DT Swiss XM 481 Tubeless-Ready Disc Rim [Rider Review]

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DT Swiss has been in the game for a very long time. They're also known for making the most reliable wheels. Also, the ease of maintenance of the wheels can be sometimes over looked. Our friend, Chris, Just laced up some new DT Swiss XM 481 hubs for their rig. Check out what they think!

DT Swiss XM 481 Tubeless-Ready Disc Rim [Rider Review]


Todays review is not about one DT Swiss XM 481 rim but four DT Swiss XM 481 rims.

Im not familiar about DT Swiss until my recent purchase of my first 32H aluminum rim.

DT Swiss headquarters is in Biel-Bienne, Switzerland which began operation in 1994. More than 600 employees work world wide at six sites in five other countries: Taiwan, Germany, United States, France, and Poland. Regular workshops for employees train on the machines used worldwide and are the same as those used in Switzerland. Ensuring that the level of quality in the production of DT Swiss products are uniformly standard.

DT Swiss XM 481 Tubeless-Ready Disc Rim [Rider Review]

I know DT always made spokes, but rims? So I gathered some background on DT and they seem to run the gauntlet on bike parts. They started off producing spokes and jumped into: Hubs, shocks, forks, dropper posts and rims. DT Rims come in all sorts of sizes and uses. I found the choices overwhelming and let The techs at Worldwide Cyclery point me in the right direction. Just look the choices.

Cross country rims: XR or X models. 6 types
All Mountain: XM or M models. 10 types
Enduro: EX or E models. 5 types
Freeride: FR. Only 1. way to go

We have two specialized enduro comp bikes with 27.5 rims with front rim 24H and rear rim 27H. Hubs are cheap OEM sram make. Rims are unknown brand. Specialized came up with some stupid name. Just cheap. I was using my vise grips everyday to get the rim dents out so we could stay tubeless. We would have 2 or 3 flats on every downhill weekend. All 4 rims had 2 seasons of use and had so many rim dings and flats that we had to upgrade. I think the best upgrade on a bike is Wheels and brakes and finally suspension.

DT Swiss XM 481 Tubeless-Ready Disc Rim [Rider Review]

Out of the box the XM 481 rim 32H is an attractive rim. Black powdered coated rim with 30mm inside width double walled with rather large holes for spoke nipples. Also in the box you will find unique proprietary nipples with a bag of washers. It’s fun when you drop 2 or 3 washers into the rim and try to shake them out. It’s a tambourine of annoying fun. Anyway DT calls the nipples squorx’s. Not a typo. “squorxs” and you need to purchase a DT Swiss T handle squorx tool. So I laced the rim with DT swiss 14G spokes and did not like the flex i was seeing and immediately went back to my old true reliable and colorful sapin J spokes. I did the 3 cross lacing which is the most common. Ive seen 4 cross lacing but its to busy looking when you are using 32H rim. I finished the build with a Profile Elite 210 point engagement MTB hub. Yes it sounds like a swarm of bees. I come from BMX racing and in the 1970’s that's what we used and still use today.

They are simple, strong, reliable but expensive.

This beautiful wheel build was taped with DT rim tape, and tubeless with 27x2.6 Maxxis Minion tire.

Our first ride was in Trumbull Connecticut. I call the park Indian Ledge but it goes by a few names. Being trapped inside for weeks the place was jammed with walkers, dogs and riders. we hit the tech section, rock garden and my sons favorite, the monster drops. 8ft and 15ft. we rode for 6 hrs for 2 consecutive Sundays. no tire burping an know air pressure loss. This rim mates so well with tires I was sold on buying 3 more. Once I laced the remaining rims I noticed one had a cosmetic defect. the joint of the rim was not prepped correctly for painting. I’ll add a picture.

DT Swiss XM 481 Tubeless-Ready Disc Rim [Rider Review]

We are lucky to have one of the 1st chair assist trail openings on the East Coast.

Final Thoughts

We have been killing it down hill abusing these rims. Just amazing built rims. They are strong, scratch resistance and fast. Having these rims on a downhill and enduro bike is the way to go. One thing I could have changed on my wheel build was the spoke count. The lift operator has issues getting the wheel on the hook with 32 spokes. 27 may work better for the lift person but I wanted strength. I do not notice any weight issues going from 24H to 32H front rim. I took Worldwide Cyclery’s advise, they are amazing rims. Not one flat on two bikes!

DT Swiss XM 481

November 22, 2021

DT Swiss › front wheel › Rear Wheel › Rider Review ›

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