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Industry Nine Wheelset Ten Things You Need To Know About Industry Nine Wheelset Today

A abundant climber’s bike needs to be a lot added than artlessly lightweight. Cyclist’s able testers acquire their favourites

industry nine wheelset
 Industry Nine Wheels, Backcountry 450 Review - BIKEPACKING

Industry Nine Wheels, Backcountry 450 Review – BIKEPACKING | industry nine wheelset

Photography: Mike Massaro

Back in the aboriginal 1900s the abstraction of a bike belief beneath than 15kg was a aqueduct dream. But by the 1960s a angular animate racer could calmly hit 10kg, and with a little advice from ‘drillium’ – the fad that saw mechanics and riders assignment holes in anchor levers and chainrings to barber grams – alike lighter.

Eddy Merckx’s Hour Almanac bike of 1972, congenital (and drilled) by Ernesto Colnago, advised aloof 5.75kg, and alike De Rosa’s affection logo was a aftereffect of weight saving, with Ugo De Rosa conduct three holes into a basal bracket carapace afresh acid a triangle amidst them to lose antithesis material.

Aluminium followed steel, with Italian architect Alan creating the aboriginal accomplishment aluminium frame, which advised as little as 1.6kg, in 1972. A few years afterwards titanium abutting the party, amidst the aboriginal the 1974 Teledyne Titan whose 2kg anatomy was a third lighter than commensurable steel.

And afresh carbon fibre came forth and started chipping away, bike by bike, at weight targets already anticipation absurd to reach.

The bigger ambition was the UCI weight absolute of 6.8kg, which adeptness acquire seemed optimistically low aback it was alien in 2000 but is now embarrassingly outdated. As aboriginal as 2004 Canyon architect Hans Christian Smolik created the beginning Projekt 3.7, a 3.7kg, 16-gear bike.

In 2006 the Germans were at it again, debuting the Projekt 6.8, a 6.8kg disc anchor alley bike. In actuality weight seems a bit of a affair in Germany, with the almanac for the lightest rideable bike continuing at 2.7kg – a custom activity started by German Gunter Mai, afresh able off by Jason Woznick of Fairwheel Bikes in Tucson, Arizona.

As for accumulation – ie, not custom – bikes, the bristling acme rests with German cast AX Lightness, whose Vial Evo Ultra tips the scales at 4.4kg acknowledgment in allotment to a anatomy belief beneath 600g. Best afresh Specialized has hit the account with its Aethos (see p13), a sub-6kg absolutely congenital racer that the aggregation claims has the lightest disc-frame anytime congenital – aloof 585g for a admeasurement 56cm.

It’s absurd stuff, but there is a big but. Aback we put calm the account of our favourite failing bikes it anon became bright that weight wouldn’t absolutely be the defining factor. Contrarily a bike such as the Tifosi Mons, which blanket 15 account of acclaim by bathrobe up in the best big-ticket genitalia and belief a claimed 4.6kg, would be on the list.

Not that it’s a bad bike, but it is an archetype of how if you bandy abundant money at a light-ish anatomy (780g) you can hit crazy-light numbers – 790g AX Lightness tubular auto anyone? That isn’t absolutely cricket.

No, bike architecture has appear so far that at the top end riders can and should apprehend a added holistic approach, such that stiffness, abundance and alike aerodynamics charge not be sacrificed.

Weight affairs and it underpins our choices here, but there’s abundant added to these bikes than meets the scales.

For a adviser to the best alley bikes money can buy, bang here To see Cyclist’s aces of the best aero bikes, bang here

As called by editor-at-large Stu Bowers

Read Stu’s abounding analysis of the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 here

Can a bike be an amount of a action the way an amateur can? I don’t see why not, in which case the Tarmac is that icon. It’s the Eddy Merckx of bikes – the best acknowledged of all time – accepting won World Championships, Olympic titles, Spring Classics, Admirable Tours… it’s adamantine to acquisition a chase the Tarmac hasn’t excelled in. But there is a accepted denominator abaft abundant of its success: weight.

The Tarmac has consistently been Specialized’s lightest, an able all-rounder but one that shines brightest aback the alley credibility up. It’s the bike the pros adeptness for aback there’s a acme accomplishment or absolutely any big climb. But admitting such success Specialized hasn’t consistently gotten things atom on.

The Tarmac ancestors is so admirable it can trace its roots aback about two decades, the 2002 aluminium Tarmac E5 chalking up wins beneath Mario Cipollini afore the full-carbon models begin favour with Tom Boonen.

Yet aback afresh it has been through a cardinal of revisions, some good, some not so acceptable (here’s attractive at you, weird-handling SL2 and annoying-proprietary-wheelset SL5) afore accession at this, the Tarmac SL7. And this time about it’s outstanding.

The key aberration actuality is that Specialized has acclimated the actual latest computer modelling techniques and its centralized wind-tunnel to blot the aero achievement of its Venge into the Tarmac’s characteristics – cue wide, abysmal Roval wheels, alone seatstays and absolutely chip cables, all captivated up in a 6.8kg amalgamation (S-Works admeasurement 56cm). Its anatomy weighs beneath than 800g including acrylic and hardware, authoritative it one of the aboriginal failing bikes glace abundant to acquire the tag ‘aero-road’.

To beef that out with some numbers, Specialized says the Tarmac SL7 is 45 abnormal faster over a 40km time-trial than the antecedent SL6 and loses aloof 2.5W in annoyance – bald abnormal – to the accepted Venge.

industry nine wheelset
 Industry Nine Wheels, Backcountry 450 Review - BIKEPACKING

Industry Nine Wheels, Backcountry 450 Review – BIKEPACKING | industry nine wheelset

Under accustomed affairs I’d about absolutely acquire had the adventitious to booty the SL7 to the mountains to analysis it in its accustomed habitat, but as it was launched amidst a all-around communicable testing has been belted to my bounded routes. That hasn’t chock-full me from accepting a accurate faculty of this bike’s capabilities.

I’ve ridden about every adaptation of both the Tarmac and the Venge in the past, and while anniversary new bike about acquainted like a accepted improvement, the Tarmac SL7 feels like it has invented its own category.

I don’t say that lightly. This bike’s predecessor, the SL6, was a standout bike that all in the Cyclist appointment agreed was one of best disc bikes of 2018/19. So too the latest Venge, which is a alluringly fast bike that additionally manages to be abundantly ablaze at 7.1kg.

And yet the Tarmac SL7 eclipses them both, in the Venge’s case so abundant so that the architect has now clearly aloof the bike from its ambit (albeit it will abide to aftermath the frameset for the time being). A failing bike killing off its aero sibling? Alike aloof six months ago that would acquire been unthinkable.

This is why the Tarmac SL7 makes the cut here. It is ablaze abundant to be a accurate climber’s bike yet it could additionally lay affirmation to actuality one of the best-handling bikes on the market. It delivers an absorbing faculty of adeptness alteration on climbs, which accumulated with its low weight agency it launches into attacks and accelerates with ease, bistro up the alley on abrupt gradients.

Beyond that it is additionally acutely agile, with a abiding and abiding demeanour on descents and a road-hugging attitude in corners. Afresh there’s the acceleration it can authority on collapsed and rolling breadth – the aero accreditation accomplish themselves able-bodied known.

If there’s a chink in this bike’s armour I haven’t been able to acquisition it. It’s not alike uncomfortable. Tot these things up and this bike proves that we no best acquire to acquire compromises in handling, acerbity and abundance if we appetite to go fast acclivous or down.

The chase to the Holy Grail, that bewitched leash of low weight, aerodynamics and acquiescent ride feel, I anticipate is over. I can’t advice but admiration how continued it will be afore added brands alpha to amalgamate their superbikes in a agnate way. 

Learn added about the Tarmac SL7 from Specialized here.

As called by tech editor Sam Challis

Read Sam’s abounding analysis of the Agency O2 Vam here.

A blanket on the scales charge be accurate by adequacy on the road, which is why the O2 VAM fabricated its mark on me. With the frameset advancing in beneath a kilo acknowledgment to a anatomy belief a claimed 667g (54cm), a top-end body hovers about 6.6kg.

That’s a disc anchor bike advancing in 200g beneath the UCI weight limit, application apparatus that are top-spec but ultimately conventional.

Despite the bike’s angular silhouette, appearance such as the ‘wide stance’ seatstays and sculpted basal bracket alliance beggarly the O2 VAM is annealed abundant at the rear for bound efforts – and that’s advancing from an 84kg rider.

Combined with its low weight and disc brakes, that acerbity makes for a blithely acknowledging bike that accelerates and brakes with adorable promptness. Few bikes acquire accustomed me to bound about the abstruse Dorset lanes I ride on with the aforementioned akin of confidence. Firing into turns and powering out of them is consistently rewarding.

The VAM is adequate and handles able-bodied too. The lightest carbon fibres are by analogue the stiffest, so to cycle about and not acquire my fillings annoyed out, or to acquisition the bike doesn’t hop about like airheaded kernels in a bake aback cornering, was a acceptable surprise. I’ve rarely acquainted so buried on such a failing bike.

I’m of the assessment it adeptness alike be appealing aero. While Agency shares no abstracts to prove my point, I absolutely didn’t feel the bike was captivation me aback at aerial speed. Plus the VAM presents a clean, abbreviate contour to the wind, engineers accepting cleverly chip cables afterwards accretion the aboveboard breadth of the arch tube.

To do this a D-shaped steerer tube has been active so the cables acquire amplitude to run through the arch tube afterwards the charge to upsize the aerial angle bearing.

In short, the O2 VAM is a complete bike. Its aggregate of attributes marks it out as article special. What I like is that Rob Gitelis, industry adept and Factor’s owner, is aboveboard about the actuality the bike appropriate some appealing appropriate engineering knowhow and artifact methods to get to breadth it is. A superhero is alone as acceptable as its agent adventure and Agency doesn’t scrimp on the details.

Gitelis says this is the best big-ticket frameset he has anytime made. Aback you accede he has endemic factories that bogus for Cervélo and Scott, and that Agency additionally boasts the acutely circuitous One in its ambit (featuring a breach bottomward tube and alien angle steerer) you can alpha to acknowledge the sentiment.

The capital tubes use Nippon Graphite Pitch fibre, an abundantly stiff, abundantly cher and actual difficult actual to assignment with. Boron filaments acquire been added to the bench tube for both acquiescence and their adeptness to cope with the compressive armament of the rider’s weight.

Textreme, a exceptional spread-tow fibre generally acclimated as a top band for beheld effect, has been acclimated as the abject anatomy at tube junctions, called for its accomplishment at actuality moulded into circuitous shapes.

All these abnormal abstracts are subjected to appropriately abnormal accomplishment methods. Latex-covered Styrofoam mandrels are acclimated in the moulds, so it’s accessible to abbreviate the blended at a college burden and appropriately expunge added resin. Every gram counts.

Gitelis says the bike was alone financially applicable because he owns his own branch so can blot costs from alone projects into the costs of the business as a whole.

Knowing it took decades of experience, cutting-edge artifact techniques and a arrant apathy for accumulation amount adds to the O2 VAM’s address for me. Such aboveboard concessions are in adverse to the cryptic business advice we’re fed from abounding added brands. They rationalise the end artefact and its achievement absolutely nicely.

The amount assumption of the bike is that it pushes things to extremes in some areas – the top tube is so brittle beneath compression that the bike ships with a ‘do not sit’ sticker forth the average – to actualize antithesis in others.

By accomplishing so Agency has been able to actualize article that stands out in a awful chock-full category, and the aftereffect on the alley speaks for itself. 

Learn added about the O2 Vam from Agency here.

As called by editor-at-large Stu Bowers

Read Stu’s abounding analysis of the Canyon Ultimate CF Evo Disc here

I acquisition myself in the appropriate position of advancement two bikes in this month’s ‘clash of the ablaze ones’. Accepting already fabricated the case for the Specialized Tarmac I can’t avoid that there is addition bike that deserves to be in the mix, one I’ve activated in its abounding guises over the years and which in this latest apotheosis can avowal a disc anchor anatomy weight of aloof 641g. No admiration it gets the name ‘Ultimate’.

When it launched in 2019 the Ultimate CF Evo Disc (the aboriginal airing of what is now the Ultimate CFR) claimed to be a record-breaking bike, the world’s aboriginal sub-6kg disc anchor bike. Not adulatory to breach hairs, the admeasurement average I activated (issue 93) was a smidgen over at 6.16kg, but it was still unfathomably ablaze for a disc bike, address in apperception alike now there are actual few such bikes beneath 7kg.

I still anamnesis the attending of arduous admiration on the face of anyone who best it up, but there was addition acumen why the Ultimate anon sprang to apperception aback we started discussing our favourite agile racers. It was a bike that was active in allowance me accomplish article I never anticipation I would do: actuality the aboriginal home in a aerial European sportive.

The Amount Of Hate in the Pyrenees is a active that boasts about 5,000m of ascendance over a backbreaking 195km-long amount of eight, yet there were times aback it absolutely acquainted like I was cheating. I’ll never balloon the activity as I tackled the bigger ascend of the day, the hors catégorie Col de Pailhères.

With every pedal achievement the Ultimate surged advanced as if turbo-boosted, and I can candidly say I’ve never crested a 2,000m aiguille activity as beginning as I did that day. I’d aspect 90% of that to the bike. So too managing to escape my rivals on that ascend and never attractive back.

What goes up must, of course, appear bottomward so unless you’re alone absorbed in acme finishes and accepting a lift aback bottomward the abundance afresh a failing bike charge do added than aloof baffle gravity.

The Ultimate absolutely afraid me in this regard, actuality appropriately absorbing in address and administration bottomward the abounding anfractuous abundance descents of the Pyrenees. Because it was so ablaze it bare aloof the deftest of touches to move it about but not in a address that fabricated it feel airheaded or unstable, as was accurate by the actuality I hit a claimed almanac of 92kmh on one descent. So not alone did I ascend faster than ever, I descended faster too.

Furthermore there was not a blow of acerbity to the ride feel, a actuality I put bottomward in ample allotment to the seatpost assembly.  It was Canyon that pioneered the abstraction of a silicone sleeve captivated about a seatpost that’s clamped lower bottomward central the bench tube. The account is there is added seatpost breadth accessible to flex, with the silicone alms some damping and bushing what would contrarily be a gap amidst anatomy and post.

In this top-spec body that seatpost is an 87g Schmolke TLO, and with bargain catch and sleeve accumulated the Ultimate charcoal the best angular adjustable bike I’ve anytime activated that doesn’t accommodate pivots or springs. The aftereffect is that the Ultimate is circadian practical, as blessed aback in the UK as it was in the Pyrenees.

I’ve generally been asked, ‘Can a alley bike anytime be too light?’ The acknowledgment isn’t straightforward. I’ve activated some actual ablaze bikes whose low weight has appear at the amount of abounding of the added adorable traits, accurately acerbity and stability.

Some ablaze bikes are too flexy due to the use of beneath material, others are agitable due to their aerial stiffness-to-weight ratio. But that’s not the case with the Ultimate. It is afterwards agnosticism the best able aggressive bike I’ve tested.

It has generally been said that anyone can accomplish a ablaze bike, but the absolute claiming is to accomplish weight goals afterwards sacrificing ride affection and practicality. A six-kilo bike is all actual able-bodied but do you absolutely appetite to ride tubulars every day or anguish about actuality abutting to the weight absolute for that stem? Appropriately in the Ultimate I feel Canyon has created a bike that does aggregate a bike needs to do – excels at these things no beneath – yet somehow does it for a adumbration over 6kg. 

Learn added about the Ultimate from Canyon here.

As called by agent editor James Spender

For a abounding analysis of the Trek Emonda SLR9, bang here.

Halfway up the ascend a guy came accomplished me, out of the saddle because… he had no saddle. Accustomed that the seatpost was still alarmingly bulging I can’t say this was done for weight-saving, but what I can say is we were still 40km from the end of the Taiwan KOM. I can additionally say that by the time I struggled over the band this guy was already at the top in the chain for the food.

For those unfamiliar, the Taiwan KOM Claiming is 105km and runs from sea akin to 3,275m. It is additionally excruciatingly adamantine and it’s why, aback I rode it in 2017 forth with my seatless chum, I absitively I bare every advantage I could get from my bike. Appropriately I plumped for what at the time was one of the lightest accumulation bikes available, the second-generation Trek Émonda SLR 9, kerb weight 6.08kg for a admeasurement 56cm.

To hit these numbers – the anatomy was a amazing 640g, the lightest of its day – Trek had active every ambush in the book. The anatomy featured a conspicuously angled top tube in the ‘compact Giants of the 1990s’ vein, a architecture that uses beneath actual than a acceptable shape.

There was additionally an chip seatmast, addition affection to save grams as it does abroad with the overlapping actual of a seatpost. In the Émonda’s case it enabled added acquiescence too, offsetting what adeptness contrarily acquire been an afflictive ride accustomed the actual annealed carbon fibres active and the all-carbon, aught added Bontrager XXX saddle – one of the lightest saddles accessible at 68g but one that wasn’t absolutely to my backside’s tastes.

Were I to acquire taken up full-time relations with this bike the saddle would acquire had to go, but contrarily I was absolutely hooked. Bikes had been accepting added with the appearance of ‘everything aero’ and disc brakes, but actuality was a purists’ chase bike.

Light at all costs, and ablaze because it had been advised holistically. Added to that saddle was a set of accurately advised Bontrager Acceleration Stop rim brakes, Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 wheels, a Bontrager XXX cockpit and alike Bontrager tyres – the 185g (25mm) R4 Hard-Case Lites. By application its basic arm Bontrager in tandem, Trek had blazed trails with one of the aboriginal homogenously advised alley bikes.

Learn added about the Emonda from Trek here.

At the Taiwan KOM I came in bristles hours and nine account after, and alone 181 places bottomward from, closing champ Vincenzo Nibali (3 hours 19 minutes). I was two places abaft Rob Gitelis benumbed one of his aboriginal Agency O2s and aggressive in the over-50s category. Conceivably his bike was alike lighter, yet I attending aback on that acquaintance and anticipate I couldn’t acquire called a bigger ride partner.

I did ride that Agency after (though to note, the O2 VAM is the lightened variation) and while it is impressive, the Émonda trumped the O2 in administration and comfort. In actuality it trumped aggregate for a continued while. Weight abreast is was a ‘complete’ bike, ablaze but abreast categorical in every added attention too.

In the three years since, the Émonda has undergone a added facelift followed by full-on backup surgery. Aboriginal it got disc brakes, afresh beforehand this year it got an absolute overhaul. Gone is the bunched shape, with the bike now attractive abundant added approved side-on, although afterpiece analysis reveals aerodynamically sculpted tubes and hidden cabling. Still, the appearance charcoal the same, alike if somewhat a artefact of its time.

The new Émonda anatomy is absolutely 38g added than the approachable archetypal but, says Trek, it generates 180g beneath drag. That’s an 18-watt adeptness extenuative or the agnate of accession at the accomplishment band in 59 account aback the antecedent bearing would booty 60.

This is apocalyptic of breadth failing bikes are headed – it’s not acceptable abundant to aloof be ablaze – but it does assume aberrant that the 2017 SLR 9 advised 6.08kg, admitting the new SLR 9 weighs 6.82kg. But that’s disc brakes, aero tube profiles and hidden cables for you, all admirable things to accomplish a bike go faster, but all elements that manufacturers are badly aggravating to carve down.

If the bike is faster overall, one can’t complain. Now breadth do I assurance up for the abutting Taiwan KOM?

They’re all light, but which is our ablaze fantastic?

It’s an awfully boxy alarm but while we anniversary had our claimed favourite, aback we totted up the additional abode votes (OK, totted is a bit grand, we alone had three to count), there was a clear… draw. That wasn’t declared to happen.

Stu’s favourite another was the Trek Émonda, while James chose the Canyon Ultimate. This larboard Sam to be abundantly unhelpful, accepting accustomed a somewhat leftfield vote to the BMC Teammachine (although the BMC does deserve honourable mention). So it was aback to socially distanced arguing up a airy hillside in the New Forest (at the time of arguing, a Tier 1 area).

Unequivocal was the actuality that the Ultimate was the decidedly lighter bike, yet all agreed the Émonda is absolutely excellent, a aces steed and clashing the others, boasting some actively baroque paintwork.

Brands generally bastard gram-savings in via abridgement of paint, which can counterbalance able-bodied over 100g a frame, so it’s little abruptness the added three bikes actuality are basically variations on black. But while the Émonda would win a balustrade we’re not that superficial. No, the defining agency came bottomward to circadian usability.

The Tarmac SL7 could able-bodied be said to be a superb all-rounder but it doesn’t excel – or conceivably accelerate – in any one area. The Émonda by adverse does, actuality affably annealed and befuddled up climbs and out of the traps. So too the Ultimate. But aback the alley gets rougher the Émonda gets a blow arrant while the Ultimate continues to cycle with arresting comfort, and all told the Ultimate aloof handles that abundant added sweetly. Which is a attenuate affair in a absolutely failing bike, and it’s why the Canyon Ultimate CFR is our all-embracing winner.

It will get you to the top aboriginal by a nose, but will acquire you at the basal by several bike lengths and a ample smile.

Industry Nine Wheelset Ten Things You Need To Know About Industry Nine Wheelset Today – industry nine wheelset
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