "extra" does a "custom" builder do for you? In my experience, a custom build is done with off-the-shelf parts by a minimum wage pimply face prepubescent who's more worried about Tik Tok than creating a perfect wheel set.

Most recently I've been rolling on DT Swiss HX1501's. Yes, aluminum. It's been a long time since I've run aluminum rims, but I know there have been a lot of advances, and I'm curious to see what it's all about. These only have 150 miles on them, so ask me again in a year.
Agreed. More to strength than spoke count. These guys know how to make a good weel. Plus they add loctite to the nipples which buys you a decent chunk of maintenance free life.
35mm is stronger than 30mm and would work fine on a 2.6" or larger tyre.
 

borysgo2

Member
Feb 1, 2023
79
138
Ireland
Newmen sl rims are very good, I am smashing my ones for past 700km, they are perfect. From my perspective, I'll never buy wheels again, prefer to builds my wheels myself to my preferences.
 

obiwun

Member
Mar 22, 2021
16
16
Australia
I have a DT HX 1700 wheel set that I ran for about 18 months. In that time I destroyed one rear rim, broke only 1 spoke and my replacement rim DT HX531 has a flat spot and some dents. It has lasted much better than most other wheel sets Ive had. I tend to destroy wheels very quickly for some reason. I found the HX wheel set really nice to work on, the DT squorx alloy nipples are really nice to use and you get all new nipples with the HX531 rim. I guess I had to true and balance my rear wheel about once every 2 months.

Currently I have a Bontrager line elite carbon wheels on my Trek Rail Gen 4 and I've broken 3 spokes in 3 months. My rear wheel is about to get all new Pillar spokes under warranty. Ive trued and tensioned that rear wheel about 4 times. I do prefer the feel of the carbon wheel set over the DT HX wheel set but I think I trust the DT more.
 

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