All-mountain rims: DT Swiss 5.2 vs. 4.2?

Hey Lee,

This sounds like a dilemma you could have a nice insight on. I own a 2004 Enduro and am giving it some sweet love and upgraded parts after almost two and a half years of abuse. I ride the bike on anything; from 50km XC loops to day-long epic rides including pretty rough downhillish descents in lift-serviced terrain in the Alps. Anything but full-on downhill and bikepark usage really. I weigh about 90 kilos, so I need my parts to be tough, but like to keep ’em as light as is functional and makes sense (carbon is for fishing rods and F1 racecars IMHO). …

Now I am looking to build up a nice high-end wheelset for my baby. I already got a pair of Hope PRO II hubs and am shopping for rims. I have a slight preference/interest towards the ‘smaller alternative’ when it comes to brands (SRAM over Shimano, etc.) so I was looking at DT Swiss EX 5.1d rims in stead of Mavic. Thought they would make it a nice lasting wheelset. But now I see Peaty and Hill running these rims in the Worldcup on their downhillrigs AND the Enduro SL (which is intended for much rougher terrain than my old Enduro) came out with the XR 4.2d rims.

Now I am starting to wonder if I am not going overboard on 5.1 rims and could make an lighter rolling set with 4.2d rims (100gr. weight difference, but the difference is all the way away from the axle) that could still hold its own on the stuff I do (if it’s good enough for the SL…).

What is the difference between the 4.1 and 4.2 rim anyway?

Thanks for sharing any insights!

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Hey Bas,

Alps. Very nice, very nice. I’ve skied in the Swiss Alps, and — dude — I sure would love to ride there.

Rims. If you’re smooth, you’ll probably be fine with the 4.2s. The 4.2 is lighter and wider than the 4.1 — better, in my opinion, for all-mountain action.

Oh yeah, girls love nerds!

Compromise: I tend to trash XC rims on the backs of my Enduros, so for me the ultimate all-around setup is a DH rim in back (5.2) and an XC rim in front (4.2). This makes the bike pump and braaap with less flex, and the burlier rear rim holds up better to my silliness. Also, the narrower front rim gives the tire a rounder profile, which increases camber thrust and improves cornering.

Have I said braaap?

— Lee

6 replies
  1. m-dub says:

    Remember the guys running the World Cup have plenty of spairs and dont mind giving up strength for any time advantage. 5.1 is a great rim for AM riding but so is the 4.2. If you havent had any issues with your rims now why not stick with the same size?

  2. E.T. says:

    If you go too narrow of a rim for a specific tire it will make the lean angle to get on the cornering knobs almost impossible to get too.

    My vote is 28mm width rims (minimum) front to back.

    If you’re not racing (which last time I checked there is no trail riding class) than the weight disadvantage is negligable.

    What good is an enduro ride if you have a taco’ed front wheel!

    Hill and Peaty go through those rims like they are toilet paper! They are great for trail riding, but they run them for DH because of the weight savings and the fact that they can get new wheels built up every practice session. The rims are in know way overbuilt for trail riding.

    Hope this helps,


  3. Carsten says:

    If you like to have light and strong wheels I suggest to look into Alex FD28 rims.
    They are fairly light at 480 grams and 28mm wide at a good value.
    Combinate this rims with some light spokes like DT’s Supercomps ,some alloy nipples and your Hope Pro hubs and you will get one of the lightest wheel set in that class wich are considerably strong too.

  4. Bas says:

    Lee and M&E,

    Thanks for your input!

    About those Alps. If you ever manage to get you and your bike over to the Portes du Soleil ski resort in the summer (stretching across a part of the border between France and Switzerland), do it! If you thought the skiing was sick, you should check out their bike infrastructure; 24 chairlifts and gondola’s running in the summer all open to bikers on a 18U$ day pass… 7 or 8 (I lost count) permanent downhill courses, etc., etc. Whistler sure takes the cake for man-made bikepark action, but I think PdS takes it for expanse of riding. All you have to worry about is getting your butt back to the right country before the lifts close.

  5. Trevor says:

    yeah peat and co eat wheels, places like fort bill, they get throught at least 5-6 rear wheels,

    i am a prefer the 5.1’s gives a better tyre profile when u run wider tyres 2.5, and DT have sorted out the problem with the early rims of the ali being soft,

    Personaly i have dropped all my mavic rims for dt, 5.1’s for trial/4x and 6.1 for DH!!

    and i was the biggest mavic fan ever!!

  6. Bruce says:

    Just registered for the Passportes du Soleil = ). I am a little worried that I am going to trash these Industry nine Enduros that utilize the 5.1. Does anyone who has ridden these Industry Nines have any spoke tension recomendations???

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