First Ride: Industry Nine Trail S Wheels - Crankworx Whistler 2015

Aug 13, 2015
by Richard Cunningham  



Industry Nine has doubled in size over the past few years trying to fulfill demands for its wheelsets, but they are still a couple of dozen cyclists, joined by a passion for perfection. Industry Nine has earned its reputation by re-thinking every aspect of wheel design, and their hard work has produced a range of durable hubs, freehubs with near-instant engagement, a revolutionary straight-pull spoke design, and a number of high-performance rims. Each component is designed to be an integral part of an Industry Nine wheelset and, except for the spokes and bearings, the components are machined and assembled by hand at their modest factory in Asheville, North Carolina.

Industry Nine Trail S wheels 2015
Trail S rims are 6000-series alloy aluminum and tubeless ready. Their inner width of 24.5mm offers extra support for current tire designs, but is not quite broad enough to enroll them as members of the wider-is-better movement.


Meet the Trail S Wheelset

What Industry Nine was missing, however, was the "Trail S" - a gateway wheelset that offered the same features as its elite-level Torch wheelsets, but at a more affordable price that was within reach of riders who may be upgrading from OEM wheels for the first time, or for OEM customers who wanted to spec a premium brand with a personal story behind it. Industry Nine's MSRP for the Trail S is $845 USD, which is on the upper end of "affordable performance wheels" and claimed weights are 1635 grams in 27.5 and 1690 grams in 29 inch. After riding a pair around Whistler, BC's technical trails on a Knolly Endorphin, I can report good things about their latest effort.


Construction

The Trail S wheel is sold in 29 and 27.5-inch sizes and it incorporates the Torch hub's straight-pull spoke arrangement, but it is designed around stainless steel spokes instead of their signature anodized aluminum items. In the tradition of Industry Nine, the rims are aluminum, and the rear hub uses an aluminum spline with their patented rapid-engagement ratchet system. While the engagement is a mere three degrees for high-end Torch hubs, the engagement is six degrees for the Trail S models. Customers who decide they would rather have the three-degree ratchet can upgrade it for $50. The two mechanisms are interchangeable.

The wheels are laced to 28 double butted Sapim Race spokes, fitted with "Double Square" locking aluminum nipples. While Industry Nine's techs would not tell me exactly how tight the spokes were, a squeeze test indicated that they were tensioned "sensibly high," which is what I would expect from wheel builders who ride in one of North America's most demading technical regions.
Industry Nine Trail S wheels 2015
Trail S rear wheels are available with either Shimano HG type freehub bodies or SRAM XD 11 speed types. All XC style axles are supported including 148mm Boost.

Industry Nine Trail S wheels 2015
Trail S Torch hubs are designed to use straight-pull spokes - Sapim Race butted stainless steel, with Secure Lock aluminum nipples.

The 6000-series aluminum rims are also conservatively designed, with internal ramps and bead locks to assist seating and sealing the tire, and the wheels come with the sealing tape and tubeless valve stems installed. Industry Nine says that all of its Torch axle adapters interchange with the Trail S hubs and that they are working on a Boost compatible front and rear hub at present. As mentioned earler, claimed weights are 1635 grams in 27.5 and 1690 grams in 29-inch sizes.

Industry Nine Trail S rim and specs 2015

Knolly Endorphin with Industry Nine Trail S wheels 2015
I rode the 27.5" Trail S wheels, shod with Maxxis Minion 2.35" tires - both were a good match for the Knolly Endorphin.

First Impressions:
bigquotesTwo solid rides, even on Whistler's finest trails, were not enough to make a definitive call on Industry Nine's latest creations, but I can say that Trail S wheels share the same DNA as their pricier sisters. They steer well and took a pounding on the roots, rocks and innumerable bomb-holes there without burping air, suffering a flat spot, or contracting a wobble. The spokes passed the "ping test" afterwards, indicating that their tension remained consistent, which is a good sign that the wheels were pre-stressed properly when the spokes were originally tensioned. The Trail S is going to face some stiff competition from established wheel makers at its $845 price point, but that said, the crew at Industry Nine have given them the looks and the performance to stand shoulder to shoulder with all comers. - RC



MENTIONS: @IndustryNineOfficial, @Maxxis, @KNOLLYBIKES


72 Comments

  • + 17
 Let me guess, no 26' option
  • + 3
 Yep
  • + 0
 ya fuk us dudes with nice carbon 26ers still running sweetly......we can setttle for a 22mm inner as no one gives a shit.
  • + 1
 @madmon- WTB still makes 26" rims with internal widths up to 25mm in their KOM rims.
  • + 2
 I thought we were on topic of I-9....am I missing something here....there are plenty of other options like LIGHT bicycle carbon for 800 bux delivered but I am interested in the Industry wheels. .
  • + 2
 WTB doesn't make that KOM in a 28 spoke count. Industry nine is going wider with a lower spoke count. I wonder if we'll see a long term review?
Also building a new set after the season might be a struggle for available rims as 28 holes are not as standard as 32 h.
  • + 2
 Remember Spank Oozy Trail 295 BeadBite? Inner width at 25, 28 to 32 spoke option, and 26 wheel diameter option.

Hopefully this statement's not as bold as the font.
  • + 1
 I'm using the 26 oozy. Awesome stuff, and affordable too
  • + 12
 Tell me more about that 27.5 endorphin @richardcunningham!
  • - 1
 Knolly + Big Wheels = Gnarly
  • + 9
 You mean Knarly
  • + 12
 when did $845 become "the upper end of affordable performance wheels"?
  • + 12
 Agreed, that's well above the "I can get a better set from a local wheelbuilder" price and pretty close to the "might as well spend a little more and go carbon" price.
  • + 9
 If you already manufacture multiple wheel sizes, then why the *(#&#@ would you stop making 26" wheels?!?!
  • + 6
 Because not enough people want to buy them.
  • + 13
 Because nobody buys them, you walnut. They still have a warehouse full of 26" rims from the first batch of Torch wheels. I'm certain they will sell you all of their remaining stock.
  • + 2
 Hmmm, you've got me very interested
  • + 16
 @broth-ratchurch As far as insults go calling someone a walnut is as refreshing as it is effective. Nice work.
  • - 1
 I actually really liked the "walnut" as well. Lemmings.
  • + 1
 haha. Agreed. What a walnut.
  • + 5
 "Their inner width of 24.5mm offers extra support for current tire designs, but is not quite broad enough to enroll them as members of the wider-is-better movement." I'm sure their marketing dept said to go wider but they chose not to. I'd like to hear their reasons.
  • + 22
 Oh no they aren't 2mm wider. All my previous kom's on strata will be knocked down by minutes... What shall i ever do??????
  • - 3
 Poor etiquette taking so many puns at once, makes it hard to be engaging for the rest of us.
  • - 4
flag Triber66 (Aug 14, 2015 at 5:07) (Below Threshold)
 Wrong post Frown
  • + 1
 Because then they'd be as wider or wider than the more expensive "Enduro" wheelset in their lineup.
  • + 1
 We're down to measuring rim widths in 0.5mm increments now, eh? I've been having a hard time convincing myself whether 5mm would even make a difference.
  • + 7
 It was hard to gauge my interest in these wheels when all he spoke about was rimming
  • - 1
 I see how you tried to get the wheel puns "rolling" there
  • + 3
 If i9 doesn't get this right, they're hooped.
  • - 2
 What comes a round, goes a round.
  • + 4
 As a possible buyer, you spoke about some useful information.
  • + 1
 Definitely boosted my interest.
  • + 1
 Skeen95 butted in and got the puns rolling
  • - 6
flag ibishreddin (Aug 13, 2015 at 23:59) (Below Threshold)
 These wheels seem wheely good for me to engage with for the next parT in my riding career.
  • + 4
 But where is the Anodizing? That is Indusry Nine's signature, Imo
  • + 4
 In their more expensive offerings with alloy spokes. These are the value-oriented, no-nonsense wheels.
  • + 1
 Value @ $845?



FAIL
  • + 2
 With 120 points of engagement.
  • + 0
 www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb/wheels/roval-mtb-all-mountain/roval-traverse-650b

I'll make due with the DT Swiss hub internals, enjoy the wider rims, and the $250 saved.

Just one example...
  • + 3
 @ReformedRoadie I own those Specialized wheels currently and can tell you with great certainty that any wheel from i9 is going to be a better long-term buy. Roval rims are soft (feature of trying to make a wide rim light?) and I already need to replace the rear wheel bearings after 1 year of moderate use. Plus they don't have the enchanting buzzzzz of an i9 hub. They are value-oriented compared to the other wheels they sell that are over $1000.

I have a theory that while wide rims have the benefits of running lower PSI/rolling resistance/enlarging tires they are more prone to damage. Most of the trails I ride are filled with long rock gardens and off-camber rock features. After a year I have a handful of sizable dings in my wheels where the year before, running a pair of i23 rims I had none. Something to consider when looking at wide rims...
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave 120 points of engagement if you pony up $50 to upgrade.
  • + 0
 Can't help but notice that wheel manufacturers are going for hubs that do Boost, 142x12, and so on. So As the hub will be a one fit all, where is the amazing benefits about flange spacing that the boost offers so much advertised by some shit talkers ? Well it seems that it is not there at all and that boost is nothing more that a 150x12 with 2mm less or a big 142x12, with the same "flaws" of having "narrow" spaced flanges. Damn is this all bullshit and there is no added value ? Somebody would have lied to us ?
  • + 7
 They should have taken into consideration your sleepless nights....
  • + 4
 What makes you think they're the same hubs with different endcaps. The article just stated that they'll offer hubs in boost and regular, not that they were interchangeable.
  • + 2
 They literally can't be endcaps, as the distance between the disc & the end of the freehub differs from either 150mm or 142mm hubs.

That said, Hope, for instance, doesn't use the extra hub real-estate on their 150mm hubs, & I'm wondering if we'll see the same from other manufacturers.
  • + 1
 Exactly what is the "revolutionary straight-pull spoke design" that RC speaks of?

I9 were not the first people to do this or am I missing something?

What is different between I9's and other straight pull offerings?
  • + 3
 They're shit...just not as shit as other straight pull designs. If you bust a spoke you've got no chance of getting a replacement in a normal bike shop. Negative, but true!
  • + 3
 bike shop still has to have the same size J pull that you require too. not all shops carry a huge range of sizes or have a spoke cut/thread machine
  • + 1
 Very true, but your odds are much better with J-bend spokes.
  • + 4
 The difference that RC is talking about is on their standard wheel set. Here they went with the traditional nipple at the rim option. On their regular (non "economy" wheel sets) the spokes thread into the hub and have spoke wrench flats milled into them at the wheel. So when you tighten/loosen the spoke you are turning the entire spoke and it's moving in/out of the hub to add or remove tension.

This construction method has been reviewed as stiffer by many as they make the spokes pretty beefy but it also adds to the cost, they are $7.00 a piece to buy. Here is a link to their spokes if you want further info store.industrynine.net/p/torch-spokes
  • + 3
 I don't know if they still do, but when I got my I9s' they came with 4 extra spokes, so if you bust some you can replace them without visiting your LBS.
  • + 2
 Yeah, the Alloy spoked I9s still come with spares. I've seen a lot bend, but haven't ever seen one break.
  • + 1
 I can second that. I'm running the I9 alloy spokes on a pre-torch hub/ZTR Flow build. Coming up 3 years of hefty use and I've not needed any of the 4 spares they came with, though a couple are bent.
  • + 1
 And I9 stands behind their product. You get fast service if something goes wrong and from my experience they did the service for free! I9 worth every penny.
  • + 3
 Always liked them and would love to try them, living in the UK its hard to better Hope for availability, quality and service
  • + 3
 Having ridden both, including the new higher engagment Hope, the high engagement I-9 is a whole different ball game. I don't know if I NEED it, but I do LIKE it. A lot. I can throw little partial cranks in everywhere & accelerate, it's rad.
  • + 2
 That is one sexy bike. Not sure what the wheels have to do with it, but man. Nice bike.
  • + 1
 Straight pull spokes design are nice, but the rims seem like a normal rim. Did I miss something?
  • + 1
 Wheels seem meh ... but that Knolly though
  • + 1
 Nice wheels but I can't help notice the Endorphin 27.5! Review time!
  • + 1
 Hey Pinkbike team when will you guys test the new Knolly Delirium?
  • + 1
 Wow, that first paragraph totally reads like marketing bullsh!t.
  • + 2
 You know that this site is nearly 75% press releases, right?
  • + 1
 How much???
  • + 3
 If you have to ask....
  • + 2
 I think you have two wheels when you buy a wheelset.
  • + 1
 Bold??
  • - 1
 How is 24mm all mountain?>> Needs to be 30mm to make any difference IMO.
  • - 1
 Maybe if you're using junior sized mountain bike wheels - you've got to take into consideration that larger tire diameters have larger contact patches.
  • + 1
 ALU nipples? 8(
  • - 3
 Does it hole my tire onto my frame? Good. Review over.
  • + 1
 The short bus is that way >>>>

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