While they already had an established mountain bike wheel line, Crankbrothers just announced a significant partnership with Industry Nine. More specifically, their top-end Synthesis 11 carbon wheels now come standard with the latest fast-engaging i9 Hydra hub set. This adds to their tuned wheel system, with rim dimensions, spoke gauge, and spoke count that vary for front and rear wheels.

All images courtesy Crankbrothers.

Crankbrothers Synthesis 11 carbon wheels with Industry Nine Hydra hubs

Crankbrothers has been in the wheel game for a while now, offering a mix of carbon and aluminum rims. The biggest development came just last year, with the launch of their Synthesis carbon line, with unique ‘tuned’ front and rear wheel builds. In short, the front wheel has a wider rim, lighter spoke gauge, and lower spoke count – while the rear has the opposite. They claim that this combination of ‘compliant front, stiff rear’ enhances handling, grip, and control.

Effective now, you can get the top-end Synthesis 11 carbon wheels with the latest offering from Industry Nine, the popular and fast-engaging Hydra. If you missed the memo, they have a crazy 690 points of engagement with just 0.52° between engagements.

Why go with the new hub, so soon after the launch of this wheel line? In the words of Gaspare Licata, Crankbrothers CEO,

“As a brand, we are always looking for partners that are in line with our mission of improving the riding experience. Last year, Industry Nine presented us with an innovative hub that they were developing and testing for a long time. The product looked ahead of the market so we decided to ride and test it and we loved it. We decided then to add it to our Synthesis range, as we want to catch any opportunity for mountain bikers to ride great products.”

There are three different types of Synthesis 11 wheels – XCT, E, and DH (for cross country, enduro, and downhill, respectively). Synthesis XCT 11 (29″ only) wheels come standard with the i9 Hydra, while the Synthesis E 11 and DH 11 (27.5″ or 29″) can also be had with Project 321 hubs upon request.

Crankbrothers will continue to offer the Synthesis XCT and E (minus the ’11’) with their standard 17-degree-engagement hubs as a lower-cost option.

Want to see them in action? Check out this video just released by Crankbrothers.

All variants of Crankbrothers Synthesis 11 wheels with i9 Hydra hubs cost $2,399 per complete wheel set. They’re also available as a rim-only for $699 each (28 or 32 hole). All Synthesis rims are covered by a lifetime warranty.


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Celest Greene
Celest Greene
3 years ago

Does this mean that Project 321 is out on CB builds? I have been riding their quiet magnetic hubs for a couple of years and even now they spin like nothing else I’ve seen on a mountain bike.

There’s a lot of very good competition at that retail price, but it’s an interesting approach and if I was looking at a bike came with these I wouldn’t be sad.

Celest Greene
Celest Greene
3 years ago

Should clarify, is P123 out on XCT builds?

3 years ago

Hi Celest. The P321 hubs will continue to be available on Enduro and DH 11 models, but the XCT 11 wheels will be exclusively built with i9 hubs. For more information, head to Crankbrothers.com/synthesis.