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by James Huang
April 23, 2020
Photography by Industry Nine
We’ve already published some fun news from Industry Nine stemming from our Pond Beaver 2020 virtual trade show, but it turns out there was yet more news coming down the pike from the North Carolina company. We still have a mountain of information and images of new gear to come this season from other brands, too, which we’ll continue to roll out to you in a satisfyingly steady stream over the next few weeks.
Last year, Industry Nine debuted a new lower-cost range of hubs for mountain bikes dubbed 1/1, which offered overall performance similar to its existing Torch range, but for much less money (while still being made in Asheville, North Carolina). Now, that line has been expanded to the road.
As with the mountain bike version, the new road 1/1 hubs feature traditional ratcheting freehub mechanisms with 45-tooth drive rings and six steel pawls. Those pawls are split into two trios with slightly offset timing, though, which yields a quick four-degree engagement speed for more immediate power transfer after coasting (the top-end Hydra range offers a higher-precision six-phase pawl design for an ultra-fast 0.52° engagement speed).
The new 1/1 road hubs feature six pawls that are offset into two trios for faster engagement.
Industry Nine is offering the new 1/1 hubs solely in disc-only formats in either six-bolt or Center Lock splined rotor interfaces, and with Shimano HG-style or SRAM XDR freehub bodies (sorry, Campagnolo users, you’re out of luck here). Interchangeable end caps are available to fit 142x12mm thru-axle or 135mm quick-release dropouts, and shells will be manufactured in 24-hole and 28-hole variants. Just like the Ford Model T, though, buyers will be able to get them in any color, as long as they’re black (an automotive myth that isn’t actually true, though).
Retail price for a set of is US$425, as compared to US$625 for the second-tier Torch version. Pricing for other regions is to be confirmed.
Industry Nine has yet to announce complete wheelsets built around the new 1/1 hubs, but those are sure to come in due time.
Also new from Industry Nine is an update to its workhorse Ultralite aluminum gravel rim (which I reviewed back in January). The internal width grows from 23.5 mm to 25 mm, but the rim depth also decreases a bit, so the ride quality has supposedly softened as well. Claimed weight has crept up a bit as a result, from 380 grams per rim to 400 grams.
The Industry Nine UL250 CX wheelset certainly isn’t cheap, but it’s quite a decent value given what you get in return.
Also relatively new (it was released last month) is a carbon fiber version developed in collaboration with Reynolds Cycling, featuring the same shallow depth and 25mm internal width, but a lower weight of 350 grams per rim. Both rims are intended for use with tires ranging from 33-55 mm-wide.
As before, Industry Nine will offer the new Ultralite rims in two families of complete wheelsets, both built around the company’s mid-range Torch hubs anodized in a wide range of available colors, rotor interfaces, freehub bodies, and axle endcaps. Two-to-one lacing patterns are also featured throughout to help balance spoke tensions between both sides.
Industry Nine actually offers many of its wheelsets in TRA and CX versions. The TRA models (right) are built with 2.0 mm-diameter alumium spokes for stiffness, while the CX models (left) are softer-riding with Sapim CX-Ray bladed stainless steel spokes.
The TRA models feature Industry Nine’s signature anodized aluminum spokes (which can be customized through the company’s AnoLab program) for riders that either want a stiffer wheel or just a splash of color. Alternatively, the CX wheel models are built with more conventional Sapim CX-Ray bladed stainless steel spokes, which not only improve the wheels’ aerodynamic performance, but offer a softer feel and slightly lower weights.
The aluminum UL250 CX is priced at US$1,220 per set, with a claimed weight of 1,420 g for the pair. The UL250 TRA is priced starting at US$1,275, with those fancy aluminum spokes bringing the weight up slightly to 1,450 g. Both are also offered in 650b sizes, too.
Industry Nine’s road Torch hub are quite pretty.
Meanwhile, both the carbon fiber UL250c CX and UL250c TRA are priced starting at US$2,250, with claimed respective weights of 1,320 g and 1,350 g. Both are only offered in 700c diameters.
Upgrades are available for all of the new UL wheels, including ceramic bearings and custom color configurations.
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