Syntace W35 MX Wheels Review

Aug 1, 2012 at 4:25
Aug 1, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
 
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Syntace may revolutionize the cross-country/all-mountain wheel with its super-wide W-Series rims and wheelsets. The German component maker's brain-trust has developed a lightweight aluminum rim profile that challenges the status quo with four widths, beginning at a paltry, 25-millimeters and ending with a whopping, 40-millimeter-wide rim. In this review, we put the flame to Syntace's 35-millimeter-wide W35 MX wheelset, which could be a trail rider's dream come true, as it promises the precise cornering and stability of downhill wheels at a weight which is competitive with many elite cross-country/trailbike hoops.

Syntace W35 MX wheels with Specialized Ground Control 2.3 inch tires

As wide as DH wheels and as lightweight as a top-drawer XC/trail hoops, Syntace's W35 MX wheelset is destined to be a game changer.



Impossible? We threw the W35 MX wheels on the scale and verified Syntace's claimed weight of 1680 grams for the pair. You won't have to Google too far to discover that weight figure is impressive.Syntace sells all the wheels in the W-series for the same price - about $1200 USD and you can mix and match rim widths, choose between 28 or 32-spoke wheels, and pick your favorite axle strategy for no extra charge. Syntace sells the W-series wheels in all three diameters (26-inch, 650b and 29-inch), offers a three-year replacement warranty and extends that cushion with a seven-year, 50-percent price reduction.

W35 MX wheelset lead photo
Syntace W35 MX Specs:

• Rim width (outer): 35 mm
• Rim width (inner): 28,5 mm
• Disc standard: 6 hole
• Spokes: 28 or 32 x Sapim CX-Ray, black
• Nipples: Sapim Alu double square, black
• Spoke pattern: 3 cross
• Rim material: Custom Alu
• Max. rider weight: 120 kg
• Hub material: 7075 alloy, custom heat treatment
• Color: Raceblack with laser logo
• MSRP: 1200 USD



Why Wider Rims?

Syntace claims that substantially wider rims better support the tire and help the carcass to maintain its shape while cornering, braking and accelerating. The wider rim is also credited for preventing the tire from collapsing or burping air, in the case of tubeless tires, as high volume tires often do when mounted on conventional-width rims. This news should come as no surprise to downhillers and free riders who have long been enjoying the stability and precise cornering which results from the added support of 35 to 40-millimeter-wide rims. Why that news did not reach the ears of cross-country wheel designers until now is not known, but you can bet that Syntace's W-Series wheels have caught their attention.

W35 MX rim and tire distortion graphic

This Syntace graphic depicts the drawbacks of using modern tires with high-volume casings, mounted to narrow rims. Is wider better? Initial testing indicates a resounding yes.



Syntace could not find a wheel maker who would listen to their wider-is-better logic - so they developed the wheels on their own. The W-Series is a wheel system that is keyed into the availability of tires with lighter weight casings. The idea is that by combining a lighter weight tire on a slightly heavier wheel which offers more support and stability, that the combination will perform better than, and in the most optimum combinations, weigh less than a lightweight tire on a wheel with a typical narrow XC rim. How much lighter? Syntace claims up to 600 grams can be saved, which is impressive. It is important to note that the tire is heavier than the rim and even the slightest efforts to enhance the stability of a tire by adding rubber and a stiffer casing results in a massive weight penalty. By contrast, Syntace managed to generously expand the width of its W-Series rims with a minimal weight penalty. The W35 MX rim weighs 500 grams in 26 inch, 530 grams in 650b and 560 grams in the 29er size. The bottom line is that at a given pressure, a wider rim makes a tire more stable, corner better, puts more tread on the ground for climbing and braking, and presents more of the tire's cornering edge to the ground when leaned over in a turn.

W35 MX Construction

Syntace gives no hint about the alloy with which the W35 rim profile is extruded from beyond that it is a 'custom alloy.' The design is a low 20.5-millimeter triangulated profile with short flanges like Stan's No-Tubes ZTR rims. The welded rim's inside width is 28.4-millimeters and they are available with either 28 or 32-spoke drilling. The idea is that a higher number of spokes will offer more support to the rim and give the wheel some survive-ability should a spoke break. Spokes are bladed Sapim CX-Ray laced three-cross for durability. For those who run tubeless, Syntace says that the W-Series rims are tubeless ready with most tape sealing systems. We proved that true when we converted the W35 MX wheels with tape and inflated the tires with a hand pump.

W35 MX Rear hub Spur Gear ratchet mechanism

A cutaway Syntace HiTorque rear hub shows the Spur-Gear ratchet mechanism. One of the four coil springs can be seen left and center of the spur gear.



Syntace HiTorque hubs

Syntace offers a larger front hub which can be converted to all axle standards (like our test wheels), as well as a lighter weight design which only accommodates quick-release or 15QR through-axles. HiTorque hubs are machined from 7075 aluminum and made in Germany.



The W-Series HiTorque hubs were also designed by Syntace - with pull-off endcaps to make it easy to convert from through-axle to quick-release. Two front hubs are offered: a 99-gram, 28-spoke model that accepts only quick-release or 15QR through-axles; and a 32-spoke 150-gram hub that can be switched out from quick release to 15QR, or to a 20-millimeter axle. The rear hub uses a 'Spur-gear' ratchet system, much similar to the DT Swiss 'Star Ratchet' design, but instead of a single coil spring, Syntace employs four small coil springs around the circumference of the spur-gear ring, which seem to impart more force on the ratchet mech. Syntace claims that the 36-point ratchet has out-performed the best made in both cross-country and observed trials competition. Syntace sweats the deatails, with angled hub flanges to reduce stress on the spokes and offset rim profiles to ensure that the angle of the spokes is as symmetrical as possible.

W35 MX offset rim II

W-Series rims are offset to eliminate as much spoke dish as possible to compensate for the lateral displacement of the front brake rotor and of the rear hub's cassette.



Riding Syntace's W35 MX wheels

We set the W35 MX wheels up on an Ibis Mojo HD that we were previously running 28-millimeter Stans ZTR Flow rims with Specialized 2.3-inch Ground Control tires. The Ibis wheels weighed 1830 grams a pair, compared to 1680 for the Syntace pair. ZTR Flow rims measure 22.6 millimeters inside to inside, while the W35s measured 28.4 - a difference of only 5.8 millimeters, but the same tires seemed monster sized when mounted to the wider rims (they measured six millimeters wider). After experimenting with various air pressures, the magic number for the high-volume combination of a 2.3-inch tire and the 35-millimeter rim seemed to hover around 20 psi. for fast-paced all-mountain riding and slightly lower, in the range of 18 psi on trail.

W35 MX with Specialized Ground Control 2.3 tire

Syntace's 35-millimeter rim expands the volume of the 2.3-inch Specialized Ground Control tire to fill most of the space in the Fox 36 fork. We liked the wider arc of the tread's profile for cornering.



The first surprise was how fast the larger-profile rolled on pavement and hard pack. The expectation was that, with more of the crown of the Ground Control tires exposed to the surface, that rolling resistance would be greater. The reverse seemed true, although the tracks left by the tires were distinctly wider than the stock setup, the Ibis carried its speed and felt easy at the pedals. Where the fun began, however, was technical climbing. With soft air pressure, a big tire and the laterally-stable feel under power, the Ibis crawled up rocks and railroad ties on climbs that normally reduced us to pushing. The feel under power was firm, but the tires deflected enough to ease the bike over the edges of rocks and water bars. At first, we passed off the feeling of efficiency to 'new parts syndrome,' but as time and testing went on there was no question that the wheels were working magic on the technical sections.

Syntace HiTorque Front and Rear hubs

Conservative wheel design and substantial spoke counts keep the Syntace W-Series wheels serviceable and reliable. Both front and rear hubs feature quick-change, tool-less axle ends and internal components.



Descending, or anywhere we were carrying a lot of speed became a lot more enjoyable as well. Braking distances were shorter, as the front tire could be trusted to stick better, but rear braking was enhanced as well. The tail end was harder to lock up and more trustworthy in sketchy traction. The Ground Control tire is a pretty consistent tread design as it is being leaned into a turn, but the modified profile - a more gradual arch with more of the tread facing the crown of the tire - made the transition to the tire's edging tread feel absolutely seamless. It was as if the Ground Control was a different tire in many ways - and the bike responded by feeling smoother and more decisive when cornering and executing a line through the rocks.

Technical Report

Prepare for a little noise, as the Syntace Spur Gear ratchet is loud - made louder still by the fact that Syntace uses oil, not grease, to lubricate the ratchet mech. The lighter lubricant ensures faster, smoother engagement, and better cold-weather performance, but the byproduct is a noticeable clatter when coasting. While we never suffered a pinch flat or sidewall puncture, we did manage to get the rear wheel slightly out of true. A quick tune up brought the wheel back to true and it has remained so to date. Syntace recommends a touch up after the first few hours of riding, which is relatively unheard of now, but was common practice when rims were lighter and spoke-counts were higher.

Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesSyntace's W35 MX wheelset made a noticeable improvement in the performance of an already great performing bike. Switching back to wheels that are considered to be all-mountain-width, like the WTB i-23 or Stans ZTR Flow, felt like we were riding skinny XC-racing hoops. Time will tell, but all who rode the Syntace W35s had only good things to say about the predictable feel and how the tires felt so securely attached to the ground by comparison. That, and the fact that the Syntace wheels carry a lot of speed, gave us the distinct impression that wider is better - and had us wondering how great the even wider, W40 MX wheels would be. The plan now is trying the W35 MX wheels back to back with narrow rims and with smaller-casing tires like the 2.0 Specialized Purgatory Control and Schwalbe Nobby Nic to see if we can beat the performance of a big tire on a narrow rim with a smaller tire on a wider rim. So far, the results of Syntace's bold experiment with super-wide-rim XC/trail wheels are golden. - RC

Find out more about Syntace W-Series Wheels



Syntace's super-wide W-Series wheels are....



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148 Comments

  • + 73
 mmm just like I like my women... fat and black
[Reply]
  • + 22
 It seems like a great idea, but it sounds like an eye-watering amount of money and all just because Syntace had to buy a tonne of tools to build the wheels. Hopefully the larger rim manufacturers will jump on, and bring the cost right down.
[Reply]
  • - 20
 MSRP of $1200 isn't much money at all for a decent set of wheels.
[Reply]
  • + 8
 Yeah if youre looking at carbon
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  • + 11
 Well... you could build a set cheaper...but just as good? Doubtful. Adequately good would be a fairer claim. The closest rim available for trail/AM riders to compare to this particular tested wheelset's rims to would be Velocity USA's Kirk Pacenti designed P35 rims. 35mm outside width, 535/570/595 grams for 26"/650B/700C models respectively and designed to be taped-tubeless compatible. They have been on the market over a year now and come in 32 and 36H drillings and five colours (Black, Silver, White, Electric Red, Antifreeze Green).

I myself know all about wider rims supporting tires on XC/Trail riding better already though. I run Velocity Blunts (28mm width) with NeoMoto 2.3s on my Haro Beasley. I think a lot of other tire and wheel makers know this also, and Syntace is lying when they claim they couldn't find any wheel makers to agree with them (given how Velocity USA had Kirk Pacenti design them a wider rim for just such a market segment over a year earlier). Oh sure, even just 10 years ago when practically every tire maker did wider tread/narrower casing tires still as the norm, the typical XC rim was 22mm wide. A "wide" XC rim was anything around 25mm width and overkill were things like the 32mm width Sun Rhynolites and only seen on aggressive trail bikes. Now with more and more makers doing tires where the casing is as wide as the tread width, the usual standard width for an XC rim is 24mm but an important consideration is what the actual inside width is more than the outside width. Take Notubes rims for example... the older 355 and Arch models are 24.4mm Outside and 19mm inside width. The newer Crest and Arch EX models that replaced them are the same outside width but are now 21mm inside width.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 $1200 for a set of carbon wheels would be a steal. $1200 is about on-par for a set of high-end alloy wheels.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 easton haven carbon wheelsets at CRC now available for half the price approx Smile
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  • - 4
 maybe im weird but swapping wheels to me is a roadie thing, just ride up the hill and be happy that your wheels are staying true
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  • + 3
 What do you mean "swapping wheels"? You mean buying new wheels?
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  • + 3
 Never rely on a mail-order store doing clearouts as the basis for what something is worth when new.
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  • - 6
 people in road always buy bikes then throw the stock wheels for some 3000$ carbon clincher jobbies to save 200 grams, honestly your not racing if your doing all mountain so htfu and ride your bike for fun not to buy new shit constantly, these wide rims cant be that much better
[Reply]
  • + 6
 currently running Roval Traversee 29'er rims on my Stumpy Expert, these Roval rims come up somewhat wider than ZTR Flow and work brilliantly in tubeless conversion with Roval tape, Bontager Super Juice and Specialized Control Purgatory 29 x 2.2 tires

Roval rim is measured at 490 grammes per rim including eyelets, which these Syntace rims lack

in my experience as a pro wheel builder, the lack of eyelets combined with alloy nipples tends to cause issues with initial wheel build and long term wheel maintenance as the alloy nipples get "grabby" against the un-eyeletted spoke drillings in the aluminium rim

which is why we quickly stopped building ZTR Flows with alloy nipples! and only used brass nipples, and then lubricated the nipple / rim interface with Finish Line wet chain lube during building


my wheels came stock with DT Swiss plain gauge spokes and DT Swiss alloy nipples which seized within 2 months of wet weather, we always have problems with alloy nipples here in the UK with our constant wet weather, mud and salt put onto roads in cold conditions

rebuilt the wheels myself using Sapim double-butted and Sapim brass nipples and dropped only 40 grammes per wheel due to the heavier brass nipples, but no doubts about durability and much more "energetic" feeling wheelset with the butted spokes and hand built care

always suspicious of high end wheels using Sapim X-Rays and alloy nipples, an easy way to "drop weight" but a hassle to maintain and broken spokes are not cheap (X-Rays) compared to DT or Sapim double-butted
[Reply]
  • + 8
 I for one, enjoy my ride more on equipment that performs well. I spend more money on my bike that your average joe. I also spend a lot less money on my bike than many people. It's all relative to how much money you have, and how much you enjoy your equipment. I don't criticize people who spend less money on their bike than I do. I also don't criticize people who spend more either. If you're happy with what you have, that's great. Congrats. No one is saying that you have to buy "new shit constantly". Some people save up for a $1200 wheelset and use it for many years. Others buy a new set every month. There is no right or wrong.
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  • + 2
 There is always somebody in these types of threads that hates change and inovation and I think we found him... In response to the very first comment I agree, with Enduro racing and agressive trail ridding getting bigger and bigger I'm sure many more companies will begin to tackle this area or the wheel market and bring the price point down for us.
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  • + 4
 Wow, apparently the populace of PB thinks an MSRP of $1200 for a complete, built set of wheels is too much.

Keep in mind an MSRP of $1200 is more like a street price of $950 ...
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  • + 1
 so agree with both Smike and skierdud89 ;-)
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  • + 1
 Spank have some nice wider wheels in lighter weights than other manufacturers. I don't think 1200.00 is out of line. A good set of hubs typically run $500.00 and up, good rims 100 or so each, and CX ray spokes are about $2.75 each for building your own wheels.

The price on CRC is for each wheel for the carbon havens, so about $1400.00 for a pair, and they have known hub issues, which is why they are clearing them out. The newer wheels with the updated hub are full price.
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  • + 2
 buy the old wheels, i have them. when the hubs start comming loose, just ask for a new axle kit and they hold. easy and cheap Smile
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  • + 8
 @RC do you think you could post a pic up wit a normal rim/tyre combo then the same tyre on the wider rim so we can see the difference ?

Also wouldn't the wider rim actually give you less extreme cornering edge if it makes the top footprint wider?
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  • + 2
 My thoughts too. I run 2.5 Minions for everything right now, and I couldn't see them working as well with such a wide rim. Reminds me of my hucker days with Sun Doublewides on my RM7...
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  • + 8
 The edging tread feels like it is in the same place, but the transition from the center tread to the edging blocks during the lean-in is very seamless. If you are riding DH wheels already, you won't notice the deference, but moving up from the Stan's ZTR Flow rims was pretty dramatic. I'l throw on some Minions this week and report back. RC
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  • + 1
 RC, have you tried the Roval Traversee 29'er rim yet? crazy light (490 gm) for an eyeletted, wide rim than seems very tough
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  • + 0
 YES... we know...you LOVE roval products.... seriously...are you rep'ing/selling/distributing them or something ?!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nope, no connection at all to Roval / Specialized

paid my own money for the bike and wheels, after years of running Stan's ZTR Flows and Mavic rims

actually had some very negative experiences with high end Roval wheels running proprietary rims, hubs and spokes, which have be found to be fragile by my customers, and hard to obtain replacement parts

the Roval Traversee rim uses regular J-Bend spokes and nipples, its probably made by Alex rims for SBC but they have found a good compromise in width, strength and toughness with the particular rim
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was with Max shuman the last few days and he was riding these wheels in 650B size on an all mountain prototype full suspension bike.... so i have pictures of course.... a bike check of course..... he was really ripping it up with the combination I tried it briefly and it was a nice setup. I will post the pics in the next days.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Here we go.... 650B wheels in this wide rim on a full suspension 160mm travel frame.... the future me thinks....

www.i-mtb.com/max-schumann-650b-all-mountain-bike-check
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Nice post. Thanks. RC
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Hi @RC, did you get around to trying a 2.2 tire on the 35mm Syntace rim? cheers
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  • + 4
 The picture tells all. This has been known in car racing, square sidewall to rim for predictable cornering, for ages why has it taken so long to come to MTB. You don't see any motor sport I can think of where cornering is a priority that has a bulbous tyre protruding out wider than the rim. I say cyclocross tyres on 29er rims though under sqaure is just as bad as oversquare for other reasons.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Well spoken! Totally agree ;-)
[Reply]
  • + 4
 18-20 psi in a tire makes no sense to me, even in a high volume tire. Thats great if you can get away ding-free but I can't imagine anyone over 150 lbs and semi-aggressive making it work. Maybe these people are butter smooth riders. Probably not good a idea for average Joe (or Mike) to run that kind of pressure.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 no sh*t, that's ridiculous. i cringe at the thought of pressures that low.
liking these wheels though.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It depends on richard's weight, and that of the other pinkbike editors who tested these wheels.
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  • + 2
 i run mine as low as 12psi with conti 2.5 rainkings on 521's for dh, almost completely ding free.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Seriously. I've pinch-flatted 2-ply high rollers on Alex Supra BH rims (32mm wide) at 32psi. I'm 180lbs, and not ridiculously aggressive. Maybe I'm just a hack, but it's hard to believe that a rim 3mm wider would make that big of a difference.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I run 25 psi front (2.5 high roller) and 40 rear(Tioga dh semi slick). xc tires just keep getting torn. 729 rims mostly.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I've been running 1.4bar (so close to 20psi) front on 721 and minion 2.5 and 1.7bar (24.6psi) rear on 721 and HR 2.35, no ding at all and no pinch flat/flat in a week of Megavalanche, running regular Schwalbe tubes. And actually, I haven't flatted since I got these wheels and tyres. And I weight around 220lbs, so definitely not light.

So no, running 20psi is fine. I think I'm even lower than that on my tubeless hardtail, with Xmax SX, Conti rubber queen 2.2 front, Conti xking 2.2 rear.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I prefer 20psi, but a lot of tubeless riders swear that lower pressure is better, so I needed to include that aspect in the test report. As a note, the more volume in the tire, the less pressure is required to support the rider. Smaller casings require significantly higher pressures to remain stable. A road bike tire at 20psi runs flat on the rim, but the same pressure can make a 2.4 inch casing tire feel bouncy.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 26 x 3.8s on my Mukluk this past winter... 12 psi and I was bouncing, 10psi felt right. I'm 90kg plus riding weight though. I know others who are lighter and were using 6 or 7 psi. It all depends on the volumes involved.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I was running about 25psi on my dh until a trip to la fenasosa in spain. Its brutally rocky and learnt very quickly (3 puntures on the first run) that higher preasures might be needed. running 35 in my high rollers and rubber queens. I am finding them much more consistent.
I am about 240 lb anyone else run this high?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I run 28 front 30 rear as a minimum with my muddy marys , more for rolling speed more than anything though , also hate that rolling tyre feeling in deep corners.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Interesting read thanks for that.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Interesting indeed!

Now I need to translate that to convince a friend to stop running his 1.9 semi-slick tyres at 3-3.5bar on his Spe Enduro ..... and get him back to a Muddy Mary 2.5 front, Hans Dampf 2.35 rear at 2bar max... Knowing him, it seems impossible to do Smile
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i run 28 psi front, 32 rear. when i went tubeless i tried lower but couldn't stand the rim strikes and burping. pressures definitely depend on rider weight, riding style, tire choice, and terrain (front range of colorado is mostly large, very sharp rocks). when i get my fat bike i do plan on going low,low,low though.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 This wheel launch is a testament to the (marketing) power of Mavic's, Crank Bros'., DT's pre-built wheelsets, where a vanilla wheel build (32h, 3X, ordinary (if very nice--$3 each!) spokes and drilled flanges) can be sold as something new! High spoke count, low rim weight, and standard, user-serviceable parts have been the mantra of every wheel-building book I've ever read. The novelty here lays only in the rim itself (though others have posted some wide/light rims available from other companies, above). Really lame if the one exciting component, the rim, is available only as part of a ridiculously overpriced complete wheel-build with a pricepoint meant to make the consumer think "like a DT Tricon" or "costs a little less than carbon (Rovals, for instance)--must be good!"
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Have you ridden a Tricon wheelset? Try it. You may find that it offers an unique ride, having a find blend of performance characteristics commonly credited to various spoke lacing patterns (radial, 2x, 3x). It has the stiffness of radial laced spokes, but with the torque transfer characteristics and compliance of 3x, blended in a way that feels better than 2x or a combo of radial on one side and 3x on the other with 2:1 spoke ratio (more spokes on the 3x side than the radial side), like the design that Mavic's IsoPulse and Roval's designs use. The alloy spokes on Mavic and I9 wheels also offers great stiffness to weight ratio. Their designs are deeply ingrained in well known wheel performance physics. On top of that, the Tricon is true tubeless and uses "straight pull" spokes. There are reviews out that that praise the wheelset for surprising stiffness. DT rims are also better than people give them credit for; they use that reknown Swiss precision to make it as close to perfectly round and true as possible, with very smooth sleeves/weld junctions, which allows them to be built up very easily with very even spoke tension throughout, which allows it to stay true and offer consistent performance, hallmarks of a finely handbuilt wheelset. Can't say the same for the new WTB rims that people seem to be hot for, which build up less than perfectly.

Pre-building wheels as a complete system gets the most potential out of it. There's a reason that DT started doing its own wheels, as they can ensure good quality, carefully tune the performance to get a predictable wheelset that performs well and is reliable, at a good price.

Have you ridden on $3 spokes? CX Ray and Aerolites are amazing and don't see why there's so much fuss over whether they're DH worthy or not. In this age of wheels with 28 or more spokes, are you really that worried about breaking a few spokes if something gets caught in the wheel and jammed? The wheel's more likely to lock-up and skid before that.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 There's no sarcasm or even negativity in my post for any product or wheel-build philosophy except perhaps for Syntace and setting your wheelset price at a point other companies can at least try to justify with their innovations (all the features you mention above), when your product is just a list of solid, obvious, oldschool choices (everything except the rim width is right up the middle 20th Century wheelbuild ideas). I can give props to Syntace for making a pre-built wheel that is a lot like one I might build, but the price tag is, to my mind, totally divorced from the materials and manufacturing and set at the top non-carbon tier that DT-Swiss, Mavic, et al. carved out. I will probably never ride Tricons or Deemaxes or use Sapim's high-end spokes, because I can build what I feel is a very nice wheelset, suited to my riding, for way less money. Not because Tricons or Deemaxes aren't good or great or awesome, whatever the case may be. Some of the finer distinctions are lost on some riders. I don't mind admitting I'm one. The day I ride duplicate wheels laced w/ DT competitions (14/15/14g, $1) back-to-back with the same laced with CXrays, perhaps it'll be eye opening.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I guess a US$1200 RRP will translate into a £1000 price tag in Blighty after our VAT is added etc. That's a lot of money for wheels so they're going to have to be a total game changer. I'd be more interested in a rim only option so I could match them with cheaper hubs like Hopes.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I don't see the point of having really expensive MTB wheels. I ride at Mont sainte anne and here, the rocks just kill your wheels. 1200$ for a set is just an investment i'm not willing to make.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Unless you are 100% sure they will last (ie. 823 durability) than I agree with you. I always wanted expensive wheels but could never justify them.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Guys, don't forget, these wheels and rims are not pitched at DH use! It seems alot of you are comparing how you may expect them to perform and hold up compared to the wheels on your DH rig!

The Syntace W series wheels are aimed at anything from XC through to aggressive trail / AM. I use Spank Spike 35 rims on my DH rig, and I'd give the Syntace W40's a go to see how they hold up, but would initially not expect them to hold up the same as the heavier Spank rims! However, I would expect them to be a better performing rim/wheel on any of my AM/trail bikes, whether on my 5.5" or 7" trail bike! I mostly use Muddy Mary 2.5 tyres, sometimes Fat Albert 2.4's for AM, so I would welcome a wide and light wheelset for trail riding such as the W35 and would love to try them ;-)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 well said, i agree!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Hey Spaced

Noticed your post - yeah, our fault since they are on the German site but not yet up on the English Syntace site!

For now you can see more info on the wheels at the Syntace USA website at syntace-us.com/wheels.html

Kenny Roberts
Syntace USA / Liteville USA
kenny@syntace-us.com
www.syntace-us.com
[Reply]
  • + 1
 when will these be available? very interested.
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  • + 1
 Thanks. I'm really curious if you can get only the front. I prefer a bit less traction in the rear since I don't race anymore and drifting is way too much fun Wink
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  • + 2
 I Think that Syntace is one of the Companies who can develop this kind of Wheelsets for Rider which want lightness with amazing stability... If i wouldn´t need a new Freerider I would pay the Money for the W35s! (F!$k! sounds like advertisment)
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Seems like anything that comes out new has to be expensive to justify it works ? How about companies design something that fits the bill for your average riders ? $1200 is def a bit too much , i can build up my OWN custom set of wheels for around that price. Im def diggin the wider profile etc but not for that price . I would use that on my downhill bike , but for AM riding eh . just use proper tire size and PSI , then youll be good to go. Thumbs up for being light weight !
[Reply]
  • + 1
 The article never states what the tire pressure was set at on the ZTR Flow rims. Was there a significant difference in required pressure between the two rims? I ride ZTR Flows tubeless with DH casing Minnions (not officially tubeless I know), and find that I have to maintain around 27psi in order to get any kind of cornering stability. I'm sold on the wider rims for better performance, and will definitely go that route next time, but I'm just not sure I could ever run down near 20psi without severe denting and burping.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Jeez, so expensive for new wheels. I actually just went out and bought a set of 4 Motegi rims and 4 Falken tires for my car, installed for 1200. There's no way that new wheels for a bicycle should be even close to the same amount... But oh well, it's nice to have options.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Maybe people should stop putting 2.5 tires on 19mm rims. Then put good psi in them. .. I have easton havens on my xc bike and spank 40s on my free ride bike. The big fat tires stick like glue but your mistaken to think a wider foot print at lower presures will roll just as fast skinnier tires
[Reply]
  • + 2
 If it's tubeless it can and most of the time will, there's less rotating mass and no friction from the tube.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 It depends on the terrain but actually yes... wider and lower will generally roll faster. Its a proven fact. Tires can do one of two things when encountering terrain features... conform to them and roll over them. Or resist them by bouncing up and away from them. The first thing results generally in very little loss of energy, the second however...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 it all depends depends and depends again... mostly on ability to think and apply that thinking to tyre choice. I have Minions DHF 2.5 EXO 1ply run tubeless on 28mm rims on 6"AM bike, and no matter what you read they will never roll nearly as fast as 2.25 NNic/RRon combo on my XC hardtail, both ridden in the same conditions up&down. And I run those XC tyres at highish pressures because instead of imagining myself as WC racer looking for an edge, I prefer not to be forced to fix the punctures.

Syntaces idea seems awesome, wide rims provide waaay better handling than narrow ones and even if the rolling resistance might be higher, it is well worth the fun and confidence you get in exchange (save proper racing off course). But just as with ZTR Flows I think the guys from Syntace are a bit optimistic regarding the ability of their rims to hold up to claimed abuse. 500g for AM/FR - mneaaaaah maybe if you're smooth. Still... thumbs up Syntace!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I have fat rims 40mm. I love them but not for xc . They are slow. But the tires are giant and fun. Suspension will smooth out rough chatter...... I think people like running supper low (under 20) just to say they do. Going that low will bist up your new 1200 dollar rims
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Simple formula: aluminum and carbon are lighter thasn rubber. You can get more or equal air volume with as wider rim, and smaller tire at equal or less weight. Secondly the sidewalls are better supported at lower pressures which makes 20psi possible. A wide tire on a narrow rim requires higher pressure to keep the sidewall from folding over.

Big tire/small rim = high pressure to keep the tire on and maintain profile.

Big rim/ small or medium tire = low pressure to maintain profile.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Since 2 months I have a 29" wheelset based upon Hope hubs and Ryde Trace Enduro rims (29 mm internal width), they have the same advantages, but at a fraction of the costs: about €615 for the set!
Weight: only 495 gram / per rim (29") or 460 grams for a 650B rim.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 It's nice you post a link to a site that has no info about the wheels
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hey Richard, I just ordered a set of the W35 wheels to put on my Rocky Slayer, can you recommend a set of tires to run tubeless with these wheels? I ride mostly Vancouver North Shore and Squamish, so I've been using Minion DH Exo 2.35 but I've been finding them to be very slow rolling for the longer pedals, although the traction is welcome on the greasy days...

In short with the purported better traction on the W35 i think i could get away with skinnier faster rolling rubber? Cheers!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Theres tonnes of the 'dh wide yet xc light'' rims banging around what you should be looking at is stuff like Pacenti's TL28 rim much more realistic option for most people who want a wide light rim
[Reply]
  • - 1
 they say "tubeless friendly"

is that or > than tubeless - ready?

I am confused
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Tubeless friendly is the same as tubeless ready. You tape the rims, you run a sealant in the tire casing.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 well....if the rest of the industry calls them tubeless ready, then maybe call them tubeless ready?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 You say there are tons. Can you state model and dimensions and weight of rims that come close to the Syntace rim spec's? I'd be interested in your list of rims.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I don't know about "tonnes" unless you weigh an entire production batch of one model... but there are definitely alternative rims out there already...I'm just going to list models, outside widths (as a rule most rims lose at least 5mm from outside to inside width), and weights for the 26" versions (but all the models come for 650B and 700C also).

Velocity P35 : 35mm, 535g
Velocity Blunt : 28mm, 409g
Velocity Blunt SL : 25mm, 385g
Pacenti CL25 : 25mm, 352g
Pacenti TL28 : 28mm, 390g
Pacenti DL31 : 31mm, 532g

Now the ironic bit there, is except for the original blunt, all those rims were designed by Kirk Pacenti (the P35 and Blunt SL, KP was hired by VelocityUSA to design them, the other three are wholly his own designs made for his own brand and sold thru his frame parts business, Bikelugs.com). Velocity doesn't list inner widths on their website but I happen to own a pair of Blunt SL's I haven't laced up yet and I just measured the inner bead width at 20mm, which is the same as the CL25s. The TL28 is 23mm and the DL31 is 26mm.

Now one caveat to the original review and the wider is better theory about tires growing in width (6mm for the test example I believe the article says)... is that this can vary from brand to brand and model to model. I have Kenda Kinetic Foldable 26 x 2.35 tires mounted on a 24mm and a 39mm width wheel, and neither measure out to 2.35 width... the closest either comes is 2.2" and that's the one on the 39mm rim. The casing width (and thus air volume) difference on the two rims was a mere 2mm (52 vs 50) from the larger to smaller rim. Meanwhile I've personally watched Schwalbe Racing Ralph 29 x 2.4 tires EXPAND in size after mounting and inflating to 40psi... as the casing stretches. Its quite amusing to sit there watching the tire (its like waiting for the toaster to pop sorta experience) and then take a set of calipers and find the tire has grown in width 5mm in the space of ten minutes.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 For a couple hundred more you can get a set of Sun Ringle SRD carbon wheels with a 9/15/20mm front hub and a 135/142 rear hub. 1555g for the set. At $1200, what's a couple hundred more for a lighter, better riding wheel set?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I always thought that wide rims provoke snakebites, because it stretchs the tire, so the distance from rim bed to the ground becomes shorter!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i dont believe that there were no major companies who would make these. Seem like an idea Sun Rims would agree with, since theyve been producing wider than average rims for quite some ( ex. there 22.8 mm road rims :p)
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Here's a good example of how psychological effects from hype and myths may prove to "sell" well.

Wide rims make for a stiff wheel (proportionate to the rim's outer width), but I'm not buying this wide inner width + narrow tire marketing pitch. I highly doubt a 2.35 on a 28mm inner width rim, with stupid low pressure, will come close to the performance of a 2.5 tire, with a more reasonable tire pressure, on a 23mm inner width rim, under a rider that goes harder than the average amateur and actually leans their bike. Most AM guys are already riding 28mm+ rims (outer width).

Why not just run 2.5 tires if you want the benefits of its width, traction, volume, and stability? You may not come close to pushing your equipment to its limits in its more XC config, and may believe that 2.5 is overkill for your riding ability, but that's just a ignorant and scrub way of thinking and letting negative psychological effects of thinking that way hamper you. Going with a rim that widens the tire contact patch's shape and a lower pressure to increase the area of the tire contact patch just seems ass-backward to me. The rim is more for wheel stiffness--that tire looks silly, squared off like a car tire, with its sidewalls more vertical and its tread flatter. What are you trying to achieve, a rally car experience? Tires are designed around specific rim widths, and altering the tread profile gives it unintended performance characteristics, which you seem to be having fun discovering.

Spank makes rims in these widths as well. These are rather expensive and, in general, hubs are actually really simple. I'd rather have the precise qualities in DT and CK hubs; DT has 2 very large springs on each side and CK as one, with the driveshell driving the other side for secure engagement. If you're the type that's not afraid to pull off driveshells to service the internals, those springs in the Syntace hub look worrisome, as they could easily get lost.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 From pitching wide rims as the solution to faulty ghetto tubeless setups that fail on anyone that rides hard or happens to choose a poor rim+tire match-up, to pitching them as offering the performance of a wider tire with less weight... I'm losing faith in the technical quality of articles on PB. Even I am thinking that I can probably do better.

Give us reports of what trails you're riding it on too, as that's very relative to your tests, especially your 2.0 Purgatory test. I don't want to facepalm when you say you ran it mostly on dry dusty buff SoCal hardpack.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I contacted them a month ago about these wheels. Supposed to be released late September. The hubs will be available separately, but likely not for another year+ since all will be allocated to the wheelsets.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I don't see why this is a surprise at how a wider rim performs better. It's almost patronizing to read an article like this.
[Reply]
  • + 7
 I don't think it's something that's immediately obvious to many people.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Read the comments that come from this article and you'll find a lot of people who need to be patronized to.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Saw deeeight comment had to reply off topic to the only other 650b rider I know of on here! Since they come in all widths with 650b, perhaps we will be seeing some 650b downhill bike conversions soon? Perhaps a vp free rockin a set of totems for clearance?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It is no surprise, but many people don't realise the advantages, they need to be told over and over again...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 And many people don't realize the advantages of higher education, while they realize the advantages of alcohol, weed, religion, and whatever else. Keep telling 'em. Maybe some will start believing something from someone with no credentials to back up their claims. Go ahead, list all the advantages, and the reasons why rather than whine about needing to repeat it. And no, your Stan's Flows are not wide. Only advantage I see is that they help your ride feel better if you're an old man that rides casually. I bet you're pretty excited by the new Surly Krampus too, eh.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I just really enjoy cutouts like that hub picture. I especially like seeing suspension cutouts because I know I have no clue what's going on in there but it still looks badass.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like the hub design, and the width coupled with low weight. Sadly the price is way over the top, I couldn't justify spending anywhere near that much on these.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 seriously, anyone heard of the Sun Equalizer rim? available in 27, 29 & 31mm widths, sounda like pretty much the same deal and they are very good rims too
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I want to see what this graphic/draw promises us happens in real slowmo pictures!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Narrow at the spokes wide at the bead.....this is a good idea. I hope this becomes more popular on other rims.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've been thinking about cross sections of rims showing the profile of the rim. Nothing new at all about these rims. All your saying is that wider is better for rims. Its like were going full circle Wide rims are not new.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I wish the hubs were available on their own, id use them for everything
[Reply]
  • + 1
 just for curiosities sake, do you guys think those wheelswill withstand downhill abuse with 2 ply tires and everything?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 They aren't designed to.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 yeah i know and read that, still it's an intriguing thought, i am running syntace stuff on all my bikes and it always stood up to wy more abused then advertised...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Hi @RC, did you get around to trying a 2.2 tire on the 35mm Syntace rim? cheers
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I would have to sell my bike to be able to buy these wheels. Sigh...
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thanks! I've been waiting for someone to realize and make this since the 90s!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wonder if the rims will be avail by themselves?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Lol @ 20psi, if you actually ride your bike like a real person 20psi won't last a second. Who comes up with this shit?
[Reply]
  • + 1
 people who dont ride bikes?? look at SRM they make powermeters for downhill, now think about how pointless that'd be for a second
[Reply]
  • - 3
 Go try to pin it down any track with 18-20psi and see what happens, much less railing a corner with a tubeless setup
[Reply]
  • + 1
 honestly whats wrong with 35 psi, ppl bitch about cormering stiffness on the knobs but run their tires at 25 psi, if you need that braking traction under inflated tires have you shouldnt be riding
[Reply]
  • + 1
 20psi on 26x2.3 tires... I'd laugh, but I'm actually saddened, since it doesn't seem like it's a joke.
[Reply]
  • - 19
 Exactly, who the f*ck writes these articles? RC needs to retire.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 20 psi? that's rigid singlespeed 29'er speak. most of us on 6x6 bikes are gonna run higher psi's. but in RC's case, he can do what he wants, just because we might not agree with him doesn't mean he doesn't know his sh*t. in my mind RC has earned his respect, and deserves it.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 In my mind he is spreading false and down right dangerous info.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Why not try it? I weigh 265 and use 25 and 28 psi in my wide rimmed bikes with tubeless conversions. I could see a 150 pound rifer at 20psi.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Loaded your mind is very immature!!!! there you go with that negative shit!!!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 My mind is realistic, 20psi is not
[Reply]
  • + 1
 next up: 1000 gram AM wheels... goes hand in hand with 20 psi in the "why the f*ck would you do that?!" category
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Well, you got to realize RC's an old man and this is all coming from the POV of an old man that just likes bikes and appreciates the casual side of MTB. There's many people like that, but I agree that he's spreading info that could lead to serious injury if some younger, more daring, and aggressive rider followed his advice.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Think about this websites main demographic compared to your comment
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Hence why there's a lot of outrage coming from RC's articles.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Ha! love the old man ref. The best and the worst aspect of being young is that you have the luxury of seeing only what is directly in front of you. I try to look a little farther down the road.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Can I become as wise as you if I try to look to see what's happens down the road when I become an older man?

BTW, what are the impressions so far regarding that 2.1 tire on wide rim test of yours? Ready to go back to fatter tires yet or will you be trying 1.9 next?

28.5mm inner width sounds good for that Surly Knard 29x3.0 tire, that weighs 820g. Now that's something I'd like to try. Promoting ideas like making a narrower tire "feel like a wider one", with a wider beat seat, seems like a narrow vision, compared to the vision of making wider tires more acceptable maybe by offering ones more suitable for trail riding, rather than just DH. Another vision that seems further down the road is wider front hub widths over the old 100mm standard.
[Reply]
  • - 1
 LOL at the "looking further down the road" analogy. No one with 19psi in their tires looks ahead. And if I have been on a bike since I was 5yrs old that would give me over 20yrs experience riding and racing. I think its safe to say I have drawn my own conclusions based on decades of observation. I'm not here to make friends, I just want to maintain accuracy and 19psi is a joke.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 What is the best tire psi to run?
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Too many factors to throw out an exact number, but u already knew that
[Reply]
  • + 0
 Can't answer that for you, your setup and trail, but can answer what psi not to run your tires at. I'd say enough psi so it doesn't look like the illustrations of tires at a lean angle, but that illustration is ridiculously skewed.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I was excited until i saw the price tag.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 soo, its 1680 for the 28 spoke...how much for the 32?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 1680 for 32h. 1650 for 28h.
[Reply]
  • + 0
 so they finally caught up to DT in hub design?
[Reply]
  • - 3
 DT's hub design is absolute shit. The pawl system in DT hubs may as well be made of butter with how soft they are and how much they skip and fail.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Never had A DT fail on me, sure they had some problems with the first few batches of their smaller tooth versions of the pawls, but they corrected it. their warranty program is also sweet, customer service is great. Their distribution center is here in town.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 20psi!? thats low!
[Reply]
  • - 3
 nice dh front wheel rim.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 if your downhill is not far from cross country, then absolutely.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 That's bs egorka. Stans ZTR flow is a great front wheel dh rim and it is lighter. What makes you doubt it's a good dh front rim?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 it only sucks for slowpokes that ride 1bar in front tire so they ping their rims constantly.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I havent ridden Stans rims but Im really tired of fairy tale of that almighty rim. I dont say it's bad for DH but people really have to stop behaving like it is a Godsend lightweight equivalent of 823 or 729. If you trulybride hard with it as a front rim, you are playing with fire - period.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 do you mean bc xc or other places xc? cuz our xc looks like alot of places downhill
[Reply]
  • + 1
 @WAKI it's a godsend and a lightweight equivalent of a 823 but IT IS LIGHTER SO IT IS WEAKER. No one claims it is as strong as a 823. I haven't met one person who did. Maybe the lack of light in the norse countries has hurt some people but really? It is a great race rim or a great everyday use front rim. I've been using mine for quite some time, I'm not heavy but I tend to plow and it is flawless. 1.5 season of riding on it is a testament to it's durability.
[Reply]
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