Syncros’s FL series refuses to surrender to neat categorization. Light enough to be used for non-technical pedal-to-the-metal xc racing purposes, yet tough enough to be used for technical hard riding, ths “Freaking Light” component group extends to handlebars, stems, seatposts, saddles, headsets and wheelsets.
In my opinion, components are as much about looks as they are performance. The Syncros FL group has an understated aesthetic that will appeal to those who crave simplicity of neutral colours married with function. I’ll profile the components below (Syncros supplied me with stem, seatpost, saddle and headset) and provide general comments as to whether they are suitable for their intended purpose.
Syncros FL Stem Review
Not much to say about the FL stem (MSRP $89.95). It’s fairly light (110g measured); can be flipped either way (+/- 6 degrees); can be tightened with reasonable torque so it can work with carbon handlebars and steerers. The colour options are utilitatarian basis with either black or white with black accents. The stem comes in lengths from 70 to 130mm in 10mm increments.
Syncros FL Hardcore Headset Review
I have even less to say about the FL Hardcore (MSRP $59.95), which is as it should be. Easily installed and simple to adjust, this standard 1 1/8th headset is light (85g) and was a conventional model with upper and lower stack (12.9mm each stack) and extremely high quality bearings on a race (titanium coated angular contact bearings on forged & CNC’ed 2014 alloy cups). I haven’t noticed it in over 60 days of riding. Oh yes — its a no-fuss black.
FL Carbon Saddle and FL Micro-adjust Seatpost Reviews
The combination of the FL Micro-adjust Carbon Seatpost (MSRP $90.00) and FL Carbon Saddle (MSRP $179.95) is what initially drew my interest to the FL group. There are ultra-light weight-weenie parts that are lighter but I will only use parts that will be ridden not just on gravel paths. The Syncros saddle and post have seen time on my Knolly Endorphin which I’ve ridden in the Yukon, Pemberton and Whistler trails, and in Graubunden, Switzerland. Failure of seatpost and saddle is not an option as the consequences can be dramatically negative. Syncros assured me that this group, while light can still take some hard-riding and they have been proven to be right and my concerns disproven.
At 236g the FL carbon saddle is featherweight yet still has support from its contoured foam. I’m used to WTB (Silverados) and Chromag DT Lynx & Moon saddles so my sitbones like saddles on the firm side. The Syncros saddle might actually have been a tad softer than other saddles I usually use but has a nice flat supportive shape married with a nice round contoured rear profile so you can easily slide on/off for more technical moves. It’s got carbon rails which look incredibly trick; but to be perfectly honest I can’t tell if those rails add any micro-cushioning (carbon rails are supposed to flex and give just a tiny bit). But come on! These are carbon rails! The saddle comes in black or white thus continuing Syncros’s colour themes.
The FL Carbon micro-adjust seatpost was a logical choice to pair with the FL Carbon seatpost. It’s a standard two bolt seatpost, with nice deep stainless steel hardware with deep bolts to resist even the most ham-handed attempt to strip. Diameters are the standard 27.2/30.9 and 31.6 and lengths are in 350 to 400mm. It’s a suitably light 220g in the 30.9. x 350mm tested and comes only in black.
There were a couple of quibbles with the seatpost and saddle:
- The seatpost rails are a bit oversized compared to alloy rails so may not be compatible with seatposts which use side-clamping hardware (eg the RaceFace XY or Turbine series) as the clamping surfaces may not be the same shape as the Syncros carbon rails
- The seatpost uses hardware that is not all that long so the hardware will be at its limit when paired with bikes with slack seat-tube angles. For example, when used with my Knolly Endorphin the rear seatpost adjustment bolt was at its limit and I was concerned that it would strip so removed a washer to gain some more space.
- The fore-aft two bolt seatpost angle and hardware is common but that doesn’t mean it’s particularly easy to use. It can be a pain – in – the …. to get seat rails into position so use patience on installation. It would be nice if the forward bolt was slightly offset from the axis parallel saddle as it can be tricky to get an allen key in there for micro-adjustments.
More Info: Visit Syncros.com