First seen at the Cycle Show in Birmingham, UK, we spotted this new brand from Upgrade Bikes – ‘Sector’. Intrigued, we delved deeper into these new carbon wheels and the claims of much increased impact resistance yet in a still lightweight package had us hooked! Utilising a new material called Innegra™ Sector reckon that this helps the carbon rim give much more compliance, thus enabling a smoother ride but in an incredibly strong wheel. We have a pair of these in for test so you can look forward to hearing our long-term verdict on these in the coming months. For now, here’s the full press release from Sector:
Who are SECTOR wheels?
Sector Wheels is brought to you by the award-winning teams behind Kinesis UK and DMR bikes. We’ve got a track record of creating industry leading products and are firm believers that need to be developed and tested to last. Sector was created upon foundations of innovation, quality and value. We embrace technological advancements to solve the emerging requirements of today’s riders, combined with a no-nonsense and practical approach to spec. Our goal is to deliver innovative high-performance products that are value for money, and ready to stand the test of time.
Why did we develop this wheelset?
We were looking at enhancing the structural properties of unidirectional carbon in the application of an MTB rim, with strength and impact resistance being primary considerations. Working closely with Paul Lew (Composites and aerodynamics expert) we established that the introduction of Innegra™ fibres had the potential to significantly enhance the properties of an MTB rim. After a period of research and development, we arrived at the 9i rim.
The 9i rim not only has the lightness and toughness we were looking for but has the additional benefit of significantly more compliance over standard carbon rims. The 9i wheelset has the lightness associated with a carbon wheelset, but with the ride quality of a premium alloy wheelset!
So, what is Innegra™?
Innegra™ itself is a fibre derived from polypropylene that exhibits some highly beneficial properties, including high strength-to-weight ratio, resistance to damage, vibration damping and energy dissipation. The TexTreme® fabric used in the layup of 9i rim is a Spread Tow fabric built from a hybrid of Innegra™ and T700 carbon fibres. The Spread Tow layout is significant because it also contributes some positive attributes – the fibres are straighter (reduced crimp therefore higher strength) and it facilitates the use of less resin (lower weight). In the 9i rim the Spread Tow fabric is used on the outer layer of the rim, giving it the unique checkerboard pattern.
The real-world advantages of using Innegra™ in our 9i rim…
- Significantly more compliant
Under a lab test the 9i rim was 50% more compliant than a unidirectional T700 carbon rim of the same profile. This test involves loading the rim with a 100kg weight, in which the 9i rim exhibited a deflection of 15.74mm compared to 10.55mm on the standard T700 rim. That’s 50% more vertically compliant!
Why is this important? Compliance is important for damage reduction (less likely to crack), an improvement to ride quality (and reduction of fatigue) but also to improve traction. This is not only important radially, but also laterally, such as when the bike is loaded with forces that are not in line with the seat tube.
As an example, when a bike is leant over and the rider enters a flat corner – the suspension is no longer in the same axis as the ripples in the trail surface and it is up to the frame, tyres and wheels to flex and conform to maintain grip. Failure to do so, such in the case of a very stiff carbon rim, and the result is a loss in traction as your wheels skip over the surface.
- Significantly more impact resistant
In the lab the 9i rim was able to handle impacts of almost double the standard required for MTB wheels by the UCI. The 9i rim reached failure at 160J compared the UCI stipulated requirement of an 80J impact. In real world terms, the 9i rim can handle the equivalent of dropping a 15kg weight from a height of up to 1.08 metres onto the bare rim, thus making it 18% stronger than a recognised leading competitor who has published their data.
Despite offering strength and compliance advantages, the use of Innegra™ also allows the construction of an extremely lightweight rim. The Innegra™ equipped 9i rim weights just 428g (29”), and our complete wheelset weights just 1700g. Now to put all that into context:
- Santa Cruz Reserve 30 (30mm internal) (470g Rim) (Wheelset weight 1863g w/ Chris King ISO hubs)
- Raceface ARC 31 (31mm internal) (495g Rim)
- Enve M730 (30mm internal) (571g Rim) (1951g wheelset w/ Industry Nine Hydra Hubs)
- Zipp 3-Zero Moto (30mm internal) (567g Rim) (1910g Wheelset)
- Hunt All-Mountain Carbon H-Impact (28mm internal) (1878g wheelset)
- Specialized Roval Traverse Carbon (30mm internal) (1800g wheelset)
SECTOR 9i wheelset, Full Specs:
- Weight: 1690g (29” wheelset) | 428g (29” rim only)
- Rim: 29mm internal – 35mm external – 25mm deep | Hookless | Tubeless ready | ETRTO compliant. T700 Unidirectional Carbon Fibre with Innegra TexTreme® Spread Tow Hybrid outer layer
- Spokes: Pillar 2016 triple butted | 28H Front/Rear | Straight pull | Three cross
- Nipples: Pillar Brass Black
- Hub: CNC straight pull | Revo Cream Bearings | Boost spacing | Superboost available on request
- Freehub: 6 pawl, 72 tooth engagement (5-degree pickup) | HG, XD options
- Tyre compatibility: 2.2” to 2.6” tubeless | clincher
- Warranty: Lifetime warranty to original owner against manufacturing defect. See web
- Crash replacement program
What’s in the box:
- Pre-taped wheelset
- Alloy 44mm Tubeless valves
- 250ml Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex sealant
Availability: In stock now. Online from Sector website and your local bike shop in-store or on-line.
Free Shipping in UK and Europe from the Sector website