Industry Nine Hydra Review – Instant Engagement!

Industry Nine Hydra

Amidst a sea of wheel companies out there fighting for a piece of the pie Industry Nine is one that has long stood out in my mind.   The rainbow of color options available in the Ano Lab custom wheel designer allows mild to wild personalization.  The super-high-quality CNC’d hubs and oversized direct thread (no nipples) build a strong, stiff yet lightweight wheelset.  NOW Industry Nine offers .52 Degree Engagement to add to that list of uniqueness!

Yes, the Hydra now has .52 degrees of engagement down from an already excellent 3 degrees.  As far as engagement goes less is better for trails that require quick snaps of acceleration and ratcheting to maintain balance.  I’ve had the opportunity to ride the new Hydra Enduro 305 wheelset for several months in those demanding conditions from Pisgah to Sedona.  The hub engagement when its really needed feels incredibly instantaneous for sure.

What’s Changed?

Industry Nine’s previous Torch hubs had 120 points/ 3 degrees of engagement.  Now the Hydra leaps to 690 points or .52 degrees of engagement.  This is done using a NEW independently phased 6 pawl 115 tooth drivering.  Additionally Industry Nine has stated the new Hydra has decreased drag and increased bearing life.

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Industry Nine Hydra
Precision at another level.

Industry Nine Hydra


Industry Nine Hydra | Pricing starting at $975/wheelset/ $1620 as tested | 115 tooth drive ring | 11 colors available | 28 or 32 hole | System or classic J-bend hubs | XD, HG and Microspine compatible |


How does the Hydra Ride?

With a few months on the Hydra hub, I can definitely say the difference from 3 degrees which is very good to .52 degrees of engagement IS noticeable.  Is it night and day?  Not really, but it depends on how and where you ride.  While ratcheting back in fourth through uphill switchbacks and especially in slower speed rocky terrain like Sedona, increased engagement is a very welcome improvement.  The extent at which this helps on tricky sections of the trail is likely minimal, but it feels so good under ratcheting feet.

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Industry Nine Hydra Enduro 305
You can even get matchy with the new A35 Stem and Matchstix thru axel/tool combo.


How’s the Drag?

I don’t notice any and its damn sure NOWHERE near what your Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR have.   Drag is a real thing, but I really would like to see some numbers between high-end hubs comparing how much low-drag hubs actual save in real-world conditions.  Anyhoo, Industry Nine does claim lower drag than previous 120 points 3 degrees engagement hubs.  As someone who hates high drag tires, I can’t tell a difference between any of the different hubs while I’m riding.

How does it sound?

Compared to the previous 120 points/ 3 degrees of engagement the Hydra definitely sounds different.  The buzz seems to be softened especially when the hub was new with fresh grease.  For comparison, I have a torch hub (left) with a freehub that has nearly the same miles as the Hydra on the right.

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In a Nutshell

The degree of engagement with the new Industry Nine Hydra is a technical rock crawling riders dream.  The ability to micro ratchet to maintain balance is superb with 690 points of engagement.  Together with signature high tensioned and oversized alloy spokes the wheels are plenty stiff for even the most aggressive riders.  Add the rainbow of color options and Industry Nine Hydra will help pimp out any ride.


In addition to the Hydra Industry Nine also introduced today the more budget friendly 101 with wheelsets starting at $750.

Industry Nine 101[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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