Syncros Silverton SL one-piece carbon wheelset

XC race weapon is light, fast, strong — and very expensive

Cross Country Sea Otter Classic Wheels
Syncros Silverton SL Wheelset

The critical metrics for these new $3500 wheels.

We’re constantly asked what’s the coolest thing we saw at the Sea Otter Classic. For me, the answer was undoubtedly the Syncros Silverton SL one-piece carbon 29er wheelset, where the rim, spokes, and hub shell all come out of one composite mold. Just push in a hub bearing (DT Swiss 190s in this case) and off you go – quickly.

At a wispy 1250 grams for the pair, this engineering marvel is both eye-catching and potentially game changing. Of course, picking up a set will also do a number on your bank account. They boast an eye-watering $3500 price tag. (For comparison sake, a new set of ENVE M525 carbon wheels will set you back $2800 and have a claimed weight of 1371 grams.)

Among the top line features is a claimed 100% increase in torsional stiffness compared to a traditional carbon wheel, plus an extra 30% lateral stiffness. That, according to Syncros, which is Scott’s housebrand for wheels and cockpit components, delivers increased initial acceleration and more precise cornering and responsive braking. Because overall mass has been moved toward the center of the wheel, Syncros says the wheels speed and slow down more quickly, requiring 30% less force at the initial moment of inertia.

Syncros Silverton SL Wheelset

The hub bearings are the only non-carbon part of these wheels.

Other key metrics include a 26mm inner rim width, 35mm depth, and 20 “spokes” front and rear. The Silverton SL is designed with XC racing in mind, and interface best with tires in the 2.25-2.4 range. Hub internals are DT Swiss 190, rotor attachment is centerlock, and since there are no traditional spokes, they are very tubeless friendly. They’ll also place nice with either Shimano or SRAM XD drivers.

Syncros Silverton SL Wheelset

Everything including the hub shell is made of carbon.

Of course one of the big questions is, what if you crash and break a spoke? Syncros says the wheels are about 35% stronger than if you had a traditional spoked wheel, and in some cases the wheels could be repaired by a carbon repair specialist (as long as they are no more than 7mm out of true). If that doesn’t work out, there’s a crash replacement program that will discount a new set by 50% in the first year and follow a sliding scale thereafter. The wheels will be spec’d on select model year 2019 Scott Spark and Scale XC bikes, and also be available for aftermarket purchase starting in August.

Syncros Silverton SL Wheelset

Total wheelset weight is a jaw dropping 1250 grams.

For more information, spin over to www.syncros.com. This article is part of Mtbr’s coverage of the 2018 Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. For more from Sea Otter CLICK HERE.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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  • wayold says:

    “less force at the initial moment of inertia”. My brain’s still spinning with this one. Either nonsensical or a clever dual meaning of “moment”.

    • gozar says:

      It’s a physics term having to do with a force acting a distance from a fixed point. Imagine a lever – the fulcrum is a fixed point and the moment is calculated from the product of the length of the lever and the amount of force (torque) acting on it.

      A wheel is a bunch of levers arranged in a circle, so “less force at the initial moment of inertia” means “takes less muscle to get the wheel spinning from a stop.”

      I am a graphic designer, and this is just my understanding of it… if any engineers want to point out my errors please have at it!

  • guy smiley says:

    Brilliant, less is more, expect one-piece carbon wheels to explode on the road, cross scenes.

    • myke says:

      Mavic had a full carbon wheelset almost 10 years ago and lightweight much longer. i personally wouldn’t want this wheelset. i’ll put money on it having one of the most harsh ride qualities a mtb wheelset could have!

  • A. Rider says:

    So if you break a spoke, the entire wheel is done for?

  • dje31 says:

    Very impressive technology from Syncros. While there may be sticker shock to many, $3500 is not unusual for a carbon-rimmed wheelset with standard hubs, spokes, and nipples.

  • Highway Star says:

    Wow, expensive, unrepairable full carbon wheels. I’m sure they will go over just as well as the last dozen times around.

  • Matt says:

    The article brought the broken spoke point up and the response was that they are 35% stronger than a traditional wheel. Is the implication that you could continue to ride them?

    Nice to see composite wheels making a comeback. I suppose.

  • Shark says:

    Interesting idea, I’d be too paranoid to take them in the woods though;)
    There’s always the tri-spoke carbon design.

  • Clive de Sousa says:

    Everything looks great but I can’t help but think the ride quality will not be there. The stiffness has it’s performance benefit but it’s a hard ride.

  • Rob says:

    if the wheels are stiffer, more impact from the trails has to be absorbed by the frame & rider. stiff wheels are great to a point but I’m not sure more is always better.

  • slownsteady says:

    Sweetness…essentially it’s a mag rim…just hope you don’t break a ‘spoke’. Lifetime warranty?

  • Tom says:

    Really?! Break a spoke (and you WILL if you ride anywhere with trees and sticks on the trail). $1000 plus and shipping wait VS a $2 spoke and 15 minutes to replace it. I suppose if all you do is ride up steep fire roads, go for it. I guess there are customers for these but I’ll stick with wheels I can ride, work on, and get back out the same day when I break something. I’d spend the $3500 on a trip to ride somewhere really cool where I’ll break more spokes.

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