It is no secret that we are big fans of Industry Nine wheels here at WWC. The Enduro 305 specifically has become a shop favorite. Historically though, they have been on the expensive side and therefore a bit expensive for riders looking to upgrade their wheels. That is, until now. Introducing the Industry Nine 101 wheelset in both Trail and Enduro spec. Coming in at just $750 for a complete set, $350 for the front and $455 for the rear, the quality of these wheels far exceeds their price.
The Industry Nine 101 hub was released earlier this year along with the new Hydra hubs. While the 101 didn't get as much immediate attention, we have had multiple custom builds go out with the 101 hub and so far, it has proven to be a killer option that gets the job done at an affordable price point. The 101 hubs also get a new drive mechanism similar to the Hydra hub, which is leaf sprung to ensure reliability and ease of service.
Let's get into some specs, the Industry Nine 101 wheelsets rock the 101 hub as mentioned. That hub sports 90 degrees of engagement, with the drive mechanism engaging by a 6 pawl, leaf-sprung system on a 45 tooth drivering. The 101 hubs in the wheelset are also available in 6 bolt and centerlock disc options, as well as all three freehub body styles; Shimano HG style, Sram XD style, and the new Shimano Micro Spline. The end caps have also been redesigned on the hubs, the seals on them not only help reduce drag but also help keep any debris out. Additionally, the wheels use the classic J-bend spokes which are reliable and available at pretty much any bike shop in the world.
As mentioned, there are two versions, Trail S and Enduro S. The Trail S wheelset has a narrower rim, at 27mm internal width, ideal for tires ranging from 2.2”-2.5”. The Enduro wheelset rocks a 30mm internal rim, perfect for the slightly wider more aggressive tires like 2.3”-2.8”. Since the rims have slightly different widths, the weight is also different between the two, but not by much. Trail S 101 wheels weigh in at 1605g for 27.5” & 1725g for 29”, the Enduro S 101 wheels weigh in at 1725g for 27.5” and 1855g for 29”. Both the wheels use 28 spokes front and rear and boast a 2-year warranty.
Putting the facts and numbers aside, what is most impressive about these wheels is what you get for the price. I would arguably say that these wheels deliver the best bang for your buck. For $750 you get a very nice set of wheels, from the hubs to the spokes to the rims. When you compare them to other wheels in this category, it seems like you normally get a nice rim and a hub that works or the other way around, not many times do the rim and hub stand out, but also how each compliment each other perfectly. I would say these wheels are close in price and performance to Stan’s Flow EX3 wheels, DT Swiss M1700 wheels, or the Raceface Turbine R wheels. All of these are near the same price and normally offer a better than stock wheelset for many bikes we are riding. The difference to me is what you pay for the quality of wheelset you are getting. The I9 101 wheels offer 90 degrees of engagement, only the Raceface Turbine offers better engagement, while the other two are a bit lower. When it comes to the rim, the I9 101 rim offers a strong yet great ride feel, very comparable to the new Stan’s Flow EX3 rim, the others fall outside this quality of rim. This all leads me to say that the Industry Nine 101 wheels really are the best bang for the buck of any wheelset currently on the market.
These wheels ride exactly how I imagined they would, pretty damn great. With so many amazing wheels out there, I think at this point a company really has to mess up if a wheel does not ride well. The Industry Nine 101’s are smooth, roll fast with the 101 hubs, and after a few months of abuse, I haven't had to true them or pull out any dents. I will say, I typically have been running XC Cush Core in the rear to help eliminate any dents and rim smacks, however, I have dented rims bad enough where they don't seal with a full-size Cush Core in. They hold up and have you thinking less about your wheels and more about the trail, the best any component can do for you.
One thing you do notice is how smooth, yet direct the hub feels. While it doesn't boast the highest engagement or even as much as the old Torch hubs, I would say the 101 hubs feel amazing. With just enough engagement you won't have any “dead” zone out of a corner or tech climb, they also don't feel over the top. I know that is a vague description, but some higher engagement hubs on the market tend to give a softer engagement feel, while quick, it's not always as solid as I would like. That is what the 101 hubs do great when you get on them, you feel solid with the pedals, chain, and the power you are putting out. As well as the rims holding up, the hubs have has zero maintenance and remain smooth and quick.
One of our favorite parts of the 101 wheels is the hub and its engagement. The price for the wheelset is unbeatable and the fact that they come in a Trail and Enduro versions make this wheelset a perfect option for a wide range of bikes and riders. If you are looking to upgrade your wheelset, or replace a beat-up pair and not break the bang, I highly suggest checking out the Industry Nine 101 wheels. After months of abuse, they have held up, and still impress me by how much the cost for how well they ride. The I9 101 wheelset really is the best bang for your buck out there, allowing for more trips, or more beers, whatever you're into.