Industry Nine BackCountry 360 wheelset review

Ultra-wide rims offer fast engagement and are made in USA

Wheels
Industry Nine BackCountry 360 Torch Plus 29er Rims Wheelset

The BackCountry series is Industry Nine’s take on ultra-wide rims.

Lowdown: Industry Nine BackCountry 360 Wheelset

At $1315 as tested, the Industry Nine Backcountry wheelset is on the higher end for aluminum. For a few hundred dollars more, you’ll be in carbon territory. But if you don’t have the extra cash or simply prefer alloy, this wheelset is reliable, gorgeous, and a noticeable upgrade when compared to the majority of stock wheelsets.

Stat Box
Total weight: 1865g (29er) Inner rim width: 36mm
Rim weight: 570g Extras: Tubeless valves and tape pre-installed
Driver: Shimano or XD Price: $1315 as tested
Hub engagement: 120 points, 3 degrees Rating: 4 Flamin' Chili Peppers 4 out of 5

Pluses
Minuses
  • Completely customizable
  • Proprietary spokes
  • Made in USA
  • Hubs are loud
  • Bombproof hubs
  • Price
  • High engagement

Review: Industry Nine BackCountry 360 Wheelset

The BackCountry series is Industry Nine’s first foray into the plus size wheel market. They’re available in two different widths. The 450 was launched first and is the wider of the two. It features a 45mm inner width, which pairs nicely with 2.8”-3.8” tires.

For those riders looking for something a touch more conventional, Industry Nine recently released the BackCountry 360. These rims have a 36mm inner diameter which is optimized for tires between 2.4”-3.0.” Both wheelsets are available in 27.5” and 29” versions.

Technology

Why does internal rim width matter so much? Well, there’s a lot of reasons, but the word you’re looking for is traction. A wider rim provides better lateral support. Since your sidewalls don’t have to do as much work, you can get away with running less air pressure without burping or squirming. The end result is improved traction.

Industry Nine BackCountry 360 Torch Plus 29er Rims Wheelset frame clearance

Rear frame clearance on the Santa Cruz Hightower with 2.3” Maxxis tires mounted on the Industry Nine BackCountry 360 wheelset.

There are some downsides. The big one is frame clearance. The other is that most tires were designed around much narrower rims. When mounted on new generation rims, the tire profile can be a little square, which can get sketchy when you lean your bike over.

For all things rolling, head over to the Mtbr wheels page.

Luckily, manufacturers have caught on quickly. Not only are there some excellent plus sized tire options now available, but brands have a slew of new 2.5” and 2.6” offerings in the works. When paired with wider rim offerings, the end result is magical. Not that we’ve covered the theory, let’s get back to the goods.

Industry Nine BackCountry 360 Rim internal

The BackCountry 360 rims have a 36mm inner diameter and a 40mm external. They come pre-taped from the factory with tubeless valves.

Rims

The BackCountry 360 rims weigh a claimed 570g. They have a narrow center channel and a wider bead shell to ease tubeless setup. The bead walls are also flared to help stand up to impacts and improve tire profile.

Industry Nine BackCountry 360 Torch Plus 29er Rims Wheelset

Claimed weight for the front hub is 150g. The rear hub is 260g.

Hubs

The rims are laced to Industry Nine’s Torch Hubs. These hubs are manufactured in the United States and feature a dependable 6-pawl freehub that delivers 120 points of engagement (or 3 degrees). We love them because they’re lighter than almost anything else on the market (ok, DT hubs are lighter, but they don’t have nearly the same POE) and they’re available in anodized purple.

Continue to page 2 for more of the Mtbr Industry Nine BackCountry 360 wheelset review »

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  • Derek says:

    Where are you getting $100 for spokes? I9 spokes are $7-8 each, x 64 spokes and you’re talking $400+ for their spokes. Regular J-bends, maybe, but you aren’t getting the same benefits from those.

  • conrad.ingrammill@googlemail.com says:

    1) “minus hubs too LOUD” (man).. how can any (free)hub be too loud?
    2) Al spokes..nooo thanks though, I do the odd mile or two on the road, and a winter’s worth of salt and those spokes will be brittle as h**l… not for me this time…

  • MBR says:

    Aluminum is the wrong material for spokes. Especially for rear wheel spokes, subject to rock strikes. A rock is going to gouge and reduce the diameter of an aluminum spoke, which is softer in hardness, than a steel spoke. These reduced cross-section areas are where crack initiation will begin and the spoke will eventually fail. Have some spare time, look up fatigue limit and you will see why steel or titanium make much better materials choices…

  • gg says:

    Personally saw an I9 spoke broke (not the reviewed wheel set) after derailleur contact when riding Moab.
    Didn’t take much and PING ! Der was fine. Wheel done no spoke on hand or town.
    Owner send the set back for factory repair.

  • dom says:

    Got a set last week and 3 spokes (front wheel) break during shipping :( then break 4 spokes on the very first ride last night. Their spokes are too brittle. Stay away!!!!!!

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