Industry Nine Introduces The Torch Series Wheels, Rims And Hubs

by Brian Mullin on January 12, 2013

Industry Nine releases all new 2013 Torch series Mountain wheels and hubs
Evolution leads to perfection – Hand made in Asheville, NC

I’ve
been a big fan of the Industry Nine hubs for a long time, and they
offer a smooth ride with a high POE, and their innovative fat aluminum
spokes give wheels a stiff, strong and responsive feel. I9 has taken
their already excellent hub to the next level, and created the new Torch
hubs, which keep the superb high POE of its brethren and toss in a
major redesign, for a lighter, smoother, more durable and faster system.
To go along with this improved hub, they have added their own tubeless
ready Torch rim, and beefier aluminum spokes. They’ll have two versions
of the complete wheelset, the upscale Torch Trail 24, and more basic and
cheaper Torch Trail.

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). They’re gorgeous CNC machined hubs are well
built, and have incredible attention to detail, and come in an
assortment of vivid colors.

Hubs
The
Torch Hubs keep some of the basic features of their predecessors, but
they’ve tweaked just about everything else and stuck them on a weight
reduction program. The rear hub keeps the same excellent 120 POE, and
adds a new drive ring, pawl geometry, relocated bearings and seals which
all work in synergy for decreased drag and smoother rolling. They have
gone to a new universal endcap system on the rear for axle size
conversions, so you can easily swap out the endcap adapters and get QR,
10x135mm, 12x135mm, and 12x142mm versions. For the downhill crowd, the
150mm rear hub platform gets endcap adapters for 12x150mm and 12x157mm.
The endcaps offer a much simpler system then having to pull out the
entire axle for size alterations, and matches up with some of the
competition’s designs. The freehub is compatible with 9 and 10 speeds,
or can be interchanged with their new XX1 body. The hub body got a shape
change, and instead of an angled transition towards the drive-side, it
is now shallower and is tilted towards the non-drive side.

Like
the rear, they went with the universal endcap system on the front, so
you can easily swap out the endcap adapters and get QR, 15mm, and 20mm
versions, and the system is carried across the XC and Enduro series.
They upgraded to better o-ring seals, to keep the bearing protected, for
longer life and smoother rolling. The front hub also tapers towards the
braking side of the wheels, which I assume is to assist in reducing any
torquing and twisting into the axles from hard braking.
The rear gets trimmed down by 100 grams, while the front slices off 10-50 grams (model dependent).

Thoughts
=> I really like the endcap design, as it will make for easier and
simpler swap out’s, and I am looking forward to seeing how the rears
internal changes play out for smoother rolling, decreased drag and
increased durability. Sometimes the higher POE comes at a small penalty
of additional drag. I like how their hub can be switched to either 9/10
speed or XX1 with a swapping of the freehub body, making for a more
functional setup. I do wonder how secure the endcaps will be, as I often
see systems like this in which they fall off when placing a wheel into a
fork. I do wonder how secure the endcaps will be, as I often  see systems like this in which they fall off when placing a wheel into a fork. Do you think their tweaks to the innards of the rear will get their reliability more in line with the superb Chris Kings?

Rims & Spokes
The
new Torch rims are designed by I9,  and are wider, tubeless ready,  and
weigh 100 grams less than their predecessor. The aluminum rims have
oversized extrusions,which are wider and deeper for increased stiffness
and stability, and lighter. The spokes have gotten an increased
diameter, for better lateral stiffness, improved strength and reduced
failure issues from obstacles and debris. The butted aluminum spokes,
utilizes a fine thread pitch into the hubs,  and they have switched to
Torx fitting on the spoke ends for adjusting instead of using an allen.

Thoughts
=> The rims sound intriguing, and it seems as though manufacturers
are taking some design queues from the carbon world, to create a
stronger, stiffer and lighter rim.  I don’t mind a stronger spoke, even
if it comes with a small weight penalty, as it helps with strength and
stiffness, and with them being aluminum, protection from abuse. The
change to a Torx fitting might be useful, though I need to try using a
tool to see how it works and/or fits. Their aluminum spokes can be sort of a love-hate relationship with riders, since they accomplish their design goal of having an excellent strength to weight ratio, but they’re more fragile, expensive and harder to obtain.

PRESS RELEASE

Introducing the Industry Nine Torch series hub – a new standard is set for high engagement freehubs:

The
Torch series hubs will be utilized on all 2013 Torch series wheelsets
as well as the 2013 Torch “Classic” series hubs. The Torch hubs maintain
Industry Nine’s exceptional 3 degree engagement, which set a new
standard for instant engagement freehubs at the company’s inception in
2005. This continues to be achieved through the use of an innovative six
pawl freehub, which utilizes phased engagement to double the number of
engagement points from 60 to 120. However, everything else about the hub
system is brand new.

Torch series rear hubs feature:

  • Significantly lower weight – approximately 100 gram savings over the XC, Enduro, and Classic series rear hubs
  • Lower
    drag – new drive ring and pawl geometry, relocated bearings, and a new
    seal system dramatically reduce freehub drag while coasting
  • Better
    sealing – The rear hub features a custom silicone lip seal to protect
    the drive mechanism and Teflon contact seals for the endcaps to protect
    outboard bearings
  • Exceptional hub stiffness – Oversized and butted 20mm/17mm axle
  • Universal
    endcap conversions – The 135mm rear hub platform is compatible with QR,
    10×135, 12×135, and 12×142 simply by swapping endcaps. The 150mm rear
    hub platform is compatible with 12×150 and 12x157mm through an endcap
    swap
  • Freehub compatibility – 9/10 spd. Freehub or XX1 compatible Freehub options available and interchangealbe
  • Easier
    service – the freehub can be quickly and easily removed for cleaning
    and service and features captured pawls and coil springs that allow
    tool-free pawl service

Torch series front hubs feature:

  • Reduced weight – from 10 – 55 gram savings (depending on model) over XC, Enduro, and Classic series front hubs
  • Broader
    compatibility – the torch series front hub shares the same axle
    platform for all applications. Riders no longer need to choose between
    the EN or XC front hub platform if they are considering 20mm thru bolt
    options
  • Better sealing – The front hub utilizes o-ring seals to protect bearings
  • Universal
    endcap conversions – The front hub is compatible with QR, 9mm thru
    bolt, 15mm, and 20mm (x110mm) simply by swapping endcaps

Introducing the 2013 Industry Nine Torch series wheels:
When we started development of the new Torch series wheels our specific
goals were lighter weight, improved lateral stiffness, optimized
tubeless tire compatibility, decreased freehub drag, and increased
durability. However, what we were really chasing after, was a wheel line
up that would improve the riding experience for every rider. After
thousands of miles of testing on some of the most challenging trails in
the country, we feel like we have succeeded in creating the ultimate
wheel system. Here are some of the features that make the new Torch
wheels the new benchmark for mountain bike wheels.

Torch series rim features:

  • Industry
    Nine Exclusive profiles – The Torch series rims are designed by
    Industry Nine to offer class leading performance in every category
  • Reduced weight – up to 100 gram weight savings (per rim) depending on model (when compared to 2012 rim options)
  • Increased width – All Torch series rims will feature wider outer and inner rim widths
  • Tubeless
    compatible – rims feature a tubeless ready profile and wheelsets will
    include tubeless tape, and tubeless valves with a removable core for
    easy sealant application
  • Exceptional stiffness/weight
    ratio – Following in the footsteps of the latest Carbon rim technology,
    our aluminum rims feature oversized extrusions that are wider and deeper
    than traditional rims, to offer improved stiffness and better control.
    They offer a ride quality that approaches the stiffest carbon rims, but
    at a much lower cost

Spoke features:

  • Increased
    diameters – wheels feature increased diameter spokes – offering
    improved lateral stiffness and reducing the chance of impact or abrasion
    related spoke failures
  • Butted spokes – All wheels
    feature butted driveside spokes, which utilize a thicker diameter near
    the hub. This reduces the risk of spoke damage due to overshifting into
    the spokes and further improves lateral stiffness
  • Finer
    thread pitch – the spokes (and hubs) utilize a finer thread pitch,
    which makes the wheels easier to true and reduces the risk of spokes
    losing tension over time
  • Torx fitting – T8 torx fitting
    on the end of spokes replaces .050 allen fitting from the original
    design, and makes spoke removal much easier in the rare event that a
    spoke breaks at the threads

Torch Wheel system hubs features
In addition to the hub features listed previously, the wheelsystem hubs feature:

  • Tangential
    spoke lacing – Torch wheels feature a spoke flanges which orient the
    spokes approximately 90 degrees from the hub flange. This increases
    wheel and spoke durability since hub torque is applied in line with the
    spoke – removing the spoke threads from the shear plane and reducing
    spoke fatigue. Since the spokes are directly opposing one another it
    also removes outward stress from the hub shell for increase hub
    durability and improved control of bearing press tolerances
  • Finer
    thread pitch flanges – the hubs utilize a finer thread pitch, which
    makes the wheels easier to true and reduces the risk of tension loss
  • 24
    hole 2/1 lacing pattern – Featured on the Trail 24 wheelset – This
    lacing pattern significantly reduces wheel weight and promotes (more)
    even spoke tensions while maintaining excellent durability. Front and
    rear wheels feature 16 spokes on the rear drive side/front disc side
    flange, paired with 8 opposing spokes. Due to the front and rear wheel
    dish caused by the cassette on the rear wheel and disc brake on the
    front wheel, this orientation evens out spoke tension. This reduces peak
    stress loads on the spokes and rim, and reduces the fatigue cycle
    incurred in a traditional 24 spoke wheel. This allows a lower spoke
    count and lighter weight, without the durability issues and increased
    rim weights commonly associated with low spoke count wheels

Trail and Trail 24 wheelsets
The Trail wheelsets are the first complete wheels that Industry Nine
had designed as a comprehensive system. Hubs, spokes, and rims were all
designed together to offer an exception trail experience.

Industry Nine Trail 24 wheels:

Trail 24 wheelsets are the ultimate everyday go fast wheelset. Whether
you are hammering your local trails or throwing on a number plate, the
Trail 24 wheels offers an exceptional balance between weight and
performance. The 24 Hole 2/1 lacing pattern and welterweight Trail rims
offer incredibly low rotational weight and excellent tire support – with
a 28mm outer/23.4mm inner rim width.

  • MSRP: $1150
  • Available in 26”, 27.5” (650b), and 29” versions
  • 24 hole 2/1 lacing pattern – reduces weight while balancing wheel tension and maintaining durability
  • Average
    Weight* – 26” Front 650 grams/rear 770 – 1420 grams/set; 27.5” front
    670 grams/rear 790 grams – 1460 grams/set; 29” front 700 grams/rear 820
    grams – 1520 grams/set    *Weight varies depending on bearing and axle
    specification and does not include tubeless tape and valves
  • Rims – 28mm outer/23.4mm inner width, Tubeless ready profile, Rim weights – 26”- 385 grams, 27.5”- 400 grams, 29”- 430 grams
  • Front
    Hub: 132-140 grams* – 2 bearings with external o-ring seals. 100mm QR,
    9thru, 15mm, and 110x20mm axle options – *Hub weight varies depending on
    axle/bearing spec
  • Rear Hub: 255-268 grams* – 4 bearings with
    external Teflon seals and silicone freehub seal. 135mm QR, 10×135,
    12×135, and 12×142 axle options. *Hub weight varies depending on
    axle/bearing spec.
  • Driver: 9/10 spd or XD1 – 120 point, 3 degree engagement, 6 pawl mechanism
  • Spokes – Rear – drive side 2.9/2.7mm butted, non drive 2.9mm. Front – disc side 2.9/2.7mm, non disc 2.9mm.
  • 200lb/91kg suggested rider weight limit
  • Stock Colors – All red or all black hubs/spokes with black or silver rims
  • Custom Colors* – Silver, Blue, Gold, Orange, Pink, Purple, and Green *Upcharges apply
  • Custom Lacing options* – Mix and match spoke colors for a true custom look * Upcharges apply
  • Options – XD1 Driver body for SRAM XX1 type cassette. Lefty and Singlespeed* hubs. Hybrid Ceramic bearings* * Upcharges apply

Industry Nine Trail wheels:

The Trail wheelset offers a new paradigm for the backcountry riding
experience. With an exceptional stiffness/weight ratio and wide tubeless
ready rims, the trail wheels pick apart technical singletrack. Using
the same rim as the Trail 24 wheelset, but with 32 butted aluminum
spokes, the Trail offers a slight boost in lateral stiffness over their
lighter cousins, and the added piece of mind that 32 spokes bring for
long rides in the backcountry.

  • MSRP: $1170Available in 26” and 29” versions
  • Average
    Weight* – 26” Front 685 grams/rear 805 – 1490 grams/set; 29” front 740
    grams/rear 860 grams – 1600 grams/set *Weight varies depending on
    bearing and axle specification and does not include tubeless tape and
    valves
  • Rims – 28mm outer/23.4mm inner width, Tubeless ready profile,
  • Rim weights – 26”- 385 grams, 29”- 430 grams
  • Front
    Hub: 142-150 grams*. 2 bearings with external o-ring seals. 100mm QR,
    9thru, 15mm, and 110x20mm axle options.  *Hub weight varies depending on
    axle/bearing spec
  • Rear Hub: 265-278 grams*. 4 bearings with
    external Teflon seals and silicone freehub seal. 135mm QR, 10×135,
    12×135, and 12×142 axle options. *Hub weight varies depending on
    axle/bearing spec.
  • Driver: 9/10 spd or XD1. 120 point, 3 degree engagement, 6 pawl mechanism
  • Spokes: 2.9/2.7mm butted
  • 220lb/100kg suggested rider weight limit
  • Stock Colors: All red or all black hubs/spokes with black or silver rims
  • Custom Colors*: Silver, Blue, Gold, Orange, Pink, Purple, and Green * Upcharges apply
  • Custom Lacing options*: Mix and match spoke colors for a true custom look * Upcharges apply
  • Options: XD1 Driver body for SRAM XX1 type cassette. Lefty and Singlespeed* hubs. Hybrid Ceramic bearings*. * Upcharges apply

Torch Classic hubs:

Torch front hub

  • MSRP: $190 front
  • 2 bearing hub with oversized axle and external seals
  • Large diameter disc flange improves wheel stiffness and braking torque transfer
  • Angled flanges for lower spoke stresses
  • Interchangeable endcaps available for QR, 9mm thru, 15mm, and 110x20mm axle options
  • Available in 28 and 32 Hole counts
  • Hybrid Ceramic bearings availalbe – upcharge applies
  • 150-155 grams – depending on axle and bearing spec

Torch rear hub

  • MSRP: $385 Rear
  • 4 bearing hub with oversized , butted 20/17mm axle and external seals
  • Large diameter disc flanges improve wheel stiffness and braking torque transfer
  • Angled flanges for lower spoke stresses
  • 9/10spd or XX1 compatible freehub options
  • 135mm hub platform offers interchangeable endcaps for QR, 10×135, 12×135, and 12x142mm axle options
  • DH150 Hub platform offers interchangeable endcaps for 12×150 and 12x157mm axle options
  • 120 point – 3 degree engagement – 6 pawl freehub
  • Available in 28 and 32 Hole counts
  • Hybrid Ceramic bearings available – upcharge applies
  • 248-268 grams – weight varies depending on bearing, endcap, and freehub spec.

MSRP complete hubset: $575

More to come:
The
Industry Nine Trail and Trail 24 wheels are the first wheels to come
from the Torch series development cycle. Stay tuned for more options to
arrive in the near future!
Note: We will also offer custom build
options on the new Torch 32 spoke hub platform with No Tubes rims, which
we keep in stock, and other commonly available rims on request.
However, custom charges will apply. Contact your local Industry Nine
retailer for pricing.

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Source -Jake Thompson

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