Fred at Wolfhound Cycles hooked me up with a set of sandblasted and powder coated XT cranks to go on the Terremoto. The black powder coat matches the frame exactly. I really couldn’t have asked for a better crankset for this frame.
I was having issues with the spacing of the Race Face Atlas set that I was using. Something about the bottom out bold design with the small washer spacing just wasn’t meshing well with my frame. On top of that, I am pretty sure that I bent the spindle and that was causing a horrible creek that continued no matter which bottom bracket I was using.
So far the XT’s have been perfect, and I am glad to say that the spacing and installation is much easier. With the axle attached to the drive side and the simple load nut on the non-drive side, the cranks come on and off easier than any other set I have tried recently. I had been using the cranks out of the Race Face stable ever since my move to external bearings years ago. Now…I am wondering why I didn’t just start with Shimano to begin with. I tend to wrench a lot, sometimes even when I don’t need to, so the simplicity that these cranks display for install/removal is a huge plus for my needs. Some people may be a set and forget type rider, but that just isn’t my style.
These cranks also seem to be stiffer than the Atlas cranks they replaced. This may not be completely accurate due to the problems I was having with the previous set. Those symptoms might have caused the Atlas cranks to feel flexier when in fact they weren’t.
Blackspire SuperPro Rings 2×9 24T/34T
Gamut 34T Bash Black
Shimano XT Cranks
Wicked Racin Dual Chain Guide (installation finishing this weekend.)
The square taper vs. external bearing debate w/198′s thoughts…
Wicked Racin Dualrailleur Guide Review
Rock Shox – With the release of the 20mm 120mm travel Reba, SRAM has given the 29er crowd exactly what they have been wanting…a true competitor to the White Brothers fork. I can’t even begin to tell you how many full suspension 29er riders that I have heard say…”this fork would be incredible with a little bit more travel and a thru axle.” Rock Shox is going to do very well with this lineup.
Trek – The new Session 88 line looks incredible. Trek seemed to hit a slump over the past couple of years, but they have come back with a vengeance for 08/09. It will be very exciting to see what else they have in the pipeline.
Fox – As much as I think the 15mm TA is just a go around to the 20mm Maxle, it is still a great thing that the industry is getting away from QR’s and moving towards lightweight thru axles.
650B – Everyone is jumping on the 650B bandwagon much faster than the 29er one from a couple of years back. I don’t know if they don’t want to be the last ones to the party like some were for 29er’s, but there are a lot of products hitting the shelves this year for the 650B market. This will be the fastest growing market in mountain biking over the next two years.
Amoung the great product releases and races…there were a couple of things that didn’t go over too well…
198′S MISSES FOR 2008
Mark Reynolds – The industry lost a great rider over the weekend. Mark, the owner of Wicked Racin, passed away during a dh run due to a heart attack. He was a great man that was extremely passionate about the sport of mountain biking, and he will be missed.
Avid Elixir – Honestly, I wasn’t really moved by the new brake from Avid. The bland grey looks and what seems to be the same old brakes just aren’t cutting it. As the hydraulic brake market continues to step up, Avid is going to need to look at where they are going as a line. Their brakes are ok, but they still do not have one that is on par with the Hope and Formula offerings.
I think we have some great things to look forward to over the next year. These releases should make Interbike very interesting. I expect to see even more 650B offerings along with complete lineup changes from the major fork manufacturers. For instance…what happens to the Rock Shox Pike now that the Revelation has a TA and 140mm? I guess we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, ride it like you stole it and try to nurse your UGI because there is no cure.
SingleTrackWorld.com got a chance to take a look at the 2009 Fox lineup that everyone has been waiting on.
Thier full article can be found at singletrackworld.com.
SINGLETRACKWORLD.COM ARTICLE ON 2009 FOX LINEUP
We finally got a look at the new Fox 15mm axle fork and its Shimano-built QR gubbins along with a new XC fork lockout. There’s also a new TALAS knob, a new DHX Air knob and a different crown for the 40.
The lovely Elayna from Fox took some time to show us round the new aspects of the Fox range for next year. Obviously, the biggest news is the new 15mm ‘standard’ that Shimano and Fox has been working on. Shimano will be offering XT and XTR hubs in the new 15mm style while Fox will offer 15mm lowers on all of its forks up to 140mm.
Doesn’t that look good? Riders who’ve used the fork reckon that it’s off-camber performance is fantastic, all with much less weight than a 20mm system.The funny dial thing is virtually fit and forget.
The 15mm axle will appear on all the 32mm forks.
The new 15mm standard is an open ‘standard’ with the only consistent bit being the size of the Shimano hubs. The Fox lower was developed, however, by Fox and Shimano together so should work pretty well (or else…) – there’s a dial on the non-skewer side of the fork. This is set at the factory so that the QR screws in and always comes to rest with the skewer lever pointing up. Should it change over time, or get knocked, it can always be user adjusted. It actually looks more complicated than it is. In theory, you just tighten it up and flip the QR lever and it’ll be set, job done.
15mm lowers will be available on all of Fox’ 32mm stanchion forks – so everything from the 80mm travel F80 up to the 32RLC 140mm. The 36mm forks will keep the 20mm thru axle.
XC racers take note – Fox has developed a bar-mounted lockout. Again using Shimano’s expertise at making fiddly little components, there’s a new bar mounted lever which saves the XC rider from having to reach all the way down to the top of the fork. There’s a normal-style thumb lever to lock out the fork, but a clever, side-mounted release shift that you just sort of nudge with the side of your hand – meaning that you don’t need to release your grip on the bars – useful on a rocky downhill.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always turning my TALAS knob the wrong way and dropping the travel on my forks, rather than increasing it. The TALAS fork now gains better labeling (including a plus and minus label for stupid people like me, along with a four-sided knob to allow for better grip. It’s still a three-position knob though.
A couple of pics for the gravity set. Everyone loves the Fox 40 and for next year it gains a different top crown that uses the Rockshox standard direct stem mount, using four bolts. The DHX Air remains unchanged apart from an easier to get to and use Propedal lever.
And if you wondered what these 1point5 to 1 1/8in steerers looked like – now you know.
First, you can find my thoughts on the 15mm standard in my blog article.
Overall, the forks look great even if I don’t agree with going to 15mm. Fox has consistently put out high quality products, so we are safe to say these will be as well. It does appear that they are adding more features that the Rock Shox users have gotten used to for several years now. This includes better travel adjusters and the new bar mounted lockout. I think the fork market it getting a jolt because of better competition among brands. This turns out to be a great thing for riders because we get better products faster at a better price the higher the competition is.
The new propedal lever on the DHX looks good and I think moving it to the side is a great idea. Hopefully, Fox also improved the performance of the DHX-A for ’09 because previous models have been lacking in this area. Specifically, mid stroke wallow has been a concern, so it will be interesting to see how Fox has addressed this.
The Fox 40 is a monster. I just wish I had a ride that would take the fork.
As previously mentioned…Rock Shox rolled out the new Reba at Sea Otter. During a presentation, they also released the new Revelation!
From the Rock Shox Press Release for the new Reba:
The popular RockShox Reba suspension fork is new and improved, and ready to hit the trail! Didn’t think that RockShox could top the proven Reba? We took an awesome fork and made it even better.
• All new chassis for 26” and 29”
• Standard QR or new Maxle Lite 20x110mm thru axle option
• Power Bulges
• New Motion Control in SL and Race
• New BlackBox Motion Control in Team
• New Dual Air system
• Post disc brake mount
• Travel increased to 120mm
• Hollow crown in all models
• Detented controls on Team
From the Rock Shox Press Release for the new Revelation:
Revelation reaches new heights with this latest release. With increased travel options, new graphics package, and new axle option, RockShox Revelation continues to raise the bar.
• Increased travel to 140mm
• Graphics package
• Standard QR or new Maxle Lite 20x110mm thru axle option
• New hollow crown (standard axle only)
The big news here is that the 120mm Reba rumors are true. This will make a lot of riders very happy in the 29er and 26er market. With the increased travel on the Revelation and 20mm option…you have to wonder…what will happen to the Pike line? I guess we will find out soon enough, but in the meantime…SRAM continues to raise the bar in suspension forks. ’08/’09 should be extremely exciting.
The new graphics are a welcomed change. The current look has been around for several years now and the new simple design is very pleasing to the eye. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do with the bigger forks.
I run the Syncros Bulk bars, so I am really excited to see new products in the Syncros line. I also think I have found the pedals that I have been looking for. Those will work out great on the 6″ bike for DH/FR duty. Their “grunge” graphics will take some getting used to, but they are already starting to grow on me. It seems like a lot of manufacturers are getting into the more extreme graphics designs this year without going way overboard.
We’ve brought you word of Magura’s new shock, so here is news of the new, super-lightweight Marta and the return of the never-released Thor fork…
MAGURA MARTA DISC BRAKES
Here’s the new Magura Marta SL Magnesium. For the first time, Magura has used magnesium for a lever body – which helps drop the weight for the system below the fabled 300g a brake mark. The Marta is intended to be a versatile brake, rather than the high-end XC pitch of its predecessor – and will work with 160/180 and 203 rotors.
The new caliper. It takes a new shape of brake pad which will eventually fill all of the brakes in Magura’s range. (Which would suggest that all of Magura’s brakes are due a revamp in the next couple of years… Magura Martin’s unwillingness to confirm that means it must be true…) The new brake will come in post-mount only.
See the little bolt on the reservoir cover? That’s for bleeding – and allows bleeding without removing the reservoir cover, as previous levers have needed. The whole system now runs more oil than previous Martas.
There will be three models of Marta. The Marta SL Magnesium (with mag body and carbon lever) the Marta SL with carbon lever and ally body, and the Marta, shown here, with aluminium body and lever.
MAGURA THOR 140mm
There will be three models of Marta. The Marta SL Magnesium (with mag body and carbon lever) the Marta SL with carbon lever and ally body, and the Marta, shown here, with aluminium body and lever.
Thor is dead, long live Thor!
Back in 2003 I reported on a new twin-brace fork from Magura called the Thor. It turned out to be too expensive and complex to manufacture, so was shelved. But now the name has been re-introduced with the advent of a brand new fork. Behold the Magura Thor.
Featuring 140mm travel (infinitely adjustable to 100mm with their Flight Control remote) the new Thor fork weighs in at a light 1785g.
The Thor features some neat touches, like these integrated cable stops in the crown. The twin braces of the other forks are still there – and debuted on the original Thor back in 2003.
The Thor comes with a Rockshox Maxle 360. If you want to save some weight and aren’t in a hurry to get your wheel out, you can replace the Maxle with Magura’s ’60 Less’ axle which screws in, is secured with a grub screw and weighs, yes, 60g less than a standard Maxle.
The Thor will be post mount and will take a 180mm caliper without adaptors. It’ll be a very late 2008 product, as will the new Marta. We’re off to test them in July.
I love the Marta’s. The set I used to run were just dialed, so seeing a new revised Marta line makes me want to jump out and order some more. The only complaints I had about my older Marta set was that they were IS mount, but now that Magura is going to all post mount…this problem is fixed. I expect to hear great reviews on these brakes in the future.
The Thor fork shows some promise. I really like the use of the Maxle 360. It has to be the best designed 20mm axle on the market. The only thing I am still reluctant to jump on board with is the additional lever on the bar and the dual crowns. Add a gravity dropper and you will have a cockpit so full of switches that you won’t even be able to see the bar.
Pictures can be found on MTBR.com’s coverage of the 2008 Sea Otter Classic.
From the official SRAM Press Release:
“Elixir R – The perfect mix of power and control”
AVID’s new Taperbore Technology provides supreme control combined with increased stopping power
Less initial power and deep stroke modulation allow the rider to better manage and use the increased overall power. The power gain comes from Elixir’s larger caliper pistons making the power sit halfway between Juicy and Code. Elixir benefits include reduced weight and clearance through reservoir design and optimized caliper.
I have always thought that the Avid brakes could use some work in the bleeding and modulation areas with their hydraulic brake line. If they want to be compared with companies like Hope and Formula, then this is the route they need to go in improving these areas. Good job.
With the overdue addition of a through axle fork to Rock Shox’s 29?er fork line, the Reba will be a much stiffer platform. Utilizing the new “Maxle Light”, a slightly less stiff but much lighter version of the original Maxle, this fork will stiffen the Reba chasis significantly. Also incorporating features seen in the recently redesigned SID, the Reba will have the hollow lowers and bulge on the lowers with a slight modification to the inner workings to allow for not only a stiffer chassis, but no weight penalty.
The travel options will be 80mm, 100mm both with a quick release axle, and the 100mm version only in the Maxle Light through axle. The travel in any of the forks can be adjusted with spacers, but the location of those spacers has changed. Now instead of being on top of the damper, they are under it to help avoid changing the travel performance/feel when you change travel. It still is called “All Travel”, but it is a bit different.
I would have really liked to see this fork come out in a 120mm travel adjust version. It would have really opened up some options for the 29er crowd without increasing too much weight. The “official” introduction of the Maxle Lite and the new lowers are great, but we all already knew about that technology.
650B.com Coverage of the Sea Otter Classic
TURNER SULTAN WITH 650B WHEELS
Pictures provided by 650B.com
In the Turner booth there was two things of interest.
Full Suspension: The first was the Turner Sultan their 29er bike that is 4? of travel BUT with 650b wheels on there. After speaking with Greg from Turner I learned that the bike was indeed a Sultan but with a 5 spot chain stay. The chain stay was 13-3/4? which left the bottom bracket exactly in the same spot as the bike was with 29? wheels. This change also shortened the travel to 3-3/4?. As most folks don’t set up their suspension correctly anyways, I’m pretty sure most won’t feel the 1/4? difference.
Steel: The bike was out on a ride with David Turner so I wasn’t able to grab some shots but there indeed was a steel bike in the Turner tent with 650b wheels. The tubing was standard Columbus tubing with 71 degree head tube and 72 degree down tube. I’ll do my best to find the bike and take photos.
It seems that a couple guys at Turner have taken high interest of the 650b and are even building personal bikes to test out their theories.
A steel Turner?! I can’t wait to find some pictures of this ride. It will be very interesting to get a look at the design. The 650B Sultan does not surprise me at all. I was halfway expecting one of the Frankenturner guys on MTBR to do this some time ago. I bet it is a blast to ride.
We were not able to make it out to the Sea Otter Classic this year, so the information you see below is complied off of all of the sites and companies that were able to make it out to the event. It looks like there are some exciting things in the pipeline for ’08.
Pivot Cycles is releasing the 429 29er full suspension bike for ’08. With 100mm of travel and the now famous DW-Link, this bike should be a hit among 29er enthusiasts. They should be available sometime in June in silver and red ano.
The first one is the Nevegal 2.35 650b tire from Kenda. This is one of the most popular tires in existence and it’s arrival to the 650b wheel size gives the new wheel movement a bit of momentum. The tire looks huge for a 2.35.
It seems that WTB might be trying their hand in 650b. The tread of source is the new Wolverine in a 2.2. This tire seems to be an awesome set up of XC but enough dig in soft ground.
650B.com reported that Fox is working on a 650b fork from a very reliable source. It appears that they are not going to be late to the party like they were with the 29er craze.
Overall, it appears that manufacturers are taking the 650B craze much more seriously than the 29ers. It will be interesting to see the other developments.
The new Saint groupset shares some features and characteristics with the current group but on further inspection is also completely new on many levels. And it’s black and gold like those John Player Special branded Formula One cars from the 1970′s.
Here’s the official Press Release in full…
2008 SHIMANO SAINT GROUP
“Find your Flow” with the new Saint group.
Further increased rigidity combined with a lighter weight design should fulfill the needs of DH racers and mirrors the current gravity trend for faster and smoother trails. Again, in line with Shimano’s current trend of exquisitely detailed products and attention to aesthetics , the appearance of this group is very technical and aggressive; shiny black with subtle gold colored details.
Shimano Shadow SS & GS Rear Mech
Shimano have listened to requests and introduce a dedicated short cage mtb-specific shadow rear derailleur. Most importantly the new Saint Shadow rear derailleur does away with the axle/rear derailleur mount/interface and adopts a universal traditional dropout mount. The super low profile of the Shadow rear derailleur minimizes the chance to damage the derailleur by hitting any object on the trail. However compare them with the current Shadow offerings in the XT and XTR groupsets and you’ll see that the Saint differs quite dramatically. Most notable is the super wide inner link that offers the additional stiffness that is so important in gravity racing/riding – super crisp shifts and engagement. The lower part of the cage also incorporates a skid plate into the design – helping to deflect debris and obstacles. Shimano managed to combine this additional rigidity with a remarkable weight saving of 100 grams compared to the current version.
The Saint rear derailleur has an increased spring tension compared to the other Shimano Shadow derailleurs. However, the exclusive feature of the Saint Shadow rear derailleur is without a doubt the mode convertor used to select usage with either close or wide ratio cassettes. Close ratio cassettes (23-28T lowest gear) are recommended for Downhill usage, wide ratio (32-34T lowest gear) for Freeride and All Mountain usage. The Saint Shadow derailleur is available in a short (SS) and a medium (GS) cage version, top normal shifting only. Which should appeal to all riders with single or double chainring setups.
Rapidfire Plus shifters
The gravity oriented Rapidfire Plus shifters have been designed to combine a crisp shift feeling with 1-finger braking. They feature a short release lever stroke and Instant Release technology for a fast and direct response. Of course these shifters also feature 2-Way Release technology that allows the release lever to be operated in two directions. The new Saint shifters have been developed with an adjustable bracket to allow inboard and outboard mounting for optimum cockpit setup. Last but not least, they have an excellent mud shedding design – their low profile design allows for ample space between shifter and brake lever.
The Saint cranksets will be much lighter (double ring – 100g / single ring – 90g) and even more rigid than the current M800 versions. There will be options for single and double chainrings. Both have been developed with HOLLOWTECH II technology and feature an extreme heavy duty spider arm and spindle. The new crank arm design allows more ankle clearance and the “honeycomb” designed bash guard has a great impact resistance. It has a steel pedal thread insert for extra rigidity. Single chainring options include 34/36/38/40/42T. Double: 36 x 22T compact drive crankset for All Mountain usage offers a wide gear ratio and a narrower Q-factor.
Saint includes a double specific mountain bike front derailleur, designed to perform optimumly with a 36x22T compact drive crankset – The cage radius is matched to a 36T chainring radius. It has a very compact size with increased plate stiffness and improved clearance of the chain, chain stay and rear tire for an optimal compatibility with most types of full suspension frames currently on the market. A wider and lower positioned inner plate reduces the chance of chain drop considerably. There will be top-swing and down-swing (conventional) versions for both 68/73mm and 83mm BB’s
Hub and freehub
The new Saint hub and freehub are around 100 grams lighter than current versions and they feature a standard size center lock mount which saves weight while maintaining strength. This also means that the Saint hubs are now compatible with the full range of Shimano center lock rotors too.The hub comes with Shimano’s tried and tested fully adjustable and easy serviceable cup and cone bearings, which are more durable under side loads (no one rides in a striaght line – least of all offroad!). Over Locknut Dimension (OLD) is 110mm and they feature a 20mm through axle for an ultra stiff fork/hub combination.
The bearings of the freehub have been positioned wider apart for increased stiffness and durability. The freehub body has been developed with Shimano’s quick engagement technology that results in increased performance especially in technical terrain. The Saint freehub will be available in two versions. 135mm OLD in combination with a 10mm or 12mm through axle and 150mm OLD with a 12mm through axle. Sealings have been further improved for 400% better durability.
The new Saint: lighter, stiffer, better. Enjoy the ride and “Find your Flow…”
Availability in the market: August 2008.
So far…this looks like a killer set. Shimano is really stepping up to the plate in the am/fr/dh market for 2008 with the SLX and Saint groups. The cranks in particular look incredible. Time will tell on the hubs and shifting, but the rest of the group looks great. I can’t wait to see some of these parts in person.
In a world where we love to capture our adventures on camera, GoPro has come up with a reasonably inexpensive way to record footage using a mounted digital camera. The Digital Hero can be mounted several different ways and comes in a couple different configurations to fit your needs.
In the mountain biking scene, we are constantly looking for different ways to record our favorite trail or that perfect run. Until now, doing that meant very expensive equipment or rigging something up that may or may not work correctly. GoPro‘s Hero solves these issues in a little package that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Check out their website for the different configurations.
From the website:
The Helmet HERO is a waterproof digital helmet camera that also quick-release mounts to bikes, kayaks, skis, cars and more. Works with any vented or non-vented helmet.
Use a 2GB SD card to shoot 56 minutes of TV resolution 30 fps video with immersive sound. Or activate “Photo Every 5 Seconds” mode to automatically shoot hands-free photos of the action for over 2 hours (1400+ photos).
56 minutes TV quality video w/sound
3 megapixel sensor with glass lens
3X sequence photo burst
Photo every 5 second mode
Adjustable sound recording levels
Always On Mode lasts 3+ hours
Supports up to 2GB SD cards
PC and MAC Compatible/Driver Free
2 x AAA Battery
1 Year Warranty
What is really impressive about the unit is the quality that it puts out. It really surprised me how a small inexpensive helmet camera could put out good enough quality to post on the internet and watch on tv. Now, this isn’t going to be HD quality, and you will probably see pixels on really large tv’s, but this little unit is really great for what it is.
A friend of mine, Jeff, has been trying one out at Big Creek lately.
Trail Riding – Cool shots of the Fox fork doing it’s thing.
TwentyNineInches.com reported this weekend about a possible long travel 29′er fork that is in development by Rock Shox (SRAM).
Is Rock Shox testing a long travel 29?er fork? Rumors have been whispered that the fork maker would be introducing some sort of long travel 29?er fork for at least two years now. Now there is some evidence that this perhaps is true.
Here is a photo from a thread on mtbr.com showing a Lenz Behemoth fitted with what looks to be a Rock Shox type fork. Note the through axle which looks like a Maxle which would be a dead giveaway that this is a Rock Shox fork. There also appears to be a bulge in the middle of the lowers that is reminiscent of the new SID design and has been seen on the new version of the Reba as well.
No word yet on the internals as the principals involved with the testing are not talking. Typically companies do not develope new damping technologies for their 29?er forks, so it would be fair to assume that the guts are based off some current Rock Shox platform. We are hoping to see some new 29?er product at Sea Otter next week and my feeling is that we will be hearing more about this fork at that time. We are also hearing rumors of a 29 inch version of the SID, as well, so Sea Otter could be chock full of springy news!
Looks like Sea Otter is going to be a launching point for a lot of new products again this year. There is the possibility that this is the new Reba platform that gets the updates that the SID saw earlier this year with a little bit of added travel. I guess we will have to wait and see…
My thoughts on the long travel 29er fork…
We’ll have to see…the jury is still a little bit out for me, but if Rock Shox comes to the plate like they have been lately…then it should be great. The stiffness of the fork at that length is what worries me about the handling, but if they take the design off of the Lyrik/New SID lowers and crown, then that should help tremendously. The only other thing we are going to have to wait and see about is how high the front end of the bike is going to be with that kind of axle to crown. There is going to have to be some frame geometry shifting to make the bike still handle like it is supposed to.
I, for one, can not wait to hear about all of the exciting news that is going to hit with Sea Otter this year…stay tuned for more…
If you haven’t seen a set of Industry Nine wheels…you are missing out. Named one of Bike Magazines top 15 Editors Choice products in 2008, these wheelsets have hit the industry by storm over the past couple of years. Their precision machining and stunning good looks have put them at the top of the most wanted list for most cycling enthusiasts. Industry Nine’s goal was to produce the best wheels that money could buy. They have achieved their goal and surpassed most of our expectations.
Industry Nine is located in Asheville, NC where they make each one of their components in house. I had the pleasure of getting the $5 tour from Jeff during a visit I had there last year. The parent company of Industry Nine produces fixtures for robotics and high end manufacturing, so anything you would need to build high end wheels…is already in place. The owner, a mountain biking enthusiast, set out to use his knowledge to build the best wheels that money could buy. His result was Industry Nine and his success has led to a long wait for the precious wheels. Trust me, the wait is worth it.
Throughout my tour of the plant, I could see the amount of care that goes into every component for these wheels. For example, each spoke is machined out of 7075-T6 aluminum. The machining process take 2 minutes per spoke and is done all at once on machines that use to produce medical products. Long rods of aluminum are fed into these machines and complete spokes come out the other end. It is pretty impressive to see in person.
So, why did I semi rush through the background information? Because how the wheels ride on the trail is really the most important part anyway right? With 120 points of engagement through a 6 pawl system, there is no delay in power transfer. This actually takes some getting used to, but is extremely important. After getting off I9′s (Industry Nine’s), you really notice the gap in power transfer in your other hubs. It really turns into one of those “I didn’t know what I was missing until I had it” situations. Where I noticed it the most was in double clutch situations on the single speed. This is where the I9′s truly shine and I would be hard pressed to have any other wheel on my single speeds from now on. The engagement is instant and you don’t waste any energy waiting on the hub. This is what Industry Nine was setting to accomplish with their drive, instant engagement, and there is no one else on the market that does it this well (I have a set of King hubs for those that were wondering). The wheel is also incredibly stiff. I personally find this very appealing because my favorite riding is in really rough terrain where wheel deflection can become dangerous. The last thing I want to worry about is a wheel coming apart or coming loose causing wrecks and tight situations. I like my components to work correctly on every ride…and these wheels deliver that in spades.
No one can argue that these wheels are absolutely stunning. They are probably the first component that I have ever put on a bike that actually looks better than the frame. While they are the best looking wheels on the planet, that is probably the smallest feature of the wheels, and that is saying a lot. There are dozens of combinations that you can choose from to make your wheels unlike anyone else’s. For the right price, you can even fade the spokes into different colors. Mine were the green and black singlespeed set that you see to the left and there will be another set in the works soon. Below is a gallery of some of my personal favorites that I have seen over the past couple of years. If you want yours included…shoot me a link or email.
These are the best wheels that money can buy, and they are worth every penny. You might have to wait a little while to get your set in, but it is worth the wait. Also check out their road wheels and regular flanged style hubs. In 2007, I9 released the regular flanged style for riders who wanted traditional pull spokes.
The Good News on Industry Nine Wheels
120 point engagement is an industry leader
Multiple color combination’s allow for infinite customization
Interchangeable end caps allow for multiple axle sizes
Lightweight stiff wheel when built correctly
The Bad News on Industry Nine Wheels
Long wait time – sometimes up to 9 months depending on color choices
Have to mortgage your house for custom color combos off pallet (on pallet is red, black, silver)
Proprietary spokes on straight pull models – Can’t pick up at your LBS
Re-tensioning of spokes recommended after several rides
So, which set is your favorite?
I9 Silver Hub and Silver Spokes
Green Niner with Purple Industry Nine Wheelset
Copper Hub with Pewter Spokes Industry Nine Wheel
Copper Hub with Pewter Spokes Industry Nine Wheel
Orange Industry Nine Wheelset
Copper Hub with Copper Spokes Industry Nine Wheelset