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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Crazy wheels: 12 front spokes, 18 rear, 1085 grams, 4 year warranty, no weight limit

    I can't afford these wheels, and, unless you race, you probably won't want to spring for a pair, either. But people in this forum talk about wheels a lot, and this is a pretty neat set. C&A has come up with some rules of thumb, like if a wheel doesn't have 32+ spokes, it won't last the rest of the day ... so, if nothing else, these might be interesting. I mean, here's a wheel with 12 spokes that's rated for 700 pounds!



    LBS lent me a pair to play with for the weekend. My bike weighed 15.5 pounds (ready to ride) with these wheels...! Climbing was a bit easier, and so was sprinting, but the weight was most noticeable when I'd carry the bike up and down the stairs between my apartment and the road. The aerodynamics (vs my wheels) felt like a more profound change than the weight.

    Going back to my wheels was a bummer after a long climbing ride on these. At least now I grok what kinds of differences good wheels can make, compared to decent ones.



    ^ Forgive the lousy camera phone quality, and the slightly odd camera angle. Here's my bike with the crazy wheels, at a park called Forrest's View. ( I like renaming parts of my rides. You should see Mount Terror. )
    Don't believe everything you think.

  2. #2
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Did I miss it... the price of the wheels?

    Honestly - aesthetically, I don't like them with your bike. Too distracting from the clean lines. I am how about look!
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  3. #3
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    Did I miss it... the price of the wheels?
    Their carbon tubies are $2900
    With ceramic bearings they're $3100

    More than my CX race bike and brevet bike combined. I can build 29 pairs of my current wheels for the same price. Sure, my wheels are almost twice the weight, but twenty nine pairs!
    No matter how many meters of elevation you ride yearly, I fail to see the necessity for a $3000 wheelset unless you're racing Cat-1/2.

    On the plus side, these are pretty freakin' awesome and I got to check a few pairs out at their product tent during the MFG #3 race a couple weekends ago. They're a local Seattle company, and I've got to give props to the local guys cranking out this sort of innovation. These things are pretty darned tough, and can apparently stand up to the rigors of CX racing, as a few guys were rolling on them. I'm not prepared to chance a $3000 wheelset in a muddy off-camber 90-degree bottleneck with 80 other riders, but hey, if you've got the money...
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  4. #4
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Their carbon tubies are $2900
    With ceramic bearings they're $3100

    ...
    I thought I paid alot of my wheels... for $3000 I expect them to have diamonds and gold somewhere. That's total poser bling!

    But it is nice to know Clydes don't need 32 spokes+ they just need a BIG wallet!!!
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    No matter how many meters of elevation you ride yearly, I fail to see the necessity for a $3000 wheelset unless you're racing Cat-1/2.

    On the plus side, these are pretty freakin' awesome and I got to check a few pairs out at their product tent during the MFG #3 race a couple weekends ago.
    I'm not sure there's any necessity for these, unless, like you say, you're a racer fighting for your spot on the podium. But I'm not bringing it up to recommend them. Think of it more like how people who built model planes or rockets must have thought the moon landing was pretty cool...!

    Somebody stopped me to ask about the wheels as I was leaving a water fountain in Seward Park. He was on a hybrid, tooling around, but said he was thinking about investing in the company, and what did I think of them? I told him he might be disappointed to hear that I hadn't actually bought a set, and wasn't planning to, but that they were great wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    That's total poser bling!
    If you say so... These are far too expensive for me, but I won't begrudge anyone who can afford a set as a poseur.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Light weight. Durable. Low price. You only get to pick two.

    Riding a nice set of wheels is nice. Madfiber's not the most aerodynamic wheelset. If a person has the $$$, and would appreciate a nice, smooth ride, go for it.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    They are only "bling" if you can't (or won't) afford them. I don't have any problem with people buying what they want and can afford. High end wheels really do make a difference (usually). We just have to make a personal decision whether the performance is worth the cost or not.

    BTW, Clydes don't need 32 spoke wheels. I have a set of 16 spoke DA wheels that are over ten years old with ten's of thousands of miles on them...
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, how much do your normal wheels weigh in comparison?

  9. #9
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how much do your normal wheels weigh in comparison?
    Mine are 1714g for the pair. IRO 32h high flange hubs f/r mated to IRO cold fusion rims with DT Champion 2.0 spokes. That's a 629g difference between mine and the Madfibers.

    Mine were $98, so a price difference of $2800 or roughly $4.45/gram. (almost 3400 cans of PBR.)
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    (almost 3400 cans of PBR.)
    Now THAT just put this whole thing into perspective. Holy jeeze!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Mine are 1714g for the pair. IRO 32h high flange hubs f/r mated to IRO cold fusion rims with DT Champion 2.0 spokes. That's a 629g difference between mine and the Madfibers.

    Mine were $98, so a price difference of $2800 or roughly $4.45/gram. (almost 3400 cans of PBR.)
    That's only 1.5 pounds. Jesus. I'm surprised such a small difference can be felt while climbing.

  12. #12
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Are they actually rated for 700 lbs? Or just don't have a rating? That's a big difference. If there's no rating, they might or might not be covered by any kind of warranty if they fail, and even if covered by a warranty, you don't want to have wheels failing underneath you.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  13. #13
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    It is hard to believe that so many cyclist here cannot appreciate somthing so cool without being hung up on the price. Landis rides a TT bike that was custom designed for him and cost more than $25000. I am not going to have one made for me but I can appreciate the cool engineering that went into such a creation. I wish I had an LBS that would extend to me a $3000 set of wheels for the weekend. Thanks for the review Seattle those are a wicked set of wheels.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Street Pedaler's Avatar
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    I don't imagine Landis had to fork over the coin for his 25K bike. One of the perks of being Pro.

  15. #15
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Not gonna lie, those wheels are pretty ugly. Just my opinion of course.

    Then again, I think spending that much money on a bike when you don't race is silly. But hey, if you can afford it, by all means

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how much do your normal wheels weigh in comparison?
    About twice what these weigh; mine are listed as 1,850 grams, but, on a scale with skewers, they come to 4.8 lbs, which is almost 2,200 g.

    Add in a couple CO2 cartridges, a spare tube, and the rest of the kit, and the difference shots up to 4 or 5 lbs.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    Are they actually rated for 700 lbs? Or just don't have a rating? That's a big difference. If there's no rating, they might or might not be covered by any kind of warranty if they fail, and even if covered by a warranty, you don't want to have wheels failing underneath you.
    There's no rider weight limit, but each wheel is rated to hold 700 lbs, eg the set is rated for 1,400 pounds. They have a four-year warranty.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  18. #18
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    That's only 1.5 pounds. Jesus. I'm surprised such a small difference can be felt while climbing.
    In the wheels it's pretty easy to feel a difference like 1.5 pounds. Don't think of it as "gee, that's such a small amount of weight", but rather you should look at it in terms of percentage difference.
    These things weigh 1080g
    Mine weigh 629g more. That's a 58% increase in weight of the wheelset. You bet your butt that's a big enough difference to notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    There's no rider weight limit, but each wheel is rated to hold 700 lbs, eg the set is rated for 1,400 pounds. They have a four-year warranty.
    They have a 4 year warranty against manufacturing defects. Read the limitations carefully. You must send your wheels to MadFiber for analysis before any replacements are done. If they determine that the damage is not due to their defect, you may get them replaced at "a nominal fee." (prices and frequency of replacement/repair subject to change at company's discretion).
    There's no prices listed regarding the replacement, but let's assume they'll replace at 50% plus shipping if you bust one in a crash: That's still around $800.

    But as a couple people already pointed out, if you're dropping 3 grand on a wheelset to begin with, you're probably not going to cry over an $800 replacement price if you break one.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  19. #19
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Jaytron;13348152]Not gonna lie, those wheels are pretty ugly. Just my opinion of course.

    QUOTE]

    That's really my point as well... I would mind spending $3000 (if I had it to spend) if the wheels were beautiful - expensive and ugly... a combo that doesn't work for me.

    They are head turners I give you that. But such a classic beautiful bike, why detract from an awesome frame?

    Yes it's all about looking good to me!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Pamestique;13349534]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
    Not gonna lie, those wheels are pretty ugly. Just my opinion of course.

    QUOTE]

    That's really my point as well... I would mind spending $3000 (if I had it to spend) if the wheels were beautiful - expensive and ugly... a combo that doesn't work for me.

    They are head turners I give you that. But such a classic beautiful bike, why detract from an awesome frame?

    Yes it's all about looking good to me!
    I think that is eye of the beholder as I see them as "engineering sexy"

  21. #21
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    They are head turners I give you that. But such a classic beautiful bike, why detract from an awesome frame?
    Full carbon, tall headtube and compact geometry are classic?
    Not saying it isn't an awesome frame (and I think the MadFiber wheels make it look even better), but I wouldn't call it "classic".
    I'll give it "epic" though. With the MadFiber wheels, that bike has attained epic level awesomeness.

    If I had the $$ to throw around, I'd race on a Hodala edition SSCX carbon frame with a Gates drivetrain and a pair of those MadFiber tubies wrapped in Tufos. (But I don't, so my whole race setup including bike/shoes/skinsuit/helmet/gloves/glasses/allmytires/allmyracefeesfortheseason costs less than a pair of MadFiber wheels.) Cheapbike FTW!
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pamestique View Post
    That's really my point as well... I would mind spending $3000 (if I had it to spend) if the wheels were beautiful - expensive and ugly... a combo that doesn't work for me.

    They are head turners I give you that. But such a classic beautiful bike, why detract from an awesome frame?

    Yes it's all about looking good to me!
    Thanks for the complements on the bike! I assume that when you say "awesome frame," you really mean "artful and classy selection of red cable housing to highlight the color in the frame." Because that's the part I had something to do with.

    I'm not going to be buying a set of these wheels, unless someone wants to mail me $3 K. I had fun riding them, though. They were very comfortable, easy to climb on, and cornered like nobody's business. I was very impressed. The way I see it, a computer used to cost millions of dollars and couldn't fit in a room; a month ago I bought a laptop for $220. If they can make wheels that weigh like paper and can hold a Clyde or Athena, of any size, without trouble, today, for $3 K, that's exciting news that bodes well for the future.

    I didn't really like the visual coordination between the bike and the wheels. But you don't look at them when you ride, and the sight-seeing I like to do by bike has better scenery for me to look at.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Profgumby's Avatar
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    I'd spring for a set of those wheels with the ceramic bearings if someone else was doing the payments....but in all honesty, it is amazing what technology can provide these days! What an awesome looking wheelset! 700 pounds! WOW!
    No, really! I meant to skip off that rock, bounce off that tree and face plant in the creek!
    I falled down!

  24. #24
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    There's a nifty 2-page blurb article about the origin of the MadFiber company in the most recent issue of Velo magazine (the one with Jens on the cover.)

    It talks about how the idea came from a "what if..." pipedream that became a reality thanks to ex-Boeing CF engineering know-how combined with bike part engineering knowledge. Pretty interesting read.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    I've always wondered...

    Do you have to worry about truing wheels like that? And if so, how? I don't see any way to adjust them.

    I admit that I've never ridden any wheels like that, and probably never will, but do those wheels never go out of true?

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