30 September, 2015
The best way to upgrade you bike is in the wheelset. Industry Nine's Trail 24 is one option not to look past. This wheelset feels like a carbon rim without the high price tag. These wheels are light, stiff and responsive, which will push you and your bike a bit further. Since most of our Broken Spoke Team got I9 wheels this summer, thought it would be good to share our experience with them.
The Trail 24 wheelset uses a 2/1 lacing ratio, which means that there is 16 spokes on one side and 8 on the other. When thinking about this, I didn't think these wheels would hold up as well as traditional 32 spoke mountain wheels, especially in the rough rock gardens on the east coast and the hard tree rooted trails on the west coast. With testing these wheels all over the country on downhill, jumping and cross country these wheels held up much better than anything else I have ever ridden. I've ridden several Stan's wheels, Enve Carbon wheels and some Bontrager straight spoke wheels; the Trail 24 wheels are stiffer or just as stiff but are way more responsive with the 3 degrees of hub engagement.
What makes Industry Nine wheels lighter and stiffer than any other alloy wheel is the hub and spoke configuration. Rather than being made from the traditional stainless steel, I9 spokes are machined from aluminium which are twice as thick but much lighter. They are also straight pull which thread right into the hub, which eliminates the use of nipples. The spokes have flats machined into them so they can be turned with a spoke key to true them in the traditional way. I was a little wary of the spokes at first, especially when it came time to tweak the spoke tension to true the rim slightly. (When truing these wheels make sure you use smaller adjustments to spoke tension.) The flats machined onto the spokes have ample surface area which are not prone to rounding.
The Trail 24 wheelset comes in at 1520g for the 29" version with a maximum rider weight of 200lbs. The rim width is 28mm outer and 23.4mm inner. Previously I was running Stan's Arch rims with 2.4" tires, I was worried the wider rims won't fit a 2.4" tire on my Niner Jet 9 RDO. The Stan's Arch Rims are a 24.6mm outer and 21mm inner rim width. When mounting my tires on the I9 wheels the tubeless set up was easy with a air compressor. After the tires were mounted it was time to measure the tire width. The tires were actually 1.2mm narrower on the I9 wheels. Clearance was no issue then and I was surprised of this difference in tire width.
The Industry Nine Trail wheelset is a serious upgrade to your mountain bike. With a price tag of $1,095, with the basic color configuration of black, silver or red, these wheels are as cheap as other alloy wheels. But you get a wheelset that is as stiff as carbon (without all the worries of carbon), lightweight, responsive and made in the USA. Also they sound just as good as they look. With the loud buzz of 120 points of engagement the sound will make the opponent in front of you second guess themselves or be heard down the trail to clear the path in front of you. With custom color options you can mix and match colors how ever you see fit! Give us a call for custom I9 orders or you can order direct off our website.