New spoke positioning, new freehub body design, new axlesets, and a new custom graphics program are just some of the updates the gang from Mad Fiber has built into its newest wheel offering, the Road.2.
As with its predecessor, the new hoops have rim depths of 60mm front, 66mm rear, come with zero rider weight restrictions, and weigh in at a claimed 1050 grams (tubular) or 1280 grams (clincher). The new wheels are available in Shimano/Sram or Campagnolo configurations. MSRP is $3,000 for steel bearings or $3,200 for ceramics.
The new axle system is of particular note. Mad Fiber claims that it is easier to adjust and stays in adjustment better, which allows for longer life and better performance even with cartridge bearings. Previously the threaded collar to adjust the pre-load on the bearing was slip-fit, meaning you had to apply pressure by hand and tighten a set screw. But now pre-load is adjusted with threaded lock ring and is locked in place with a set screw. That makes for a more stable system than before.
Mad Fiber has also switch to an alloy free hub body versus the titanium White Industries freehub body of the first generation wheels. This enables 11-speed compatibility from all of the major brands, while remaining reverse-compatible to 10 speed cassettes and in some instances even 8 and 9 speed versions. Further, the new freehubs are interchangeable, meaning that a Campagnolo freehub body equipped wheel can be converted to a Shimano/Sram freehub body and vice-versa.
Rear wheel spoke positioning has also been altered where spokes now intersect rather than alternate. Mad Fiber claims this allowed for significant gains in radial strength and lateral stiffness. The updated spoke placement also resulted in improvements in wheel trueness, roundness and dish, and Mad Fiber claims the wheels will never come out of true.
Also gone is the external-cam titanium quick release skewer set, replaced by an internal-cam skewer using a carbon lever and hollow steel skewer. This means increased clamping force and increased skewer strength along with the clamping force. The result is a 79-gram skewer set that offers a more secure clamping mechanism and that reduces lateral flex. For lighter weight riders, or those simply looking for the lowest weight solutions available, the Ti skewers will remain available.
Bearing seats have also been upgraded from aluminum to Garolite, a fiber-reinforced plastic that enables a superior bond with the wheels' carbon hubshells, and improves wheel and bearing durability.
Finally, Mad Fiber added a custom graphics program. Beyond the stock graphics (white for the tubulars, gray/white for clinchers), Mad Fiber will offer by special order: all black/stealth graphics; gray/red; gray/blue; and gray/orange.