Since the introduction of the Torch Series mountain bike wheels, Industry Nine has moved to the forefront of some of the highest quality and best performing wheels out there. It wasn’t long ago that Industry Nine was sourcing other rim manufacturers to sell their complete wheelsets. That has all changed since then and Industry Nine now has a full lineup of different rims for all wheel sizes to meet the needs of just about any mountain bike out there. Today we are going to be talking about one of the latest rims I9 has introduced, the Enduro 305 wheel. To find a full description of the entire Torch series mountain bike wheelsets, click here!
Below are some of the specifics for the wheel configuration used in this test. While the Enduro 305 was intended to be the ultimate enduro bike wheelset, I also prefer to use them on my downhill bike. The wider rim provides a tire profile that puts more rubber on the ground.
The Enduro 305 rim is a completely new shape than the previous 26 mm wide Enduro rim. While the previous rim was tubeless ready, the new shape of the Enduro 305 rim is completely optimized for tubeless tires. The 30.5 mm inner width rim gives a larger designated rim bed for the bead of the tire to sit on. In theory this means that even after denting the rim, the tire has a greater chance of holding air and staying on the rim.
The wider rim bed also gives the tire a tighter fit around the wheel. This does make it tougher to get tires on and off the wheel but provides a more secure fit when aired up.
Also new from Industry Nine are their stainless steel freehub bodies. They are now offering both standard and XD driver freehub bodies in both aluminum and stainless steel. As they say, “Steel is Real”, and these freehubs are made to be absolutely thrashed on. While the aluminum version were very lightweight, the standard models were known to be very soft, sometimes allowing the individual cogs on your cassette to dig into the material. You won’t have that problem with their steel counterparts!
The 30.5 mm rim gives the tire a more square stance compared to the previous 26 mm rim. This square tire profile puts more of the center knobs in contact with the ground which I found increased the braking performance of the bike. Now if the tire was too square, the cornering knobs on the side of the tire would be standing straight up, making it harder for the rider to get low in the turns. I think at this 30.5 mm width, the tire is maximizing both traction during braking and the angle of the cornering knobs.
In this review we have spent a lot of time talking about the rim itself, but lets not forget about Industry Nine’s unique aluminum spoke and hub design. If you look at the photo below, you can see how large the spokes are and how they thread directly into the hub. Because the strongest part of these wheels is centered at the hub, it allows the spokes to flex and conform to obstacles on the trail. This gives the rider the ability to accelerate quicker out of turns and greater overall bike control.
Getting flat tires as well as burping the tire became much less of a common theme since using these Enduro 305 wheels. There have been plenty of times where I smashed the rim hard on a sharp edge rock and thought for sure I was going to get a flat tire only to see the wheels weren’t phased by the impact. That only gave me more confidence to ride harder and charge into rough sections of trail without hesitation.
For the second half of the 2016 race season, I began using these Enduro 305 rims on my Santa Cruz V10. They certainly held up to the task from some of the toughest downhill race tracks in the world. Even at Mont Sainte Anne where speeds are over 50 mph, I did not have one flat tire with the Enduro 305 rim. I also raced these wheels on both the Andorra and Windham world cup tracks with no problems!
As of recently, I have been doing a lot of riding at the new Windrock Bike Park in Oliver Springs Tennessee. Windrock is known as one of the most rocky and technical trail systems in the southeast, a perfect place to push the limits of what your wheels can withstand. The Enduro 305 rims, being as light as they are, have had no problem holding up to the sharp edge impacts all over Windrock Bike Park.
The Enduro 305 wheelset will transform your enduro or downhill bike into a serious machine. The lightweight rims matched with Industry Nine’s famous aluminum spoke design gives the wheels a fast rolling feel. The profile and material layup of the rims also makes them less likely to dent. Keeping air in your tires is one of the most important things for the rim to do and that is what I love about these wheels. You may expect that with a stiffer rim sidewall that you would be prone to tearing or cutting the sidewall of the tire, but I haven’t had that happen with either downhill or trail casing tires. I would say go out and give these wheels a try for yourself! You will not be disappointed.
Max Morgan is 24 years old, and lives in Brevard, North Carolina. Max grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and started racing downhill at the age of 15. He has now been racing professionally for the last 6 years, competing in the U.S. Pro GRT series and UCI World Cup series.