The all-new Industry Nine Trail270 wheelset debuted last night, but we’ve had a set on our bike for a couple weeks for testing. Before that, it had already been under one of their test riders from The Hub Bike Shop in Pisgah, who’d been riding it hard for photo shoots and general abuse testing. Which I share to put their current state of perfect true and smooth riding into perspective…we didn’t pull some finely tuned brand new set off the production line, this set’s been ridden hard. Below, we measure and weigh it and show off the design close up…
TRAIL270 RIM DETAILS
The alloy rim has a nicely radius’d curve beyond the flat center strip where the spoke holes are. Graphics are printed, so no decals to peel or scuff.
The key measurements are easily read on the outside of the rim. Just for fun really, as you’ll only be able to get these prebuilt onto I9’s Torch hubs and alloy spokes.
All I9 wheels come pretaped with valve stems preinstalled. Tubeless-ready out of the box.
They’re not quite hookless, but the bead hook definitely looks smaller in person than on the cutaway graphic.
The wheels are built on their Torch mountain bike hubs, which come in 24- and 32-hole options. We’re testing the 29er Boost 32-hole configuration. They’re compatible with any axle standard thanks to tool-free caps, and the rear swaps easily between Shimano and SRAM XD.
TRAIL270 ACTUAL WEIGHTS & WIDTHS
Our set measured 27.5mm on the inside, and a little more than 31mm on the outside. Both measurements are a tad wider than official claimed specs. On the bike, this translated to actual tire widths of exactly 2.4″ for the Maxxis Minion DHR II & Ardent…both 29×2.4 WT (Wide Trail) models.
The front 29er 32-hole weighed 805g, and the rear 941g, for a total of 1,745g. Claimed weight is 1,650g, but our measurement is with tape and valve stems installed. They were set up with XD driver and 15mm front/12mm rear thru axle endcaps for the weigh-in, but I swapped it to the Shimano freehub body for the test. The rims, which are made in Taiwan, have claimed weights of 435g (27.5″) and 455g (29”).
To test the new Industry Nine Trail270 wheels, we mounted them to our Niner RIP9 RDO long term test bike and used the stock Maxxis tires. They’d obviously already been seated, but they set up very easily and have held air continuously for several weeks. I’ve had zero issues with burping, etc.
As far as test trails go, it’s hard to beat Rocky Knob Bike Park in Boone, NC. The trail system sends you climbing up on the left, and descending a variety of downhill and jump line trails on the right. Several connectors let you easily re-ride some parts. RKBP forces you to earn your turns. There’s no shuttle access road, and no lifts. It’s all pedaling, with a number of rocky, technical stretches, steep grunts, and lots of switchbacks. The long, slow climb is a solid workout. Fortunately, the Trail270 wheels feel light, and their trademark 3º engagement makes clearing the techy stuff much easier.
The descents combine rock gardens, table tops, fast berms and a few drops. The wheels handled all of it perfectly well, staying laterally stiff when guiding it over and around fast corners. They go where you turn them without hesitation.
The 32-hole build is for heavier riders or those who want a stiffer ride. I did open up my fork and dropped the air pressure a bit (it was also a new fork, so some tinkering was to be expected) to compensate for the stiffer wheels. By the final two runs, I had things pretty well dialed. Even when letting bits of air out throughout the ride, the rims held the tires firmly in place. I didn’t go crazy low, but enough to further soften the ride.
It’s too early to make definitive long term statements on these, but considering I9’s history of incremental improvements and solid performance, this iteration should be on anyone’s trail mountain bike wheel short list.