Friday afternoon, we had the pleasure of taking a tour of the Industry Nine facilities. It is really impressive to see how the component parts make it from raw material to finished wheels.
Walking into the front door, you come straight into the final assembly and order staging area of the plant. You can see by the pictures below they stock your spokes and hubs in white boxes and the rims go on the other wall. Finished prototypes are hung on one side of the room and the finished boxed wheelsets are stacked all over the place. It is also here where you find the axle stock and the displays of the 6 pawl, 120 point engagement drive that you see below. At all times, there are 3 pawls engaging the ring drive that gives the Industry Nine hubs their trademark engagement.
Some interesting prototypes pictured below:
Blue Road Wheels w/Carbon Edge Rims
Copper/Black BMX Racing Wheels
Red Road Wheels
Walking through the rear door of the final assembly area brings you into the final stage of machining on the hubs. These cnc’s have specially designed fixtures done by I9′s parent company that rotate and pivot on multiple axises. This allows for the angled threading for the spoke holes to be dead on every time. Normally this area is filled with fixtures for robotic welding, but the I9 parent company is getting out of that Industry and expanding the wheel building into this area. That is great news for the expansion of the Industry Nine wheel production.
Walking through this area brings you to a door that leads outside. From here you walk past the dirt jumps and pump track to the second building. It’s great to see that the guys over at I9 still get to thrash the bikes around after getting our wheels out the door.
When you walk into the second building, you quickly realize that there is a lot more built out of these facilities than just wheels. There are dozens of machining operations done at once for a multitude of clients. Industry Nine’s parent company does contract work for everyone from the government to privately owned companies. This is the bulk of the companies business even with the wheels growing like they are. In one of the back rooms, you get to see all of the high end knives they make for other companies. Retail on these starts somewhere in the 250 dollar range and go up “sharply” from there.
The two most notable sections of the second building is the ring drive/pawl production and the spoke machining. The ring drives and pawls are made on an EDM machine. Production out of this machine takes much longer than conventional methods, but it allows I9 to keep the tolerances that they expect out of their parts. Each pawl is cut out of bar stock that you can see below, and each ring drive takes around an hour to complete. This is some really impressive work.
The spoke manufacturing is done out of the long machines that you see below. Raw stock is loaded into these machines and ever 1.5 to 2 minutes a completed spoke drops out ready for ano. This is one of their favorite areas to show off.
The Industry Nine facilities are very impressive. After the tour, you really get an overall feel of why their wheels are the best in the industry, and why it takes a little bit longer to build than what we are accustomed to. They take extreme effort in making sure that every part is absolutely perfect before you get them on your ride.
I included as many pictures as I had…and I will be added more as they come in from other cameras. The more pictures the better in my opinion.
Thanks again to Jeff, Brandy and the rest of Industry Nine for letting us come waste your time on a Friday afternoon. It really was great to see how you guys run things.
I founded Bike198 back in 2007 and started riding bikes seriously in 1994. A lot has changed since that time and one of the greatest releases is still getting out on the bike and shredding trail or tearing up the road.