Industry Nine Ultralite 29in $1,195.00
Let the shred begin.
If you're looking for a competitive advantage, consider the sub-1500 gram Industry Nine Ultralite 29in Wheelset. A tubeless rim, proprietary spokes, and a quick engaging hub will liven up any crosscountry bike.
To begin with, I9 spokes are machined from 7075 aluminum, they're straight pull, and they thread directly into the hub instead of relying on nipples. This means that there's roughly a 25% greater cross section then comparable 14/15 double-butted steel spokes, and greater tensile strength to boot. Additionally, the threading on these spokes is exclusive to Industry Nine.
On traditional spokes, threads are rolled, not cut. This adds to strength, but it creates a stress riser where the thread channel is narrower than the diameter of the spoke itself. Industry Nine doesn't roll its threads, instead, they're created during the machining process, and cut so that the thread channel is the same as the spoke's diameter.
In fact, the threads themselves are actually larger than the spoke in order to create a stronger interface with the hub. Moving on to the hubs, the Ultralite wheelset features I9's new Torch hubs. And they're compatible with all axle standards via separately available end caps. The big news, however, is actually within the hub.
The Torch preserves I9's 120 points of contact and near-instant three degrees of engagement that's earned them a cult following. Only now, the pawls have two teeth instead of three. Along with that, a changed cantilever angle, and shallower tooth profile on the hardened drive-ring, reduce freehub drag in comparison to previous iterations. Additionally, the Torch hubs now incorporate a proprietary mechanism that features two sets of three pawls that are phased three degrees from each other.
The rear hub was tested to withstand 700ft/lbs of torque — roughly what a built diesel truck puts out. This fact quiets any fears of slippage when you're putting out full power. But, it's the Torch's quick engagement that enables you to clean steep, technical trail sections. And with three degrees of rotation between engagement points, that won't be an issue.
Furthering this, Industry Nine's engineers have removed the large bearing between the freehub body and shell, opting for smaller bearings directly between the body and shell. The reduced bearing size equates to less seal surface area that, along with a new silicone lip design, significantly reduces mechanical drag. The freehub is also now easier to remove for cleaning and lubing, and like before, the springs and pawls are captured. Home mechanics rejoice — this means that you won't be scrambling on the floor looking for small parts.
These wheels feature a low 24 spoke count. And to make them significantly stronger than other low spoke count wheels, they employ a 2:1 lacing ratio. This means that there's 16 spokes on the side bearing the greatest load, and 8 on the less-stressed side. The effect is that the wheel achieves a far more balanced tension, rather than experiencing vastly different loads on each side of the wheel — as is the case in traditional wheel constructions. To further improve the balance, spokes on the higher count side are butted for weight savings, while those on the lower spoke count side are straight gauge in order to boost stiffness. There's a 180 pound weight limit, which given the crazy-light weight, shouldn't be a surprise. Our experience has shown that, for those inside the weight limit, these hold up admirably, day in and day out.
And with a 21mm inner-width and a 25.2mm outer-width, Industry Nine's Ultralite rim is wide enough to fit a true 2.4-inch tire. But, it's the feathery 350 gram weight per rim that you'll really notice. This makes them lighter than many carbon fiber clinchers. Additionally, they feature a double-wall extrusion, which keeps the rim stiff in spite of its light overall weight. In turn, it keeps you locked into your line on the trail, while your friends on lesser wheels curse your precise steering.
The Industry Nine Ultralite 29in wheels are available with a 15mm front and 10x135mm quick-release rear axle compatibility. They're tubeless-ready and come in either the color Black or Red. They wheels ship with the Presta valve stems and rim tape already installed.