Industry Nine has been busy revamping their entire wheel, rim and hub lineup this year. They announced the x-country and trail oriented Torch series back in January, and they’re now rolling out the Ultralight, Enduro and Gravity wheels and rims.
All the wheels come with the new Torch hubs (Gravity gets DH hubs), and they’re tubeless ready, and come with tubeless tape and valves preinstalled. Some of the main design edict for all of their new series was to maximize the stiffness to weight ratio and inner width to weight ratio, and keep the final stiffness close to carbon but with the pricing of aluminum rims. They went with a bead hook design on the rim that would be a good fit for both tubeless ready and UST tires, and they went with a minimal height to maximize weight savings. There is a small bead barb on the inboard side on the inner shoulder, to keep the tire bead in place, so when using lower pressures, there are fewer chances of burping.
The Ultralight series is meant for racing, lighter riders and smoother trails, and it comes with the 24 hole Ultralight rim, which has a 25mm outer and 21mm inner width. The beefier Enduro is ready for the 5″-6″ suspension bikes and the new Enduro racing, and the wide and stiff 32 hole Enduro rim has 30mm outer and 26mm inner widths, and weighs 455 grams. Finally, the Gravity is their big daddy wheel, for downhill and freeriding, and has 34mm outer and 28mm inner widths, and weighs 530 grams, and uses the 150mm or 157mm wide DH hub.
- Ultralight – 25/21mm widths, 26″ 1300g, 27.5″ 1360g, 29 1410g
- Enduro – 30/26mm widths, 26″ 1600+g, 27.5″ 1650g, 29 1700+g
- Gravity – 34/28mm widths, 26″ 1800g, 29 1900g
The new Torch series hubs are much lighter than their predecessor, dropping off almost 150 grams off the old Enduro hubs, and they have lower drag and use smaller and lighter bearing. The rear hub has a new drive ring, pawl geometry, relocated bearings and seals, and are compatible with the XD1 driver, and they kept the excellent 120 POE. They went with a universal pop off end cap design to change between axle specs, for both front and rear, so changing out adapter is quick and simple. The hubs are now tapered towards the braking side of the wheels to assist in reducing any torquing and twisting and loading.
They use a contact seal external to the bearings to keep grit and grime from getting to the face of the cartridge bearing, and they pack the space in between with marine grease, which should all help to extend longevity (4 times the life). They preload is preset from factory, and the redesign uses a set stop point on the axle, which loads the bearing races from both sides.
The rear hub redesign maximized bearing spread, and moved the inner drive side bearing off the free hub body, so that bearing isn’t holding the weight and torque of the cassette and body. They bumped the axle up to 20mm, with a step down to 17mm to pass through to the bearings, for better strength, stiffness and durability.
The hubs can be serviced by hand, and it’s easy to give the freebub a good tub to pull things apart. Because they went with a custom lip seal, they use freehub oil, for better lubrication and lower drag.