Industry Nine Torch Wheels: The Ultimate Wheelset

This article is here to explain all of the features of the Industry Nine Torch series wheels and how those features translate to incredible performance on the trail. Industry Nine, located in Asheville North Carolina, is a small bicycle wheel manufacturer where a passion for cycling is the common denominator. All of the companies’ design, manufacturing, quality control, anodizing, assembly, tensioning, and service is done in their Asheville facility.

1.) Hub and Spoke Interface

  • Their unique spoke design eliminates the need for traditional j-bend spokes and nipples. Using a large diameter thread, Industry Nine Torch spokes thread directly to the hub with 200% more contact surface area creating a stronger joint.
  • If you look at the photo below, you can see how large the spokes are and how they thread 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 snap harder out of turns and a feeling of greater overall bike control.
  • Lastly, because the spokes thread into the hub, there is no need for spoke nipples found on traditional j-bend spokes, reducing the chance to shear the spoke close to the rim.

Industry Nine Torch Wheels - Worldwide Cyclery

Photo by Ryan Bent Photography

2.) Aluminum Spokes vs Steel Spokes

  • The spokes used on Industry Nine Torch series wheels are machined from one piece of 7075-T6 Aluminum providing a damped feel on the bike. Traditional j-bend spokes are made from steel and have a more pingy feel when landing hard off jumps or drops.  Eliminating the nipple also reduces the rotational weight of the wheel resulting in faster accelerations on the trail.
  • Some customers might ask, “If there are no spoke nipples, how do I true my wheels?” Industry Nine has conveniently placed a flat surface at the end of spoke that accepts a traditional size spoke wrench. As you tighten a spoke, the entire spoke spins acting like a large screw and threads farther into the hub.
  • So how are aluminum spokes different from steel spokes? First off, the aluminum spokes are lighter even though they are much thicker than a similar offering in steel.  Because the Industry Nine aluminum spokes are thicker, they provide more lateral stiffness which in the end results in a stronger wheel.
  • The last thing you want with your mountain bike wheels is for them to fold or taco. When tensioned properly, this is less likely to happen with an Industry Nine Torch wheel compared to a traditional wheel using j-bend spokes.
  • When you buy a set of your own wheels, Industry Nine provides two additional spokes per wheel in case one were to break.  Additional spokes can be purchased if needed.

Industry Nine Torch Wheels/Spokes - Worldwide Cyclery

Industry Nine Torch Aluminum Spoke compared to a traditional J-bend spoke

3.) Hub Engagement

  • Industry Nine Torch series hubs have 120 points of engagement. That means that every 3 degrees of rotation by the crank arm, the hub is engaged and ready to propel you up or down the trail. In the end there is less dead space for the crank arm to travel before it engages.
  • This engagement gives the rider an almost immediate power transfer, very important for both sprinting downhill as well as mastering the most technical climbs. For all types of mountain bike racing, putting out power and getting hard on the pedals can be the difference in winning the race or not. Industry Nine wheels give you the ability to get that extra bit of power to the ground when trying to tackle a steep technical climb - as soon as you put out that last little pedal kick, your rear wheel is turning making it easier to get over steep terrain.
  • The heart behind this design is the 6 pawl system that bites into a hardened steel driver ring. Each of the 6 pawls float on a small coil spring, creating a very low drag system. That is what makes these wheels spin so fast!
  • The hardened steel driver ring can withstand over 700 ft lbs of torque, making it almost indestructible. This reduces the possibility of the hub to strip out, a common problem among other wheel manufacturers using a ratchet system. Over the two years of prototyping and riding the Torch wheels, Industry Nine has never seen a driver ring fail. Just in case you put out more power than a Dodge diesel pickup truck, Industry Nine offers a 2-year warranty against manufacturing defects.

Industry Nine Torch Wheels - Worldwide Cyclery

Industry Nine Driver Ring and 6 Paw System

4.) Rim Options

Here you will find all of the different wheel offerings that make up the Torch series for mountain bike wheels. Each wheelset is designed around its intended use in order to maximize performance. To learn more about the advantages of using a wide rim click here.

  • Ultralite
    • Designed to meet the needs of the fastest cross country riding and racing.
    • Available inner rim widths: 21mm and 23.5mm.
    • Most popular on bikes with 100mm of wheel travel and hardtails.  
  • Trail
    • Designed for those riders looking for a strong wheel without a substantial weight penalty.
    • Available inner rim widths: 23.4mm and 24.5mm.
    • Most popular on bikes with 100mm to 150mm of wheel travel.
  • Enduro
    • The Enduro series is the most versatile wheelset that Industry Nine offers and can be found either on bikes racing the Enduro World Series or riding at the skatepark.
    • Available inner rim widths: 26mm and 30.5mm.
    • Most popular on bikes with 150mm to 180mm of wheel travel.
    • Grade
      • Designed for downhill riding and racing. The strongest wheels Industry Nine offers.
      • Available inner rim width: 28.5mm.
      • Most popular on bikes with 180mm to 220mm of wheel travel.
    • Pillar Carbon
      • The Pillar Carbon rims can be laced onto to either the Ultralite, Trail, or Enduro wheelsets.
      • Carbon rims create a stiffer wheel for a more responsive feel.
      • Available inner rim width: 24mm.
      • Most popular on bikes with 120mm to 160mm of wheel travel.
    • Back Country
      • The Back Country wheelset is the plus size offering from Industry Nine.
      • Plus size wheels use a higher volume tire creating more traction but also have more rolling resistance.  
    • In order to optimize each wheel model for their intended use, all of the different rim options come with different spoke thicknesses. For example, the spokes that come on a Trail wheelset are thinner than the spokes from the Grade wheelset.
    • The  Ultralite, Trail, Enduro, and Grade wheelsets can be configured in 26”, 27.5”, and 29”. Pillar Carbon and Plus size wheelsets are offered in 27.5” and 29”.

    Custom Built Industry Nine Wheelset - Worldwide Cyclery

      5.) Custom Color Options

      • All Industry Nine hubs and spokes can be ordered and assembled in any of the colors offered, giving you a custom look to match your bike! The available colors include: black, silver, red, blue, gold, green, orange, pink, purple, turquoise, and lime. All of the custom color wheels are made to order and therefore may take longer to receive. Custom color options do cost more than the stock offerings of black, silver, and red. The additional cost depends on how many different colors you want on your wheels.
      • The Pillar Carbon rims can also be purchased with different colored decals to match your hubs and spokes.

      6.) Versatility

      • Even though Industry Nine Torch wheel sets are very unique and have features that set their performance level above the rest of the competition, there is nothing keeping customers from taking the proven hub and spoke combination and matching them up with just about any other rim option. So if you are a rider that prefers Enve or Derby carbon rims, those too can be laced to the Torch hubs and spokes.

      7.) Bicycle/Axle Standards

      • All of industry Nine’s wheel offerings are available in every bike and axle configuration using multiple hub shells and end cap configurations. If you have a bike, you can put Industry Nine wheels on it!

      Industry Nine Wheels - Worldwide Cyclery

      Photo by Timothy James Photography

      Find a full selection of all Industry Nine products at by clicking here and use the discount code MAX10 for 10% off your purchase along with free domestic shipping. 

      A lot of customers have built up custom Industry Nine wheels with us so if you are looking to do the same, you have come to the right place. We have a great relationship with Industry Nine and are more than happy to get you the exact wheels you want. As noted above, we can also build up Industry Nine hubs and spokes to different rims such as Derby carbon rims. If you are interested in building some custom wheels, contact us to get a quote! Ride on!

      Written by Max Morgan

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