Mad Fiber Adds Clincher Road Wheels

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To meet customer demand, Mad Fiber has introduced a clincher version of their full carbon tubular road wheels.

The construction is the same as their three-piece rim, except that the rim bed is alloy. The big benefit of this design over full carbon clinchers that it resists heat-induced expansion, the bane of many full carbon clinchers. And you can run them tubeless because the rim bed is completely sealed.

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MSRP is $3000 with ceramic bearings, $2800 with standard steel bearings. Production weight is pegged between 1200 and 1250g, looking to have them out in January.

Considering their original tubular wheels weigh in at 1080g, that’s not a big weight penalty to go with the more user friendly nature of clinchers. That, and the price is the same, which is not the case for many competing brands’ carbon climbers when compared to their matching tubular.

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Because there’s an alloy rim bed, they have no tire pressure limitations. Like their tubulars, there is no rider weight limit, either. The picture above shows the alloy piece that replaces Mad Fiber’s full carbon tubular rim bed. The carbon sidewalls bond to the sides of the rim bed to create the brake track.

Brand PR guy Jasen Thorpe has been racing the tubulars in Cyclocross, and the clinchers have the same carbon brake track. Speaking of which, I asked why not give it an alloy brake track? Thorpe says it’s increibly durable and has excellent modulation.

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Hub is built with cosmetics as an after thought to performance, hence the unfinished look.

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Comments

Robin - 09/13/11 - 12:46am

Have they done testing to determine the life of the aluminum/CF bond at the rim? It’s an unusual bond for a bike wheel.

Hopefully, with all the stories done on Mad Fiber wheels, someone will do a Zipp/Enve/3T/etc comparo in a wind tunnel.

Brandon - 09/13/11 - 9:22am

After sending my rear wheel back because it was out of true, being told that it was “within tolerance” even though I couldn’t close my brakes, getting a replacement that was as bad or worse than the first, I’ve decided that Mad Fiber isn’t for me.

On the up side, braking was pretty good with them, and the weight was right at claimed weight, so it wasn’t all bad I guess.

Dave - 09/13/11 - 11:10am

Yes it was. It really was all that bad. What good is a wheel if it so far off true you cant close your breaks? What good is a service/return policy that only makes your only problem worse? So they didn’t lie about their “claimed weight”, congratulations mad fiber. Congratulations on making really light, really ugly, really crapy wheels. You would have to be “mad” to buy a pair of these eye sores.

Chuckles - 09/13/11 - 12:30pm

Dave, who peed in your corn flakes?

DN - 09/13/11 - 12:42pm

Seems like an odd occurence. I’ve raced a set both on road and for cross and love them. Best wheels I’ve ever used. Especially for climbing. Spoken with several area racers that have them and they all love them. There’s kind of a local cult following.

As for the looks I think they’re unique and really like the way the look. Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The clincher makes a lot of sense for the mass market and racers.

naisan - 09/13/11 - 12:44pm

There was a wind tunnel test, in which the mad fiber showed itself to be worse than most leading wheels until you hit huge yaw angles. Then, the firecrest, HED, and bontrager wide rims came out, and improved aero performance.

Buy a set of ZIPP 303 rims and you’ll be money and performance ahead.

Xris - 09/13/11 - 2:16pm

It’s an interesting new wheel that really begs the question of if the carbon will start to chip around the edges of the aluminum rim. It doesn’t look laid up too evenly from those pictures, and the wrapping around the hub looks especially sloppy, not just unfinished.

Tom - 09/13/11 - 3:57pm

@Xris, that is sort of what went through my mind. The carbon around the hub looks like some guy just laid it up in his garage or something.

Will - 09/13/11 - 5:14pm

The attention to detail just isn’t on par with other high end manufacturers. The wheels look more like something I would build in my garage than a company with access to ultra precise machining, molding, and measuring software/hardware. Even if these wheels perform at an equal level to a ZIPP of the same price range, I believe a lot of people would have a hard time laying down $3000 for such a visually unfinished product.

on a more technical note. . . the image of the aluminum rim bed. . . there is what looks to be a .5mm lift where the rim bed meets itself from the other side. This seems like a future flat issue, not to mention the relative lack of care to finish a wheel at least to the same degree of precision as the inexpensive industry standard MAVIC AKSIUM (which is welded, ground down, and polished to achieve no seam).

just wouldn’t give these wheels a deserving chance to perform because they perform so poorly on inspection.

Will - 09/13/11 - 5:18pm

@Tom. . . just read your comment. . . agreed about the garage. this is all a fine level of production when you are hammering out an idea, but not when you have reached production level. reminds me of architecture school and some of the “sketch” models we built

Travis - 09/13/11 - 11:55pm

Will they have campy splined freehub bodies?

Skronglite - 09/15/11 - 1:31am

@Travis- They originally offered them with either a Shimano/SRAM freehub or a Campy, but they were not interchangeable. They are supposed to be using a new hub design that allows the end user to swap between freehubs.

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