Industry Nine Ultralite Wheelset Review

industrynine ultralite wheels 269x300 Industry Nine Ultralite Wheelset ReviewWithout changing the engine, the easiest way to get your mountain bike to go faster is to get lighter wheels, Especially when you are going uphill, or when you are accelerating, the weight of your bike, and in particular the rotational weight on your bike, become important factors. And mountain bike wheel sets do not come much lighter that the Industry Nine Ultralite. Weighing in at just 1440g, these wheels weigh less than the vast majority of alloy light weight road wheelsets. Every measure has been taken in order to save weight.

I9 Design

For example, the spokes used in the Ultralites are produced by Industry Nine, and machined from aluminum to a diameter of .090", shaving a tenth off the standard measure. The Ultralite Spokes are laced to Industry Nine’s proprietary hubs which are well known throughout the bicycle industry not only for their lightness but also their durability. The lacing uses 3 degrees of engagement, a feature which makes for a highly responsive wheel, especially during acceleration and on steeper, technical climbs. In order to save even more weight, Industry Nine have used alloy end caps rather the more durable, although heavier, standard steel end caps. Then you get Stan’s ZTR 355 rims, with a reputation for lightweight dependability in the cross country racing community.

I9 Ultralite Riding Test

As for performance, we tested the Industry Nine Ultralite at our local “Weekday Night World Championships” mid-week mountain bike races – a rough and ready but fast-paced environment that would show if the wheels could be tough, fun, and fast. The first thing you notice about the Ultralite is that you fire off the line like a rocket. They really are very responsive out of the blocks, and for the first time this season, our tester even took the front spot. Cranking away during the sprint start, he could also feel no flex in either wheel. On the relatively non-technical singletrack, these wheels flew along, and coming out of tight corners, it was as if every ounce of power put into the cranks translated into speed, as the wheels accelerated back up to speed with relative ease. The results speak for themselves: this was our rider’s best finish of the season on a wheel set that proved to be tough, smooth running, and of course, light. They did need some attention on the truing stand after the race, but perhaps no more than you would expect from such a set up.


The Industry Nine Ultralites also look great and can be customized to fit your mountain bike’s color scheme. Stock colors include anodized silver, red or black (matching spokes and hubs), although Industry Nine has a full palette of options that can be custom-made to your specification. Skewers are not included, which seems a little tight for a wheelset priced at just over $1000, but all in all, they’re a tough, speedy set of wheels.

More Wheelset Reviews

The Mavic Ksyrium Elite sits one place below the Ksyrium SL in the Mavic wheelset pecking order. This means that the Ksyrium Elite benefits from much of the technology poured into the top of the range... 

Shimano M565 Wheelset

The Shimano Deore LX WH-M565 wheelset was a staple of Shimano’s mountain bike wheelset selection – but it’s got some flashier replacements in the Shimano lineup today. You might have it because... 

The Campagnola Hyperon Ultra wheel, is a no-compromises race wheel with a no-compromises price tag. At around $3700 for the tubular wheelset, it promises a great deal, and it needs to deliver. At first...