i9 Hydra hub review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    i9 Hydra hub review

    i haven't seen any real reviews so i'll post one based on mine. WAO Faction 29er wheelset, blue Hydra hubs.

    i'm sound sensitive and prefer a quiet hub and i love high engagement. was concerned about the sound issue but i tried a bike in a parking lot with it and it wasn't too bad and i saw i9's video on care and maintenance including sound reduction so i went for it.

    6 months in, the hub performs extraordinarily well, as you would expect from i9's flagship new tech hub. i feel complete confidence hammering up any tech climb and doing quick ratchet strokes at full power. i weigh 220.

    taking the free hub off is so quick and easy that it's not much of a bother to service. i added extra Dumonde tech freehub grease right from the start which dulled the buzz considerably. a couple months in, i had the wheel off so decided to have a look again and do a quick wipe out and regrease. this time put in the Dumonde tech oil and only a couple drops per pawl.

    the sound is very muted and has stayed that way. you barely hear it on the trail at all. i would say the sound is about a 2 or 3/10 now and it's a warm buzzing sound of high quality. my wife has an Onyx hub and she said she doesn't hear my bike at all, unlike my other bike with the Hope hub, which drives her crazy.

    i'm very impressed and if it lasts a decade or more (yes, this is my expectation of this hub and wheelset which has a lifetime warranty) i'll be very pleased. i'm confident it will.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    i haven't seen any real reviews so i'll post one based on mine. WAO Faction 29er wheelset, blue Hydra hubs.

    i'm sound sensitive and prefer a quiet hub and i love high engagement. was concerned about the sound issue but i tried a bike in a parking lot with it and it wasn't too bad and i saw i9's video on care and maintenance including sound reduction so i went for it.

    6 months in, the hub performs extraordinarily well, as you would expect from i9's flagship new tech hub. i feel complete confidence hammering up any tech climb and doing quick ratchet strokes at full power. i weigh 220.

    taking the free hub off is so quick and easy that it's not much of a bother to service. i added extra Dumonde tech freehub grease right from the start which dulled the buzz considerably. a couple months in, i had the wheel off so decided to have a look again and do a quick wipe out and regrease. this time put in the Dumonde tech oil and only a couple drops per pawl.

    the sound is very muted and has stayed that way. you barely hear it on the trail at all. i would say the sound is about a 2 or 3/10 now and it's a warm buzzing sound of high quality. my wife has an Onyx hub and she said she doesn't hear my bike at all, unlike my other bike with the Hope hub, which drives her crazy.

    i'm very impressed and if it lasts a decade or more (yes, this is my expectation of this hub and wheelset which has a lifetime warranty) i'll be very pleased. i'm confident it will.
    Awesome. I may be picking up another set of WAO wheels (my third) and will likely have to veer away from DTs and go with the Hydras.

    Re the Hydras, please pardon my ignorance but are different drivers easily swappable? Are microsplines available?

    As an aside, the amount of grease makes a HUGE difference with my 36 tooth 240s and 350s as well. The 240s are loud as hell, while the 350s are almost silent.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Re the Hydras, please pardon my ignorance but are different drivers easily swappable? Are microsplines available?
    Yes. I have Hydras with a micro spline freehub body (slight price increase for the micro spline driver when new). It's expensive to buy afterwards, though, which is why I didn't buy an older Torch wheelset and add the micro spline driver later.

    I'm quite pleased with the Hydras, also. I went more utilitarian on the build overall, with DT alu rims, and I just don't have to think about my wheels when I'm riding. They're not so loud like my Hopes that I can't help but think about how loud they are as I ride. They just work.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    i haven't seen any real reviews so i'll post one based on mine. WAO Faction 29er wheelset, blue Hydra hubs.

    i'm sound sensitive and prefer a quiet hub and i love high engagement. was concerned about the sound issue but i tried a bike in a parking lot with it and it wasn't too bad and i saw i9's video on care and maintenance including sound reduction so i went for it.

    6 months in, the hub performs extraordinarily well, as you would expect from i9's flagship new tech hub. i feel complete confidence hammering up any tech climb and doing quick ratchet strokes at full power. i weigh 220.

    taking the free hub off is so quick and easy that it's not much of a bother to service. i added extra Dumonde tech freehub grease right from the start which dulled the buzz considerably. a couple months in, i had the wheel off so decided to have a look again and do a quick wipe out and regrease. this time put in the Dumonde tech oil and only a couple drops per pawl.

    the sound is very muted and has stayed that way. you barely hear it on the trail at all. i would say the sound is about a 2 or 3/10 now and it's a warm buzzing sound of high quality. my wife has an Onyx hub and she said she doesn't hear my bike at all, unlike my other bike with the Hope hub, which drives her crazy.

    i'm very impressed and if it lasts a decade or more (yes, this is my expectation of this hub and wheelset which has a lifetime warranty) i'll be very pleased. i'm confident it will.
    How are you finding the factions? I'm debating them vs unions. Also a heavy dude and I ride pretty aggressive all mtn in bc.

  5. #5
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    awesome. i imagine they are twice as strong as Flows, ex581's, etc. if you jump and land sideways into rocks all best are off, but i don't do that. i can't see a way these will break under hard riding short of casing a sharp edge.

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    Huge, huge fan of the new Hydras! I have them on 2 wheelsets. It's like they took everything they knew from Torch, and made them way better. It spins fast and despite having 6 pawls, friction isn't a problem. I'd say they spin just as fast as a fresh set of DT Swiss 240s. The seals do their job well. I took my freehub off and it was fresh and dirt free after a rather wet and muddy riding session. Right now, I'm using the Dumonde oil for a louder buzz. But they're nowhere near as loud as the Torch or 101 hubs.

    Love how easy they are to work on. Just pull the freehub and end caps off and you're good to go. I really don't know much I9 could improve on these hubs in the future. I'd say as far as pawl hubs go, these are as close to perfect as its going to get.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cunningstunts View Post
    awesome. i imagine they are twice as strong as Flows, ex581's, etc. if you jump and land sideways into rocks all best are off, but i don't do that. i can't see a way these will break under hard riding short of casing a sharp edge.
    What kind of wheelset weight did you end up with?

    Anyone have time between the Agent and Union rims that can give any feedback on ride feel? Obviously hydra's over 101's is great, but you sure don't get much/any? weight savings between the new Revolution build VS the Movement 29er builds.

    I'm 250lb, and some of the carbon wheel builds I've been suggested by various builders are not really that light...? (granted, some are cheaper options and some are outright bombproof) But I'm looking at off the shelf XM1501 weight/cost and scratching my head...

    Also I was looking at tire inserts and I was like, "hey look, I can spend 2 grand on carbon and cush core and end up with heavier wheels than I started with! whoo hoo!"

  8. #8
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    I have been on I9ís for a long time now, probably 6-7 sets of the Torch hubs on all sorts of wheels to include a few sets of the Pillar Carbon wheels. To say I am an Industry Nine fan is an understatement, after thousands of miles the only thing I have to complain about is the free hub seal and free hub bearings on the old Torch hubs. I recently purchased 2 sets of ENVE M5 wheels with the Hydra hubs, one for my single speed and one for a geared bike Iím building. I have around 150 miles on the single speed wheels and can honestly say they spin better than the Torch, there is definitely less drag & on a single speed that really matters. I also am loving the extra engagement, it is very noticeable when spinning on flat ground. It has been raining a lot here since I put them on and the trails are quite muddy. I have been cleaning my bike more often due to the conditions and just looked in the free hub, it appears the seal is better than the Torch, no sign of contamination. So far I am very pleased.

    By the way the ENVE M5 wheels are killer! Super light weight and ride smooth!

  9. #9
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    Are your Hydra hubs for your SS using a SS specific and shortened free hub body?
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  10. #10
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    After almost half a year of abuse I did a freehub service and replaced the Dumonde Tech Oil with the Dumonde Tech grease.

    At the beginning there was considerably more drag but after a ride it's like with the oil. The sound doesn't change much either.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiingya View Post
    What kind of wheelset weight did you end up with?

    Anyone have time between the Agent and Union rims that can give any feedback on ride feel? Obviously hydra's over 101's is great, but you sure don't get much/any? weight savings between the new Revolution build VS the Movement 29er builds.

    I'm 250lb, and some of the carbon wheel builds I've been suggested by various builders are not really that light...? (granted, some are cheaper options and some are outright bombproof) But I'm looking at off the shelf XM1501 weight/cost and scratching my head...

    Also I was looking at tire inserts and I was like, "hey look, I can spend 2 grand on carbon and cush core and end up with heavier wheels than I started with! whoo hoo!"
    Keep in mind that with being 250 grams, you cannot afford the luxury of having a svette lightweight wheel. At 250, your priority should be durability and strength. I am not saying to built the heaviest combo possible, but I am saying that you need to rearrange what is most important. If you want a super light weight setup, just know that it will not last very long.

    Depending on what terrain you ride, the CushCore inserts are absolutely incredible. I routinely ride CushCore and fully understand that my wheels are tanks! Having the extra weight is well worth the extra piece of mind as you are smashing rocks and not having to worry about your wheels.

    Hope that helps
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  12. #12
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    Iím going to get a set of Hydra hubs for a gravel Wheelset. Iím deciding on the rims now and also considering the I9 complete Mtn Wheelset since the i27 rims so I can use 6bolt rotors.
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  13. #13
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    Love my Hydra's as well. I got lucky...ordered a set of wheels with Torch's at the same time the Hydra's came out and ended up with the Hydra's at no extra cost. This March will be a full year with them. The engagement is ridiculous, there's basically no slop at all nor is there any real drag, IMO. I personally like loud hubs and honestly haven't touched them, as far as maintenance goes, since getting them. I've taken the caps off a few times and they look the same as when I got them. Will do a service on them in March, if they even need it. My only regret is going J-bend instead of the straight-pull setup. #1stworldproblems
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  14. #14
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    I have about 1000 miles on mine with no issues. I did find some pieces of metal in the hub left over from machining, but thankfully nothing was damaged.

    Also currently have bikes with Onyx and P321.

    Onyx - quietest, quickest engagement, heaviest

    P321 - sound depends on amount of grease, slowest engagement but not really noticeable, less drag than i9

    Hydra - very similar to P321 but slightly more engagement and drag


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