Industry Nine has made subtle refinements to their wheel systems since their debut in 2005, but nothing as sweeping as what this small, Asheville, North-Carolina-based company has just unveiled. Dubbed ‘Torch’, this new line of hubsets and complete wheels build upon Industry Nine’s reputation for creating light, stiff and colorful wheelsets with almost instantaneous engagement. Broad compatibility, weight savings and improved seals were all critical elements of the company’s wheel and hub redesign.
Axle configuration: Have it your way
With so many different axle diameters and frame spacings it can be hard to keep track of which wheelsets are compatible with what frames. Industry Nine used oversized axles and cartridge bearings to ensure their new wheelsets would be compatible with most common front and rear axle configurations.
By swapping endcaps the front hub can be easily converted between 9mm quick-release, 15mm and 20mm thru-axle systems. Similarly, the 135mm rear hub found on the Trail wheelsets, can be converted from 10x135mm quick-release to 12x135mm and 12x142mm. A 150mm rear hub is also available for gravity riders; it is compatible with 12×150 and 12x157mm spacings.
The freehub body was been redesigned to make it easier to service, freehubs will be available in both 9/10-speed and XX1 versions. Torch front hubs are reported to weigh 10g to 55g less than their predecessors (depending on the model). The rear hubs are reported to loose approximately 100g over the older hub design.
Improved seals, less friction
If there was a shortcoming of previous Industry Nine wheels it their susceptibility to the elements. To that end, Torch hubs use Teflon contact seals on the endcaps to protect the bearings. The freehub body uses a silicon lip seal to lessen the chance of water and grit contaminating the drive mechanism.
The only facet of the new redesigned hubs that remains unchanged is the lighting fast freehub mechanism. Industry Nine uses a six-pawl freehub, which utilizes phased engagement to double the number of engagement points from 60 to 120 resulting in only three degrees of engagement.
New spokes and rims
Previous Industry Nine wheelsets used spokes machines from 7075-T6 aluminum. The new spokes are still machined from the aluminum, but increase in diameter. This increase in diameter allowed the company to replace the miniscule .050 allen fitting located at the hub-end of the spoke with a much more user-friendly T8 torx fitting. (The only time one would need to use this—as opposed a .126” square spoke wrench—to remove a spoke would be if a spoke breaks at or very near the threads.)
The Torch rims are one of the few items that Industry Nine does not manufacture in-house. The new rim design comes in 24- and 32-hole drillings, is tubeless compatible, and is appreciably wide, with an external width of 28mm and an internal width of 23.4mm.
According to Industry Nine, these rims offer a ride quality that approaches the stiffest carbon rims, but at a much lower cost. A carbon rim option, manufactured by Reynolds, is also available on the complete wheelsets.
Two new wheelsts and a new hubset
Now that we’ve run through the particulars, lets delve into the new wheelsets and hubs.
The Torch Trail 24 is the lighter weight option. It’s geared towards cross-country racers and those riding light-duty trail bikes. As the name suggests, the wheels feature a 24-hole drilling. They have a 2/1 lacing pattern, which the company claims reduces weight while balancing wheel tension and maintaining durability. The front wheel has 16 spokes on the disc side and 8 on the non-disc side, while the rear wheel has 16 spokes on the drive side and eight on the non-drive side.The Trail 24 has a suggested rider weight limit of 200lb/91kg. It will be available in 26”, 27.5” (650b), and 29” versions.
Approximate weights for the Trail 24 wheelsets
- 26”: 1420g
- 27.5”: 1460g
- 29”: 1520g
The Trail wheelset is targeted towards more aggressive riders. While still light, the Trail features a standard 32-hole drilling. It is reported to be stiffer than the Trail 24 and has a higher suggested rider weight limit of 220lb/100kg.
The Trail wheelset is available in 26” and 29” version—no option for 650b at this time.
Approximate weights for the Trail wheelsets
- 26”: 1490g
- 29”: 1600g
Suggested retail for the Trail 24 is $1150, while the Trail is $1170. Customers can choose black or red anodized hubs with matching spokes, laced to black or silver rims. For an upcharge customers can choose from a number of custom colors, Lefty or singlespeed hubs, and ceramic bearings.
Torch Classic Hubs
Industry Nine realizes that not everyone is looking for a complete wheel system. The company also produces a line of traditional hubs that use J-bend spokes for those customers who wish to build their own wheels. The Torch Classic hubs feature the same internals as those used on Industry Nine’s complete wheel systems with the same broad axle compatibility. They are offered in 28- and 32-hole versions. The front hub is reported to weigh 150-155g, depending on axle and bearing spec, while the rear hub is reported to weigh 248-268g, depending on axle, bearing and freehub selection (9/10-speed versus XX1).
The front hub retails for $190; the rear hub will set you back $385.
Wheelsets and hubs available now
Industry Nine did their best to ramp up production for this launch. The Trail, Trail 24 and Torch Classic hubs are available now, so long as you like black. Custom wheels will are expected to be available with a 2-3 week turnaround.