Review: Syntace W35 and W30 Wheels

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By James


Width (internal): 28mm (W35), 26mm (W30)
Weight (pair): 1,790g
Available: 25, 30, 35, 40mm width; 26, 27.5 and 29in diameter.

Syntace offers a range of rim widths, not for the different riding you might do, but for the different sizes of tyre you might want to run. They range from 25mm up to 40mm wide in 5mm increments (externally), and offer plenty of options to cater for different axles, wheel sizes and drivetrain choices. Syntace sent us a 35mm wide rear wheel and a 30mm front to review.

The wheels exude quiet confidence; they’re understated, clean and simple looking. The rims are made from a custom (secret sauce) alloy in a stealthy-looking matt black finish, and they’re asymmetrically drilled for the 32 spokes, laid in three-cross pattern, to give a more even spoke tension. I like 32-spoke wheels: the rim and spokes do not need to be as highly stressed to maintain wheel shape, so individual parts can be lighter – and if a spoke does fail, the rim is more stable. What’s more, although the spokes are posh Sapim numbers they are not proprietary and hence are easily replaceable. Alloy nipples keep the weight down, although I’ve not yet had to take a spoke wrench to either wheel; time will tell as to their longevity compared to heavier brass nipples.

The quality-feeling hubs are smooth, with angled flanges to match the path of the spokes to the rim and reduce stresses. Drive is solid, with a spur gear freehub that provides speedy engagement to 36 teeth.

In use, the benefits of the wider rim can be felt: they gave a noticeably different sensation to the same tyres on a narrower rim, with less squirm and roll. I’d perhaps have preferred a wider front than rear rim, but even so I appreciated the increased control and cornering confidence even at lower than the pressures I’d normally run – think 20psi or less. There was loads of traction when climbing too; those non-squirmy low pressures help the tyre deform over irregularities in the trail.

These wheels are light and strong; I’ve been slamming this set through turn after turn, gapping rock gardens as well as on gentle longer rides – they’re excellently made, with a ‘devil is in the detail’ approach to engineering which pays dividends. Awesome.

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Review Info

Product:W35 and W30
Price: €359.00 (front), €529.00 (rear)
Tested:by James. for

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