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Synthesis, Crankbrothers carbon wheels with specific front and rear models

Crankbrothers introduces in its 2019 catalogue the Synthesis carbon wheel range, made up of five different models that share a common feature: specific rims for the front and rear wheels. All the wheels in Crankbrothers' new Synthesis range have a narrower rear rim than the front for better tyre performance, plus a 32-spoke rear mount and 28-spoke front mount with differentiated tensions to improve riding sensations.

At TodoMountainBike: Synthesis, Crankbrothers carbon wheels with specific front and rear models
Different wheels front and rear, the Crankbrothers proposal with its Synthesis range.

Why different front and rear rims? It's not a new concept, because it' s been done in the motorcycle world for many years. However, it is a novelty in bicycle wheels, usually with the same size in front and behind. Crankbrothers' proposal is to improve the rider's experience by mounting a narrower, stiffer rear wheel that optimises tyre traction and rim strength, and a wider, more flexible front wheel that offers greater absorption and terrain reading capacity.

To do this, Crankbrothers has adopted wheel sets with different profiles and settings at the front and rear: a narrower rim profile at the rear, with a 32-spoke set-up set at a higher tension than on the front wheel, on the other side with a wider rim profile and a 28-spoke set-up set at a lower tension to gain absorption capacity.

At TodoMountainBike: Synthesis, Crankbrothers carbon wheels with specific front and rear models
Crankbrothers Synthesis XCT 11 wheels.

Crankbrothers' new Synthesis range is divided into five different models, two for XC/Marathon bikes, two for Trail/Enduro and one for DH:

  • Crankbrothers Synthesis XCT 11: the top-of-the-range wheel set for XC/Marathon bikes, available in 29-inch diameter for Boost axles. It is made up of a rear wheel with an internal width of 24 millimetres and a 32-spoke Sapim CX-Ray assembly, and a front wheel with an internal width of 26.5 millimetres and a 28-spoke Sapim CX-Ray assembly. They are mounted with Synthesis 11 hubs (with Project 321 internal mechanism and magnetic attachment system) and have a declared weight of 1,490 grams per set. Recommended retail price is €2,399.
  • Crankbrothers Synthesis XCT: same as Synthesis XCT 11, but with Sapim D-Light front and rear spokes and Synthesis Standard hubs. They have a declared weight of 1.575 grams per set. Recommended price of 1.699€.
  • Crankbrothers Synthesis E 11: the top-of-the-range wheel set for Trail/Enduro bikes, available in 27.5-inch and 29-inch diameters for Boost axles. It is made up of a rear wheel with an internal width of 29.5 millimetres and a 32-spoke Sapim CX-Sprint assembly, and a front wheel with an internal width of 31.5 millimetres and a 28-spoke Sapim CX-Ray assembly. They are mounted with Synthesis 11 hubs (with Project 321 internal mechanism and magnetic attachment system) and have a declared weight of 1.760/1.825 grams per set (27.5"/29"). Recommended retail price is €2,399.
  • Crankbrothers Synthesis E: same as Synthesis E 11, but with Sapim D-Light front spokes, Sapim Race rear spokes and Synthesis Standard hubs. They have a declared weight of 1.845/1.905 grams per set (27.5"/29"). Recommended retail price is 1.699€.
  • Crankbrothers Synthesis DH 11: the top of the range wheel set for downhill bikes, available in 27.5" and 29" diameters for Boost (27.5" and 29") and standard axles (only 27.5"). It is made up of a rear wheel with an internal width of 31.5 millimetres and a 32-spoke Sapim CX-Sprint assembly, and a front wheel with an internal width of 31.5 millimetres and a 28-spoke Sapim CX-Ray assembly. They are mounted with Synthesis 11 hubs (with Project 321 internal mechanism and magnetic attachment system) and have a declared weight of 1.945/1.995 grams per set (27.5"/29"). Recommended retail price is €2,399.