Industry Nine has been paving the way with some of the best wheels available but how do you know you are getting wheels that are compatible with your current setup? Well, i9 made that part easy with multiple driver bodies available for their entire line up. Our friend Alejandro bought himself an XD driver for his Enduro S wheelset and shared his thoughts below!
About two months ago I decided to upgrade to some Industry Nine Enduro S wheels for my Santa Cruz 5010. I had the opportunity to purchase the bike from a local rider in very good condition. Always listening to other riders talking about how much better a good set of wheels and improved engagement would make your riding and your bike, I decided to go for it. Upon arrival, I noticed the wheels came with a Shimano freehub body so an XD driver was needed in order to install together with my Sram GX drivetrain. Since I already had the idea of upgrading to higher engagement (from 3 pawl driver to 6 pawl) I decided to purchase the Industry Nine 6 pawl XD driver. With this driver my wheels would have 120 points of engagement, that’s only 3 degrees of play from the moment you push your cranks to the moment the teeth engage inside the hub and your effort is transmitted to the wheels. This 120 POE is as high as the more expensive Enduro 305 wheels from I9 but come at a much lower price. Anyway, I called the guys at Worldwide Cyclery, (BTW did you know you can call them for any question? They also answer the phones super fast, unlike other retailers...) made sure I had all the specifications correct and placed the order. As always when dealing with these guys the order was shipped and delivered very promptly. Nice packaging (see image) and very nicely greased, ready to be installed. My mechanic was able to swap the freehub for the XD driver and finished installing the wheels very easily.
As far as performance, here is my two cents. If you're like me, you are trying these coming from some basic Novatec hubs where the engagement would feel nothing short of formidable and it will definitely make those tech climbs and rock gardens easier to navigate. I think $140 is a steep price to pay for a component you don’t even get to see on the bike but, trust me, with every crank you give it, that hub with its almost instant engagement will put a smile on your face. The engineering that goes on behind the doors of I9 is amazing. The best way to see how they make this high engagement possible is to watch some videos to see the alternating pawls locking into place. As far as the sound of the hubs, I think the higher engagement made it not louder but rather different than with the basic 3 pawls, busier if you would. After riding these for over a month now I don’t find it disturbing when trying to sustain short talks with riding buddies while coasting to the parking lot. If you are very concerned with the buzzing sound you can apply some grease to the freehub and it should quiet it down. Before installing the whole thing apply some Dumonde Tech Pro-X Freehub Grease and that would bring the sound down dramatically.
Overall I’m extremely satisfied with my purchase. I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for beautifully made products and the craftsmanship of these is through the roof. The quality is as good as you would expect to come from I9 and the service from WC was as good as it gets. Tip: careful when removing XD driver from the box, in my case one of the pawls and the spring that holds it in place came loose. These springs are very very small and can give you a hard time if they go bouncing on the floor. Thankfully I was able to find it in the box so, make sure all pawls are in place and handle with care through the installation. As I’m writing this review news came out of Industry Nine coming up with two new hub series. They have released the new Hydra and 101 which bring the points of engagement to a ridiculous 690! So do include these two new options into your search.