The all-new Industry Nine Torch disc brake road bike wheels are not just stunning, they’re a rather unique take on the concept.
They’ve been testing prototypes for about a year, and that started after six months of design and planning. What immediately sets them apart is the use if straight pull spoke lacing both front and rear and a minimal hub design that had a lot of competing wheel companies checking them out.
“We wanted to maximize stiffness and minimize weight,” says Jacob McGahey, operations manager. “Every other wheel on the market was using a flange, which forces the starting point of the spokes to be pushed inboard. Using straight pull spokes allows for a wider placement on the hub and shorter spokes, both of which help stiffness, and shorter spokes means less weight.”
“As far as torsional forces go, we did basic stress analyses and everything looked OK. We then did a full FEA run through and found the peak stresses at every point, and they’re significantly lower on the front hub, yet that’s where most of your braking power is. That happens because the rear’s taller flange has a higher mechanical advantage and can transfer more force into the spokes. Since the hubshell doesn’t twist, the braking forces transfer to the strongest area, and that happens to be the side opposite the rotor where the spokes are laced two-cross. And because the spokes are leaving the hub at an angle opposite the braking forces, there’s no wind up.”
The result is something that’s among the lightest disc brake road wheels we’ve seen, especially the cyclocross version, and it’s far sleeker and better looking, too…
Radial lacing meant the non-drive side spokes are only about 2mm further inboard than the non disc wheels. All the internals are the same between the two, the only other difference besides the shell is that the disc version’s end cap is 5mm longer.
Front will switch between QR and 15mm thru axle, rear will serve QR and 12×142. It’ll come however you order it, alternate end caps will be sold separately.
The Torch Disc Road hubs will only come on complete wheels, and they’ll have two in the launch lineup – one for road, one for cyclocross. Both will retail for $1,175, and both use 24 spokes per wheel with 2:1 lacing front and rear. The driveside gets 2x lacing, radial lacing on the rotor side.
The UL CX Disc (above) is arguably the more exciting wheel for now. It’s using their 29er Ultralite alloy rim with a 21mm inside/25mm outside width. And it’s tubeless ready. Weight is just 1340g. They admit it might not be the stiffest wheel, but for cyclocross it should be the right mix of lightweight and comfort that makes up for it.
The i25tl Road Disc uses their tubeless ready road rims, so they maintain a brake track, but they’re respectably wide at 19mm inside/23.2mm outside. Weight is 1485g, so the cyclocross version is lighter, but possibly a bit to wide to run standard road bike tires. Don’t worry, a carbon rimmed version will follow soon enough.
Wanna build your own wheelset? They’ve also just launched a Classics series of road hubs for use with your favorite J-bend spokes. Classic Road Disc hubs are $575 for the pair, and standard non-disc ones are $560.
Weights are 93g and 223g for standard road hubs, disc versions are 120g and 238g respectively. They have the same axle compatibility as the Torch series.
All road hubs will start shipping with titanium drive rings, which saves about 7.5g (roughly 40% lighter) compared to the tool steel drive ring. You’ll give up a small amount of durability since it’s not as hard as the steel – which should be interpreted as you’re still not likely to wear it out within the life of the wheels. It’s plenty strong enough for road and mountain bike use. They tested it off road, too, but will only offer it for road. It’ll start getting spec’d once full production is up and running, so initial batches I the road hubs may have the steel rings. The part is being made in house in Asheville, NC.
They’ll also use a 3-pawl driver, all are 11-speed ready and will ship with a spacer for 10-speed cassettes. Not compatible with the XD driver.
Custom colors are $110, and they have a new turquoise color (which seems to be the trend) shown here on the new Ultralite Carbon 24:
They’re 29er only, coming in at 1395g with their lighter 24 spoke hubs. Rim is 26mm wide outside, 19.5mm inside. Retail is $2,500.
There’s also a new Enduro Carbon wheel (not shown) for both 26″ (1580g) and 27.5″ (1640g). Rim width is 30mm outside/21mm inside for the 26″ model, and 31mm outside/23mm inside for the 27.5″ with a more squared off profile. Retail also $2,500. Look for a Gravity 27.5″ wheel to follow shortly.
Of note: McGahey says they shipped more XD1 freehubs than Shimano last month on their wheels and hubs. And that’s not counting parts shipped to OEM customers