Achievement unlocked: a second wheel set for my bike

Two DT Swiss CR 1600 Spline 23 wheels with different tyres leaning against a wall

After my failed experiment of trying to mount 650b wheels on Battle Cat, my gravel bike, I couldn’t get the idea of having two wheel sets out of my head; one for off road riding and one for road use.

After a bit of searching on eBay classifieds, I found a lightly used (e.g. ridden for ~ 700 km) set of DT Swiss CR 1600 SPLINE 23 wheels for a decent price. These things don’t come cheap when new and the person selling them had used them on a Canyon Inflite AL as well, before upgrading to carbon rims.

For me, this is ideal because a) I know that these will fit my bike well, b) changing between wheels for road and off road use is going to be almost seamless with no need to readjust the brakes or the rear derailleur (I’m using the same Shimano XT CS-M8000 11–40 cassette on the road set up, and c) these rims will likely last me for years.
I’ve ridden the existing set I have hard over the past two years and while they do have a couple of scratches and one of two dings, I have not yet managed to get them out of true. In addition to that the DT Swiss Ratchet freewheel system is great to ride and easy to service. Having it on both wheel sets is another bonus.

Oh and my Clement/Donelly X’Plor MSO tyres have made a quicker comeback than I expected. Yes, they’re not dedicated road tyres but they are starting to show signs of age anyway and I’m going to use them for winter riding, enjoying the extra grip they provide, instead of buying a new pair of road rubber.

Alex Hoffmann @mangochutney