Mad Fiber Carbon Road Wheels Review by Twain Mein
- $2599 MSRP, 4 year warranty
- 12 spoke front, 18 spoke rear full carbon tubular wheels
- 60mm front, 66mm rear rim height
- 1085 grams/pair. 430 grams front, 655 rear.
- 1980 grams/pair with tires and 13-29 cassette (1280 rear/ 700 front)
- White Industries rear hub
- QR levers 44 grams/pair. 21 front, 23 rear.
Ric Hjertberg (pronounced “yurt-berg”) is something of a legend in cycling circles. Those who live in the SF Bay Area may remember his famous Wheelsmith store located in Palo Alto, established in 1975. The shop was as much a museum as a place to buy and service your bikes and parts. Ric distinguished himself as a master wheelbuilder and continued this pursuit later on, bringing back wooden-rimmed wheels. Recently, Ric has also been working as Technology Manager for component maker FSA. But he came upon a new idea to truly “reinvent the wheel” with the creation of “Mad Fiber” carbon wheels. They are unique in that they use carbon fiber spokes bonded to two rim pieces. Ric claims that carbon fiber “likes” to be placed under tension-loads. The pieces lay flat prior to gluing and then are stretched out, origami style to fit over the hub; he claims “It is the first wheel designed for carbon fiber”. Despite their diminutive weight, Ric claims they can handle a static load of 700 pounds each, and there is no rider weight limit. Yet the weigh in at a breath-taking 1085 grams complete; weight weenies rejoice!
Speaking of weight, the Mad Fibers compare to the Reynolds RZR 46 that weigh 910 grams and retail for $6000 for the set and the Lightweight Obermeyer that weigh 960 grams and retail for $6495. At nearly a third of the price and only 100 grams more, the Mad Fibers are a value leader in the ultra-high end wheel category.