Mad Fiber Tubular 2 Road Wheelset - Tubular $2,999.00
Their original tubular profile was used as a platform when Mad Fiber's engineers decided to re-engineer the already exceptional carbon design. The result is the second generation model, known as the Tubular 2 Carbon Road Wheelset, and the improvements are many. The profile of the first generation wheels and proven manufacturing processes remain intact, but several key updates now make the new wheelset even lighter, stiffer, and more serviceable than before. An improved spoke placement at the rear wheel, revamped internals, and an overall smoother bearing system make the Mad Fiber Tubular 2 Road Wheelset even better than its predecessor.
To say that Mad Fiber's Tubular Wheelset construction is labor intensive would be an understatement. Are they Handmade? Certainly. Manufactured from start to finish in America by aerospace engineers? You bet. Ridiculously light? Just read ahead. The wheelset features a staggered depth with the front wheel at 60mm and the rear at 66mm. And even while being this deep, the Mad Fiber Tubulars only tip the scales around 1050 grams. Think about that for a second. That's lighter than Zipp 202 Firecrest, Enve SES 3.4, and the Reynolds Thirty Two Cs. If you haven't noticed the trend, these wheels are all 35mm or less in depth. At this point, you have to be wondering how Mad Fiber did it? So, let's get into the carbon wizardry world of Ric Hjertberg.
Perhaps you don't know the name, but maybe you've heard of a not-so-little company called Wheelsmith? Well, Ric was the founder of that. And coupled with a stint as FSA's technology manager, it's safe to say that Ric knows a thing or two about wheels. However, with a lively new breed of engineers, Ric has been able to, quite literally, reinvent the wheel. Upon first look, you'll notice that the entire wheel is comprised of carbon fiber. And while this has been done by companies like Lightweight and dare we say it, Spinergy, Mad Fiber's wheels are essentially a single unit design that completely negates the use of bladders -- an all-too-commonplace, needless addition to wheel weight.
The rationale behind this is extensive, but in a word, it all comes down to tension. You see, every individual piece of the wheel is bonded into a single cohesive unit. And where this wheelset differs from anything that's been done is that the deep sidewalls partake in the tension process. To explain this, we'll start at the beginning of the construction. First off, the two sides of the rim are molded with fiberglass along the inside of the braking surface. Once molded individually, five-ply, flat carbon fiber spokes are placed through a small slot in the sidewall where adhesive and carbon fiber create the bond under mechanical pressure.
For the second generation rear wheel, both the left- and right-side spokes intersect at the rim, instead of the previous alternating placement, for gains in both radial strength and lateral stiffness compared to the first generation design. Once the spokes are bonded to the sidewalls, the aluminum rim is applied, and both the non-drive and drive-sides of the wheel are aligned. And if you're thinking that you read that wrong, we did say aluminum. As Ric puts it, Mad Fiber doesn't apply carbon just for carbon's sake. Instead, Mad Fiber believes in the right material for the job, and the benefits of aluminum are stacking. Not only is the material a natural heat sink that absorbs and evenly distributes braking heat, but it also features an easily manipulated composition.
Once the spokes are bonded to the sidewall, they're placed in their pattern, adhesive is applied, and they make contact with the carbon hub flanges for the first time. Afterwards, a metal cylinder is placed between the flanges while the bond process with the spokes takes place. And now, the outline of the wheel is in place, and if you've noticed, everything is in one singular, molded piece. The last step is to set the tension, and this is done through a fixture that secures the wheel while a technician manually stretches the spokes and sidewalls through tension adjustments to the fixture itself. Once the tension is set, resin adhesive is applied to the internal structure of the hub, and the wheel submits to a final bake.
So, the entire wheel is tensioned as one piece, and similar to the ideology of monocoque carbon frames, this results in heightened strength and increased torsional/lateral rigidity. The wheels' load path is now uninhibited and direct, resulting in an amazingly efficient power transfer. And having ridden them, we can attest to the wheels' responsiveness and character on climbs, sprints, and even while cornering on descents. Match that with the aerodynamic wheel profile that reduces drag by creating airflow over the frame from wheel to wheel, and speed becomes a no-brainer.
And if you're worried about your inability to true the wheels, you needn't fret. Mad Fiber not only asserts that its wheels are stronger than spoked wheels, but it also guarantees that their tension will not falter. To back this up, Mad Fiber offers a four-year warranty and crash replacement on its wheels.
Mad Fiber replaced the Cr-Mo steel axles with aluminum versions, which now include locking, more easily adjustable, bearing collars. Along these same lines, the new aluminum freehub bodies are 11-speed compatible and are interchangeable with each other, meaning that the new wheels are easily converted from Campagnolo to Shimano/SRAM, and vice versa, with a simple freehub body swap.
The Mad Fiber Tubular 2 Carbon Road Wheelset is available in a 700c size and in the color Black. Please note that the wheelset is offered with either Campagnolo or Shimano freehub bodies. Also, the new wheelset features Enduro steel bearings as standard on both versions.
Additionally, each wheelset includes a set of Mad Fiber's brake pads. Failure to use these pads may void your wheels' warranty.
Reviews & Community
Since company is bankrupt would you be...
Since company is bankrupt would you be willing to sell for better price? Say 2k?
This is the front wheel after just 250 miles
This was the third replacement for the same issue front and back delaminated
Mad Fiber is now OOB so warrantee is worthless