EB14: Industry Nine Teams with Reynolds for U.S. Made Pillar Hookless Carbon Wheels

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Not only are the new Industry Nine Pillar carbon wheels the first hookless rim design for the companies involved, but the wheels also represent the first completely US made carbon wheelset for the brand. With the exception of the bearings and o-rings, the Pillar wheels get the made-in-the-US moniker thanks to the new hookless carbon rims that are made possible by their collaboration with Reynolds. As one of the first mountain bike rims that Reynolds is manufacturing in the US, the rims use a design by Industry Nine.

Still largely in the preproduction phase, I9 plans to have four different models available in both 27.5 and 29″ sizes. Matched with Industry Nine’s legendary hubs and aluminum spokes, the wheels are designed to provide excellent stiffness, ride, and durability while staying a light as possible.

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When you think of the pillar, think of strong columns that rise straight up – sort of like the hookless sidewall design of the carbon rims. In addition to not requiring any post machining, the hookless design allows Reynolds to run continuous fiber through the impact zone of the side wall for a rim that tests extremely high in sidewall impact resistance.

When it came to the design of the rim one of the big characteristics that I9 was looking for was specifically ride quality. Feeling that many deep carbon rims contribute to a wooden ride feel, I9 instead uses a 21.5/22mm deep carbon rim along with a layup specifically tuned for better compliance.

Inside the rim, the Pillars use a 2-3 degree chamfer for bead fit that will allow for easy tubeless set up. The rims will not have an aggressive bead shelf on the inside to make removing the tires easier. According to Jacob McGahey at Industry Nine, the main cause of burping tires is caused by the bead being pulled out elastically, so the tire should have no problem staying seated with the design.

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On the 29″ side, I9 will offer the Pillar ulc (ultra light carbon), and the trc (trail carbon). Both rims use 24mm internal and 28mm external dimensions, the ulc saves weight by only using 24 spokes instead of the trc’s 32. That means 1355g for the ulc wheelset and 1495g for the trc. The rims also offer a bit of weight difference with the ulc rim weighing 345g and the trail at 365g. The lighter ulc rim does come with a 220 lbs weight limit while the trc ups it to 250 lbs.

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The Pillar 27.5 have a similar break down, only between trail and enduro with the trc and enc. Again, both rims use a 26mm internal width with a 31mm outer for a more aggressive build and 375/400g rims. Complete weights are listed at 1395g for the trc and 1525 for the enc. In addition to differences in the carbon layup, weight differences come from the spokes with 24 for the trc and 32 for the enc.

Built with Industry Nine’s Torch hubs, all the wheelsets use their aluminum spokes in standard (all red or all black) and custom colors (additional fee for custom). The hubs will fit pretty much any axle standard on the market including Lefty and single speed specific in certain applications. Other options include hybrid ceramic bearing upgrades, XD freehubs, and custom lacing options.

Take your pick of the new wheels, with standard options all four will retail for $2850.

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Also lurking in their booth were some new hubs specifically for the Trek Boost 148 standard. Along with a few bikes, Trek recently introduced a new “standard” for rear axle spacing specifically for 29ers. Called Boost 148, the hubs are 148mm wide instead of 142 which offers 6mm of extra flange spacing for an improved bracing angle of the spokes. According to Jacob, that small of a change results in 15-20% more stiffness out of the wheel, hub, and spokes with only a 7g weight penalty. Yes, the design requires new hubs, but Jacob mentions that from and engineering perspective the design makes a lot of sense.

Already have a set of I9 wheels and planning on buying a bike with the Boost 148 standard? You can send your wheel or hub into Industry Nine and they will replace the hub shell and axle to work with the wider spacing. That may sound expensive, but the freehub body and the drive ring are what cost the most for I9 to produce so buying a new hub shell and axle is actually cheaper than a new freehub.

New Boost 148 hubs run the same price as the other Torch hubs and are available with the same options.

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Last but not least, is this sneak peek of their complete fat bike wheelset. While they are still deciding on the final rim for spec, the wheels will use the aluminum spokes and I9 hubs to offer fat bike wheels ready to roll with 135, 150, or 170, or 190 spacing in all axle configurations. Keep an eye out for more details on these in the future.



abc - 08/28/14 - 6:28pm

No comments yet.

chasejj - 08/28/14 - 6:29pm

Am I supposed to believe that while running a FS bike and 2.3 tires at low pressures 20-35psi that I am now coveting vertical rim compliance in my super light and expensive carboin rim.
If you believe this then I have a job for you at the Libyan consulate.

groghunter - 08/28/14 - 6:30pm

hub widths that were designed for one wheel size don’t work as well for a bigger one? I am jacks complete lack of surprise. that said, aren’t the current standards designed around 700c road wheels?

abc - 08/28/14 - 6:31pm

I do get the feeling MTB components get more and more ridiculously overpriced…
Do 10k bikes sell so well?

scentofreason - 08/28/14 - 7:07pm

$2800, cough, hack, ugh. Really? How are these any better than the American classic wide lightings? Other than being a whole 150g lighter, they aren’t as wide and cost $1,800 more. 150g vs. $1800, not a touch decision for those of us who haven’t won the lotto yet…

stop already - 08/28/14 - 7:19pm

Not sure how I9 and Enve are going be competitive when we’re now seeing comparative wheelsets from Roval for $1500 (along with other companies in a similar price point). Don’t get me wrong, I love my Enve AM’s and have a lot of respect for I9, but I’m not going to pay $1200 to $1400 more when I can get great carbon (wide) wheels for $1500.

Oh and stop with “bikes” overpriced nonsense. Margins are *very* small in the bike industry. We can get plenty of lower priced components and bikes. The higher performance bikes and components are going to cost more because they cost more to make. They help push the performance envelope which makes it’s way down to the lower pricepoints (e.g. slk clutch, etc), one of the few cases of true trickle down. Heck, Santa Cruz is now offering a lower cost carbon option. Complaining about $10k builds is like complaining about $100k sportcars reviewed in motor trend. We all can’t afford them, but they are cool to read about. And yes, $10k builds do sell….

Bike love - 08/28/14 - 8:32pm

The wheels are more than American classics and rovals because of the 3 degree engagement. The AC and the rovals have 6. The engagement is unmatched

groghunter - 08/28/14 - 8:40pm

If the Rovals don’t eat these brand’s pricepoints for lunch, then the Stan’s carbon wheelsets at $1900 will.

killa_b - 08/28/14 - 9:25pm

all these lower price points may be appealing but you are getting a crappy hub. The reason the Enves and the I9s are so expensive is because of the hubs. you get a chriss king and an I9 with those 2 options. Those are hands down the best hubs on the market. Think of that when you judge the price of these wheels

why, WHY - 08/28/14 - 9:39pm

My Light Bicycles carbon rims with Profile Elite hubs and cx ray spokes = AWESOME!!!!!!

Alex - 08/28/14 - 9:49pm

I have carbon mtb wheels from Rolf Prima. Handbuilt in Oregon, with White Industries hubs. Have perfomed excellently. A real steal at only $1,800.

Bryin - 08/28/14 - 10:43pm

To Stop Already

Margins are small in the bike industry AT THE RETAIL LEVEL. Because all the major manufacturers are private companies we have no idea how much they make from products. In the case of anything carbon made in the ROC (which is almost everything) I would bet it is a very nice margin.

Eric - 08/28/14 - 10:46pm

Nox sells wider, tougher rims with CX-Rays and I9 hubs for roughly half of this pricepoint – talk about a no-brainer!

Jeb - 08/28/14 - 11:08pm

Hahahaha. Built up a set of 29″ XC race wheels Using Light Bicycle hookless rims, Bitex hubs (48 point engagement) with Sapim Laser spokes and nipples. 1400g and $600.00. Labels are for suckers.

Mike - 08/29/14 - 12:52am

None of you need carbon rims.

Psi Squared - 08/29/14 - 2:22am

Mike, you wouldn’t know what someone else needs.

Jame$ - 08/29/14 - 3:30am

All this performance talk is moot if you don’t have the watts to back it up, and anonymously I don’t and I doubt most on this site do. What is incredibly important (like with fast cars as you drive in traffic) is looking awesome and liking what you own, which is priceless. No wheels look better than I9 and performance is closer to placebo than most are willing to admit. All of these wheels are awesome and if you need more “value” or whatever justification to not own what looks coolest put that in your pipe and smoke the sh*t out of it and remember that’s why you get dropped on climbs – because you smoke!

Grams can be counted but looking Right works – ask a model.

J - 08/29/14 - 10:09am

Why use a hookless rim when a hookless tire standard does not exist?

somedude - 08/29/14 - 11:04am

Jeb, you’ll need the extra money for the plastic surgeon once those wheels fail and you hit the ground.

stop already - 08/29/14 - 12:30pm

killa_b – Roval’s use DT Swiss hubs, anything but crappy and require far less maintenance the CK’s. And no, CK’s and I9’s are not worth the additional $1200 for a wheelset. Additionally, Reynolds offers their own AM wheelset with DT Swiss hubs at $1900. Also note that Enve rims are $1k EACH, way more than the competing wheelsets.

Bike_love – so you are telling me you are going to pay $1200-$1400 more just for the additional engagement? Wow. Enve’s with CK’s vs DT Swiss is a $30 difference and I9 ALU torches are only $1200, so me thinks the hubs and engagemet are not worth the extra $$.

Again, my point is not that Enve and I9 are rolling in the margins or that they make crap. That make great wheels (hubs in I9’s case) and I have Enve’s and love them. However, great as they are, it’s going hard for them to compete when they are being undersold by well over $1000.

Nick H - 08/29/14 - 12:59pm

You can get an I9 wheelset with their aluminum spokes and carbon rims far cheaper than what these new wheels will sell for. Their online store (if you go that route) sells their wheels for $1195. $400 for a set of rims from China (with shipping). Roughly $1600 for a set of carbon wheels with I9 hubs and spokes.

steve - 08/29/14 - 1:18pm

They are friggin beautiful looking, but no 26 so who cares. I got LB beedless 26 mm id and hope 40t hubs for 900, nice but it’s like mounting moto tires to get the tire on and suddenly excludes tires like kendas because too tight a fit

Billy - 08/29/14 - 4:15pm

Is no one else bothered as much as I am about the 148mm “standard” from Trek? Couldn’t they have gone the extra 2mm and merged this new group of hubs with the already existing 150mm standard that has been used in DH bikes for several years already?

Ripnshread - 08/30/14 - 12:51pm

When I saw the name “Pillar” I thought they were working with the spoke manufacturer Pillar http://www.pillarspoke.com/ . They should do a Copyright search.

Vincent - 09/25/14 - 12:44pm

@Billy : you are mistaken, the 150mm hubs are 157mm in through axle configuration.

157mm push the chainline too far and ask for special cranks with long spindles and increased Qfactor like on fat bikes.

148mm was choosen to be the widest possible while keeping a classical q factor.

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