The Industry Nine Torch Classic mountain bike hubs are nothing short of iconic. From oversized disc flanges to the eye popping color ways, it’s easy to spot a set of Torch Classics when they roll by on the trail. We used a set of Torch Classic hubs to build up a pair of 27.5+ wheels and have been extremely happy with their performance.
Industry Nine basically lays out three objectives for their hubs: they need to be lightweight, low drag, and highly compatible. On the first front–weight–the Torch Classic hubs do well with 152g for the front hub (average, depending on configuration) and 270g for the rear. The rear hub weight is particularly notable, coming in 20-30g lower than many competing MTB hubs.
The Torch Classic mountain hubs offer low drag thanks to two bearings in the front and 4 bearings in the rear, all externally sealed. The rear hub is moderately buzzy–it’s definitely not an angry beehive, more like the Wheel of Fortune. What’s that got to do with drag? If you think about it, buzzy hubs are converting some of their rotational energy into sound and the louder the sound, the more energy that’s being dissipated.
Finally, Industry Nine has to be commended for accommodating so many of today’s crazy axle standards in a single design. The company offers end caps for QR, 9mm, 15mm, and 20mm thru axles and even Lefty forks up front. In the rear, the standard Torch Classic can be converted to run 5 different axle standards, including the new Boost 148 axles. During testing I found the end caps stayed extremely secure, so much so that I needed pliers to swap the caps from QR to 15mm. The upshot: no lost end caps during trailside flat repairs.
For our wheel build, we chose the 32-hole Torch Classic hubs, though there’s also a 28-hole version available as well. Unlike the standard Torch hubs which feature threaded spoke holes, the Classics work with standard J-bend spokes.
Industry Nine designed the Torch Classic mountain bike hubs with a larger diameter flange on the disc side for improved braking force transfer. This, along with the oversized hub body, gives the Torch Classic an iconic look that’s instantly recognizable.
Industry Nine offers an XD driver body option and the hubs come in 10 colors including pink, purple, and turquoise.
On the Trail
I tested the Torch Classic hub on two different bikes: one with a QR fork up front, the other with a 15mm thru axle. In both cases the front hub worked flawlessly and spun seemingly without effort.
The rear hub, with a 6 pawl freehub and 120 point, 3-degree engagement felt incredibly responsive, allowing me to power up unexpected, steep climbs with no delay. This hub seems to work particularly well with plus-size wheels where the wheels themselves can feel a bit sluggish and slower to get up to speed.
Industry Nine takes pride in producing and assembling the Torch Classic hubs in their Asheville, NC factory, and their dedication to quality production is clearly evident. (The company outsources bearings and rims but everything else is made in NC.) All 16 of the company’s employees have worked, or is currently working, as a wheel builder.
If you’re building up a set of custom wheels this summer, consider including the Torch Classic hubs from Industry Nine in your build. Not only are these American-made hubs adaptable and dependable, they’ll also add style to your ride.
The Torch Classic mountain hubs are available starting at $190 for the front hub and $385 for the rear ($575 for the set).