I9 Torch vs Hydra Hubs- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I9 Torch vs Hydra Hubs

    So I'm about to buy a wheel set from my LBS.

    He's offering me $800 for a 29" Enduro S 28 spoke set with hydra hubs.

    But he's also offering 29" Enduro S 28 spoke set with slightly used Torch hubs from a demo bike but will have new spokes and rims.

    I was convinced on the Hydra hubs but the price for the Torch hubbed wheels has me doing a double take. LBS says he can update the Torches to get it close to Hydra POEs for about $150 more. I'm not sure if it's a different drivering or pawls or what.

    I personally thought it wasn't possible to upgrade the Torch's internals, but I'm not too familiar with the ins and outs of hub technologies yet. But I know we are talking a difference between 3 degrees and 0.54 degrees and 120 vs. 690 POEs. Coming from a stock Trek Bontrager Wheelset with Formula hubs on my hardtail, anything is an upgrade.

    Opinions are greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    you canít upgrade the torch with the new drive afaik, so not sure what the lbs is offering, not knowing the price you are gonna pay for the torch wheels itís hard to offer an opinion but the torch are also nice hubs just obnoxiously loud so you have to think about that!

    also since the torch has been discountinued Iíve seen Enve wheels for 50% off with torch hubs so your lbs better be giving you a really good discount on a set of used torch hubs even with everything else being new

  3. #3
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    The only difference in engagement with torches is running 3 paws vs 6. I'm not sure if that requires a different driver in this case but paws & springs are like $10. I'd go for whatever is cheaper as they're both very good hubs but if the difference where <$100ish I'd probably go ahead and get the hydras.

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  4. #4
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    I had torchís and now have hydras. Both great hubs. If the torch build is cheaper by more than like 150 I would go with that build and tell him not to even worry about increasing the poe. The difference really isnít something I noticed. Both feel nearly instant and both sound killer when flying down the trail.


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  5. #5
    chasing simplicity
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    I have a new wheelset from Light Bicycle with the Hydras...all my other wheels are Torch. I can't feel a difference but I can hear it: if Torches sound like a rattlesnake, the Hydras sound like a huge bumblebee.
    Never underestimate an old man with a mountain bike.

  6. #6
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    At least to me my Hydras seem to roll a lot better than any torch hub I have had. I could care less about the POE and honestly really don't notice much of a difference on that front between the two. All being said personally the rolling difference is a big enough positive for me I would pay more for the Hydras any day. Heck hubs can last a long time and down the road the I wouldn't even remember extra few $$$ I had to shell out.

  7. #7
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    Hydra all the way.


    According to I9 (from memory),
    They hav
    • e less rolling resistance
    • They have bigger pawls / pawl seats
    • They have bigger / more durable freehub bearings (which is a thing now with BIG cassettes


    Have a look the review(s) on BikeRumor.com

    Also, as someone who owns old "legacy" I9 hubs for which almost all parts are no longer available, why purchase something that's going to become obsolescent that much sooner?

  8. #8
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    I own 3 sets of Torch wheels, and one hydra.

    Iíve eaten 3 freehubs (bearings) each within 500 miles. Iíve also had three freehubs last over 5k miles.

    The new hydra design has a supposedly different design that prevents several issues they had with bearing Weston the previous design.

    Both are great set of hubs. The Torches are amazing engagement and you will be happy. The hydras are completely next level. I am trying to find a delay in engagement and you just canít. There is more play between your cleat and thpe pedal than there is space in the engagement.

    I would get the Hydras due to problems fixed and the fact that they are new. Those bearings are not cheap or fun to replace/ diagnose and I am not sure if you have a warranty on the demo hubs.





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  9. #9
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    Will the hydras be strong enough for an e bike?

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  10. #10
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    For anyone concerned about the noise level coming from their I9's - You can lube em' up good with DuMonde Tech Ring-Lube and they'll quiet right down.
    "There's two kinds of people in this world - Walkers and Talkers." Which one are you?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Will the hydras be strong enough for an e bike?

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    I'd call I9 and ask, they have great customer service.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Will the hydras be strong enough for an e bike?

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    Just get Onyx so the only thing you will hear is the ďwhirrrrĒ and people heckling you.


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