Since being acquired by Scott Sports, Syncros has grown the line exponentially. While they’re known for their mountain bike products, they did actually produce a few road stems and other products before Ritchey Logic bought the brand and made it more of their all-mountain/freeride/gravity offshoot.
Scott bought the brand and immediately set about making it a more robust line to use as a high end OEM line across their entire range of bikes. Which meant a heavy dose of road bike components.
The brand is using a fairly easy naming scheme for the product hierarchy – 1.0 represents the best, with lower numbers getting lighter and more expensive. For mountain bikes, the letters refer to the type of riding: XR (cross country), TR (trail), AM (all mountain), FR (freeride) and FL (Freakin’ Light), the latter being their top of the line lightweight offerings.
For road, FL remains Freakin’ Light, RL is Road Light and RR is Road Race. And then the saddles cross both disciplines and use a slightly different nomenclature based on fit and the type of performance you’re looking to get out of the saddle.
All that and more, including an overview of each component category, after the break…
For a year or so before the brand moved to Scott, Syncros was showing some pretty sick mountain bike wheelsets, using their own hubs and some pretty light carbon fiber rims. Some of the tech made its way to Ritchey’s carbon 29er wheels, but most of it appears to have been left behind. The new line is shown at the top of the post.
For mountain bike wheels, they have the top of the line XR1.0 carbon hoops (26″, 29er), the alloy XR1.5 (26″, 29er) and the alloy TR1.0 trail wheel (27″/650B). All three have a 12xx142 rear/15mm thru axle front set up standard, but can be switched all the way down to standard QR if you want. This was done because most of Scott’s bikes (all suspension models except some of the lowest price points) have this axle arrangement. All are tubeless ready, with rim widths ranging from 25mm (19.5mm internal) up to 25.5mm (20mm internal) depending on model, all with 20mm rim heights. Weights range from 1,365g per pair up to 1,605g.
“We have taken some of the best parts on the market and our engineers and product managers selected things that offer the best bang for the buck with regards to aerodynamics, dependability, performance and cost,” said Lars Johnson, Syncros’ marketing manager. “We carried over a handful of products from Ritchey’s era, but not really for wheels. Here, we really went our own way, leaning more towards the XC and trail segments.”
This meant DT Swiss hubs and spokes in some cases, which is also a Swiss brand, and building from there. They use a lot of the Star Ratchet internals, stainless steel bearings and their bladed spokes. They’ve used them in their own way, though, using direct pull spokes more frequently and hiding the nipples inside the deeper rims on the aero road wheels.
The other difference is a more streamlined version of DT’s RWS skewer for their road wheels.
With everyone making a big deal about aero these days, what’s Syncros’ differentiation?
“First, everyone thought you needed to be narrow. Then deep, then wide,” said Johnson. “But some of the wheels that came out over the past few years were hard to handle on the bike, so we went with something a little shallower than what you might see from others. This makes them easy to handle.”
“We also made them durable and easy to use. They have aluminum brake tracks, but weights are still within an acceptable range. And they’re robust…some of the aero wheels out there, you squeeze them and can really flex the sidewalls. It’s scary.”
The main road wheels are the RL1.0 (32mm deep), the RR1.0 / RR1.5 is 46mm deep, which are the carbon clincher options. There’s also an alloy RR2.0 that’s 30mm deep, and a few others.
Syncros’ new handlebars were designed with Geoff Kabush’s input and trend wider.
For now, all handlebars are for mountain bikes and include carbon and alloy with various rise heights. One of the more unique bars is the FL1.0, which technically has no rise, but puts the bulk of the 31.8 clamp area on the bottom so it has a slight effective rise. It, along with most of the other bars, come in both 700mm and 740mm widths. Those that only come in 740mm will have cut guides on the ends. The entire range has a 6º upsweep and 9º backsweep.
Weights range from 180g up to 315g for the 800mm wide DH bar. Carbon bars are high modulus fibers with a unidirectional layup and minimal, muted graphics. Alloy bars
Stems use a classic, flip-flop design with +/-6º rise. The FL1.0 is a carbon wrapped alloy stem that has a 3D forged 7050 alloy inside with a broad faceplate. The carbon wrap reinforces the stem to make it stiffer but puts it at 125g, 5g heavier than the all alloy FL1.5 stem.
Below that, there’s a range of stems for various disciplines, and for now, they’re using the FL models for road applications on Scott bikes.
The DH headsets are available with different offsets, color coded to make it easier to pick them apart. The red has +/-2º, the black +/-1º and the pewter is neutral. They have alloy cups with sealed cartridge bearings and weigh in at 140g and will retail for just $79.99.
The other headsets are your standard, semi-integrated SCB headset and will come in straight and tapered shapes. Retail is just $44.99 and weight is 110g to 130g.
The carbon rigid forks and split pin flat pedals carry over unchanged from Ritchey’s ownership for now. The seatposts keep the original Syncros front-and-rear bolt mounts with rounded rocker clamp base that makes tilt adjustments super easy. They still have a few carry over posts using Ritchey’s side-by-side bolts, too.
The mini pumps and shock pumps include the Micro Pump HP, a super small, 83g pump made to fit into a jersey pocket and goes up to 120psi. Others have an extendable hose and will be available in high pressure, high volume or an all-purpose model that just works for whatever. The shock pump gets a large dial gauge and adjustable hose with large pressure release valve. It cranks up to 400psi!
Not shown is the Ride Wallet that assembles and holds your cash, mini tool and the Micro Pump.
The mini tools don’t use any little spacers between the tools, which they say help eliminates play and weight. Some also offer multiple Torx sizes, good for the more modern bikes that seem to use too many different bolt patterns and sizes. The largest model weighs in at just 142g, the smaller ones much lighter, particularly the littlest ones with composite sidewalls.
Check Zach’s post from Scott’s 2013 Genius launch for some first impressions of some of these components.