I’ve been riding Industry Nine wheels for the past few seasons for several reasons that I would like to share. First of all, the company is based in Asheville, NC and they are a group of like minded, intelligent, envelope pushing individuals. Everyone at I9 that I’ve ever met is genuine and passionate about what they do. Take Drew for example; he shows up at a random CX race in Colorado one day with the Shimano Tech rep, proceeds to jump in the open race with the sickest wheelset I’ve ever seen and that’s how we met. After the race, come to find out, he is responsible for anodizing each and every hub that they make. Not only is he willing to explain the process, but he will leave you wishing to own a set of I9’s. He’s no slouch when it comes to throwing down on the bike either!
Industry Nine manufactures all of their hubs in house and prides themselves on domestic production, which is hard to come by at this day in age, especially in the bike industry. The first set of I9 hubs that I ever owned were red anodized Torch mtb, QR 6 bolt – works of art, seriously. The craftsmanship that goes into each hub is top notch. (With the help of a friend at Golden Bike Shop) I laced them up to some carbon tubular rims and created a badass cyclocross wheelset that I still own/ride today! Thus, the beginning of what has turned into a great partnership. Now I own 7 wheelsets including two mtb, two road, and 3 cross and I thought it would be cool to share some of the different applications that I chose and why.
These are my 2014 geared race bikes. Both are skating on Industry Nine C41 Disc Tubulars. These wheels are unmatched in weight, stiffness and performance. They are I9 system wheels utilizing straight pull spokes for increased stiffness. Of course, the Clement tubular tires are the perfect mate for these race whips!
I raced all over the place on these Foundrys, including Tokyo! The amount of mud, sand, rain, dust, and power washing that these hubs encountered in one season is mind boggling. Yet, I have never needed to rebuild a single hub or free hub body. They are all performing flawlessly! For that reason alone, I would not recommend a different hub for cyclocross.
This Niner Air 9 Carbon, single speed has been in my quiver for several years. In fact it’s one of the first carbon Niners ever made. I recently upgraded to the Ultralite 29 Torch wheelset and it’s amazing the difference. Especially on a SS, you will really notice when your hub is engaging fast or slow. In this case, when trying to clean technical climbs, I need every bit of help I can get. These wheels make this relic a pure joy to take out on the occasional lunch ride!
The 2014 Cyclocross National Championships were held in Boulder, about 30 minutes from home. Pictured above is the original wheelset that I mentioned previously. I was stoked to win the ss race and even more stoked to do it on I9 hubs!
Here’s another shot of the course conditions at SSCX nationals. Needless to say, the mud and snow was not a factor for my Torches.
In short, all my race bikes are equipped with I9s and they are better off because of it. I couldn’t be more happy to work with a company that “gets it” and makes the wheels that I want to ride! I will leave you with this quick story about a bike shop that I used to work at. One day I asked GBS about their thoughts on Industry Nine. It was a resounding answer; “We build lots of custom wheelsets and sell lots of aftermarket wheelset upgrades. I9 is the only company that has proven their quality and adaptability to new and ever-changing standards. We pretty much steer all of our customers towards I9 because that’s what we all ride and they are just the best. You’re lucky to be racing their wheels, Tim!” I could not agree more… Now do yourself a favor and check them out: Industry Nine