Stealth multi tool development is heating up. For years, tools have been stuffed into the pockets of hydration packs, jerseys, and shorts, but if you have to take it with you, why not let the bike do the work? That concept has given rise to storage pods built into frames, tools built into bar ends, and even chain breakers built into steerer tubes. Now, Industry Nine is finally ready to offer their take on built in tool design with the completed version of their Matchstix thru axles.
Part light weight thru bolt, and part MacGyver multitool, the Matchstix should be able to get you out of jam on your next mechanical, plus there are even more new wheels rolling out of Asheville…
First shown last year around this time, the main hold up in the development of the Matchstix was figuring out how to make sure the handle stayed in the axle until you were ready to use it, and that you wouldn’t lose the 5mm bit when you pulled it out. That meant permanently affixing the 5mm bit to the handle and adding a bit holder on the opposite side which is covered with a plastic plug when not in use. The handle presses into the axle and is firmly attached with an o-ring system that requires quite a bit of force to install and remove so you shouldn’t have a problem with losing one on the trail.
Inside the axle on the opposite side is the bit holding sleeve which also doubles as a chainlink carrier along with a few other tricks.
Inside the handle is a chain breaker which is operated with a 3mm bit placed inside the end of the bit holding sleeve. The chain breaker includes a protective cover for the pin and is compatible with all mountain bike chains. The end of the bit sleeve also doubles as a valve core tool with an oval slot machined on the tip. There is also a spoke wrench built into the handle.
At the moment, Matchstix will be sold for Fox and RockShox forks in Boost and non Boost specific axles only. More versions plus rear thru bolts will be offered in the future. Pricing starts at $50 for the thru bolt only (no tools or handle), while the full kit with the exception of the chain link will sell for $160 which includes a #6, #4, and #3 hex, T25 and T30 torx, and a flathead bit. The sleeve can hold 4 bits at a time so you can pick and choose the four which best suit your needs. Available in all 11 AnoLab colors, the chain breaker handles are also available separately for $120.
Completely loaded, the system weighed in at 104g for the 15x100mm axle which puts it about 30-40g heavier than your typical Maxle QR thru axle. Available starting October 12.
Following along with their Trail S wheels, I9 will now have an Enduro S option which is basically their affordable wheelset for the enduro category. Using the same 30.5mm internal width extrusion as the Enduro 305, the S model uses a more affordable alloy to get the price down to $865 in 27.5 or 29″. Built with black straight pull Torch 6 bolt or centerlock hubs and 28 black or silver Sapim spokes, the hubs use the 3 pawl, 6 degree engagement option but can be upgraded to the 6 pawl version.
As 27.5″ fat bike wheels and tires start to gain momentum, Industry Nine is now offering the HED Big Half Deal rim built up into their Big Rig platform for the ultimate 27.5″ fat bike wheelset. Pricing TBA.
On the road side, Industry Nine’s All Road is getting an all disc makeover. Previously the rim still had a brake track though it was hidden under the anodizing. Now the rim is a true disc specific model with a 21.5mm inner width meant for 23-45mm tires. Built on Torch hubs with centerlock or 6 bolt options, the wheels use 24 Sapim CX Ray spokes laced 2:1 and have axle options to fit all current road standards for QR and TA. Available in November, the AR25s will sell for $1195.
One more small addition to the line is the same as the current UL235CX Disc, but in a new 27.5″ size for the recent string of “Road +” bikes. The rim features the same 23.5mm inner width tubeless ready rim, just in the 650b size so you can run 27.5 x 2.0″ tires on bikes like the WHY Cycles R+ above.