Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29” Wheels - Review

Dec 10, 2015
by David Arthur  
Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29

Syncros has been around since 1987. It’s one of the most iconic brands in mountain biking, making its name for really well designed and engineered components, from pedals to handlebars and wheels. A number of years ago, the component specialist was bought by Scott Sports and the company now uses the parts extensively through most of their range. The XR1.0 Carbon wheels in this review can also be purchased aftermarket.

Details:
• Purpose: : XC/Trail
• Rim width: 21.5mm internal, 28mm external
• Diameter: 29'' (27.5" available too)
• Rims: Tubeless-ready, carbon fiber rims
• Hubs: Syncros with DT Swiss internals
• Spokes: DT Swiss Aerocomp 28 F/R
• Weight: 1,550 grams (29" actual weight)
• MSRP €1,748, (USD to be determined)
• Contact: www.syncros.com


Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29” wheels are marketed to “cross-country racers and aggressive trail riders” according to Syncros. They feature a tubeless-ready rim, constructed from carbon fiber and laced with DT Swiss Aero Comp spokes, 28 to each wheel. Hubs are Syncros-designed, CNC-machined aluminum with DT Swiss internals, including their Star Ratchet freehub.

SRAM XD driver bodies are available, as well as the regular Shimano compatible freehubs. The brake rotor interface is Shimano's CenterLock spline system. A 6-bolt adapter is included, as well as a handful of interchangeable end-caps to configure the hubs to fit the most used quick release and thru-axle widths. A nice touch is a sheet of color stickers that allow the rims to be customized to match your bike if you so choose.

The rims measure 28mm on the outside and 21.5mm inside - comparable to rival cross-country carbon rims, such as Enve’s M50 wheelset - and a suitable width for the intended cross-country use of these wheels. So, unless you're very light on your components, these are not the best wheels for hard-charging trail riders. Their carbon fiber construction suggests lightness, and at 1550g (720g front, 830g rear) on my scales, they certainly tick the lightweight box, even though they’re a smidge heavier than the company’s claimed weight.


Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29
Tough and lightweight carbon fiber rim.


Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29
Straight pull spokes and CenterLock brake rotor interface.


On the Trail

If you want to inject more speed into your bike, there are few parts that make as much difference as the wheels, so it's a good place to spend some money. The Syncros wheels deliver impressive performance, with a level of stiffness that noticeably improved the ride of the bike compared to when it was fitted with aluminum wheels. There’s none of the vagueness that can afflict lightweight cross-country 29ers. The wheels are very taut and feel tighter through the corners and when pumping through berms, yet they aren’t so stiff that they feel unforgiving on longer rides over rough terrain. Handling is generally more responsive, with more zip to the acceleration from a range of speeds (whether in a straight line or out of the corners). Flicking the bike from left to right through narrow tree-lined singletrack reveals a quicker turn-in speed. Pick-up speed from the Star Ratchet freehub is good with no uncomfortable lag.

Setting up the wheels was a cinch. The rims are pre-taped and there are tubeless valves supplied in the box, so it’s just a case of fitting the valves, mounting your favorite tires, adding some sealant, and inflating. A set of Schwalbe tires mounted up just fine with a track pump with no drama or fuss. Air pressure retention has been good. Changing the hub end caps is a quick job, if needed, as they simply pull apart from the axles.

Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29
Rims are tubeless-ready and come with the rim tape pre-fitted. Just add the supplied valves.
Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29
Syncros uses the DT Swis Star Ratchet freehub - a SRAM XD driver is optional.


Reliability has been excellent. The wheels remained true and spoke tension was good throughout the test. The hub and freehub bearings are still silky smooth and, being DT Swiss internals, spares should be easy to come by when they do need servicing. For such a light wheel, they never felt fragile or that they might fold over under me, even when pushing them hard into the “aggressive trail” zone that Syncros says the wheels are capable of. Their strength and toughness were perhaps the most interesting observation at the end of every ride. With their low weight, high stiffness, and narrow rim, they are clearly aimed at cross-country riders and racers, who should appreciate the performance boost these wheels offer over an aluminum wheelset, at least in the tested 29" size. The width of the rim is a limitation for harder hitting trail riders who are seeking a lightweight wheelset. That said, the Syncros XR1.0 Carbon 29” wheels proved to be impressively robust and durable throughout the test.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesSyncros XR1.0 Carbon 29" wheels are certainly not cheap, but cross-country trail riders wanting to shed a bit of weight from their bikes and benefit from some impressive stiffness will find them to be a dependable and reliable wheelset.
- David Arthur




Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review.




66 Comments

  • + 48
 No thanks I'll stick with my aluminum wheels and spend my money on more important stuff like... other bike parts
  • + 14
 a quick conversion to the loonie...$2,600 ... or more important things - like food.
  • + 12
 Beer ?
  • + 4
 Crazy thing is that wheels like the dt-swiss xr 1501 spline weight the same as those but aren't carbon. They came with my bike and really made me appreciate light wheels.
  • + 2
 If you're worried about the dollar/loonie then a set from Derby in the USA or Woven in Canada is a better way to go.
  • + 3
 Or alloy i9's for about $1000, the slightly heavier steel spoked versions are $850 and I can GD guarantee they'll hold up better than most any wheel on the market. Carbon wheels still don't meet the cost to benefit ratio. I'm sure in a couple years they'll get there but for now they are a dentist's toy.
  • + 4
 Well they don't when buying major name brand complete sets but if you go to the small guys, or even just order the rims & hubs yourself from china and lace them up yourself with whatever spokes and nipples you want, you can get several wheelsets for the price of one of these syncros sets. I think I have a thousand canadian invested in all three of my carbon wheelsets combined.
  • + 2
 Woven carbon rims have hooks... no sale. I would probably go with NOBL.
  • - 1
 some of their rims do, some do not. There's no real benefit for hookless given that most tire manufacturers still design for hooked rims.
  • + 3
 Hookless carbon rims are a way to improve impact resistance and cut manufacturing costs. Most manufacturers have made the switch, including the industry leader Enve. Woven 650b rims are still old school. www.wovenprecision.com/product/all-mountain-27-5/#rims
  • + 1
 From Enve: “Through our development program we discovered that by removing the hook we could produce a rim and tyre combination that performed better that rims with hook beads. We feel that the hookless system gives us a performance advantage. The tyre shape that results is more stable and gives the rider a wheel that corners better and will not burp,”
  • + 4
 Yes but Enve is trying to sell you on their overpriced wheels.... burping isn't caused by the hook or lack thereof, its cause by poor tolerances in the bead seat of different tire/rim combinations. WTB's solution to burping makes better sense. WTB's also been making rims for far longer than ENVE has existed and they still keeping using hooks.
  • - 1
 WTB also uses 24mm width rims so I wouldn't call them leading edge... I would say confidently that more carbon rim manufacturers are using hookless than hooks. Data tests show better impact resistance and cheaper to manufacturer.
  • + 1
 its 1-2% cheaper, not earth shattering cheaper. WTB's first carbon rim is 24mm internal, but they have rims in alloy up to 45mm internal.
  • + 2
 I9 hubs are bloody awful. I've had two sets, one for trail and one for xc racing and they eat bearings like it's going out of fashion. They're also a pig to change and the freehub bodies are badly designed. Never again
  • + 2
 @flange2032 That's like, your opinion man.
  • + 4
 An opinion it might be, but its one based on fact. I bought a set of Reynolds carbon AM 29er wheels laced to I9 torch hubs. Within two months they needed a full bearing replacement, front and rear. a month later the free hub bearings went again, the inner race collapsed completely which allowed the cassette to lunch on the rear mech. A new free hub, mech and another set of bearings later, they lasted another 3 dry months before the wobble came back again. At which point I sold them and built up some LB's on Hope ProII's. Another bonus was that the seals were so loose on the free hub that taking the back wheel out, the cassette would just fall off, spitting springs and pawls everywhere. Always nice when you're fixing a puncture mid ride and that happens. I'd care a spare couple of pawls in my back pocket to replace them when the inevitable happened.

Another set on an all out XC race bike were laced to some STans 355's - new old stock 26ers, Again, three races in (these were my race only wheels) I had the dreaded bearing wobble and again it lunched another free hub. Speaking to the UK importer, they said that the free hubs were a weak point and that they'd changed the design. So another £80 and three months later it shat itself again.

I'll never have another set - they're rubbish. They look lovely and with the red hubs and red spokes they looked pimp, but they don't last. I rank them up there with Crank Bros products - function follows form.
  • + 1
 @flange2032 I'm assuming you haven't seen the Big Lebowski? Anywho I've owned 3 pair and they were rock solid. That sucks to hear about your issue and it would give me pause when there are so many great options in the market.
  • + 10
 Ain't paid like a pro and don't ride XC like one. I'd just Sh*t if I busted a $1000 rim taking a little hop off something I could not resist.
  • + 8
 I stopped reading at 1748
  • + 3
 I stopped Reading at 29"
  • + 14
 I'm bored shitless at work so read it all even though I have no interest in Xc or 29ers, WiFi I love you
  • + 7
 Narrow, heavy, expensive. Before you had to pick two, now you can get all three!
  • + 6
 What's this "cross-country trail" rider you speak of? Careful you must be when sensing the future David. The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.
  • + 3
 Ah, a disturbance in the Force I sense...
  • + 10
 Funny fact: Here in Ch and in Germany most of people don't get what's the deal with Yoda's way of speaking. Normal senteces in German are actually quite similar to Yoda's. Big Grin
  • + 1
 That only means a bad work by the translators. If you read the sentence in English, you can spot the interchanged parts. When translated to Spanish here in AR we notice them instantly.
  • + 1
 This just reminds me of FOGEL WHAT ARE YOU DOING... YOUR CLOTHES ARE TOO BRIGHT... YOUR SEAT IS TOO HIGH AND YOUR GOGGLES JUST LOOK RIDICULOUS hahahahahahhaa
  • + 3
 21.5mm internal width and £1748 (I would hate to see what the USD for these are).....no thank you! You would think a bigger company like this would be able to offer better pricing but I guess not. Looks like your just paying for the name!
  • + 2
 They're expensive to increase the perceived value of the Scott compete bikes. Bonus if they sell a few.
  • + 6
 i kinda forgot syncros was still around. nice to see they're still churning out products i have zero interest in
  • + 4
 I miss the old Syncros. I have a collection of their t-shirts that'll put the monkeys thru collage. Bomber stuff made in Canada.
  • + 1
 got some 29er carbon rims from China months ago,price is cheaper too much,rims only and build them up by my friend bike shop,quality is no bad and hookless run tubeless system well,
  • + 1
 Cool! Do they make a 24 inch version for my free ride bike?
24 inch carbon wheel in the back and a 27.5 carbon wheel up front. Im on a budget so must be under three thousand dollars.
  • + 5
 I only ride park
  • + 1
 Bought a set of the XR 1.5 aluminum wheels and the front rim folded during my first race. The wheels were light but obviously too delicate. I replaced the bad rim with a Stans ZTR Arch EX and sold em.
  • + 1
 DO NOT BUY: complete trash. I have a pair on my Scott 900 sl that were new three weeks ago. After maybe 150 miles both front and rear have cracks. But roval sl... Have put maybe 3000 miles on em and still spin strong.
  • + 2
 Like the matte finish of the wheels, but I'll keep my I9'S and all their anodized goodness.
  • + 2
 Enve M50 - $2700
XR1.0 - $1900 estimate

Oh what things I could do/purchase for $800? Let me count thy ways...
  • + 1
 Syncros. Nondescript pattern parts for OEM that look for logo parts that wont overshine their own nondescrpit bike Brand. Large niche, though.
  • + 2
 Details:
• Purpose: : XC/Trail
• Rim width: 21.5mm internal, 28mm external

Done reading.
  • + 1
 Run mavic xm819s for years. Don't really understand the wider is better hype. Like the look of the wheels but very pricey. If I seriously raced then maybe
  • + 1
 I think $1000 and 1600g are typical numbers for a self-built wheelset, good carbon rims (Derby, etc. ). What's the least expensive factory option? Why the big cost delta?
  • - 2
 Straight pull spokes... nah. 21.5 internal... I'd like to see at least 23 to 25. Centerlock is good, dt engagement is good. Price is fair. I'd buy stans Valor over these probably all said and done. Derby rims laced to dt 350 hubs would is still less, about 1390ish. So if anybody really is shopping for carbon wheels hit me up for custom builds.
  • + 1
 Dear pb, would be sooo cool to have a review about light bicycle carbon wheels. -everybody.
  • + 1
 Nextie reporting in.
  • + 1
 I requested some months back. They say they don't provide media samples for anybody.
  • + 1
 Think it'd be an interesting/cheap enough review that it may be worth it anyway. Tons of people seem to want to read about them.
  • + 1
 My Specialized Roval SL Wheels on my S-Works Epic retails at $1800 and weighs 1370grams. End of story.
  • + 1
 The Roval Control 29 carbons are $1100 and weigh almost the same with the same dimensions. A big pass on these.
  • + 1
 zzzz. .... more carbon wheels that we can't afford !
  • + 1
 Might as well buy enves for that price
  • + 1
 Syncros makes ugly stuff wheelset is way over priced
  • + 1
 Liking the stealth look
  • - 2
 Or just buy a set of Hope Hoops which will last a shit load longer than these, will save you £1000/$1200 and you wont cry when these shatter like glass.
  • + 0
 Hmm 200g heavier than Stan's Valor 29 wheels. More trail than XC.
  • + 0
 "Trail" is basically AM, the aggressive step up from XC. Even if I had the cash, these are not Trail/AM wheels and would be the last wheel on my mind for aggressive riding.
  • + 1
 .....which the review quite clearly states, "So, unless you're very light on your components, these are not the best wheels for hard-charging trail riders."

Accurate review, XC/Trail rims, not all mountain, not the E word, not downhill, not park..... Wheels intended for tire sizes not to exceed 2.3 and even at that you may feel a little squirm but no 29'er XC race bike is running tires that wide.

I still choose aluminum.
  • - 1
 @Gills You need to get better at comprehension! Trail riding is more aggressive than XC. XC is less aggressive than CX.

Maybe if you look at the above poster, you would notice their comment, " More trail than XC"! Yeah, pay attention!

Just think of how easy that 2.3" tire will fold over on a 21.4mm bead width in a fast "trail" berm or fast shallow switch-back without a berm!
  • + 0
 Boost148?
  • + 2
 142 according to their website.
  • + 0
 Betcha these are re-branded 240s, should use the same end caps.
  • + 2
 They are DT Swiss XMC350 rims with a OEM 350 front hub and OEM 240 rear hub. You can't go from 142 to Boost 148 without changing the hubshell, they are not the same.
  • + 1
 That would be disappointing if all they did was rebrand DT stuff. The hubs don't really look like any DT that I have seen. Look at the taper between the flanges. Unless they have a totally different model that they sell as OEM
  • + 1
 That's why it's an OEM hub, custom hubshell designed by Syncros and made by DT Swiss. With standard DT Swiss innards.
DT Swiss is the main wheel supplier to Scott/Syncros so they re-use a lot of the already existing DT parts to make wheelsets. On some wheelsets they use custom rims/spokes as well, but a lot of it is standard DT Swiss parts mixed and matched to get to the pricepoint/weight they want to hit.

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