Santa Cruz has a special technical partner for the Syndicate race team. Making mega rims.

Santa Cruz makes lofty claims for its carbon-fibre rims.

The Syndicate downhill racing team is hard on rims. Danny MacAskill, too. In fact, the Scottish tails and mountain biking legend, proved the robustness of Santa Cruz’s rim product, by trying to ride a pair to destruction.

Read more: best mountain bike wheels

Special tech for the Syndicate 

One of the secrets in Santa Cruz’s competition grade composite rims, is French. A technology developed by NAWA, has helped Santa Cruz’s composite specialists, to shape and strengthen the Syndicate team’s rims, on a micro level.

NAWA’s nanotechnology uses vertically aligned carbon nanotubes to help reinforce the structure of capacitors and battery electrodes. But it has also found an application in composite mountain bike rims.

NAWAStitch has been woven into Syndicate downhill racing rims since 2018 and for this season, the French company is stepping out from its nano-anonymity and becoming an official technical partner, for Sante Cruz.

It is really strong stuff

How well does the nanotube technology work? NAWA claims that its carbon-fibre composites have radically superior shear strength and shock resistance. The numbers are staggering: a shear strength improvement by a factor of 100 and shock resistance increasing by a factor of 10.

If the abovementioned numbers sound too good to be true, a more relatable statistic is that NAWA estimates it has reduced the Syndicate team’s wheel failure rate, by 80%.

Although all this clever French reinforced carbon-fibre rim technology is exclusively for use by the Syndicate team riders, Santa Cruz is keen to distribute NAWAStitch fibre wheels, to customers, soon.

If it is good enough for a rider of Greg Minnaar’s size, most trail and enduro riders will never trouble the shear strength, of a NAWAStitch reinforced rim.