Review: Syntace W-35 MX Wheels

Syntace is a name that I first recognised from my triathlon days as the makers of tri bars and other high-end products. Perhaps a little ahead of their time, the German company introduced their W-Series range of lightweight, super wide aluminium mountain bike wheels “way” back in 2012.

Syntace W-35 MX-15.jpg

Syntace W-35 MX-12.jpg
Syntace W-35 MX-13.jpg

 

The Syntace W-35 MX wheelset is the middle child in the lineup featuring a 28.5mm internal width and 35mm outer width. Also available is a W-30 and W-40 with 24.5mm and 33.5mm inner widths respectively.

 

Syntace set out to produce a set of wide aluminium rims which were light enough for cross country use but still durable enough for trail to all-mountain riding. In their words the wheels are "for everything but downhill". Their approach is all about function over form and it’s evident when looking at the wheels. That’s not to say they are bad looking, but just uncomplicated and understated. Branding is minimal and spokes are plenty. Why? Because they would rather have more spokes bearing the load in case of a breakage on the trail.

 

At the centre of these hoops are the Syntace HiTorque MX hubs. From a glance you get the impression that these are robust and Syntace’s product pages aren’t shy to say as much. The rims are made from a custom high strength alloy which is cold worked and heat treated.The beefy looking hubs feature reinforced flanges matching the spoke angle to reduce stress. On the rear a Spur gearing system runs in place of more commonly used pawls. Syntace reckon this provides a far more resilient freewheel mechanism requiring less maintenance and providing far better engagement.

 

Syntace_PICTURE5531.jpg
A look at the inner workings of the Syntace HiTorque MX Rear Hub (Image from www.syntace.com)

 

Syntace W-35 MX-6.jpg

 

Specifications

  • Weigh (Front)830 g (26"" ISO 559, 32 hole)
    883 g (27.5"" ISO 584, 32 hole)
    938 g (29"" ISO 622, 32 hole)
  • Weight (Rear)875 g (26'' ISO 559, 32 hole)
    923 g (27.5'' ISO 584, 32 hole)
    969 g (29'' ISO 622, 32 hole)
  • Rim width (outer)35mm
  • Rim width (inner)28.5mm
  • Disc standard6 hole
  • Front HubHiTorque MX Front 15
  • Rear HubHiTorque MX Rear
  • Spokes32 pcs triple butted, black
  • Max Weight120kg
  • Wheelset PriceR17,500
  • Rim PriceR2,500

 

 

Syntace W-35 MX-3.jpg

 

Syntace W-35 MX-2.jpg

 

On the trail


On the bike the first thing noticeable is how much more beefy your tyres look thanks to the wide profile. The combination of the visually wider profile, added air volume and more stable rim-tyre interface create a very secure feeling.

 

Very often manufacturers claims seem a bit “fluffy, but here the increase in precision thanks to improved lateral stability of the tyre is remarkable. While confidence inspiring, the larger contact patch caused some concern regarding rolling resistance, but if anything it felt better than my usual “skinny” rims in both climbs and descents.

 

During initial testing I ran these at my usual 1.6 bar to get a feel for them. On hard packed dirt roads and trails they rolled well and felt assuredly grippy. On the bumpier stuff and loose rocky or rooted descents I dropped the pressure to about 1.4 bar. The softer ride combined with the wider profile ride provides a fatbikeesque feel in terms of ride quality, but without the oafish handling. At around 75kg, I found my sweet spot was in the 1.4-1.6 bar range.

 

At 1,907g for the 29" set they are on the heavier side of the aluminium cross country wheel spectrum, but about on par with more trail / all mountain oriented wheels. However, given the altered tyre profile Syntace believe the weight penalty can be offset by the reduced need for heavy, reinforced sidewall tyres.

 

If you’re a fan of loud hubs then you’ll love these. The spur gears are quite vocal. Let’s just say the need for a trail bell is no more, they do the talking for you, in a very German, mechanical sort of way.

 

Syntace W-35 MX-4.jpg

 

Verdict


These wheels are all about precision and function. Although our test was short we got the feeling these wheels would be ones to last and Syntace’s 10 year warranty backs this up. And a good thing that, as the price isn’t cheap. At R 17,500 for the set you’ll no doubt be comparing with carbon competitors, though at this width and weight there aren’t too many options. The price does seem on the steep side for an aluminium wheelset, but pick any top end hub set, add quality wide rims, spokes and some labour and you’ll be in a similar neighbourhood.

 

If you are in the market for some high-end super wide, but still reasonably light wheels give these a look. They’re not carbon, nor do they have flashy decals, but they are a solid set of top quality wheels with too many technical touches to cover here.

 




19 Comments

NicoBoshoff, Dec 01 2015 06:56

Building those hoops onto Hope Evo's would half the price.  Those hubs cannot be that much better.

raptor-22, Dec 01 2015 07:09

It's a ratchet drive system like dtswiss 240s hubs. The hope evo 2 hub is only about R2000 cheaper and you won't change the price of the rims so there's not going anything more than 10% saving.

Bizkit031, Dec 01 2015 07:17

Dabomb Advance rims at R2350 a set and 30mm internal and 495g a rim,R2500 a rim is steep.

Meezo, Dec 01 2015 07:47

There was a guu selling them at 950 each was in the classifieds, i was actually planning om getting me but i see the add is no longer there, TRIGURU was the hubber profile

NicoBoshoff, Dec 01 2015 07:54

It's a ratchet drive system like dtswiss 240s hubs. The hope evo 2 hub is only about R2000 cheaper and you won't change the price of the rims so there's not going anything more than 10% saving.

R5 000 for rims, R1500 for spokes and labour (just had a set built) and Hope Pro 2 Evo are R3750 a set on CWC. So around R10k, but let's call it R11k to be generous.

 

Still about R7k cheaper.

What am I missing?

Rocket-Boy, Dec 01 2015 08:10

Maybe Im missing something but why would you take those over a set of AC WL at that price?

Patensie, Dec 01 2015 08:10

R5 000 for rims, R1500 for spokes and labour (just had a set built) and Hope Pro 2 Evo are R3750 a set on CWC. So around R10k, but let's call it R11k to be generous.

 

Still about R7k cheaper.

What am I missing?

American Classic Wide Lightnings for R7800 (Evobikes)

NicoBoshoff, Dec 01 2015 10:31

American Classic Wide Lightnings for R7800 (Evobikes)

Haha, clever. No my Flow Ex's on Novatec Hubs are keeping my wheels turnin just fine.

raptor-22, Dec 01 2015 10:40

R5 000 for rims, R1500 for spokes and labour (just had a set built) and Hope Pro 2 Evo are R3750 a set on CWC. So around R10k, but let's call it R11k to be generous.

 

Still about R7k cheaper.

What am I missing?

 

 

the German factor....

raptor-22, Dec 01 2015 10:49

R6800 for the hubset

R1500 for spoes and labour (probably fairly cheap spokes)

R5000 for the rims

 

SAPIM triple butted are R35per spoke. lwts say R5 per nipple So R40 per spoke.

R40 x 64 = r2560 plus R400 labour so lets call it R3000 

 

R6800

R3000

R5000

 

R14800 or thereabouts.

 

Still a way off the R17K quoted. Does make it seem a bit steep. HHUb price is actually closer to R9000 but I used prices off bike24.com

NicoBoshoff, Dec 01 2015 10:52

the German factor....

Ja, I know.  Hope is ***.

raptor-22, Dec 01 2015 10:59

Ja, I know.  Hope is ***.

 

 

Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? You seem hell bent on having a fight in this thread or another

Hilton., Dec 01 2015 11:05

AC Carbonator on special for R 17 995 at the moment on Evobikes ...

26 mm internal width, super stiff, 1680 grams (heavy-ish for carbon).

 

This. Doesn't. Compute.

Odinson, Dec 01 2015 11:09

No mention of things such as hub engagement speed, tjoopless compatability and performance and stiffness.

raptor-22, Dec 01 2015 11:12

No mention of things such as hub engagement speed, tjoopless compatability and performance and stiffness.

 

 

Like I said, the German factor.. How dare you eefen osk zis queschin! Schweine Hund!

Captain Fastbastard Mayhem, Dec 01 2015 11:19

No mention of things such as hub engagement speed, tjoopless compatability and performance and stiffness.

36 points of engagement, according to this pic:

 

Don't know what they mean by "reduced 1.5deg engagement angle"


Attached Images

  • ccs-2-0-03408200-1448375059.jpg

NicoBoshoff, Dec 01 2015 11:21

Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? You seem hell bent on having a fight in this thread or another

Takes two to tango.

 

And me making the point that Hope hubs, which are widely accepted as top tier, is waaaaaay better value for money, is not being hellbent on a fight. It's having an opinion and making a statement.

 

But ok, I realise this forum has a pecking order and people have dedicated their entire lives to being seen as the auhority on literally anything posted on here ever, so I'll be on my way.

Hilton., Dec 01 2015 11:23

Up till now, I thought the most expensive aluminium MTB wheels you could buy were Fulcrum Red Passion, and I think they're somewhere between R14k and R16k, which is still a lot of money. Also, what are Mavic Crossmax SLR's going for now?

 

I know, both are still really skinny old-style 19mm or 21mm rims.

 

There is a small caption on the image that says these have 36 points of engagement, 10 degrees. Quite average nowadays, the same as DT Swiss 240s.

 

Even my cheapo Bitex hubs have 52 points of engagement, and they've never given me a moments hassle. They use 6 offset pawls with leaf springs. Said to not be as durable, I've found them perfect so far, even when I open them up to service and regrease.