Hydra Ultralite 235 29 Boost Wheelset
When Industry Nine first teased that it might have a new engagement system for its mountain hubs, we were more than a little excited. After all, its previous design on its Torch hubs has been one of our favorite freehub designs since it first broke into the ranks a dozen or so years ago. So, if you are building up a cross-country rocket or a light duty trail machine, we would whole-heartedly recommend its all-new Hydra Ultralite 235 29 Boost Wheelset. Sporting a goldilocks rim width for popular 2.0-2.4in trail rubber, the popular Ultralite rim gets laced up to I9's new Hydra freehub that offers the quickest engagement we're aware of in a pawl system. As such, it has absolutely zero lag when you put any power to the pedals making quick work of technical trails and ledgy climbs when ratcheting the pedals are a must. Hydra is the fruit of the labor of over two and a half years of meticulous engineering and development in its Asheville, NC facilities and testing on the nearby trails in Pisgah National Forrest. The end result is a freehub with lightning fast 0.52-degree engagement. And before you argue that there are instantaneous hubs already on the market, they all use sprag clutches which feel mushy in comparison to a proper pawl and drive ring set up.
The Hydra hubs are an update to Industry Nine's previous drive system, and once you have a look at the internals, you'll begin to spot the differences. You'll notice a similar pawl layout in the Torch system with the meticulous CNC machining the brand is known for. Like the old Torch hub, the Hydra features a 6 pawl design, however, the drive ring gets a whopping 115 teeth, as opposed to the 60-tooth design used in the Torch, creating an impressive 690 points of engagement, nearly six-times quicker than is predecessor! These 690 points of contact translate directly to the snappiest hubs we've ever seen, with only 0.52-degrees of engagement, meaning you'll be getting on the gas instantly and solidly. You'll be glad to know that the new hubs maintain the same simple maintenance procedures so, for those who like to tinker on your own bikes at home, you don't need any proprietary tools.
XC glory is one step closer with those awesome hubs laced up with its Ultralite 235 hoops. The rims are the same I9 beauties we saw in combination with the Torch hubs in years past. Stiff and reliable aluminum construction, appropriately wide 23.5-millimeter internal width for XC and trail rubber, and a profile optimized to hold up to rock strikes and root lattices on the trail make these rims ideal for any hardtail or short-travel bike and the singletrack they will face. The low, 24-spoke count is ideal for riders who want to drop some grams and improve wheel compliance. Thanks to I9's alloy straight-pull spokes with machined nipple interface that threads directly into the hub shell, that low spoke count doesn't sacrifice stiffness or durability and the wheels are solid and flex-free for sure tracking on fast corners and descents.
The wheels come in Boost hub spacing, with 6-Bolt Disc rotor mounts, and with Shimano HG or Microspline and SRAM XD freehub bodies.
- I9 XC wheels with the faster engaging Hydra freehub
- 23.5mm internal rim width pairs best with 2.0-2.4in rubber
- Hydra hub offers 690 POE and 0.52-degrees of engagement
- Alloy hoops offer durability and a lightweight build
- Direct-thread straight-pull spokes offer impressive stiffness and tracking
- 24 spoke count drops grams and offers more compliance
- Available with Shimano HG and Microspline and SRAM XD drivers
- Machined with precision by riders in Asheville, North Carolina