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.
• 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. 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.
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:
|Syncros 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.