Filling a substantial portion of the Scott Sports booth, Syncros debuted a smattering of new products at Eurobike 2018, including some new handlebars, a yet-to-be-released convertible floor pump, and some new tools and saddles. As well as those and more, Syncros had several sets of its full carbn Silverton SL wheels on display.
Syncros actually launched its new Silverton SL wheels back at Sea Otter, but this was the first opportunity we’ve had to see them up close. Made almost entirely from carbon fibre (save for the metal hub guts), the Silverton SL is a new super high-end wheel project for Syncros. The goal was to produce a wheelset lighter than Nino Schurter’s current wheelset, and at a claimed 1250g, it would appear that Syncros has achieved that target with the Silverton SL. Unfortunately, due to existing sponsorship commitments with DT Swiss, it doesn’t look like we’ll see Nino on these wheels.
Scott will be spec’ing them on the top-end Spark model for 2019 though, and Syncros will also be selling these aftermarket for a cool €3500.
Syncros Silverton SL Wheel Specs
- Super high-end carbon XC racing wheels
- Full carbon one-piece construction
- 29in only
- Designed for 2.25in – 2.4in wide tyres
- 26mm internal rim width
- 31mm external rim width
- 35mm depth
- Hookless sidewalls with solid tubeless compatible rim bed (no tape required)
- Carbon fibre spokes & hubshells
- DT Swiss 190 hub internals w/ceramic bearings
- DT Swiss Star Ratchet freehub mechanism
- Shimano, Micro Spline & SRAM XD freehubs available
- Claimed weight: 1250g
- RRP: €3,500
It isn’t just the price that is staggering though – the engineering detail that’s gone into the Silverton SL wheelset is also rather staggering. Using a full carbon construction, the Silverton SL wheels see the carbon rims, spokes and hub shells moulded into the one-piece. The spokes aren’t adjustable like a conventional wheelset with steel spokes – they are permanently bonded to the hubs and rims. Syncros says that it hasn’t been able to break a wheel so far yet in testing, but if a customer was to break a spoke, there are options to have it repaired. Alternatively, Syncros will be offering a 3-year crash replacement warranty for those poor folks who ever end up in that situation. You’ll get 50% off the replacement in the first year of ownership, 30% off in the second year, and 20% off in the third year.
Given the complexity, and lack of adjustability, you might be asking; why?
That’s a very good question, but Syncros has some stats to back it all up. Apparently, compared to an equivalent ENVE M50 29er wheelset, the Silverton SL offers 100% more torsional stiffness, and 30% more lateral stiffness. Part of this is due to the carbon spokes, which are 35% stronger than DT Swiss Aerocomp spokes, but half the weight. Syncros claims the 20 spokes weigh just 80g per wheel. The rims are also insanely light, at a claimed 286g per rim. Put those two elements together without any spoke nipples, and you have very little rotating mass at the outside of the wheel – most of the wheel’s weight is concentrated closer towards the hub, which should lead to rapid acceleration.
The bonded carbon spokes are still a relatively foreign idea for mountain bikers, even though it’s something we’ve seen on the road for a while now. Syncros says that due to the carbon one-piece construction, the spokes will never lose tension – so you don’t have to adjust them like you would with a conventional wheel.
Part of the spoke’s strength comes from the fact that they’re actually moulded into the rim, and not just bonded to its surface. Look closely at the above photo, and you’ll spot how the carbon fibre strands actually extend past the spoke/rim junction, and up along the rim sidewall. Syncros says the spoke actually wraps over the top of the bead of the rim, before everything is put into the mould and baked to create the solid one-piece structure.
Also of note is how each spoke runs from one side of the rim, around the hub shell, and over to the other side of the rim. So although Syncros says there are 20 spokes per wheel, there’s technically only 10. The spokes do cross in the middle, where they are moulded together in a sort of highly modern version of tying and soldering. In addition, the spokes are oriented to maximise triangulation (for more lateral rigidity), with a heavy offset at the rim. A spoke that starts at the drive side on the rim will then cross over to the non-drive side of the hub, thereby increasing the bracing angle.
The spokes are tensioned by the central carbon hub shell (that’s the fat carbon tube in the photo above). This tube fits in between the carbon hub flanges, and pushes them apart to create tension on the spokes. Once everything is moulded into place, the wheels apparently won’t lose tension, so you don’t need to true them like you would with a conventional wheel.
Not a fan of the crazy one-piece construction? Syncros also has some other new wheels available for 2019, and these ones are a little more normal. They still feature carbon fibre hookless rims, but they’re built with conventional steel spokes and straight-pull hubs. Each wheelset will be found as stock spec on select 2019 Scott models, though they’ll also be available aftermarket for €1500.
The Silverton 1.0 is the XC/trail wheelset, and the rim dimensions are almost identical to the Silverton SL. You get a 35mm depth, along with a 26mm inner width that’ll fit up to a 2.4in wide tyre. There are 28 stainless steel straight-pull spokes that are laced to Syncros’ own branded hubs.
The Revelstoke 1.0 (shown above on the Scott Genius) is the all mountain wheelset, and features a burlier rim with a 36mm depth and a 31mm internal width that’s ready for up to 2.6in tyres. Like the Silverton SL, both wheelsets will be 29er only.
Syncros is also expanding its range of one piece carbon fibre handlebar/stem thingos by introducing an XC version called the Fraser iC. Measuring 740mm wide, the Fraser iC is available with a virtual stem length of 60, 70, 80 or 90mm, and features a 6° upseep and a 9° backsweep. Claimed weight is just 220g, which is pretty bloody light when you consider that’s a handlebar and stem in one!
The Hixon iC SL handlebar receives an update for 2019, and now comes in at a 780mm width. That’s joined by an even wider version called the Hixon iC 1.0 Rise, which expands the bar tips to 800mm apart, and puts a 20mm rise into the bar shape. These will be available with a 40mm or a 50mm virtual stem length, and they have a slightly different sweep of 7° up and 8° back.
The Guide Multi-Tool Kit is brand new from Syncros, and it features a mini-ratchet driver along with an array of tool bits to cover the majority of nuts and bolts on most bikes. There are some striking similarities with the Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite NTX that I’ve been using, including the mini ratchet and the gold torque bit that you can see at the top of the bits pack.
The Guide Multi-Tool Kit does come in a very neat tool roll, and features additional torx key bits for use with all those torx bolts found on modern Scott full suspension bikes. There’s also a glueless patch kit, tyre levers and a chain tool all wrapped up neatly into the one pouch.