First Look: Industry Nine PillarCarbon Wheels

I9 teams up with Reynolds for all-US made wheelsets

27.5 29er Enduro Wheels

Industry Nine PillarCarbon

Known for its extremely durable construction and multitude of anodized spoke and hub color options, Asheville, North Carolina wheelmaker Industry Nine recently announced the release of an all-new PillarCarbon wheel series. By teaming up with the composites experts at Utah-based Reynolds Cycling the companies have created a 100-percent US made wheelset.

After testing a variety of different carbon wheelsets over the last six years on the nearby trails of Pisgah and Dupont State Forest, the folks at I9 gained a great understanding of what makes a carbon wheelset that rides with just the right amount of lateral stiffness without sacrificing overall ride quality.

Industry Nine PillarCarbon

In order to balance stiffness with strength and compliance, the hubs, spokes and rims on the new PillarCarbon wheels were all designed together for outstanding performance, and a new “TwinPillar” hookless rim bead wall delivers burp-free performance, impact resistance, lateral stiffness and an outstanding strength-to-weight ratio.

PillarCarbon rims also feature Reynolds proven MR5 technology that assigns specific base fiber, epoxy resins and fiber orientation to each of the five specific rim areas (bead wall, tire channel, rim sidewall, spoke bed and spoke face). This technology delivers an ideal balance of lateral stiffness, controlled vertical deflection for shock absorption, light weight, impact resistance and spoke pull-through strength.

An Easy Fit bead channel makes installing tires a breeze, and most tubeless and UST tires should be able to seal with a high volume floor pump. Exit Angle spoke holes feature angle-accurate orientation to maximize spoke exit angles and minimize spoke bed stress to reduce spoke fatigue for trouble free performance.

Four New Models

To match a wide variety of riding styles, I9 features four different PillarCarbon models in ten anodized hub and spoke color options for both Shimano and SRM XD1 cassette bodies. All four models feature the same direct thread aluminum spokes, oversized axles, wide bearing placement and 120-point rear freehub body engagement that has put I9 on the map for their stiffness, strength and durability.

Industry Nine Pillar Ultralite

The Ultralite 29-inch wheelset delivers an outstanding balance of weight and performance and weighs a remarkable 1355 grams for the entire wheelset. Featuring 24-spoke construction front and rear with 24mm inner rim width and 28mm outer rim width, the Ultralite 29-inch is perfect for those who thrive on the cross-country racing circuit. And unlike other ultralight wheels that carry an unrealistically low rider weight limit, the PillarCarbon Ultralite wheels boast an impressive 220-pound rider weight limit.

Industry Nine Pillar Trail

PillarCarbon Trail 29-inch wheels are ideal for backcountry excursions, featuring 28mm outer rim width and 32 butted aluminum spokes, the PillarCarbon Trail 29 might just be one of the most versatile 29-inch wheels on the market thanks to exceptional strength for riders up to 250 pounds while maintaining a svelte 1495 gram total weight.

Industry Nine Pillar Trail 27.5

PillarCarbon Trail 27.5-inch wheels are ideally suited for all-mountain riders. Featuring 24-spoke construction, 26.25mm inner rim width and 31mm outer rim width, the Trail 27.5-inch is built to bomb the most punishing terrain. But unlike most wheels built heavy to last, the Trail 27.5-inch wheelset only weighs a scant 1395 grams while boasting a 220-pound rider weight limit.

Industry Nine Pillar Enduro

First introduced in 2006, the I9 Enduro wheelset was built for those who wanted a bulletproof wheelset for aggressive riding. Tested extensively on the rigorous trails of Pisgah and Dupont State Forest, the new PillarCarbon Enduro 27.5-inch wheelset is ideally suited for long-travel full-suspension bikes. Featuring 32-spoke construction, 26.25mm inner rim width and 31mm outer rim width, the PillarCarbon Enduro 27.5-inch wheelset is still ultralight at just over 1400 grams while accommodating riders up to 220 pounds.

Industry Nine Building

All four wheelsets retail for $2,850 and come with a two-year warranty. If you aren’t familiar with I9, have a look inside our recent tour of the Industry Nine factory to learn about their focus on American-made quality.

For more information visit www.industrynine.net.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry that landed him at his current gig with Santa Cruz bicycles. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.


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  • trailsnail says:

    Man those colors are so vibrant! I get upset just looking at them, I want em….super nice stuff.

  • Bob says:

    I just checked the Industry 9 wesite, the wieghts, and rim widths don’t match up with what you’ve reported….?

  • J Sellers says:

    Very nice looking wheels but $2850 and a two year warranty? The old saying “a fool and his money……” comes to mind.

  • AE says:

    Everyone will of course bitch about the price. For those people (a) get the aluminum rims or (b) go with the Specialized Rovals at $1200 retail. I’m glad they are making these wheels for people who want to roll on gorgeous jewelry. Not for me, but absolutely a work of art.

  • bryan says:

    Carbon wheelsets are still out of my price range. I splurged and bought an enduro 29er wheelset this past spring and I am blown away how stiff and light they are, and made in the USA.

  • VOD says:

    Nice but I still got a brand new 2014 devinci troy for less than the price of those wheelsets. While the stock no-name flat black rims are flexy and narrow, they keep on rolling true day after day. Carbon isn’t necessity, its hype.

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