Industry Nine All Mountain Review

by Brian Mullin on April 1, 2011

The Industry Nine All Mountain wheels are pretty darn sweet, as they are lightweight, brutally strong, look good, are well made, and have one of the most amazing freehubs I have ever used! Instant power can be applied to the wheel due to their 120 point of engagement hub, with virtually no lag in the power transition, making pedaling a joy, especially in highly technical terrain. All the I9 wheels use their straight pull hubs, and aluminum spokes, which makes them a pretty unique system. Industry Nine is a small Asheville, NC company, and they do onsite design, manufacturing, quality control, sales, assembly, truing and tensioning of their products (the rims and bearings are outsourced).

Industry Nine All Mountain
The I9 All Mountain’s comes with their 26mm wide and 32 hole All Mountain rims, and their Enduro hubs, and .100 inch aluminum spokes. The straight pull hubs can be spec’ed in almost any size (adapters are available to convert the hubs), and the hubs and spokes are available in 11 colors (Red, Black, Silver, Blue, Brown, Gold, Green, Orange, Pewter, Pink, or Purple), while the rims are either black or white. I9 has a great selection of adapters for their hubs, and the replaceable end caps, allow the front to be a QR, or 9mm, 15mm, 20mm, 24mm, 25mm thru axles, and the rear to be a QR 135, or 10x135mm, 12x135mm, 12x142mm thru axles. They come with a three-year warranty against defects in materials or craftsmanship. There are some additional custom options, such as Singlespeed, Lefty, Ceramic bearings, and they can be built to any 32 hole rim. Recently, I9 began to offer the Classic hub, which offers all the great benefits of their hubs, without the proprietary spoke system.

The unique I9 spokes are CNC machined from 7075-T651 aluminum, and have a larger cross section (20-25%) than comparable steel spokes, but weigh less, have a greater lateral stiffness and equivalent tensile strength. The rim end of the spoke is just a flared flange, and it floats in the rim hole, while the other end threads directly into the straight pull hub, and the thread section (very coarse) is larger than the spoke diameter. They are fatty, and nipple less! The one piece design of the spoke means they perform like an extremely long screw (insert rude joke). Since there spoke and hub is made from the same material, there isn’t any corrosion that can occur when unlike metals interact, and the anodizing helps prevent galling issues. The spokes are laced up in a three-cross pattern, though they appear to be two crosses, they actually make another pass over each other when they are threaded into the hub.

The very trick looking hub shell body is CNC machined from 7075-T651, while the freehub uses 7068 alloys for durability and strength (20% stronger), and they turn on one piece aluminum axles and use sealed industrial Japanese ABEC grade 5 bearings. The freehubs come in two different engagement configurations, 3 or 6 degree (3 degree tested).

The freehub uses an arrangement of two sets of three pawls (the second one is phased three degree’s from the first), which are made from A2 tool steel, and each has three points, for 9 points of contact per set. They interface into a A2 hardened 60 tooth drive ring, giving 3 degree’s of engagement, for a final whooping 120 points!

Driver – 120 points, 3 degree engagement, 6 pawl mechanism, 60 tooth ring

They are lightweight for an All Mountain wheelset, coming in at svelte 1663 grams for the test pair, which were spec’ed with 20mm front and 12x135mm rear thru axles.

Measured Specs:

  • Front – 747.1 grams
  • Rear – 915.5 grams
  • Total – 1662.6 grams
  • Rim width – Inner 20.83mm, Outer 26.2mm

Impressions
I was pretty stocked up to try them out, as I had always respected the build quality of their wheels, and the highly engineered and innovative hub, but I was really craving to try out the 120 point of engagement freehub.

After a short couple of rides on the wheelset, I had to admit that the rear hub is simply amazing, and I was highly impressed with the high point of engagement or POE. In difficult technical terrain, you could just crank on the pedals, and the hubs would react instantaneously, as there was no lag whatsoever. I could power almost anywhere I wanted, at any angle, direction, and terrain obstacle. They also allowed you to track stand, catch your balance (and composure), and start up again, almost like you were on a Fixie (ok, just sort of). Technical sections, especially in low gears, take on a different feel, as you can virtually stop dead in your tracks, and crank a hard move or do small hop and reengage the drive trail without any loss of control, since there is no slop in the system, except for the chain. I have ridden 24 and 30 POE most of my biking careers, and although in most conditions, it doesn’t really make much of a difference, I have found the High POE to very useful and functional, and reverting back to Lower POE wasn’t much fun, as I have gotten spoiled. They were pretty quiet rear hubs, and only gave a muted whirl noise, buzzing up to a whiz sound at higher speeds, but not very noticeable when hammering down the trail.

I have been pummeling them pretty hard over the last 4-5 months on my local terrain, including lots of rock gardens, rocky ledges and plenty of abuse, and have found them to be laterally and torsionally stiff. The front wheel is especially one stout beast, and I couldn’t feel any sort of flex coming from them, though they still had a lively and resilient feel, and would turn on a dime, slicing and dicing wherever you wanted them to go. You could toss them into a corner or berm, with hardly a whimper from them, and they didn’t deflect and provided a very stable ride, and they were easy to leverage for additional torque when required. They are impressively light, and have great acceleration, and are a stiff, snappy and responsive wheelset.

The wheels haven’t required much maintenance, and when I checked them, they were reasonably true. When the spokes do need to be adjusted, they only take a minute amount of movement, such as 1/8 to 1/4 turn, using a standard .126” (15 gauge) spoke wrench. The aluminum spokes are not as tough or robust as steel spokes against rocks, branches and trail debris, but I have only had one broken spoke during the test period when I kicked up a huge rock. The replacement was easy, and the wheel was still fairly true, so not much tweaking was required. They use two different spoke lengths, and I9 provides two spare spokes of each length with the wheelset. Since they are proprietary spokes, not every LBS is going to carry them, though fortunately they turned out to be fairly durable, so the spare ones have been adequate, though you’d be SOL if you destroyed your wheel.

The bearings have been fine for me, without any play, even after they broke in, and if required, the rear is easily adjusted using a 1.5mm allen wrench. I did notice a slight grittiness on the non drivetrain side in the race, so I added a touch of grease and they have been smoother. The freehub has been trouble free, and the subtle amount of HPOE drag is hardly noticeable. The freehub body using the tougher 7068 alloy has only minimal gouge marks, and the cassette slips off easily. I9 has some decent instructions on their website for servicing their hub’s if one was so inclined, though the drive system service does take some mechanical skills and expertise, and the proper tools.

I like to run my wheels in a tubeless mode, getting the benefits of lower pressure and a lack of pinch flats. The rims are not tubeless ready, so I ran a thin layer of rim tape (Stan’s, or whomever) to seal up the spoke holes, and then used a Stan’s rim strip. They never popped up with that distinctive tubeless sound when the tire bead snaps into the rim’s socket (love that sound), though they sealed up and have worked just fine, after performing the usual sealant treatment techniques. I would like to see them add their own optional tubeless kit made specifically for the rims and spokes.

I like the green color of the spokes and hub, as they almost sort of glow, with great brightness and vibrancy. I have gotten a few compliments on the combination, and they certainly have a high bling factor, and make for some nice eye candy. With 11 spoke and hub colors, you can have quite the plethora of zing.

Bottom Line
The Industry Nine All Mountain wheelset is lightweight, stiff, and their innovative system uses fat aluminum spokes and an accompanying straight pull hub, that work in synergy for great strength, durability and lightness. The high point of engagement freehub (120 points), gives instant power application to the wheel, with virtually no lag to the drivetrain, and it’s especially useful in technical terrain. The hubs have a plethora of axle adapters, so that almost any size or combination can be created to match any bike currently on the market.

They aren’t the cheapest wheelset, and the proprietary spokes might be a hindrance, and I do wish they came tubeless ready. They are well built, and have incredible attention to detail, and with the 11 vivid colors and trick hubs, they certainly have a huge bling factor.

Strengths

  • Stiff and tough wheels
  • High POE – Points of Engagement
  • Bling factor and color combination’s
  • Lightweight
  • Large array of axle adapters

Weaknesses

  • Expensive
  • Proprietary spokes
  • Lack of a tubeless kit

MSRP: $1085.00

Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Industry Nine All Mountain Specs

  • FRONT : Enduro hub: 100 mm QR // 9mm thru axle // 15mm thru axle // 20mm thru axle // 24mm Maverick // 25mm Specialized
  • REAR : Enduro hub: 135 QR Axle // 10x135mm // 12x135mm
  • DRIVER : 120 point, 3 degree engagement, 6 pawl mechanism
  • SPOKE : .100″
  • RIM : Industry Nine AM rim: 26mm wide // welded // single eyelet //450 grams // Black or White (adds 30 grams)
  • WEIGHT : 1750 grams
  • PRICE : MSRP-$1085.00
  • COLORS: Red // Black // Silver in any hub/spoke combination
  • CUSTOM COLORS: Blue // Brown // Gold // Green // Orange // Pewter // Pink // Purple*
  • OPTIONS: Singlespeed* and Lefty versions available. Ceramic hybrid bearings available.* Can be built to any 32hole rim*. => *Extra charge will apply

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Hi!

I bought a set of these and I love them! Question:

– Which version of the stan's rim strip did you use? Standard? Freeride?

I had been recommended the "Flow" version of the strip, but I already purchased the "Standard" kit and am hoping to avoid buying a new set of rim strips. I would like to just return the whole thing, except, they don't make a complete kit with the Flow strips.

Thanks!

Reply

Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet December 4, 2011 at 3:09 am

I am pretty sure I used the Standard version?

Reply

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