Industry Nine Torch Classic Rear Hub

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CLASSIC J-BEND ISO 6 BOLT HUB
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Industry Nine Torch Classic Rear Hub

A true contender for best all around high-end hub

Rating: Featured Member Review
Industry Nine Torch Classic Rear Hub
The Good:

Looks, finish, colorway, performance, durability, and true boost specific hub shells.

The Bad:

Steel springs can loose their youthfulness over time. Would like to see a some innovation to keep their hubs at the top.

Overall Review:

Out of the box, you will quickly realize that Industry Nine makes one of the best looking hubs on the market. Their smooth lines, quality anodized finish, multiple colorways make them a real condenser for someone in the market for customization. In addition to this, the weight of their hubs makes them even more appealing. Throwing in a freehub that has 120 points of engagement makes the Classic Torch hubs one of the best all-round hubs on the market.

Performance:

Looking past the fancy outside, the heart of the Torch hub is it’s freehub. Just like many of the high point of engagement hubs out there (Profile Racing, Race Face, and Project 321), Industry Nine uses a 6 pawl system with 2 teeth per pawl. This translates to 3 of rotation before they lock into a new groove; exceptional by anyone

Overall Review:

Out of the box, you will quickly realize that Industry Nine makes one of the best looking hubs on the market. Their smooth lines, quality anodized finish, multiple colorways make them a real condenser for someone in the market for customization. In addition to this, the weight of their hubs makes them even more appealing. Throwing in a freehub that has 120 points of engagement makes the Classic Torch hubs one of the best all-round hubs on the market.

Performance:

Looking past the fancy outside, the heart of the Torch hub is it’s freehub. Just like many of the high point of engagement hubs out there (Profile Racing, Race Face, and Project 321), Industry Nine uses a 6 pawl system with 2 teeth per pawl. This translates to 3° of rotation before they lock into a new groove; exceptional by anyone’s standards. The grooves of the driver ring are pretty deep and teeth of the pawls fit perfectly into them, which offers an excellent interface for driving power from even the beastliest of climbers. The pawls are held to the driver ring by 6 steal springs which, when lubes with a fine layer of freehub oil, creates a loud and crisp down. Throwing additional freehub oil (and even light freehub grease) can quite the hub down without losing out on any performance benefits.

Durability:

I’ve owned my first Classic I9 hubs for over 2 years and had been quite impressed with their durability. I9 attached a burly weather ring to keep dirt and water out of the freehub/hub shell interface which is designed to increase service intervals. Living in a semi-arid area known as Utah, I have found that this weather ring has done a phenomenal job at keeping dirt and water out. After a solid week of thrashing in the pacific North-West, I noticed that my bearings began to sound a bit dry and upon opening the hubs up, found water past the ring. Blasting a hose at my hubs at the base of Whistler probably contributed to this and would consider this as excessive abuse. A quick clean-out and repacking of grease and the bearings sounded brand new again. This being said, I have been quite pleased with how my hubs have held up to the environment.

With time, things inevitably start to wear out and break down. We can thank the universal law of entropy for that. After two years of use, I haven’t noticed any signs of wear on the pawls or drive ring (which is the heart of the rear hub). I have noticed however that the tiny steal springs have lost a bit of their youthfulness and as a result, have cause the hub to become quieter. In addition to the loss of noise comes the loss of tension of the pawl and driver ring interface. Although I doubt I would see any issues with my freehub skipping within the first 5 years or so, I could see how these used springs could cause damage or failure down the road. Industry nine includes 3 replacement springs in the event that one gets shot across the room during your freehub service which is a nice gesture but would really like to see the company include a full set (of 6) so they can all be replaced when that time comes. At $385 a rear hub you would think Industry Nine could afford it.

A Truly Boost Specific Hub:

One thing that really impressed me with Industry Nine is how they have come out with a true Boost specific hub. Boost widened the hub spacing of the front and rear hubs from 100mm in the front to 110mm and from 142mm in the rear to 148mm. One thing I have learned however is, even though a company makes a boost spaced hub doesn’t mean it offers the complete benefits of boost spacing. Without calling out any specific companies, I have seen “boost” hubs with the same hub flange spacing as non-boost their non-boost predecessors. Outside of increasing tire clearance and shortening chain-stays, a huge benefit of the boost movement is widening the hub flange spacing which increases the spoke bracing angle and makes the wheel ultimately stiffer. To keep the distance between the hub flanges the same as non-boost hubs completely destroys this benefit. A huge pro for Industry Nine is that they haven’t cut corners in relation to their Boost hubs. Sure they had to completely re-design their hubs for accommodate for the new standard but it was well worth it in the long run because Boost isn’t leaving anytime soon. When you buy an Industry Nine boost hubset, you get an actual boost hubset.

Only Major Concern:

Industry Nine came out with their new Torch driver in 2013. Since then a lot has happened in the cycling industry in the category deemed “progression.” Boost spacing, Plus sized tires, and trying to impress fellow bikers by investing in an e-bike are some of them. In relation to hubs however, Onyx hubs has made a mass production of instant engagement hubs, Race Face came out with their Vault hub, and Project 321 came out with a new magnetically activated freehub. I’m not saying that I am expecting Industry Nine to completely re-invent the wheel but I do feel if one doesn’t innovate, you die; but then there’s DT Swiss which has somehow kept selling hubs but that’s a whole other story. The point is, although the Torch driver isn’t outdated yet, I would like to see if Industry Nine has anything up their sleeves to respond to these other companies’ improvements.

Bottom Line:

Industry nine makes an excellent hub which shines in the looks, finish, and colorway departments. 120 points of engagement are more than enough for the majority of us riders. The durability of these hubs is pretty darn good but isn’t perfect. My trip to the pacific North-West proved that. The steal springs are the only things I would plan on replacing based upon my first 3 years of riding experience. Their last hub/freehub facelift was back in 2013 which means they may be due for a new one if they want to stay on top of the innovation leaderboard. The fact that they have a true Boost specific hub that offers ALL the benefits of Boost is a huge plus. If you are looking for the best all-around high quality hub, I would give Industry Nine a serious look.

Specifications

Product Industry Nine Torch Classic Rear Hub
Riding Type Cross Country, Trail, Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill, Dirt Jump / Slopestyle
Hub Body Material CNC Machined 7075 T-6 alloy,3 degree engagement, 6 pawl freehub, 120 point drivering
Driver: Shimano HG mtb 9-11-Speed or SRAM XD
Cassette Body Material CNC Machined 7075 T-6 alloy
Rear Axle 10mm x 135mm, 10mm QR x 135mm, 12mm x 135mm, 12mm x 142mm, 12mm x 148mm (Boost), 12mm x 150mm, 12mm x 157mm
Bearing Type Enduro ABEC 5 Bearings. Hybrid Ceramic bearings availalbe – upcharge applies
Hole Count Available in 28 and 32 hole counts for j-bend spokes
Disc Mount Type Centerlock, 6 Bolt
Colors Black, Red, Blue, Purple, Green, Pink, Orange, Gold, Silver, Lime and Turquoise
Weight 0 lb 9.2 oz (260 g)
Miscellaneous 6-Bolt weight: Front hub 150-155g, Rear hub 260-280g, Hubset 410-435g
Centerlock weight: Front hub 130-135g, Rear hub 260-265g, Hubset 390-400g
Weight varies depending bearing, endcap, freehub spec.
Price
  • $385
  • $575
More Info

​Industry Nine website

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