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

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