I9 Torch vs Chris King SS hubs...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I9 Torch vs Chris King SS hubs...

    Can anyone tell me if these hubs come with spacer and/or lockring?

    I'm trying to decide whether to go with a Chris King SS hub or an I9 Torch, and the King comes with spacers, lock ring & cog, which covers some of the price difference.

    Also, how does the I9 135mm bolt-on compare to the CK Fun Bolts? I know the Fun Bolts are super solid, precision parts. I've never seen the I9 pieces.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    The perfessor
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    I've got an I-9 QR: no lock ring, had to use spacers but not a big deal to me......my bro has older Chris King, no lock ring so requires spacers.......
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  3. #3
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    I9 doesn't come with spacers (at least the SS wheelsets that I have purchased from them didn't), but IMO the I9 is much much better than CK. They are easier to service, convert axles, and replace bearings. They are lighter. Industry Nine customer service is second to none with great people working there. Ask anyone who has ever attempted to deal with CK about a warranty related issue. IMO the I9 sound is much better than that damn King buzzzzzzzzz......

  4. #4
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    I personally feel that the CK has a nicer sound to it. The I9's sound like something is broken in them.

    CK customer service might be a bit sluggish, but the upside is that you don't need to call them. Ever*. I am easily the worst person out there when it comes to bike care and feeding. It is not uncommon for me to knock out a 4hr ride in the rain and put my bike away while it's still dripping water. My hubs have several thousand miles on them and roll smooth and engage crisp. I've converted both front and rear axles, and while the parts are more expensive than the I9 caps, the conversion is beyond simple. Yes, they are a tick heavier. Mine came with spacers, lock ring and cog.

    You really can't go wrong with either though.

    * My riding buddy just built up a new set of geared wheels with CK hubs and had an issue with the hub skipping under power. Spoke with CK support a couple times and was informed they had a batch of hubs go out with too thick of a grease. The fix was to wash out the grease and lube it again with 30wt motor oil. We had to do that twice to get all the old grease out, but the hub has been flawless since. So in this case, customer service was actually very good and responsive, though we didn't need to send anything back to them to resolve the issue.

  5. #5
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    I'm sure the customer service isn't always as bad as what I have seen before from CK. Maybe I came across a bit harsh. I have just had such great experiences with I9 on a few occasions and 2 times the issue wasn't the hub but the guy I was working with insisted on seeing me through the issue. He called me back later just to check. I'm a customer for life.

  6. #6
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    I have King hubs and I9 hubs and... the Kings have needed zero bearing maintenance with only an annual ring gear cleaning. The I9s need bearings twice a year and I've had to replace pawl springs a couple of times.

    They both have positives and negatives but, my next wheel build for my gravel bike will be either King or DT240s.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthopton View Post
    I have King hubs and I9 hubs and... the Kings have needed zero bearing maintenance with only an annual ring gear cleaning. The I9s need bearings twice a year and I've had to replace pawl springs a couple of times.

    They both have positives and negatives but, my next wheel build for my gravel bike will be either King or DT240s.


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    I have a set of Light Bikes rims laced to DT240 (geared hub though, not SS) with the 54t ratchet. I _really_ like those hubs too and plan the next SS wheel set (for a gravel/adventure/SSCX/commuter bike as well) to be built on another set of those hubs.

  8. #8
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    While I have no experience with either I9 or King SS hubs, I would recommend looking at the DT as well. I've had a couple of Hope SS hubs, and older Pro2 that was bombproof for many years with zero maintenance, and a newer EVO version that needed new bearings after 100 miles. My brother had a set of standard King hubs, bearings were great, but the ring drive assembly needed cleaning and greasing twice a year or it would start to skip and not engage properly.

    I've gone to DT Swiss on all of my wheels, both geared and singlespeed, and they have been absolutely perfect. Not one issue with bearings or ratchet engagement. I pull the freehubs off every once in a while and usually just put them back on because everything looks like new.

  9. #9
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    I have no experience with I9 other than hearing them on other bikes. I'm not all that particular when it comes to how hubs sound but I must say, those are quite LOUD.

    I run both DT 240s and King single speed hubs. By far DT is the simplest to maintain as they are easily disassembled- King's take a bit more effort to perform basic cleaning/maintenance (once every year or two) with no special tools.

    I prefer King hubs slightly because the axle (Fun) bolts can be tightened as much as you like. Doing the same with DT's can damage the bearings because of the way bearing tension is incorporated into the design.
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  10. #10
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    I9s are good; Kings are good. Cant go wrong with either one. I mean really folks we are talking about some of the best MTB hubs in the world! lol...

    Paul
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauldotcom View Post
    I9s are good; Kings are good. Cant go wrong with either one. I mean really folks we are talking about some of the best MTB hubs in the world! lol...

    Paul
    Very true...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post

    * My riding buddy just built up a new set of geared wheels with CK hubs and had an issue with the hub skipping under power. Spoke with CK support a couple times and was informed they had a batch of hubs go out with too thick of a grease. The fix was to wash out the grease and lube it again with 30wt motor oil. We had to do that twice to get all the old grease out, but the hub has been flawless since. So in this case, customer service was actually very good and responsive, though we didn't need to send anything back to them to resolve the issue.
    Same experience with mine. Hub started skipping (after about 300 miles on it). Called CK, they said their own Ring Drive oil is too thick, and will use 10w-30 Mobil1 syn oil from now on (which, if you don't know Mobil1 oils, that's pretty light). They told me I could just send the wheel to them (on their dime), which I did. Got it back in a week--all good to go. Even cleaned my hub/rims. Good folks there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbell View Post
    Ask anyone who has ever attempted to deal with CK about a warranty related issue.
    First you'd have to find somebody that's had a warranty issue with a CK hub...

    Seriously though, they both are pretty easy to deal with. I9 is louder. I like the noise but they do get old on some rides. King is not silent but not as intrusive when coasting. My King's have been a little lower maintenance than the I9's but maintenance is a easy with either. Proprietary spokes on I9 (if you don't get the classic hubs) has been the only complaint I've commonly heard with I9 as spokes aren't quite as easy to get.

    Both are good choices. The DT's other's have mentioned are good too. Not quite the engagement but I had a set of 240s a while back and never had one single issue with them... other than a lack of color options.

  14. #14
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    Hadley's are good, too. I don't like the sound of i9's.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BmoreKen View Post
    Hadley's are good, too. I don't like the sound of i9's.
    5+ years on SS specific Hadley's with ZERO issues.

  16. #16
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Most overrated hubs ever? Chris King. You need special tools, and all there conversion parts and freehubs are just silly prices. Had 3 sets at one time drinking the kool aid.

    I personally support I9 and they have always had my back in terms of service or questions. You can find endless stories of the excellence of I9 service and their products. End caps are 40 not 100+. You dont need to constantly adjust the pre load. No special tools to service. Common oil.

    To me its I9 for mtb and DT 240/350 for all the other bikes that get lots of use due to super super fast and easy cleaning greasing and common spokes. I have the 54 star and its low key pretty loud itself.

    I9 is a brand and a family. Does King let you tour the factory, go ride with you in Pisgah, then have a beer after? Im not sure either way so to me thats something thats insignificant to most but significant to me. They welcome everyone like family. They are riders/engineers.

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  17. #17
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    I had CK geared hubs but never the SS hub. When I bought my first Hadley hub it was the ONLY SS hub with a Ti free hub. It was a bolt on axle with Ti bolts. I later converted to 142x12 through axle. It was a great true axle conversion and not end caps. Yes the hubs have had new bearings and get regular maintenance but the free hub never gets damaged and it's been going strong for 10+ years. My bikes get ridden 2-4x a week and it's constant abuse and torque from mashing up steep trails. The other hub I'm considering is the new P321. Since I only ride SS it will be their SS hub and the silent one.
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