Syncros FL Series Review

Components Pro Reviews Saddles

sync_bar

FL Carbon Riser Bars
The Syncros FL Carbon riser handlebars are the stiffest bars I have ever used, and I never felt any flex from these bad boys, no matter what terrain I was on, or how hard I pulled on them. I think these suckers could be used in a tractor pulling contest.

The FL Carbon bars are made from their Gain carbon fiber composite, use a 31.8mm clamp, are 645mm/25.4″ wide, with a 9 degree sweep and 25mm/1″ rise and are available in a Matte or grunge finish. They weighed in at 170 grams, which were 10 grams under spec! I tested the Matte finish, which I liked a lot, since I am a big fan of the carbon fiber weave. It took me a few tries to get the bars positioned where they felt comfortable for my hands, but once set, the sweep and rise felt just right. Their width worked quite well in the tight woods, but they were slightly narrow (645mm) for some terrain, and I would have liked to have some additional width options. Although I liked the instant power that their uber stiffness provided, I found the total rigidity fatiguing to my hands and arms sometimes, and I would have preferred a hint of give. A quick glance at the ends of the bar, shows the thickness of their rigid tubing, as these aren’t thin walled, which also made it difficult to find end caps that will fit the small opening. The stiffness is a matter of taste, and some may prefer the rigidity, while I wanted a tad of forgiveness? The stem clamp section of the bar provides a nice anti-slip section, and had some glued on gritty tape, which helps with slippage and durability.

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The Syncros SL Carbon riser bars are sickeningly stiff, tough, with decent rise and sweep, and though slightly narrow, they offer an extreme amount of pulling power, and look good with the matte finish.

Measured Specs:
weight – 169.5 grams
width – 645mm
rise – 25mm

MSRP: $190

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Syncros FL Carbon Bar Company Specs
Intended use: All Mtn / Hardcore XC
Material: carbon fiber composite
Rise: 25mm
Width: 660mm
Sweep: 9 degree
Clamp size: OS (31.8mm)
Finish: Matte UD carbon or UD carbon grunge
Weight: 180g

Syncros Bars URL

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Rick says:

    Hey Brian, had the saddle for 6 months and it’s held up great out at Mt Herman with the occasional biff, great value with the Ti rails and I like the side panels and nose protection as that’s where I always rip other saddles. Pretty darn comfy too no complaints, and I agree the nose section if good for those steep grunters like the HZ switchbacks

  • Troels says:

    Hi Brian (& Rick too)
    Firstly, thanks – i much appreciate the review and feedback. I’m considering buying this saddle, but it’s hard to find hands-on experiences like these that one can trust.
    I have a few question i hope someone can help me by answering – even if all of these can’t be answered.

    Rick, since you’ve owned it for 6 months – how’s the durability of the joint where the leather->aramid section is located? Does the leather or aramid peel off or become damaged with time?
    The reason why i’m asking is that i once has an SQLab 610 saddle, and to put it quite frankly, the nose section did not last well at all. It wasn’t aramid, but the durability was bad.

    How’s the durability of the leather color – has this been fully dyed or is it just a thin layer of black or white dye?

    Is the upper layer made of leather, or is it protected by a thin layer of rubber coating? If yes, does this seem to last or will it rub off?

    Is it suitable to use more rough bike wear without damaging the surface? (such as using denim instead of lycra pants for exampe)

    Finally – does any of you notice any kind of creaking with this saddle?

    Thanks for any inputs,
    Troels

  • Brian Mullin says:

    3.5 months of abuse (rain storms and typical damaging Colorado sunshine):
    no peeling nor even slight stitching pullout, the color has been fine, I would go with black if you are worried about it, it just has some nice age wrinkles (much like me), I think it is full leather (have to ask Syncros/Ritchey that one), since the wrinkles are a telltale sign, I wear freeride pants and its been fine, and it has been silent

  • Rick says:

    The stitching at the seams has held up great, no peeling so far. I got caught out in a good rainstorm a few weeks back and there’s a slight bit of discoloration and wear on the leather sides were the logo’s are but that’s to be expected, prior to that there was very little wear at all.

    I greased the rails prior to install and it’s been silent for me as well. This saddle is better made and has held up better than any WTB saddle I’ve owned and I only paid $65. It is on the firm side and took a few rides to break in compared to softer saddles but is comfy now.

    I would say there are more comfy saddles out there like the PureV or SDG BelAir but I couldn’t find the SDG model I wanted anywhere and the PureV or Silverado did not hold up well at all. Not to mention those saddles run at least $35 more

  • Troels says:

    Received an error when i tried to post earlier today, so i’ll try again.

    Both: Thanks for replying so quickly. Gotta say that this sounds like an impressive saddle – and silent too (what more can one ask for?). It seems as the more expensive saddles become, they get a more and more fancy designs but at the expense of durability – the FL sounds like a well-balanced choice, so this will also be my next saddle.

    Brian: Sure, i think i’ll go with the all-black version, even though the white/black looks better in my oppinion – but i have never been able to keep a white saddle anywhere near white for long.

    Rick: I was considering the WTB Silverado, but they seem to take a lot of adavantage of people who want anything beyong the stock configuration. I mean, combination of leather+Ti rails makes everything considerably more expensive. What do you think of the padding of the Syncros FL versus the WTB Silverado? Firmer, softer?

  • Rick says:

    The padding is tad bit softer on the Silverado but the saddle was not anymore comfortable for me, it didn’t holdup very well at all either. Even the side prot. panels ripped, as well as the leather cover in a few spots, will not buy another WTB.

  • Troels says:

    Me again. Does anyone know a better way of contacting Syncros except for their web contact form/application? I contacted them 2-3 weeks ago regarding whether the black dye is a surface treatment or throughout. No reply as of yet. Perhaps they got busy after Eurobike 2010…

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I spoke to their brand manager at Interbike and he thought it was a bit odd, here is their phone in San Carlos #650-517-1841

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