In a world of incremental gains, getting a big improvement in speed and acceleration is just that: Big. Syncros takes the most important place to save weight and does it in a big way with the new Silverton SL full carbon wheelset.

2018 Syncros Silverton SL full carbon one piece XC mountain bike wheels

The wheelset is designed as a system, far more so than designing a rim around separate spokes and hubs. The one-piece design allows them to tune everything. Past full carbon wheels have used larger spoke wings (think three- and six-bladed aero wheels). But those could ride stiff, where a traditionally spoked whee can feel lively and actually enhance the ride. Their solution? A middle ground, offering the stiffness and lightweight they wanted but in a package that rides like a good wheel should.

2018 Syncros Silverton SL full carbon one piece XC mountain bike wheels

The result is this 20-spoke wheel with a claimed 1,250g weight. Compared to a regular wheel, they say it’s 30% stiffer laterally and 100% stiffer torsionally. That means instant acceleration not just because it’s super light, but because there’s no torsional flex wasting your valuable energy. It also means snappy handling that should go where you point it. With carbon, they could make it as stiff as they wanted, but they tuned it to ride well while also staying well within the limits of the material and rider comfort levels.

2018 Syncros Silverton SL full carbon one piece XC mountain bike wheels

Designed around 29×2.25 to 2.4 tires, they have an impressive 26mm internal width and 31mm external. The hookless internal rim surface is completely closed, so they’re tubeless ready without adding tape or weight. Perhaps more impressive is that the rim itself is only 286g. And the spokes? Just 80g per wheel.

2018 Syncros Silverton SL full carbon one piece XC mountain bike wheels2018 Syncros Silverton SL full carbon one piece XC mountain bike wheels

Inside are DT Swiss 190 hub parts with ceramic bearings. They’re Boost spaced, naturally, and use Centerlock rotor mounts. They use equal spoke “flange” height, and the spokes cross each other from side to side…slightly.

2018 Syncros Silverton SL full carbon one piece XC mountain bike wheels

At first glance, the spokes appear to run to the center of the rim. But they actually run slightly off center, with the spokes leaning to the right side of the rim heading to the left side of the hub. This increases lateral stiffness and also allows them to use a higher modulus (lighter) fibers. Yet they’re 35% more impact resistant than steel spokes, thanks to a three-layer construction. And if you did break one, chances are you could still ride out of the trail.

Another aspect of the design is keeping the spokes’ fibers working correctly is creating tension in the spokes. The flanges, as molded into the wheel as a whole, are set narrower than the hub shell that’s molded in later. By stretching it, it maintains traction in the fibers and reduces how much compression they’ll see, which is better for the longevity of the fibers.

2018 Syncros Silverton SL full carbon one piece XC mountain bike wheels

Part of the challenge in making this was designing the mold. Originally it required a 31-piece mold, but in two years of development they got that down to 8 pieces, which is what makes it possible for them to mass produce it. Retail is $3,499, and they should be available in September. Max rider plus bike system weight is 130kg.

Syncros.com

35 COMMENTS

  1. That is truly freaky. Next, can you guys wander over to the SRAM booth and show us any new 1 x 12 road drivetrains, mtb etap, etc etc?

  2. weight doesn’t affect speed. It does affect acceleration but not remotely to the degree you seem to think. Head over to analyticalcycling dot com if you want the maths behind this

      • “Mountain biking is perpetual small accelerations and almost never steady state.”
        YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • That’s true, and the accelerations are also extremely small…for most riders, they’re on the order of 0.02-0.04 g. Most riders grossly overestimate the magnitude of their accelerations. This is what Elvis means when he says that wheel weight doesn’t affect acceleration as much as you think. (Evidently this is not fat Elvis but rather physics Elvis). His suggestion to go to analyticcycling is a solid one.

      • In my experience, the best application for a super lightweight set of wheels is XCO racing. I have build a wheel set weighting less than 1.2kg with carbon rims, Extralite hubs and DT aerolite spokes, and winding XCO tracks, with lots of twists and turns, is where the wheels really shine. Not as perceptible difference though in steady speed terrain – maybe only very long and steep climbs

    • Unfortunately, nobody cares about math, they care about feelings, and light bikes and wheels *feel* so much faster that riders ride faster on this stuff because the mind controls the body and inspiration is a powerful motivator.

      This company is betting the R&D spend on creating this wheel set on it.

  3. very cool set up but I would be terrified to bring them into the woods. I crash EVERYTIME I ride, and can’t shake the image of a rock or stick breaking/tearing out multiple spokes.

  4. Or for a 1/3 the price, buy some 1220 gram light bicycle flyweight wheels with standard and replaceable dt hubs and cx ray spokes.

      • a lot of times manufactures embellish these results. example

        ” Compared to a regular wheel, they say it’s 30% stiffer laterally and 100% stiffer torsionally. That means instant acceleration not just because it’s super light, but because there’s no torsional flex wasting your valuable energy ”

        Stiffness has a small part in acceleration. engagement has a larger role.

        Also there a implied notion that we are all riding on wet noodles here. It is far from the case. when you make something too stiff you will have really poor ride quality. for most people the wheels are not than stiff enough these days.

        • >Stiffness has a small part in acceleration. engagement has a larger role.

          Like, as in how many POE one’s hub has? I can’t imagine that being correct.

  5. Beautiful wheels, and those hubs! But for that money I’d go for Bike Ahead. They use less but way thicker spokes, which seems like a durable solution. They’re also a lot lighter.

    • Bike ahead wheels are not a LOT lighter, their lightest RS version is 1189g in 29″. And bike ahead wheels only have a 95kg weight limit. Plus the Syncros wheels have DT Swiss internals which is a big plus.

    • Their lightest wheelset is 1080 g (acONE 29″). But the 27 mm wide (internal) Biturbo RS at 1189 g is more comparable to the Syncros. In this weight class I think 60 g is a lot. You’re right about the weight limits.

  6. The new Bikerumor site layout is awful. An ad after every sentence and, on mobile, the text keep jumping as the ad load and refreshes.
    Unreadable.

  7. My whole bikes cost 3K-5K. No way I spend that much on wheels that can be killed by a rock branch or dropped chain.
    As for eyecandy and wonder factor absolutely the best.

  8. This is cool stuff I don’t know who buys this though I know some very wealthy people who race bikes as well and typically they ride very nice albeit pretty standard (if you call Zipp 404 firestrikes, Enve, and quarq etc standard) stuff. Still cool to see crazy products like this can’t imagine how these accelerate.

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