Mad Fiber Closes Manufacturing Plant, May Go Belly Up

Mad Fiber WHeels

While Mad Fiber may tests their carbon rims to the extreme, that wasn’t enough to keep the company belly down. The manufacturer recently shuttered their Seattle factory and word from co-founder Ric Hjertberg ( who also co-founded Wheelsmith and Wheel Fanatyk) is that the company is headed for bankruptcy.

The company merged with Divine Cycling Group earlier this year and their current negotiations with creditors will settle Mad Fibers future.

Via Bicycle Retailer

Comments

Star - 10/31/13 - 9:58am

Wow! Loved these wheels, and especially their touted durability and weight. Perhaps swimming with the Mavic, zipp, HED, sharks and their established publicity chain was too much?

Vectorbug - 10/31/13 - 10:20am

Didn’t Devine also buy serrotta? Death kiss, jeez.

taylor - 10/31/13 - 10:27am

F*** Divine Cycle Group.

pmurf - 10/31/13 - 10:49am

Interestingly, on the divine website it lists the only 2 brands as Serotta and MadFiber. Do they own anything else? One look at Divine’s logo and I could have told you not to do business with them. That thing’s a real dog :)

Matt - 10/31/13 - 10:57am

So, will these wheelsets become highly desirable collectors items now?! I think I know where there is a set for sale!

drider - 10/31/13 - 11:11am

This must be upsetting news to many dentists.

Sevo - 10/31/13 - 11:46am

Surprise surprise…..

One piece wheels aren’t necessary.

wako29 - 10/31/13 - 11:48am

Yes, if memory serves, Devine (Divine?) had Serotta, Mad Fiber, and Blue. All are gone now. Just goes to show that it’s not that easy swimming with the big fishes.

sunnywindy - 10/31/13 - 11:58am

Too bad for Mad Fiber. I think Mad Fiber’s big (marketing) mistake was that they never got their wheels under a popular tri-person or a professional road team. Roadies are a conservative follow-the-herd bunch and I think the look of these wheels was too much regardless of how they rode or their pure engineering perspective design culture. (Back in the day Spinergy did get their similar looking wheels into the Giro and other big races, but all reports were that those wheels were very flexy even with retrofit mods.) Maybe carbon spoke wheels are still too far ahead of their time?

WoofWoof - 10/31/13 - 12:58pm

Glad I unloaded my Mad Fibers when I did. Rim delamination was a common problem, current owners are S.O.L.

Seraph - 10/31/13 - 1:47pm

So, anyone wanna buy some Madfibers? We have a set. We’ll let them go for cost. Clinchers with ceramic bearings.

FU - 10/31/13 - 2:27pm

Way to go Brian Case!

Alex - 10/31/13 - 3:54pm

@sunnywindy

Fast Freddie won the US road champs this year on them. Seemingly he’s personally sponsored by them and not the rest of the team.

But I imagine being a team mechanic with these things would be great. Oh, you’re wheels out of true? Here’s a new set, fixed!

cruxhyrdo - 10/31/13 - 4:23pm

Seraph – what is cost for the mad fiber clinchers?

Lukee - 10/31/13 - 5:28pm

goes to show you- divine believed it was a gravy train that even incompetent investors could run. Such brilliant investors and they managed to tank 3 brands before they even rolled out new products (blue competition, Serotta, and madfiber). We sold madfiber wheels, there were some small finish touches but overall we never had one fail or go out of true. One rider local bought a pair before we carried them, he weighed 275 pounds (6’5, and a track sprinter) every wheel brand laughed at him when he asked if their wheels could work. Madfiber said that even though their limit was 250 they would honor the warranty. Still rides them to this day in crits.
It was a great wheel design. It was finished rough but they were a 1/2 the price of lightweights or rzr’s so you could forgive some finish issues. Sad to see them go, also scared to see who divine will buy next to grace with their amazingly incompetent business expertise.

[deleted]

Star - 10/31/13 - 6:21pm

@seralf starstevenson@hotmail if your serious.

Ajax - 10/31/13 - 9:47pm

Type Mad Fiber carbon wheel crash into google.

Nick - 11/01/13 - 1:49am

Although DCG is clearly incompetent at running these niche brands it keeps buying, remember that those niche brands are also incompetent as well, or they’d never need the investor capital bail-out.

bikermark - 11/01/13 - 8:18am

“… remember that those niche brands are also incompetent as well, or they’d never need the investor capital bail-out.”

That’s an overly-broad and unfair statement. Credit has been tight for small business for awhile. If your credit card is maxed, your house mortgaged, and the bank won’t give your business a loan… then one can’t afford to be too choosy about where the money comes from. The alternative is bankruptcy and laying off people.

MB - 11/01/13 - 8:33am

@bikemark – that’s exactly the point. If they are that deep in debt they aren’t selling the right product or aren’t managing the business properly.

William Watkins - 11/01/13 - 10:43am

Whether the niche brands they bought needed capital or not, Divine, Bradway and Lake Rudd Capital bought them. Prpper due diligence would have illuminated what was needed to make those brands and companies viable, if they were not already. Any competent, experienced and professional investor would have engaged in this process. It is not rocket science.

It was only months ago that we read press releases about the the millions/billions behind Divine Cycling Group International and their intent to roll up companies into a $200M indutry leader. What we got was far different: all three brands are DOA, i.e.., either liquidating or in bankruptcy. Nice that all the slick PR machines and eager-to-talk company owners have now all gone silent hiding behind “no comment” or simply no response. As many have already said, all huff-and-puff hype and zero “Real Deal.”

This wonderful industry can benefit from talented investors and leadership so that great brands and companies can be built to all of our benefit. In the case of Divine, Bradway and Lake Rudd (and the principals Dan Devine, Brian Case, Gary Ullman and Bill Overbay), I hope we have learned a lesson. Great products, strong brands and talented leadership can never overcome incompetent company ownership.

Star - 11/01/13 - 11:07am

Can someone post a link of a mad fiber wheel failing and causing a crash?

Ricky - 11/01/13 - 2:12pm

I don’t know of any wheel delaminating, but having a certain UK distributor who dont answer the phones and a retailer who dont have a phone and who would be happy to sell you old stock as the latest. It was never going to be sucessful in the UK and then when you can’t get a set of proprietary brake pads locally in the UK. Madfiber would be happy to sell you a set including shipping for about $150 + TAX!!

Wheelie! - 11/01/13 - 5:44pm

Ricky – Now you can use the Zipp cork pads and void your warranty because……. Dirty secret – I’ve been using them for a year when it was already two weeks and I still didn’t have pads from MF.

This is too bad. These wheels were great! I am at the top of the weight limit and had no issues in three years of use, and I hit some big things! I have pinch flatted at least 10 tubes by running into cracks, railroad tracks, potholes, etc with only a little cosmetic damage. Time to find a new favorite wheel.

Ajax – I also can’t find any reports of MF crashes. If they exist please post a link. I’m interested in what you found.

Star - 11/01/13 - 8:59pm

Please sell me one of these horrible carbon wheels bonded to a aluminum rim, I am not concerned about the warranty situation “I’ll hang them on my wall…”
Starstevenson@hotmail.com

Not a fan - 11/02/13 - 12:28am

I think that this is a blessing in disguise for a company that in the next 12 months would have run into a wall called UCI certification. They are not that much different from the Spinergy Rev X of old and the UCI has long since banned those. Not to mention that even Lightweight who have fantastic hand built carbon wheels minus the Arm slicing blades of the MF, have yet to secure UCI certification.

Joshua Murdock - 11/03/13 - 4:47pm

This is music to the ears of every bike mechanic. These wheels are disgusting pieces of garbage. They don’t stay true and cannot be trued once they’re out of true. Their hubs are garbage. The wheels themselves fall apart. Sweet. Sounds great. Hey, maybe they went our of business because they’re awful wheels that no one likes…

Sure, Fast Freddy won US Nat’l Champs on these wheels… Three months ago he was at my shop prior to a commercial shoot for the US Pro Cycling Challenge. He stopped in because his Mad Fiber wheels had all the usual problems and I lent him a set of Mavic demo wheels for the day.

Just because Fast Freddy rides them doesn’t mean they’re good.

Schnavel - 11/04/13 - 11:17am

Seraph,

I would be very interested in buying that set of mad fibers.

Let me know: davidhumphris@gmail . com

Nick - 11/05/13 - 8:48am

“Type Mad Fiber carbon wheel crash into google.”

I did, images and web search – can’t see anything untoward, give us a clue will you?

Java - 11/06/13 - 3:48pm

I have a set of Mad Fibers Version 2 2014 with ceramic bearings I’m probably going to sell. Not because of what happened but because I need a power meter :)

Joe - 11/11/13 - 9:33pm

@Not a fan:

UCI certification? Have you even looked at a UCI list lately? Both Madfiber and Lightweight Gen III are UCI approved wheelsets.

Oops. Sorry to burst your bubble.

michael B jesne - 11/12/13 - 5:11am

to seraph …

I would like to buy some madfibers clinchers , ceramic if they are for SRAM red/black body If they are not sold already plese see my mail and contact me

lloyd - 11/12/13 - 10:12am

I love how you idiots will jump at the chance to own a pair of expensive, no-warranty wheels with questionable longevity as long as you know you’re getting them at cost.

Cus - 11/15/13 - 5:48am

Seraph, email me with the cost price. I’m interested. Thx

Cus - 11/15/13 - 5:52am

Email with prices for a clincher and/or tub wheelset. Campag fit. thecus @hotmail .co.uk

RAAM - 11/28/13 - 2:39am

Guess people should have been a lot nicer and more open to prospective sponsored athletes. Simply stated “CARMA…”
Everyone takes a chance at riding a product not covered under crash replacement

Kun2 - 12/05/13 - 7:40pm

I would like to buy madfiber clinchers/ tubular, with ceramic bearing, and 11s shimano freehub. let me know : mymekanika @ gmail (dot) com

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