Review: Industry Nine Trail 245 – Do You Need Carbon Wheels?

Industry Nine Trail 245 24H Purple/Orange

Wheels are one of the best and most exciting upgrades you can make to your bike. The choice between carbon and alloy rims is not as easy as you think.  Most already know how bomber awesome I9 hubs are and how well you can coordinate wheels to your ride with a rainbow of colors using the Anolab.   For some riders, carbon wheels may not be the best choice.  My time working at one at of the most respected carbon wheel companies has taught me that NOT everyone benefits from carbon wheels the same.  Lighter and less aggressive riders may notice the slight (normally less than 100 grams per wheelset) weight decrease along with a harsher ride.  The stiffness benefits are NOT usually noticed by lighter riders.  Being a lighter rider myself, at 145lbs is the reason I still love riding alloy rims.


Details:  Industry Nine Trail 245 24 Hole 29″ (Updated to 270 – 27mm internal) |  Boost 110/148 hub spacing | $1225 (depending on colors) | Weight: 1560 grams | Intended Tire width: 2.2-2.5″ | Internal width: 24.5mm | 210lb weight limit


Latest bicycle industry trends are pushing wider rims and weight savings with carbon.  For some riders, on some terrain, this may be true.  For many, though they may be throwing money out the window.   Good thing for us there are great options and choices we can make to match our riding styles.

I admit thinking how awesome a 30mm wide rim makes a mere 2.35″ tire look.  It’s kinda like throwing a meaty set of all-terrain tires on your truck.   Increased air volume also lets you run less air pressure for slightly improved traction and dampening.  Along with those wider rims comes a hefty increase in rotational weight, however.  For the XC or trail rider that weight can be power robbing.  That’s where the Trail 245’s step in at a reasonably wide 24.5mm and svelt 1560 grams.

Mounting Up:  I used a few different tires on this wheelset. All of them were Bontrager XR3’s or XR2’s.  Mounting these tires was much easier than on the wide Easton Arc 30’s and Ibis rims I’ve used most recently.  Inflation was even easier using a floor pump to air them up due to the bead sitting tight on the rim without struggling.

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I9 Trail 245 Canfield singlespeed
I love the added bling to an otherwise subtle singlespeed build.  Appreciation for the wheels is a common comment I hear out on the trail.

The Ride

Fast, smooth and with instant engagement. There is no noticeable flex even with only 24 spokes during rougher terrain and hard cornering.  The stiff oversize aluminum spokes definitely help.  I’m running 2-4psi more compared to the 10mm wider 34mm Ibis 938’s I’ve ridden recently.   Yes, that difference is noticeable, but it hasn’t negatively affected my performance.  I am faster almost everywhere I can pedal.  The wheels feel much quicker, especially on the climbs and accelerating out of corners.

The Industry Nine freehub sound alone gives a high-quality feel.  Think of the pleasant buzz as a more subtle bell to warn others that you are coming.  An additional freehub benefit is a very quick engagement.  It’s particularly nice for slow speed techy riding.  Balancing and ratcheting forward to get over larger rocks and logs is made easier.  On my singlespeed, this is a HUGE thing given that I’m often struggling with keeping the needed momentum to clear obstacles.

Nice little video for some more details directly from the horse’s mouth:

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How did they hold up?

This 24 hole setup held up very surprisingly well.  After 800+ miles of rooty, rocky western North Carolina riding, I’m amazed at how true the wheels remain.  I pulled the rear hub apart to inspect possible damage from many creek crossings and muddy rides.  Not a spec of dirt had managed to penetrate the hubs seals.  The only difference I have detected from new is the freehub being slightly louder which is super easy to remedy with lubrication.

I’m not one to ride the fine line of too low air pressure very often.  I’ve damaged other alloy rims enough to need tweaking to maintain the tire bead’s seal.  With the I9’s, I did slam into more than one sharp rock trying to hang with the enduro bros in low-light conditions.   To my amazement, they held up without a hint of a ding despite the slamming that I thought should damage both the rim and tire severely.

Who are they for?

The Trail 245’s strike a fantastic balance in an attractive package that suits many riders needs as well if not better than some of the latest in industry wheel trends.  Even though the Trail 245 24 hole wheelset has a weight limit of 210 lbs, I would recommend the wheelset only to lighter riders.  The aggressive or heavier than 160lbs should look towards the 32 spoked Trail 245 which only add 90 grams.  From XC to DH riders Industry Nine offers a lightweight, durable wheelset to suit riders of all types.

Yes, I am biased towards this product.  I’ve owned several sets of Industry Nine wheels since 2006.  And I don’t see my addiction to their product stopping anytime soon!  Industry Nine wheels will please those looking for sexy colors along with exceptional hub quality above all else.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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