Borrowing the compliant-yet-stiff concept from their mountain bike wheels, Crank Brothers has launched the Synthesis Gravel Wheel lineup with both carbon and alloy wheel options.
Offered in 700c and 650b, they’re sold as separate front and rear wheels built on two variations of Synthesis hubs, depending on rim type.
Unlike the mountain bike wheels, which use different rims front and rear, these use the same 26.5mm internal rim width (21mm deep) for both models, optimized for 40-48mm wide tires.
The rims’ tune is optimized for compliance on both ends of the bike since (most) gravel riders aren’t ripping berms and hucking jumps like on MTB, where the Synthesis rear wheels are tuned more for stiffness and bomb-proofness.
Synthesis Carbon Gravel Wheels
The carbon version gets their Synthesis Ratchet hubs with 10º engagement and come in at a claimed 1517g (650b) and 1544g (700c) per set.
They use Centerlock rotors and retail for $599 front and $899 rear with 28 spokes per wheel.
Both modesl are available with XDR and HG freehub body options, no Campy version for now.
Synthesis Alloy Gravel Wheels
The alloy models get Synthesis Standard hubs (also Centerlock) with 17º engagement. Claimed weights are 1769g (650b) and 1917g (700c), also with 28 Sapim D-Light spokes.
Neither wheelset is rated for e-bike use, but both are available now in limited quantities.