Syncros has developed a full carbon cross-country wheelset — yes, spokes and hubshells, too. The new Silverton SL wheelset is incredibly light, claimed to be a category leader in terms of stiffness and is also very, very expensive.
The Silverton SL weighs in at just 1,250g (claimed) for the 29in set of full carbon wheelsJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
The Silverton SL isn’t the first full-carbon wheelset on the market. There have been numerous full-carbon designs over the years, including early attempts such as the Spinergy Rev-X and contemporary offerings from the boutique German wheel manufacturer Lightweight.
It appears Syncros paid close attention to the evolving nature of cross-country racing and developed the Silverton SL accordingly.
The carbon wheelset has a reasonable internal rim width of 26mm suited to 2.25 to 2.4in tires. The full carbon wheelset has a surprisingly high maximum recommended weight limit of 130kg / 286lb for the combined weight of bike and rider, which could bode well for durability.
The meager gram count of just 1,250g will please weight weenies but, according to Syncros, the real story is the stiffness gains the company made while developing the Silverton SL.
A system for speed
The Silverton SL incorporates a host of design elements intended to make this premium cross-country wheelset a complete system suitable for the highest levels of cross-country racing under athletes such as Scott’s Nino Schurter.
The plies of carbon that make up the 20 spokes per wheel are placed over one another in alternating layers, creating a single rigid structure. (You won’t be truing these wheels.)
The spokes are molded into a solid structureJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
This design is said to dramatically increase responsiveness under power. Syncros claims the Silverton SL wheelset is 100 percent torsionally stiffer than an Enve M50 wheelset built with traditional spokes and hubs.
According to Syncros engineer Benoit Grelier there are significant gains in lateral stiffness as well. “These improvements in lateral and torsional stiffness dramatically improve steering precision and acceleration,” Grelier says.
The most interesting element of this wheelset’s construction is how the spokes are tensioned. Once the rim and spokes are bonded together, the spoke assemblies are pulled apart by approximately 2.5mm per side to make room for the carbon hub shells, thereby adding tension to the truss-like structure.
The Silverton SL spins on appropriately high-end internals, including the ceramic bearings used in DT Swiss 190 hubsets and a 36-tooth star ratchet freehub.
Silverton SL pricing, availability and warranty
The Silverton SL is the halo offering in Syncros’ mountain bike wheel lineJosh Patterson / Immediate Media
The Silverton SL will come stock on Scott’s premium Scale and Spark models this fall. It will also be available for aftermarket purchase to well-heeled riders for $3,500. (UK and Australian pricing TBC.)
Anyone tempted to drop this much money on a wheelset will likely want to protect their investment. Syncros’ warranty covers the Silverton SL for two years against manufacturer’s defects. In the event of a crash or other damage that occurs on the trail, Syncros offers a crash replacement program that’s tiered by the age of the wheelset: 50% off retail for up to one year from the date of purchase, 30% off retail for the second year from purchase, and 20% percent off retail for the third year from the date of purchase.