Most cyclists, and even non-cyclists, who enjoy the type of bike racing that involves going up and down hills know the name Eddy Merckx and of course The Tour de France. Road racing, and the companies associated with it, do a great job of embracing its European heritage and consistently reminding us of how the sport evolved into what it is today. This makes it easy easy to get pulled into the romanticized parts of road racing when companies like Campagnolo, Colnago, and Bianchi do such a great job of celebrating their places in what makes the sport special.
With the new Hydra hubs on the market, customers are wondering just how different they sound when compared to Industry Nine’s Torch hubs. Well, here’s a video showcasing the difference.
Here’s a more in-depth look at Industry Nine’s new Hydra and 101 hubs versus their Legacy line.
As you might have guessed by our banner ad this month, Industry Nine‘s had something up their sleeve for a little while now, re-designing their hubs into a new system called Hydra. These new hubs have 690 points of engagement, .52º between engagement, use independently-phased six pawl, 115 tooth drivering. This allows the Hydra system to hold engagement without damaging the hub or its internals, and best of all for most users I’ve conversed with, results in a beautifully subdued ring of the freewheel, rather than a swarm of angry hornets. I was able to put in a few miles on these new hubs, coming off of the older system on one of my hardtails and was able to tell the difference immediately. Check out a few more bits below.
With more and more drop bar bikes adopting MTB tires, Industry Nine believes wheels need to be updated. From tire fit to drivetrain spec. The TRA, or Torch Road Alloy, was designed to accel in a space where a road-focused wheelset might not be enough, but a straight-up mountain wheelset would be overkill. Ideal scenarios for the TRA line-up would be in the CX start grid, fast moving, light-duty off-road explorations, or hammering out long days on Forest Service roads.
See more at Industry Nine!
Industry Nine is best known for their hubs and wheelsets but the Asheville-based company just launched their new A35 stem. These stems are made in-house at i9, come in a 35mm bar clamp, in 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, and 60mm lengths. Best of all, you can mix and match your favorite anodizing colors. There are 11 colors to choose from. That means there are 231 possible combinations. See more information at Industry Nine.
When a new standard enters the industry, smaller companies and makers scramble to update their products to this new standard but when the standard is under license, they have to jump through hoops to access that license. Shimano’s Micro Spline is part of the XTR M9100 group and requires a completely new driver. Luckily, Industry Nine is one of the few companies granted a license to make this driver, which they will do at their facility in Asheville, North Carolina.
When M9100 hits retailers, look to Industry Nine for your hub and driver needs.
BMX legend turned MTB shredder Ryan Nyquist takes on the Unit in Greenville, North Carolina, riding some made in NC wheels by Industry Nine.
The Torch Road Alloy, or TRA for short, is i9’s latest wheelset platform, combining the Torch MTB platform with the Torch Road Disc system in a pairing they describe as “sturdy meets svelte.” Watch as athletes Gordon “Quadsworth” and Jay Petervary put their wheels to the test.
While we tend to see a lot of experimentation with MTB geometry, specifically hardtails here on the Radavist, I feel like the good ol’ all-road and ‘cross bike geometries, for the most part, stay mostly the same. Sure, head tubes might steepen or slacken a half or so degree, and bottom bracket height can vary, along with seat tube angle, but for the most part, these bikes all look similar in profile. Is it a by-product of design perfection or longevity? Who knows but the bottom line is; I rarely see a road bike geometry that piques my interest and begs the question; I wonder how THAT rides.
Then Adam Sklar sent me an email, asking if I had any desire to review one of his “team” MX all road bikes. I glanced at the geometry, saw the top tube length and thought it was going to be too long for me, especially for how I’d use it. Adam informed me of this bike’s design philosophy, which is part ‘cross geo and part modern MTB. Paradoxically, in short, Adam lengthened the bike’s top tube, slackened the head tube and lowered the bottom bracket. The bike is designed to run a shorter stem, a 70mm, versus a 110mm and with a longer head tube, puts the riding position a bit more upright.
When it comes to photographing bikes, I’ll always opt for dirty over clean, but some things are just too damn good to wait for that all-so-familiar Southern California gold dirt to cake itself inside every crevice. Case in point: Industry Nine’s new i9.35 Disc road wheels. Previously, we’ve looked at their AR25 disc road wheels, which are still some of the best disc wheels I’ve ridden*. However, if you’re looking to shave a little bit of weight, add the durability of carbon rims, and better aerodynamics, then the i9.35 wheels are another great option in the marketplace. Let’s take a look at them in detail below.
Industry Nine’s newest wheelsets look to tame the natural forces that affect us on the road. You can check out the complete specs on the i9.35, i9.45 and i9.65 wheels at Industry Nine.
New year, new you and new wheels to boot.
Over the years, I’ve been more than impressed with Industry Nine’s wheel offerings and with each release, they keep getting better. Their latest wheelset offering are the Trail 270 wheels, which come in a 24 hole drilling and 27.5″ diameter. These are made in North Carolina at i9’s HQ and are tuned for your all mountain / race / enduro / shred sled. They have a rider limit of 210lbs, so they’re not for the big boys, but with a 27mm inner width, they’ll hold onto a fat tire to keep your rubber side down, or up, if that’s your thing. Check out more specs at Industry Nine.
… at night! This was a pleasant surprise, guys!
When we talk about how much we love Industry Nine, it’s because they love what they are doing over there in North Carolina.
Industry Nine has new wheels, designed and engineered specifically for rowdy trails like those found in Whistler. Check out this video as proof and more information on the Grade300 wheels at Industry Nine.
The result of an alchemy experiment gone wrong, or gone right depending on how you look at it, these limited edition copper Enduro305 wheelsets have hit the shipping dock at I9. They’re worth their weight in… copper, so hop to it and contact your local shop for ordering. There are only 29 sets. Why 29? It’s the atomic number for copper, that’s why.
You’ve also got a chance to win a free set when you sign up at industrynine.com/copper.
For me, wheels can be measured by two factors: price and resilience. I try to act like weight doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t matter until it does. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion though. Anyway, for the past month, I’ve been riding the new Industry Nine AR25 wheels. Marketed for “all road” applications, these wheels use the Torch disc hub system with a three-pawl, 6º freehub mechanism, a 21mm inner width rim, and are laced with 24 Sapim CXray spokes. Industry Nine reduced the pawls by half to cut down on weight, drag and that insanely loud noise they’re well known for. There’s always that moment of anxiety when you spin an i9 hub for the first time. Just how loud is this one going to be?