Based in Asheville, North Carolina; Industry Nine have made a name for themselves over the last 16 years with their American-made wheels, hubs, and stems for everything from Downhill and Enduro mountain bikes through to road and even dirt jump rigs. Chances are you have heard, or seen, Industry Nine’s products while out on the trails as they are very distinctive. With some of the loudest hubs on the market, and a flashy, customizable wheelset program, I9’s are hard to miss. If you find yourself in the area around their HQ you can make a reservation and drop in the I9 Facility for a factory tour. Generally, I find product manufacturing fascinating, so there’s something special about seeing a product come to life, and it’s even better when it’s on your bike!
The Enduro 305 Alloy Wheelset is now on its 3rd generation with one of the most popular rims in the company’s lineup. Starting with the rim, the 305’s are made with a premium aluminum alloy featuring a 30.5mm inner width which should pair nicely with 2.3” – 2.6” tires. The V3 rims feature a 45% wider bead wall than the previous V2, which should help to reduce impact damage to the rim as well as lessening the chance of the dreaded pinch flat. There’s nothing more of a buzzkill than getting a flat and ruining the flow out on a descent. The wheels are available in 26”, 27.5”, and 29” diameters to fit Enduro bikes past and present.
The 32 aluminum, straight pull spokes feature integrated nipples allowing for easy servicing and are noticeably thicker than spokes found on most wheels due to the material used. I9 has engineered these spokes to remove the two major failure points of your typical J-bend steel spoke, with the removal of the bend and the threaded area seeing an increased thickness. These spokes all connect to the crown jewel of the wheel – the Hydra Freehub – creating the System Wheel. The hubs boast 690 points of engagement giving just .52 degrees between engagements – the least slack of any pawled hub currently on the market. The Hydra’s freehub features six pawls, with a 115-tooth drive ring in the shell. I9’s innovative design uses the natural flex of the system to achieve second, third, and fourth pawl contact to produce this high engagement without sacrificing durability. The hubs are available in a range of sizing for both front and rear to accommodate modern axle and driver standards. I9 allows you to choose from their 11 colors for your hubs and spokes, and many riders choose this unique color program to match their ride.
The Alloy Enduro 305 V3 wheelset with Hydra Hubs comes in at 1780g for the 27.5” set and 1850g for the 29” System Wheelset, and retails for a premium $1455. Custom coloring for the hubs or spokes will add a further $150/$250 depending on how many colors you add to the spokes. It’s worth noting the 113kg rider weight limit on these for the Clydesdales out there. Industry Nine Alloy wheels come with a 2 Year product warranty against defects on materials or workmanship.
Raw, rugged, and rough are often used to describe the terrain around Asheville and the surrounding Pisgah National Forest, which allows Industry Nine to really put their products through the ringer. I have been running I9 for the last few years but only this wheelset in particular since June 2020. I’d estimate I’ve racked up North of 2,000 miles of riding across the West coast – from Sedona to Bellingham and everywhere in between. The Enduro 305’s have proved to be everything I9 has promised – built for aggressive all mountain riding. Aside from the occasional rim scratch, the I9’s have filled me with confidence on the trails, suffering minimal dents and limited tire punctures throughout testing. Having that security of staying planted through a rock garden and the stiffness consistency in a corner is a priceless feeling. Speaking of price, it’s no doubt that I9’s higher-end product comes at a cost. For me, I’d rather buy quality products once than something sub-par twice, but there’s no ignoring that $1455+ price sticker.
The engagement on the Hydra hub’s is noticeably fast with the insane 690 points of engagement. Little-to-no lag is experienced when grinding through a climb or cranking in an extra pedal at higher speeds. Once accustomed to the quick, reliable engagement, it’s hard to go to a different wheelset. We can’t talk about the Hydra’s without talking about the “buzz”. Personally, I love the sound – the faster you go, the more you hear your bike engaging with the trail, and it is addictive to increase your speed and hear the note change. One con I have noticed is the stock rim tape wears rather quickly. If you wear through rear tires every month or two like I do, you may notice having to re-tape your rims after running through the first tire you throw on your new I9’s.
Designed for aggressive trail and enduro riding, the Enduro 305 V3’s are as robust as any wheelset in their category. This Industry Nine wheelset delivers class-leading engagement, with unmatched spoke stiffness and wheel dependability, which all leads to a reliable final product out on the trail. I9’s custom color program will add some flair to your bike if you desire, producing something that makes you feel like the wheels were built specifically for you. If you are looking to upgrade the wheelset on your bike, I’d highly recommend looking at a pair of Industry Nine System Wheels. They come at a cost, but the quality in craftsmanship, durability and overall consistency is everything you want in your main contact point with the dirt.
Price: $1,455 as built
Weight: 1850g / pair (29”, claimed)