Review: Syncros freeride/downhill wheelset

Tested by Matt Kasprzyk

Since mid-summer, these Syncros wheels have been on my downhill bike. They have taken a lot of abuse, from all-day sessions at bike parks to downhill racing. These aren’t disposable race-day wheels. I rode Syncros FR/ DH wheels from July through October 2011 and they are still rolling tight and true. I’ve been told that one reason for their trueness is Syncros’ patented True Track Technology. It relieves stress, hardens and straightens the rim after it is shaped into a hoop. The process eliminates the compression and stretching of the alloy during rim shaping. What does this mean for riders? A wheel that requires less maintenance.

The FR/DH wheelset is available with matte white or anodized black rims. The 32 DT Swiss Champion 2.0mm spokes are laced three-cross with DT Swiss nipples. This wheelset uses Syncros DS32 sleeved rims, made from a proprietary alloy blend. The previous version of this wheelset used a bead lock to minimize tire and tube rotation under hard braking to prevent flat tires from rolling off the rim. Unfortunately, Syncros found the bead lock increased sidewall tears and removed it in favor of a more traditional bead hook.

The FR/DH front hub spins on four bearings, two per side for stability and durability. The rear hub uses three pairs of oversized bearings, two at each end of the hub body and two more at the base of the freehub. The freehub has a mild “killer bee” click. Not obnoxious, but they certainly give a bit of that expensive wheel sound. Three pawls provide 10-degree engagement, which was quick enough for my needs.

In the world of cycling components, gaining reliability and robustness often coincide with gains in weight. The FR/DH wheelset is no exception. The 150×12 rear wheel tips my scale at 1,360g. The front wheel comes in close behind at 1,120g. Not the lightest DH wheels on the market, but they might be some of the most durable, stiffest and affordable. Did I men- tion they come in white? Price for the front wheel is $280. Prices for the 135mm QR and 150mm thru-axle (tested) rear wheels are $320 and $300, respectively.

If you’re an enthusiast-level rider looking for a wheel upgrade, or in need of a sturdy replacement, Syncros FR/DH wheels are a good combina- tion of price and durability. Not to mention they also look and sound pretty good. All Syncros wheels come with a five-year, limited warranty.

Price: $580

Weight: 2,480 grams

Country of Origin: Taiwan