FIRST IMPRESSIONS & WEIGHTS: INDUSTRY NINE I25 ROAD DISC BRAKE WHEELS
Introduced at Eurobike last fall, Industry Nine’s Torch road disc hubs stole the show with their radial lacing pattern and svelte body. Available in several builds, including a CX-specific ultralight model, we opted to test the i25 road disc wheelset to give us a bit more flexibility in use.
Even with the i25 Disc sets, you have options. The stealthier build is with their anodized black, disc specific i25 rims. These forego the machined brake track on the sidewalls, which gives them a very smooth, bead-to-bead black. Or, you can opt for the standard silver i25 rims with the brake track. You lose some of the good looks, but you also lose a few grams of rotational weight in the process. And, depending on the bike, the more classic look might be just the right thing. Both are tubeless ready outta the box. Being a weight weenie, you can see which one I went with.
So far, the wheels have seen a number of training fun rides and two ‘cross races. Roll through to see how they measure up, weigh in and ride so far…
The wheels are laced 24 hole front and rear, with 4x on one side, radial on the other for both. The rear gets the radial lacing next to the disc rotor, the front puts it on the other side. Check the link at top of post for their explanation on how they get away with it.
The “25″ in the name refers to the rim’s depth. It’s a rounded/aero shape that’s just right for cyclocross and all-around road riding. With a claimed rim weight of 445g, they’re in the right ballpark for their width and depth.
The hubs use straight pull Sapim CX-Ray spokes throughout. Who can argue with these shapes?
The internals are the same as their standard Torch road hubs, introduced at Sea Otter 2013. That means two bearings in the front, four in the rear, Teflon seals and 11-speed freehub body. Everything but the bearings is made in house in Asheville, NC.
The lack of a flange on the radial side means less weight and a slightly wider spoke placement.
For now, perhaps the only downside to the design is they’re standard QR only. UPDATE: They offer 15mm and 12×142 compatibility via a simple end cap swap. Same goes for the CXUL and our stand-alone road disc flanged hub line-up. Special order parts are available for 9mm thru and 10×135 thru axles.
Claimed weight for the set is 1485g. Ours came in at 1558g with valve stems and rim tape preinstalled and the 10-speed spacer still on.
Rim widths came in at 24mm external and 19mm internal.
From the get go, these wheels have been pretty good. It did take a compressor to get one of the tires to seat, the other situated itself with a Lezyne high volume MTB floor pump (Kenda tubeless ‘cross tires were installed new, separate review of those coming later).
Both races were in near freezing temps, the first one much wetter (raining) than the other, but they’re still rolling smooth. With half the pawls of their mountain bike Torch hubs (three, rather than six), they’re not quite as noisy. But they still have that trademark I9 whiz, just not as loud and with very, very little drag out of the box. In fact, these things spin incredibly easily.
Since I was also getting used to new tires, I didn’t push them through the corners as aggressively as usual. However, they seem plenty stiff and track well, even on bumpy, rooty terrain – of which we have plenty. First impressions are very good. They’ll spend a bit more time on my cyclocross bike, then move to a road bike for testing before we post a long term review.
A quick note on color: I opted for Pink to match the Chris King headset and bottom bracket (review on that coming, too). The headset has been on the bike for about a year longer than the BB (with zero issues, as to be expected from a Chris King HS), and the color between the two is noticeably different. It could be fading, or it could be variations in batches. I9′s rep says you can set your watch to purple ano, but keeping pink the same is much more difficult. Installed on the bike, they’re all close enough to look matchy matchy. Put them next to each other and you’ll notice that I9′s pink is a bit redder.
Standard colors are silver, black or red for hubs, silver and black for spokes and the silver or black rims. Mix and match all you want, price is $1,170 for the set. Upgrade to any of their other hub colors ($150), white spokes ($65) or ceramic bearings ($205). Colored nipples are also available. Suggested rider weight limit of 100kg (220lb).
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