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  1. #1
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    Hub Decision for new wheels: 240 or i9 ?

    Going to have some new carbon wheels built up. Trying to decide between i9 and DT Swiss 240. Weight is pretty close. They both seem excellent to me. Are there any real performance differences between them? What about long term reliability?

  2. #2
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    240 will be a tiny bit lighter, not a factor. 240 has a track record of being extremely reliable. You can upgrade to 54 poe.

    Torch comes in many different colors, huge bling factor. Torch has a lot more poe but at the expense of more drag, cant quantify it. Torch is generally louder while coasting.


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  3. #3
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    Better bearings on the 240. Lower maintenance, easier service, less noise. Better reliability, especially with the 36T and 18T ratchets. But the engagement isn't in the i9's ballpark.

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    240 for sure between those two. Also look at White Ind for long term reliability. They offer steel axles and ti freehubs.

  5. #5
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    240ís if you want them to last forever.

    I9 if you want flashy.
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  6. #6
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    I9 come with garbage Enduro bearings, which make them a non-starter for me.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I9 come with garbage Enduro bearings, which make them a non-starter for me.


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    Enduro bearings are garbage? I just overhauled a set of I9 Torch hubs and really didn't need to do it. That's after 3 years, countless washings, and general lack of maintenance. Very clever design as well, even easier than Hadleys which are pretty simple.

    They are loud that's for sure.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Very clever design
    Ditto that.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but you need to remove the drive ring to replace dt's drive side bearing...not sure how they're easier to service than I9.

    I will say one thing that sets I9 apart for me is how positively they engage. Not speaking to degrees of engagement. Once the bearings start to get gritty I replace them with skf which is dead simple as mentioned. With that I notice zero difference in performance.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Ditto that.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but you need to remove the drive ring to replace dt's drive side bearing...not sure how they're easier to service than I9.

    I will say one thing that sets I9 apart for me is how positively they engage. Not speaking to degrees of engagement. Once the bearings start to get gritty I replace them with skf which is dead simple as mentioned. With that I notice zero difference in performance.
    I guessing itís easier to service the freehub and not necessarily the cartridge wheel bearings.


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  10. #10
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    I've run both. I prefer the i9's because extra engagement is nice. Perhaps a stronger rider can get by with 18 or 36 or 54 POE of the 240's, but I like what I like. The i9's have their distinctive sound, or you can judiciously grease a 240 and make it very quiet. That's also a matter of preference.

    Although I currently prefer the Torch, the 240 has one HUGE advantage. The i9 has tiny pawls and nearly microscopic springs. It's really easy to have one bounce across the floor into the pit of oblivion. The 240, on the other hand, is cake. You can yank it apart with your hands, and the parts are big and robust enough that it's virtually impossible to damage anything.

  11. #11
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    I mostly love my i9s. Had 54t DT Swiss 350 previously. I have noticed the increase in POE, but I also really really notice the extra noise. It is nice on busy trails with multiple user types, but the freewheel buzz certainly gets a bit old after awhile, especially when pushing/working on your bike. Iím trying out some of the quiet p321 hubs on my next set.

    The purple i9s sure are pretty though

  12. #12
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    My I-9's have over 6,000 trouble free miles on original Enduro bearings. So much for garbage bearings.

    Proper servicing will significantly extend the service life of any bearing.
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    Hub Decision for new wheels: 240 or i9 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    My I-9's have over 6,000 trouble free miles on original Enduro bearings. So much for garbage bearings.

    Proper servicing will significantly extend the service life of any bearing.
    I have a set of 240s with 4x that on the bearings.

    Meanwhile, Iíve killed both of the Enduro bearings in an XD driver in less than a week. Twice now, actually.


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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    My I-9's have over 6,000 trouble free miles on original Enduro bearings. So much for garbage bearings.

    Proper servicing will significantly extend the service life of any bearing.
    What do you do to service the bearings?

  15. #15
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    ^^^ Pretty much the same as Le Duke... carefully pop the seals, clean, inspect and grease with your preferred grease, carefully re-install seals and go ride.
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  16. #16
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    You really cant go wrong with either, both have stellar track records. Just as people here have had issues with I9's, other people have had issues with DT's, these are the exception and not the norm. Stuff happens and what matters is the manufacture stands behind the product, which both DT and I9 do.

    If colors and engagement matter then I9 will be your best bet, if weight and serviceability matter more then DT will be the best bet. Both are legendary hubs in the cycling world and no one would ever scoff at you for choosing one over the other!

  17. #17
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    New Bearings for I-9's

    Industry Nine is sourcing an improved bearing from ENDURO. The ENDURO LLU bearings are equipped with a full contact, dual lip seal. These are properly installed with the light grey seal side toward the outboard side of the component you are installing them into. This provides additional protection towards the side most exposed to the elements.

    While this is a stepped improvement, I think with some common tricks like adding additional grease under the end caps to thwart bearing contamination from water, dust and dirt go a long ways towards extended bearing life.

    Hub Decision for new wheels:  240 or i9 ?-20170122_162105-i.jpg Hub Decision for new wheels:  240 or i9 ?-20170318_184135-i.jpg
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  18. #18
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    Wet weather rider here.

    Wasn't an option on your list but... I just rebuilt my king rear hub... After 2.5 years the freehub was getting draggy. Was able to clean it all out and relube everything including the bearings in about 2 hours and for about zero dollars. Most of that time was the cleaning, especially the outside of the hub areas before I opened anything up. I bought my hub used from a high mileage singlespeeder friend, the hub is one of the first they made and its still perfect. >14 years old?

    When I had the I9 I was removing emulsion paste from freehub every 3 weeks in the winter and yes eventually the bearings all rotted because of water (yes I dope my bearing seals with marine grease like above.)

    I liked the i9 a lot: fast engagement was noticeably better than the king and I thought it sounded better but I couldn't deal with the inadequate water sealing. Takes a long and finicky time to get that freehub clean - neat little springs 'n pawls.

    Everyone I know in seattle area that has the 240s marvels at how reliable they are and supposedly very easy to clean out too but the cartrige bearings do eventually rot and need replacing.

    Personally very happy with the king though.

  19. #19
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    I put silicon grease on the outside of my bearings. It seems to repel water better.

  20. #20
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    carefully pop the seals, clean, inspect and grease with your preferred grease, carefully re-install seals and go ride.
    When you pop the seals with a pick, doesn't that slightly deform the seal? I've used a pick before, and I can tell the seal is not the same where the pick went under it, which looks to me like it provides an entry point for contamination.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    When you pop the seals with a pick, doesn't that slightly deform the seal? I've used a pick before, and I can tell the seal is not the same where the pick went under it, which looks to me like it provides an entry point for contamination.
    That is indeed the case. But if you periodically renew the grease in the bearing, you can still end up with better performance and life expectancy than if you just let the bearing run until it cratered.

  22. #22
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    I don't use a pick because it can deform the delicate seal. I use dental spoons, but any thin edged device like an Exacto knife can be used with no damage if done with care.

    Hub Decision for new wheels:  240 or i9 ?-20170318_161928-i.jpg Hub Decision for new wheels:  240 or i9 ?-20170318_161956.jpg Hub Decision for new wheels:  240 or i9 ?-20170318_162012.jpg
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I don't use a pick because it can deform the delicate seal. I use dental spoons, but any thin edged device like an Exacto knife can be used with no damage if done with care.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Link to tool's :


    https://www.amazon.com/Mayhew-60028-.../dp/B00GO2UWW4

  24. #24
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    Thanks for the link, those look much nicer than using an awl or pick to pry out the seal. They will be in my shop Sunday.

    As for the hub debate. It really comes down to personal preference. Both are top notch hubs and will last a long time. Does the quicker engagement and fancy color of the i9 make you happy? Or are you more function over form and prefer the utilitarian look of the dt240? You can't go wrong either way.

  25. #25
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    Engagement or Points of Engagement (POE) is a very subjective thing. If you predominately ride smooth and flowy trails where rarely encountering truly technical features, then POE isn't as important. If riding unforgiving technical stuff is your thing, then you might find higher engagement as an attribute. If you have to back-ratchet or back-pedal to clear an obstacle or technical feature and need that instant engagement is a regular need, then that higher POE might be more important.

    I really enjoy technically difficult features and trails, so yes, I much prefer the higher POE that the I-9's offer. For me, it's more about the function over the look. However, the DT Swiss hubs can upgrade from an 18 tooth ratchet to a 36t or a 54t. The 54t make a big difference. I have two wheelsets with DT 350's and I think they are outstanding value. Great hubs and very easy to service and maintain.
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  26. #26
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    DT 240s is my vote (possibly with 36t ratchets if you are obsessed about POE- I run 18, 36 and one set of 54's and do not notice any dramatic difference between them). Just make sure you get proper ones and not the knockoffs that are popping up everywhere.


    I know way too many people with i9's who've ended up with munched bearings after a year or so of use.
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  27. #27
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    Ok but why is DT 240 always mentioned but Syntace MX never is? For a better price, Syntace has larger bearings, double seals, 45t ratchet standard, and if you run Shimano, a superior freehub.

  28. #28
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    Hub Decision for new wheels: 240 or i9 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    Ok but why is DT 240 always mentioned but Syntace MX never is? For a better price, Syntace has larger bearings, double seals, 45t ratchet standard, and if you run Shimano, a superior freehub.
    Iíd also be interested in checking out the Newmen Evolution SL. Seem to get good reviews. I think they actually use the Syntace engagement system, IIRC.


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  29. #29
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    Hubs have really become a no-brainer decision for me. When you weigh in durability, performance, ease of maintenance, and long term cost over years (which does not apply if you are into disposable items) the choice is very easy for me...

    King hubs.

    I have a few 240 DT rear hubs. Of the three one has been nothing but trouble. Could be an isolated issue, but what is not an isolated issue is that to access at least one of the inner bearings (that even fans say need to be replaced every now and then) is a hassle. The wheel needs to be build up so the special tool can do its job. I suspect this one hub is a lemon as I've never heard of anyone else having issues with the 240s however. So, if being very light weight was a concern I'd maybe consider the 240.

    Nicest thing about Kings are ease of maintenance. Bearing never need replacing, only regreassing. A simple teardown and clean every 6 months of hard use takes me about 30 minutes without special tools. Every few years when the rim dies I ship the hub itself back to King for a full service and any upgrades if needed.

    After a few years of use that King "buzz" becomes barely audible.

    I've got 4 rear King hubs with many miles on each. Two are over well over 10 years old. One is probably over 15 years old and they are running as good, if not better than, new.


    I9 sounds like a great company but I've heard not such good things about durability.

  30. #30
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    The choice is easy for me. Hadley!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Iíd also be interested in checking out the Newmen Evolution SL. Seem to get good reviews. I think they actually use the Syntace engagement system, IIRC.


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    Yes, a former Syntace employee owns Newmen. I don't think they have the same preload system. The thread on mtb-news.de listed some problems with them.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by XterraMike View Post
    Going to have some new carbon wheels built up. Trying to decide between i9 and DT Swiss 240. Weight is pretty close. They both seem excellent to me. Are there any real performance differences between them? What about long term reliability?

    If noise when coasting isn't important to you, then the most noticeable difference is in resistance when coasting. Higher engagement hubs *generally* have increased resistance. The only exception to this (so far?) is Onyx.

    But you're not asking about Onyx.

    DT 240s with stock ratchets coasts with noticably *less* resistance compared to DT with 54t ratchets.

    DT with any ratchets coast with noticeably less resistance than I9.

  33. #33
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    If you wan't color options and very fast engagement the I9 is the way to go. In my experience 240's require less service, but a special drive ring removal is necessary if you ever need to change the drive side bearing.

  34. #34
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    ^^^ Fortunately, that bearing is pretty shielded and doesn't require frequent removal.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Hubs have really become a no-brainer decision for me. When you weigh in durability, performance, ease of maintenance, and long term cost over years (which does not apply if you are into disposable items) the choice is very easy for me...

    King hubs.

    ...
    Same for me. In case you're willing to spend some money but in return expect a product you can use for years, Chris King is it.

    Have done some overhauls on (very) old CK hubs and also DT Swiss. Never was required to replace a CK bearing but the DT Swiss ball bearings are definitely done after a while. (By the way, some 240s come with stainless steel bearings and some do not.). Both CK and DT Swiss, however, have a proven track of supporting old products.

    I9, Syntace, Neman etc may be good products, but for how long they will provide support (spare parts) and how frequently they will change designs is currently unknown.

  36. #36
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    Hubs themselves last forever. Choose whatever hub strike your fancy.

    It's really all about the bearings. Maintain the bearings properly and most bearings will perform admirably. CK's prevail for those who prefer to ignore the bearings because CK's add the protective 'snap ring' over the seal and this simple added part significantly adds service life. Maintain all other bearings properly and they will last much longer.
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  37. #37
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    Here's a good reason to ensure you maintain your bearings. Many never see this because it's hidden behind the cassette. Even high-quality bearings are at risk if this is ignored long enough.

    Hub Decision for new wheels:  240 or i9 ?-20181104_152234.jpg
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    Very true, Cleared2land. It's easier to clean the cassette when it's off anyway so why not?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus B. View Post
    I9, Syntace, Neman etc may be good products, but for how long they will provide support (spare parts) and how frequently they will change designs is currently unknown.
    For what it's worth, I9 has been around since the early 2000's. They still have parts for most of the original wheels and provide service for them. The product line has only change once from Legacy to Torch. I have recently done several hub rebuilds and rim replacements on wheels over 8 years old.

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHRracer View Post
    over 8 years old

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    over 8 years old
    Ok it's 8 years old. But with those brands what has changed?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    over 8 years old
    Quote Originally Posted by DHRracer View Post
    Ok it's 8 years old. But with those brands what has changed?
    I see this comment as a testament to mechanical longevity, not change.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    I see this comment as a testament to mechanical longevity, not change.
    If I took Schulze post about the article being 8 years old wrong I apologize. I took it as he was saying it was not relevant. Even if some of those brands have made some changes the article gives a good way to look at making the decision. There will always be people that have experiences on both ends of the spectrum. I have been using Hadley since 2001 have not found a reason not to continue to do so.

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