The Sector 9i carbon wheelset is light, stiff and yet comfy on rough trails, which it can handle at anything up to enduro race speeds. If you ride 27.5" you'll have to build your own from just the rim, however, as this tubeless-ready wheelset is 29" only – and those looks won't be for everyone.
With its 35mm outer and 29mm inner width, the tubeless-ready 9i rim holds typical high-volume trail tyres squarely and securely. The outer layer is a T700 carbon/Innegra blend called TexTreme Innegra, which – as a 'spread tow' fabric – offers straighter (therefore stronger) threads and smaller (therefore lighter) volumes of resin than a more regular layup.
Sector claims this basket-weave-like layer, which you can actually see – that pattern is not a graphic – means the rim has a 75% higher impact resistance and a smoother ride than carbon without Innegra. That said, the test claims about increased vertical compliance are for an unbuilt rim and aren't relevant to a fully built wheel - movement in a built wheel is likely fractions of a millimetre and not detectable outside of a test rig.
Weight is 1690g, so it's definitely light for a trail/enduro 29er wheelset giving a lively ride and punchy acceleration. When slamming through chunky rock gardens I couldn’t tell I was on carbon, although when the camber points the wrong way the lateral stiffness over my previous alloy wheelset can occasionally reduce grip in comparison to bendier rims.
The Boost hubs are Sector's own (Superboost is available on request), and run on 'Revo Cream' bearings. Each is laced with 28 straight-pull, triple-butted Pillar spokes. The freehub has a 72-tooth engagement with six pawls for a spritely five-degree pick-up.
After more than three months on test, the Innegra has proven itself very well. While I’ve ridden these wheels like I would any other, the only issues have been minor. All bearings run as smooth as new, and the rims are as true as ever.
There’s also no significant damage or scratching to the rims. The only issue, which cropped up late on, is that my SRAM SX cassette developed a bit of play on the freehub. It's nothing a spacer can’t fix, however.
I think the 9is look smart on my bike, but that armoured weave is easy to mistake for graphics and seems likely to provoke a love/hate reaction. One upside is that it hides the usual minor scrapes really well.
If you have your sights set on carbon wheels – and ride a 29er – the Sector 9i’s are an excellently reliable option. While they're not cheap they're competitively priced for carbon, and good value considering the impressive weight, quality build and great ride feel.
The Sector 9i wheelset is also available rim only, if you would prefer a custom build and Sector also offer a heavier duty carbon wheel with Innegra suited for downhill rigs or e-bikes. The DH9i and DH7i rims are available in both 29" and 650b sizes.
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