Known as true sticklers for detail and genuine innovators, the guys at Syntace recognized the advantages of wider rims a long time ago. They subsequently released the Syntace W30 MX, W35 MX and the W40 MX wheels. We’ve tested the 35mm outer width rims over the course of many months and our findings can be read here.

Der Syntace W35 MX-Laufradsatz bringt in 27,5" 1780 g auf die Waage und geht für 888 € über den Ladentisch.
The Syntace W35 MX 27.5″ wheelset weighs in at 1780g and costs €888.

The advantages of wider rims are now well known; they offer more grip, more traction, more precise handling, more puncture-resistance and are less prone to burping. But – and it has to be said – they do have a serious disadvantage and that’s their weight. However, on paper the Syntace W35 MX promise a seemingly winning concoction of wide rims with a low weight (1780 g for 27.5″).

The wheelset

Without having moved an inch, one thing is for sure: Syntace have set yet another new standard in the name of ‘understatement’! No other wheelset is as innocuous as the W35 MX – coming entirely in black with 32 three-cross-laced spokes and just two tiny engraved logos on the left and right of the valve, these merge effortlessly with our test bike. The W35 MX are available for €888, and in all three diameters: 26″, 27.5″ and 29″.

Der Syntace W35 MX verfügt über 32 dreifach gekreuzte Speichen.
The Syntace W35 MX has 32 spokes, 3-cross laced.

Syntace create all their wheelsets by hand at their headquarters in the Allgäu, focusing on free rolling ability and the balance of spoke tension. At the end of the process, each wheelset gets its own so-called passport which contains a host of techy details such as spoke tension, product number etc. This is invaluable for customers when it comes to servicing or reclaiming a guarantee.

The wheelsets come with neither rim tape nor a tubeless valve, as Syntace claim that personal preferences vary too much and they’re wary of raising the price for potentially unwanted accessories.

Lediglich ein kleines gelasertes Logo verrät den Hersteller.
Just the small lasered logo shows the manufactor

The hubs

Despite not looking super exciting, the wheelsets have some remarkable technical details, including Syntace’s very own hubs. Both the front and rear wheels come with an oversize 17mm thru-axle and sealed deep groove ball bearings on both sides, which can be easily and continuously adjusted by a screw. This wasn’t necessary in our tests, as the bike was delivered with optimal play, which lasted throughout our 700 test kilometres.

Über die kleine, mit einer Inbusschraube gesicherte Einstellkappe lässt sich das Lagerspiel der Naben einstellen.
The hub’s bearing play can be adjusted with a twist of an Allen key in the adjustment screw.

The notion of ‘understatement’ disappears as soon as you freewheel – as Syntace opt for 36 tooth spur gears in the hub, the wheels establish themselves with a loud, whirry freewheel sound, making the need for a bell redundant. A further benefit comes from their low maintenance nature and the fine tooth angles, which particularly impressed us consistently on techy climbs with their lack of play.

Der feinverzahnte Zahnscheibenfreilauf überzeugt! Der XD-Freilaufkörper ist optional erhältlich.
The finely toothed spur-ratchet freehub is a winner! The XD freehub body is available as a separate purchase.

The rims

As the name suggest, the W35 MX wheelset has 35-millimetre-wide outer rims, and the inner width is a comfy 28.4mm. The rims have asymmetrically angled spoke holes to guarantee optimal rigidity. After gluing on some rim tape, the modification to tubeless was fairly simple and the tyre slotted nicely into the rims. During our lengthy testing period, the tyres stayed on the rims and even with low pressure of 1.5 bar, there was no hint of burping air despite numerous obstacles trying their best to distort the stable rims.

Härtetest: Die Syntace-Laufräder mussten sich auch im Renneinsatz beweisen.
Long-term test: the Syntace wheelset didn’t have an easy ride, as they had to prove themselves in race situations too.

The spokes

Both the front and rear wheels have 32 double-butted and three-cross-laced Sapim spokes with alu nipples. After our testing period the wheels still boasted a virtually perfect roll with no hint of vertical wobble. Spoke tension remained extremely balanced.

Riding impression

It’s easy to sum up how they ride in two words: brilliantly understated and understatedly brilliant! They offer superbly precise handling thanks to the high spoke tension and the wide rims. Their lightweight nature and the finely tooth freehub ensure maximum drive. And the wheelset has excelled at finding rigidity without being too hard or too uncomfortable. In terms of their durability, we can’t fault them at all, as neither the rims nor the spoke tension have shown any defects.

Nach dem Test haben wir die Speichenspannung ...
After testing we checked out the spoke tension once again …
... und den Rundlauf der Laufräder im Zentrierständer überprüft.
… and the wheel’s trueness in the stand. And the results were overwhelmingly positive!


The Syntace wheels have come up trumps in their entirety! Their low weight, wide rims, great rigidity and long lasting nature have merged to create a brilliant set of wheels. If you’re looking for reliable and attractive wheels, then these are your best bet. Priced at €888, they’re significantly cheaper than comparable carbon models, and they more than match them in performance. Good job Syntace!

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Words & Pictures: Christoph Bayer

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