Could Industry Nine's new iRiX headsets rival those produced by Chris King?

A close up of the new Industry Nine Irix headset
(Image credit: Industry Nine)

Industry Nine have garnered a reputation for hand-building some of the best MTB wheels and hubs from their Asheville, North Carolina, HQ. They're now applying their expertise with bearings and intricate parts to other areas of the bike in the form of a new line of headsets dubbed Industry Nine iRiX (pronounced eye-ricks).

Launched today, the I9 IriX range of headsets covers EC (external cup), ZS (zero stack) and IS (integrated) types with mix and match options for maximum compatibility. Along with the brand's reputation for quality components, the ability to fully customize your headset will be a draw for many riders. It's easy to select your choice of bearings, spacers and cups in an array of colors and sizes via the Industry Nine website before making a purchase.

Machined from US-sourced 7075 aluminium, the headsets come in 11 different anodized colors with lazer etched graphics. The bearings are 440C stainless steel and the whole headset comes with a lifetime guarantee. We got a sneak peak at them at the Core Bike Show. Not only did the action feel silky smooth but they looked fantastic too.

The three new Industry Nine Irix headset options

The iRix headsets come in three base options – EC (external cup), ZS (zero stack) and IS (integrated) (Image credit: Industry Nine)

While the new headsets can of course run on any compatible bike, the iRiX range is designed to fully integrate with I9's existing A35 and A318 MTB stems.

As to whether iRiX headsets will can rival the best headset options around from the likes of Chris King, only time and testing will tell. We're looking to start putting a set to the test as soon as we can get our hands on one, so as always, we'll keep you informed on our findings.

If you fancy getting hands on with the iRiX headset range, it will be on show at the Sedona Fat Tire Festival, from the 3rd to 6th March. 

Pricing starts at $160.00 to $190.00 for a single color headset and from $175.00 to $205.00 for a mixed color version. For more info, head to Industrynine.com

Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich is the editor of the Bikeperfect.com team. He worked as a print journalist and editor for over 20 years, before transitioning to purely digital media in 2021. Rich bought his first mountain bike (a rigid Scott Tampico) in 1995 and has been riding MTB for almost 30 years. He likes hitting flowy yet technical trails and is a jack of many MTB trades, competing in cross-country, enduro and long-distance races over the years. A resident of North Devon, he can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield on Exmoor and elsewhere in Britain's southwest.

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 69kg