Wheel shopping - Industry Nine or We Are One???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Wheel shopping - Industry Nine or We Are One???

    I am in the market for a new wheelset and am interested in any feedback/suggestions. I am leaning toward one of two options - 1) aluminum i9 270s (27mm IW, 32H) with Hydra hubs and their straightpull aluminum spokes or 2) We Are One Factions (27mm IW, 32H) with i9 Hydra hubs. I'll be putting the wheels on an Ibis DV9 29er.

    I was mostly running an old set of Bontrager aluminum wheels (30mm IW, 32H) but recently dented the rear and can't get a tire to seat now. I've tried bending it back unsuccesfully. This is the first wheelset I have ever damaged. I ran carbon Rovals for maybe 6 years previously and have carbon i9s on another bike now.. no real complaints with either. The Bontragers came of a Fuel Ex I had briefly and are the first aluminum wheels I've had since before the Rovals.

    I'm interested in the aluminum i9s b/c I think the extra compliance of the aluminum is nice on the hardtail and tbh I'm a sucker for the colored spokes. Also, I think these will be a couple hundred less than the We Are Ones. But after destroying the aluminum Bontragers after one year, I'm nervous about damaging them (only 2 yrs warranty); I did just buy an insert I plan to use on the rear though.

    The We Are Ones have a lifetime warranty which is appealing and I've had good luck with carbon wheels so far. The We Are Ones should weight a little less but it's very close so that's not really driving my decision. Aside from price, the other potential negatives would be possible harsher ride and, well, I'm a sucker for the colored spokes which these won't have.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Curious about anyone's experience with either of these wheels.

  2. #2
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    There is nothing compliant about aluminum spoked wheels. About as compliant as a hammer.

  3. #3
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    The I9 aluminum spokes have IDENTICAL stiffness as a 1.8mm cross section steel spoke such as a Sapim Race.

  4. #4
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    Id say go for the WAO. Been super happy with my agents and after a year+ of punishment they are still true. I was also worried about stiffness but it turns out they are not only compliant but have a noticeable vibration dampening effect that I was not expecting. Feels like running lower psi than you actually are.
    If money is an issue consider picking up the insiders and give them a call to see if they would do a build with the Hydras.
    Also, the warranty and great customer service are icing on the cake.


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  5. #5
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    You're closer to I9, so getting a wheel there for warranty/service would be easier. Hell, you could drop it off if you wanted to.

    Aluminum straight pull spokes are around $7 each. So replacing them is more expensive; and they're less forgiving if you bend or damage one (more likely to break; cannot bend them straight if bent).

    On a HT, the Al spokes are going to give a harsher ride, due to stiffness. I can tell when I swap my I9 wheels to my HT.

    I'm not familiar with WAO, so I can't provide input on those.

  6. #6
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    WAO user here. Picked up a set of Movement Agent wheels with i9 101 hubs this spring. They are still true and look new (other than a few scrapes) after three bike trips (MN, CO and AR) and a summer of riding. Not a very long use case but very good results so far. They were easy to work with and responsive to questions when I ordered, with a bit of a wait, in the spring. Will buy from them again.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy G. Parrish View Post
    You're closer to I9, so getting a wheel there for warranty/service would be easier. Hell, you could drop it off if you wanted to.

    Aluminum straight pull spokes are around $7 each. So replacing them is more expensive; and they're less forgiving if you bend or damage one (more likely to break; cannot bend them straight if bent).

    On a HT, the Al spokes are going to give a harsher ride, due to stiffness. I can tell when I swap my I9 wheels to my HT.

    I'm not familiar with WAO, so I can't provide input on those.
    Yeah, I have the I9 310c carbon wheels with 24 spokes and have ridden them a handful of times on the HT. I did not notice much difference in feel between them and the aluminum Bontrager wheels in terms of harshness. Wasn't sure how the wheels I'm considering now would compare though.

    Hadn't considered the quicker turnaround at I9 but that's true. Ideally I avoid crossing that bridge though of course.


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  8. #8
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    Sounds like everyone has been happy with what they have. Think I'd probably be good with either route. Just need to make a decision and go with it... Hmm...

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  9. #9
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    Are you me?

    Facing the exact dilemma for the exact reasons only on 29" wheels. Was going to post this tonight. The good news is we're choosing between 2 awesome wheelsets and will probably be stoked either way.

    Hydra being a slightly better hub with imo a cooler sound and better engagement. i9 Wheels straight pull spokes look cooler. i9 has a great reputation and the company isn't going anywhere. In the end is a cooler looking or sounding wheel really what I want?

    WAO being a hair lighter, carbon is awesome, 101 is a great hub still, simple cheap practical spokes, carbon is awesome, lifetime warranty even against crash or accidental damage (does ANYONE else offer that?) The simple clean understated look is pretty cool in itself.

    I can't find anyone with anything bad to say about either setup. I can find more people who have had to replace i9 rims, but that's not unexpected since 1. They're aluminum and 2. they're WAY more popular and have been out way longer.

    I'd love to see how WAO is doing another year down the line as more people smash on these wheels. If they turn out to be garbage and end up going bankrupt their warranty won't be worth jack. I can't see that happening though. I called and spoke to one of their guys (Josh?) the other day and he gave me some solid confidence in the product. I saw a set in pro bike supply the other day and they seem like a quality wheel. Every bit as good as wheelsets costing twice the price.

    WAO is Hyundai 6 years ago. And I mean that in a great way. They've got a solid product that people need incentives like killer warranties to really trust. Can't knock them for that. It's smart business.

    I'm probably going to go for it and support the little guy here. Tough choice though I love loud cool looking wheels...

  10. #10
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    For what it's worth, you can still bring your wheels by the factory if you opted for the we are one's with the hydra or 101 hubs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred_Buchi View Post
    Are you me?

    Facing the exact dilemma for the exact reasons only on 29" wheels. Was going to post this tonight. The good news is we're choosing between 2 awesome wheelsets and will probably be stoked either way. ...
    Ha, that's funny. I'm also shopping for 29" actually ...and after agonizing over this for a week am still no closer to making a decision! If I go WAO, I'll still build them up with colored Hydras so the sound will still be there and a little bling since I'll go with a colored hub. I'm thinking I should go that route but... ugh, idk.
    Last edited by tarheel03; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:33 AM.

  12. #12
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    All I can say is I like the Hydra hubs. Good stuff, but louder than my old Hopes, which I didn't think was possible. I definitely like the engagement.

  13. #13
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    ^^ In a world where my bank account has more digits I could have both the WAO wheels and the orange hydra hubs I want so badly, but as it is I have to make that tough choice.

    Officially told the shop I want the WAO's. We'll see how long I have to wait... Website says 2-3 weeks! Hopefully ends up being sooner or the decision may change to the i9 hydra wheelset.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoDakSooner View Post
    All I can say is I like the Hydra hubs. Good stuff, but louder than my old Hopes, which I didn't think was possible. I definitely like the engagement.
    as someone who grew up on a road bike with a HUGI,

    I think i9 torch is quiet, and hydra is silent.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    as someone who grew up on a road bike with a HUGI,

    I think i9 torch is quiet, and hydra is silent.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred_Buchi View Post
    ^^ In a world where my bank account has more digits I could have both the WAO wheels and the orange hydra hubs I want so badly, but as it is I have to make that tough choice.

    Officially told the shop I want the WAO's. We'll see how long I have to wait... Website says 2-3 weeks! Hopefully ends up being sooner or the decision may change to the i9 hydra wheelset.
    I finally bit the bullet and went this route... We Are One Insider rims with orange I9 Hydra hubs. Hope to have them in a couple weeks. I have I9 Torch hubs on my other bike so interested in seeing if I notice much difference.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarheel03 View Post
    I finally bit the bullet and went this route... We Are One Insider rims with orange I9 Hydra hubs. Hope to have them in a couple weeks. I have I9 Torch hubs on my other bike so interested in seeing if I notice much difference.
    Jealous! Sounds like they're going to be awesome, post pics when you get them. I couldn't swing the hydras but I got orange decals? That's almost as cool.

    Supposedly they should ship out this week, I was told they were assembled last week.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred_Buchi View Post
    Jealous! Sounds like they're going to be awesome, post pics when you get them. I couldn't swing the hydras but I got orange decals? That's almost as cool.

    Supposedly they should ship out this week, I was told they were assembled last week.
    Will do. I actually requested orange decals too but told the shop to go with black if orange would cause much of a delay.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tarheel03 View Post
    I finally bit the bullet and went this route... We Are One Insider rims with orange I9 Hydra hubs. Hope to have them in a couple weeks. I have I9 Torch hubs on my other bike so interested in seeing if I notice much difference.
    Good choice! I've been riding insider rim on dt350 since spring on my Ripmo and I'm really satisfied of this upgrade!
    2015 Salsa Blackborow 1
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