Industry Nine has a solid reputation for high-end wheels and has diversified into affordable packages like this aluminium Industry Nine Enduro S wheelset.
Cheaper the Industry Nine Enduro S wheelset may be, but this is still one of the most expensive alloy wheelsets we’ve tested by some margin.
The best part of a grand garners swanky i9 Hydra hubs handmade in the USA with a near instantaneous pick up of just 0.5-degrees (yep, half a degree!). The Hydra achieves this class-leading engagement via six pawls cut from A2 tool steel, each with six ‘phases’ of contact. The rear hub is exceptionally light too at 265g.
The Enduro package uses 28-straight-pull steel spokes throughout (the S in the name), rather than the fat alloy spokes pricier i9 wheels are well known for. The rim is 34mm wide externally and 30.5mm inside and tubeless ready with a thicker bead wall to resist impact damage and potential pinch flats. The shallower profile (than older i9 rims) offers greater radial compliance and tracking – meaning it will squash a fraction more in a sharp impact for greater comfort and control. The whole package is under 2kg; decent, but not exceptional for the cash.
Coming stock on the latest Evil bikes, we’ve had tons of Enduro S ride time. It has to be said the noisy Hydra hub will be divisive; basically, you’ll either love the instant pick-up and incredibly loud whine, or it’ll get on your nerves. The freehub’s noisy even pushing uphill and frankly screams when coasting fast downhill. Durability and performance is totally rock solid though, and across three sets we’ve used, we’ve not had a single slipped engagement under power.
I9’s claims of rim compliance stack up, but it’s to the point where Evil’s 167mm hard- charging Wreckoning reveals almost too much softness in the 28-spoked package when really pushing on, and, overall, there’s a less solid and direct feel than other alloy wheels tested. One set of bearings died prematurely in the UK winter too, and another front wheel has started feeling rough – which doesn’t bode well for bearing durability. Hands up, we did jet-wash wheels in this test (avoiding bearings as much as possible), but then again occasionally you have to if you want to preserve your sanity through a UK winter.
Overall, the Industry Nine Enduro S wheelset is decent, but struggles to justify its price. Especially when there’s slightly less zip, outright stiffness and surge under power than equivalently-priced options like DT Swiss XM1501 and EX 1501 packages, or the excellent Mavic Deemax Pro Sam Hill wheelset.