Syncros Silverton SL One-Piece Carbon Wheels - Sea Otter 2018

Apr 20, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  
Syncros Silverton wheels


Syncros launched a production carbon wheelset today that are molded almost entirely in one piece. It's called the Silverton SL and the pair reportedly weighs only 1250 grams. The concept of molding carbon spokes to a hub and rim was pioneered by Lighweight, a German boutique wheelmaker that closely guarded its constructed methods. Syncros, however, wanted to bring a similar wheel design to full production, which was no small task.

Syncros Silverton wheels
The "spokes" pass through the hub flanges and carry the loads to the opposite side of the rim.


Head engineer Benoit Grelier explained that Syncros threw out their preconceptions about carbon wheels. Beginning with computer models, the design team set a goal to exceed the stiffness and strength of the top three carbon wheel makers' XC/trail hoops. In the end, Syncros decided that a hybrid between the classic five-spoke molded wheel and the classic multi-spoke build was the most efficient way to use carbon.

They settled on a 26-millimeter inner-width rim (31mm outer width) with a 35 millimeter deep profile. The hub flanges are molded to ovalized carbon spokes that are bonded to the outer sides of the rim. To keep the carbon filaments as straight as possible, the left-side "spokes" cross to the right side of the
Syncros Silverton wheels
Mastermind of the Silverton SL wheel, Benoit Grelier.
rim, and vice-versa, which reportedly boosts lateral strength. A similar X-cross lacing pattern was used in spoked racing car wheels, where lateral stiffness is of paramount importance.

Syncros crazy new wheelset. Sea Otter 2018.
Aluminum inserts bonded inside the hubs ensure bearing alignment and proper freehub operation.
Syncros Silverton SL Wheel
After molding and curing, the left and right-side hub flanges and spokes are spread and the hub in inserted.

After molding, the hub flanges and spokes are pulled outwards and the carbon hub is inserted between the flanges, which tensions the spokes. The hub and wheel assembly are bonded in a final step and after the bearings, axles and DT Swiss freehub are installed, the wheels are true and need no further tension adjustments for the rest of their lives.


Syncros Silverton SL wheels

So far, Syncros only plans to make the Silverton SL Wheels for XC racing, but, when pressed, they said that there is no reason that the system could not be adapted for trail, enduro, or even downhill use. The issue was not whether it was possible or practical, it was the lead time required to vet the system's key components to work together in a more hostile environment.

Syncros Silverton SL wheels
A complex mold design allows the wheel to be molded in one piece.
Syncros Silverton SL wheels
Hookless bead flanges and wrapped carbon spokes.

So, how much will a pair of one-piece carbon racing wheels cost? Syncros says $3500 for the pair. Silverton SL wheels will start shipping to dealers this fall, and Scott plans on spec'ing them on its upper-end Spark and Scale models for 2019. Do you need a pair? Well, that's up to you and your wallet. Scott says that the boost in control and steering precision was what convinced them to make the Herculean effort to produce Silvertons in their Taiwan factory. It's a safe bet we'll be riding them soon, so keep an eye out for the full review.

Syncros crazy new wheelset. Sea Otter 2018.
Scott's Spark XC racer will be debuting Silverton SL wheels next season.






MENTIONS: @SeaOtterClassic



112 Comments

  • + 152
 If you were a part of making these, DO NOT read any further!
  • + 0
 I just broke a spoke in my pants! Want!
  • + 8
 No room for a water bottle
  • + 2
 They also make carbon underwear
  • + 93
 Yes complain as you will but it’s an engineering marvel. Nice work Syncros!
  • + 7
 Agree. Very cool F1 tech level stuff here.

Curious about the claimed 100% increase in power transfer. I’m assuming they are talking about power loss through the spokes and rim in relation to the hub when pedaling hard. Are we really rotating the hub inside the spokes and loosing significant power when we stand up and mash on the pedals?
  • + 6
 Definitely agree. It's awesome to see this level of engineering in the bike industry.
  • + 2
 Definitely interesting! Have you also seen these fabric spokes?? www.berdspokes.com
  • + 60
 Finally - something to go with my $1000 ti cranks!! Goin make all those dentist super jelly!!
  • + 2
 If you have that much money then you can afford a richer dentist too
  • + 1
 i honestly don't get all this hate towards ti cranks
  • + 6
 @Asmodai: the price, I think. The ti crank retail for 1k
  • + 10
 @eimechanics: yeah i know how much they cost i still don't see how hate is justified. you don't have to buy them
  • + 19
 @Asmodai: Welcome to the PB comments section
  • + 3
 @Asmodai: Don't worry, it is just a matter of time. Just a few years ago, the price carbon rims go for (even the "cheap ones") would be considered ridiculous for something that takes a beating. Especially with the availability of quality aluminium rims. Now I'm seeing reviews for 7k bikes where the lack of carbon wheels is considered an omission. Or even carbon cranks that go for half this price but last less than a quarter. It levels off. The PB audience needs something to hate dedicate to "dentists and lawyers". Once the next thing comes around (carbon fork stanchions, carbon hub shells, whatever) light yet reliable cranks will be considered acceptable.
  • + 1
 There is zero special about the ti cranks. No new technology nothing. Just a slightly different non ferrous material.

This wheelset is unique for Sure. Interesting to see where it goes. Remember how much enve wheels where when they first came out?
  • + 12
 @onemind123: The special part about the ti cranks is literally that they're ti. Material is a selling feature, and you'd have to be a fool to ignore that part of it. There absolutely is something special about them, regardless of whether you like them or not.

This whole attitude of every part needing to fit the needs of the one reader who's looking at them needs to end. Not everything is for you, not everything fits your needs, and not everything appeals to you. Does that disqualify it as a decent product? Fuck no.
  • + 3
 @Asmodai: or dentists. Except from the brits...
  • + 1
 @sherbet: i am a fan of those cranks because they are ti yes, but there is nithing special or unique about the design of them.

These wheels are very unique though.

Which one will i buy first? The cranks because they are a proven design and now a cool material.
  • + 30
 You know this will get a $h!t ton of hate comments but this wheel set is made for one thing only. Race.

This wheel set is aimed for elite racers (or the well to do riders with extra cash in their pockets) This didn't have the average rider in mind.

If a racer improves his race time or wins races with this then it was worth it in the perspective of the racer. Sure if something brakes you'll most likely have to replace the whole thing but I don't think a person who wants to buy this is worried about that. To use this only during race runs this could make the difference between being on the podium and not being on the podium.

I'm stoked to see stuff like this even if it's not something I'd ever want to get.
  • + 3
 It is super cool, but it is also about $2200 more than my Nox Skyline/DT240s, and only weighs about 130g less. I'm gonna have to say no to that. For some people $2200 more isn't that big of a deal, and not only are they light, but they are legitimately the coolest looking wheels out there. I'm just not one of those people... I can appreciate it though.
  • + 23
 Neat for science. Useless for everyone else.
  • + 12
 Maybe, as the manufacturing technique develops, the price will become reasonable. Thats what has happened with a ton of other bike components.
  • + 4
 Just how neat is it? Its neat for really neat stuff.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: I agree that's what usually happens, but I don't see how this is something that will trickle down and revolutionize what the 99% need. I don't think a broken spoke would destroy a wheel either, I'd just rather lace up a new alloy spoke in minutes vs hours of carbon repair.
  • + 3
 Bare in mind; some things get to a limit. Between materials, construction method, and quality control, this is never going to be an affordable style of making wheels. It's been in the road world for decades, and is only making an appearance in MTB now for a reason. No matter how you slice it; this is not a cost effective wheelset.

Is it rad? Hooooly shit yes.
  • + 11
 This is good. The more continuous carbon is used in straight lines, the better. Is it worth it? What does a race cost (team, travel, preparation, equipment)? Is it worth it for the casual amateur? Well, that's up to the amateur to put a price upon. I'm not going to judge. From a competion standpoint, it is good. From a technical point of view, they are finally starting to use carbon the way it is supposed to be used.
  • + 11
 The hardware in my shoulder remembers how cool ultralight race stuff is.
Its throbbing when I look at it, like the surgeon himself is saying "don't do it brah"
  • + 12
 When is the Danny MacAskill stress test scheduled?
  • + 7
 I read this entire article in fear of reading the price tag. Actually 3500 isn't that much when you keep in mind what the R&D cost must have been and how few they'll sell.
  • + 5
 i was honestly expecting these to cost way more
  • + 2
 Especially compared to Enves.
  • + 2
 @TucsonDon: Compared to Enve, these wheels are a veritable bargain! I'm not kidding. I would love to try these wheels, and one of those integrated bar stem things too!
  • + 2
 the brand Lightweight makes road bike wheels with the same construction for a long time now. Those cost $6000+. I was surprised that these were "only" $3500.
  • + 1
 @bj007: those road bike wheels have spokes bonded singly into the flanges though don't they? It's not a single spoke from one side of the rim to the other, via the hub shell. Is it?
  • + 1
 @jaame: Im not actually sure about the exact construction of the lightweights. You're probably right. I was just trying to compare the price of two all carbon wheel sets. Id love to try either of them if I had the cash!
  • + 1
 @bj007: me too! I saw a video with those wheels on GCN. Very special wheels!
  • + 4
 Hopefully enve doesn't jump on this bandwagon and make some 4500$ wheels, their current customer base probably wouldn't care about the complete lack of being able to true them since it's already so much of a pain with having to remove the tire
  • + 8
 Question: So what happens if you break a spoke?

Answer: Ocean Fill.
  • + 1
 I don't know much about it myself but I have friends that have repaired cracked carbon frames with really cheap carbon repair kits. Maybe these wheels could be similarly repairable?
  • + 2
 @FlyinFnRyan: No. It's ocean fill.

Keep in mind the spokes get tensioned by the spreading of the hub flanges. Unless you can unbond the flanges from the hub before repairing the spoke it's done for.

Or maybe it strong enough to cope with a missing spoke. Anyone keen to do that test?
  • + 4
 Mad Fiber pioneered that composite wheel and spoke configuration as well as the process for manufacturing. The next gen stuff I helped them with (before bankruptcy) was virtually this design. Syncros just does it with more co-curing and less film adhesive bonding (along with a slightly different rim layup).
  • + 8
 Great idea. Wheels are like disposable razors now.
  • + 6
 last time I checked my disposable razor didn't cost quite that much
  • + 5
 I use double edge type razor blades. Five euro for a pack of ten, so fifty cents a piece. If you buy bulk, price drops to about half that. Who knows, if you buy these wheels in bulk?
  • + 2
 So what do you guys think about stiffness and compliance? Seems like other brands (for example Stans) are working hard to build lightweight carbon wheels that have vertical compliance to get a better, smoother ride. I doubt these wheels would be very compliant laterally? Maybe a very stiff bumpy ride?
  • + 1
 That was my first thought too. Stan's and now Spank have moved to low section rims for vertical compliance.
  • + 2
 Even older Mavic cosmic ultimate wheels with molded carbon spokes didn’t keep up straight during road cycling. I’m pretty conservative about durability of these. I get it. Race only product. Please don’t kill me! (Pb readers)
  • + 1
 My experience with a lightweight carbon frame has not been good. Neither has my experience with heavyweight carbon rims. The only carbon part I have really had luck with is easton havoc handlebars. Maybe dh race stuff is better, but I have nowhere to use that much travel or tires, etc. Perhaps bikes are being under built for the weekend warrior who won’t use it much, or the pro frame failures we see in races are the only ones we get to see out of many...
  • + 1
 As an engineer and bike geek I love it. As a wheelbuilder I have a wait and see attitude. I'm building sub 1300 g wheels now for a third the cost. I also swap out a lot of broken carbon rims in my business, so it's not just the spokes that are vulnerable.
  • + 5
 Such a cool product, but such a daft weekend to debut it on...
  • + 1
 This is rad! the carbon wheel market seems over crowded with all the same, when the direct from Taiwan companies are giving good wheelsets with dtswiss from under 1k the brands need to do better for the extra cost. This is better! Im excited!
  • + 5
 amazing and beautiful! such a cool product
  • + 1
 I wonder if a broken spoke will still be repairable just like cracking a frame? I'm also surprised this wasn't introduced as a road wheel, it's awesome to see mountain bike innovation pushing cycling as a whole.
  • + 1
 Great to see the innovation, would be great for racing. Hopefully we will see carbon fiber prices come down and be 3d printable or injection moldable. Someday it might be cheaper then lacing up a wheel set.
  • + 1
 How could you print or injection mold a fiber that stretches from hub to rim?
  • + 1
 They need to show some real life durability examples.

Let us see what happens when a stick gets in there. You can build a 1200g normal wheel for 1/2 the price that can be rebuilt if spokes break.
  • + 5
 1200g boost wheel with 26mm internal? gimme your specs!
...or you talking road wheel?

Looks like a silly race day only product and a marvel of engineering. I'd take the CC ti wings or an unno frame in the realm of totally absurd halo products, but I appreciate the nerdtastic effort that must have gone into this.
  • + 2
 Agreed. Just built up a set of DT 240S on XC carbon asym rims with CXRays, 1230grams. Lighter and less than half the cost. And easily replace spokes in the case of any issues.
  • + 2
 @dontcoast: My current wheelset is 1439g with Nextie 27mm inner rims.
The rims were 420g. The newer rims weren't out yet. The new lightweight 25mm inners are 310g, so take 220g grams off my wheelset and there you have it.
You could got 28mm inner and still save 140g over my current set.
  • + 1
 @dontcoast: wheels I mentioned are boost, and are 25mm internal.
  • + 2
 @freerider11: DT 240s with a 345g rim and CXRays&alloynips comes to 1384grams, at least in 29. What are you using, a sub 300g rim?
  • + 1
 @TucsonDon: www.xmcarbonspeed.com/Productinfo.asp?f=1546. 310 gram rims. 28h centerlock dt 240s, cxray spokes, sapim aluminum nipples. Weighed them again, I was wrong they are actually 1248 grams. Still good. Weight doesn't include tape or valves.
  • + 1
 Using berd spokes you could build a sub 1100 gram wheelset using tune or equivalent hubs and those new Nextie 25mm internal rims... should be slightly cheaper.
  • + 4
 For a wheelset video, pretty slick!
  • + 1
 Thought I was watching x men/Spiderman trailer at first
  • + 1
 I once built a set of wheels using Fiber Flight Carbon spokes. Few rides in a stick flicked in. Broke all but three spokes. Luckily it was my rear wheel. In my case an easy rebuild with stainless spokes. In this case.......
  • + 2
 Honestly the price isn't bad when you consider that's the price for an ENVE wheelset
  • + 3
 Can we train mutant spiders to make these for us?
  • + 3
 Just don't get a stick in the spokes
  • + 2
 What's the rider weight limit? There definitely is one. Funny it isn't mentioned.
  • + 5
 Less than the weight of the wheels, just to be safe.
  • + 1
 I was wondering the same. I bet its not as light as you think, but surely not more than 200lbs.
  • + 2
 @gooutsidetoday: To be fair, if you're over 200lbs, you're not really racing competitively in XC... They do have a target market for these.
  • - 2
 Carbon fiber is a material that’s super strong in tension, not compression. Spokes are set in tension and in use see compressive loads. Carbon fiber is super strong until it sees impact forces, then it has unpredictable failure modes. Mountain bike wheels seem like a bad venue for full carbon.
  • + 1
 Every spoke when comes to the ground side is subject to compression, the ones that facing up are subject to tension, this is the stress cycle that a spoke sees when a wheel is turning, it's inevitable, it's gona break and in a pretty spectacular manner. It's a crap design even for racing, a convensional broken spoke is something you can choose ether ignor or patch up during a race, this thing does neither
  • + 1
 Carbon is actually good for compression loading. What it is not good for is bending perpendicular to the direction of the fibers, where plastic is the only thing holding it together. This happens with any type of sharp direct impact with loading in all directions at a point.
  • + 1
 My Carbon wheels bring all the boys to the yard.....my wheels are better than yours!
  • + 3
 SPINERGY is back!?
  • + 0
 What if you break a "spoke"? Can you have it "rebuilt"? Can you do a "trailside" repair? Otherwise, this sounds like a good idea for pro racers or deep-wallet riders...
  • + 1
 ooooo can i haz spinergy rev X explodo wheelzos in boosteee 29eeee tho??
  • + 1
 I am too heavy and poor to have an opinion.
  • + 1
 This is it!! It's official !!! MTB is now out of control !!!
  • + 1
 I'd be interested to know if the spokes are pre-tensioned
  • + 2
 The wheel is molded with the hub flanges closer together (hub center to flange) and the spokes untensioned. When the hub internals are inserted into the wheel the flanges are spread apart (increasing the center to flange dimension) thus adding tension to the spokes.
  • - 2
 A crack and the whole thing falls apart, when you have to race to the finishline and at the same time try not ti kill your self going otb when the fork hits the ground, yeah great idea...
  • + 6
 That's why I ride cast iron frames / components only. f*ck Spokes. 45lb plates for the win.
  • + 0
 @kurtz433: yeap, pretty sure greg had the excact same thought at some point...
  • + 1
 Bring (full carbon monocoque) disc wheels back!!!!!
  • + 1
 Brake a spoke now, cry later.
  • + 1
 Mad Fiber for mountain bikes!
  • + 1
 anyone remember mad fiber wheels?
  • - 3
 Great Engineering feat!!!

I'm 220lbs. I would gain more power to weight ratio by skipping lunch for a week and dropping 5 lbs, rather than saving 600 grams on my wheelset. And $3500 no less.

I wonder if Nino Will be riding these soon???
  • + 0
 Why would Nino ride them? It's not made by DT swiss. haha
  • + 0
 @andnyleswillriot: ohhhh burrnnnnnnnnnnnn
  • + 0
 @andnyleswillriot:
Why not, makes no difference to him not like he pays for any of his equipment
  • - 1
 @markg1150: no shit. Do you know how a sponsorship works? DT Swiss ain’t gonna let him ride anything but DT swiss.
  • - 1
 @andnyleswillriot: dang bro why you so mad? also, how do sponsorships work? can you get me one?
  • + 1
 @andnyleswillriot: Scott owns Syncros, Scott is his main Sponsor... and these have DT Swiss Innards in the Hub!
  • + 0
 @andnyleswillriot: Syncros is Scott's in house brand, Nino will ride these. He rides DT Swiss because Scott says they will put DT Swiss on their bike that Nino happens to ride.
  • + 1
 so, if I crack the rim... I need a whole new wheel?
  • + 1
 I'm just waiting for a comment about breaking a spoke ...
  • + 2
 $3500? What a steal
  • + 1
 * SNAP *
  • + 1
 I likey
  • + 1
 19 days too late.
  • + 0
 This again. Make some Ti rims and then we'll be talkin.
  • + 1
 Great Scott!
  • + 0
 -30% inertia . ok bye

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