Words and images: Ryan Walsch
 
In late 2014  we first saw a rim like no other, it was low profile, wider than the norm and resembled a motorbike rim. Bouwmeester Composites' unique Tammar wheel set was an industry first with a solid profile carbon rim with the right amounts of lateral and radial compliance not achievable with conventional rim design. With a focus on ride quality and durability, this lightweight and sought after wheel surpassed impact tests where others failed.

The industry took notice and the announcement was made that head engineer and founder Mello Bouwmeester was making the move to the Selle Royal Group. He would be working on projects across brands such as Crank Brothers, Fi’zi:k, Brooks and Selle Royal. Crank Brothers are no stranger to exploring new ways of doing things and their previous line up the Cobalt, Iodine and Opium wheel sets were examples of that


With proven concepts on the table and footage of a crazy looking low profile carbon rim onboard the Unno Factory DH race team bikes who are running Crank Brothers gear we could only assume and wait.

At a glance

With a striking resemblance to the Tammar and a very stylish finish that has become synonymous with Crank Brothers quality the Synthesis has a long list of finer details. These details show that Crank Brothers are committed to producing a truly exceptional wheel set. With XC, Enduro and DH wheels available in two spec levels, we had one of the higher spec Enduro wheel sets delivered to review.

 
Crank Brothers match a 28 hole front rim and 32 hole rear hub to address the different requirements a front and rear wheel. Crank Brothers has made the rear rim 15-20 grams burlier, slightly narrower with beefier spokes. Manufacturing two completely different rims is no cheap feat, but across all the ranges and wheel sizes they have certainly invested in getting it right.
 
Setup

Tyre fitting is pretty simple, the tubeless tape is high quality and adhered perfectly to the rim. With valves already in place it was as simple as adding tyres, sealant and inflating.


Due to the low profile of the rim, the internal rim well is not very deep and I found that ensuring the bead of the tyre is smack bang in the centre on the rim well the entire way around the rim made for easy fitment. Nothing more than a track pump was required to pump up our tubeless Maxxis rubber with the bead snapping into place easily.