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My bike weighed 15.5 lbs on Saturday; I borrwed some Madfiber tubulars

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

My bike weighed 15.5 lbs on Saturday; I borrwed some Madfiber tubulars

Old 10-10-11, 12:35 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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My bike weighed 15.5 lbs on Saturday; I borrwed some Madfiber tubulars

Not bad for a 58 cm bike with Ultegra and SPD pedals! I was talking about wheels with one of the guys who runs the LBS, and he suggested that I borrow a pair of Madfiber wheels to see what tubulars feel like. He said I could have them until the end of the weekend, and should go have fun on a climbing ride or two.

While saving 2.5 lbs in wheel weight (and who knows how much more in spare tubs, CO2 cartridges and tire levers) made it easier to climb, I noticed the aerodynamics more. It felt like it got a little easier to move the bike around 20 mph, so 23 was a hair less work than 18. Also they were comfy and cornered beautifully.

LBS says they can come very close to matching the weight fr 1/3 he price by custom making a set of wheels for me, but can't touch the aerodynamics.



^ Crappy cell phone picture of my bike at Forrest's Viewpoint.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:44 PM
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[insert comment about stem and saddle here]
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Old 10-10-11, 12:46 PM
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Yes, tubulars are wonderful. They're also expensive, labor-intensive, and if you ever find yourself in need of a second spare it's most likely that none of your companions will have one. You do carry a first spare, don't you?

Know the risks.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:47 PM
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How stiff were they? Any unusual noises? How is the braking? How do they handle in side winds? Are the hideous logos decals that can be removed? :-)
I could see getting a set of their clinchers if the graphcs were either smaller or not so dumb.

I find it hard to believe that 23 mph is really easier than 18 mph, no matter how aero the wheels. That flies in the face of physics. Perhaps the wind or grade changed?

It's not hard to build a set of carbon tubulars that light- Enve, Reynolds or Zipp rims on good hubs will do it. They're not quite as tall a profile, but there's more to aerodynamics than just rim depth.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
[insert comment about stem and saddle here]
it's the angle the bike is at that makes it look so goofy.
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Old 10-10-11, 12:55 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
How stiff were they? Any unusual noises? How is the braking? How do they handle in side winds? Are the hideous logos decals that can be removed? :-)
Unbelievably stiff, but I've only got wheels like Fulcrum Racing 7 and some Neuvations to compare them to. The braking was good - I'd say about 90 % of what I'm used to for alloy rims? LBS swapped out my brake pads when they put the wheels on. The braking area is textured on the rims. I didn't have much in the way of side winds, but I was impressed with the way they handled when this did come up. They didn't go WOOSH, but they made a bit of a hum at speed, and a soft clicking when I coasted down a hill.

The "easier at 23 mph than 18" is probably more placebo than anything else, but they did feel like they were getting easier. Maybe what really happened is that I'm used to the difference in watts between 18 and 23 being much bigger than it was on the aero wheels, so it felt impressive?

Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
[insert comment about stem and saddle here]
That's just the camera angle. It's a -6 deg.
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Old 10-10-11, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
Yes, tubulars are wonderful. They're also expensive, labor-intensive, and if you ever find yourself in need of a second spare it's most likely that none of your companions will have one. You do carry a first spare, don't you?

Know the risks.
What do I need to know?

LBS gave me a tube of stuff for the ride, said if I get a flat to spray this inside the valve, and to take a cab home if that didn't work. They said you really can't fix a tubular flat on the road, but that flats are pretty rare, and you could ride home on one if you needed. In short, they made it sound magical and wonderful.
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Old 10-10-11, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It felt like it got a little easier to move the bike around 20 mph, so 23 was a hair less work than 18.
All in the head, but kudos to marketing departments everywhere

Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Also they were comfy and cornered beautifully.
A good tubular tire corners like a dream doesn't it. What kind of tires?
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Old 10-10-11, 01:52 PM
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Conti Sprinters.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:00 PM
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Sprinters are adequate, but you should try some real nice Veloflex or FMB's some day
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Old 10-10-11, 06:48 PM
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Mad Fiber has these in a clincher form now, or so they will release them soon. Saw them at interbike
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Old 10-10-11, 06:54 PM
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Conti Sprinters on those wheels sounds like it would be a really really slow ride. It's like one step above Tufos on box sections.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:31 PM
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so 23 was a hair less work than 18.
And someone let you borrow $3k wheels?

How about borrowing a power meter next?

They said you really can't fix a tubular flat on the road, but that flats are pretty rare, and you could ride home on one if you needed
I'm just speculating, but I don't see riding any significant distance on a flat tubular as being a good idea on an expensive carbon fiber/papier mache rim.

Last edited by tadawdy; 10-10-11 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 10-11-11, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
And someone let you borrow $3k wheels?

How about borrowing a power meter next?

I'm just speculating, but I don't see riding any significant distance on a flat tubular as being a good idea on an expensive carbon fiber/papier mache rim.
You do know they are much stiffer at a lower weight with fewer spokes than anything else made? The only issue is if somebody puts a pedal through your spoke in a race. But, they have a wheel replacement/repair plan for a few hundred bucks...just ship them back and they fix/replace them for pretty much whatever reason. Regular spoke you could likely get replaced locally. Wait, I bet nobody locally has CXRay spoke lying around for my wheels...so not much better with regular wheels either depending on the local shop/supplies available and skill to fix.

That is where vittoria pit stop of something equivalent comes in handy.

Otherwise, any wheel can get blown up and taco when abused and crashed hard enough, the material won't matter.

Last edited by zigmeister; 10-11-11 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
And someone let you borrow $3k wheels?
How about borrowing a power meter next?
Being an aero geek and ability to ride a bike well are separate things. As is being a ****** on the interwebz.

I'm just speculating, but I don't see riding any significant distance on a flat tubular as being a good idea on an expensive carbon fiber/papier mache rim.
With care, tubulars can be ridden when flat without damaging the rim.

Incidentally, if you are going to snark at someone for their lack of knowledge, it would help to not display ignorance in your very next sentence.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:35 AM
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I have ridden a flat tubular for 20 miles. I agree the tires should at least be Vittoria corsa or veloflex. Let's remember that this wheels are a competitor to lw's not zips or enves. They are going to be stiffer than any wheel that has metal spokes; ideal for larger riders.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
With care, tubulars can be ridden when flat without damaging the rim.
I know they're plenty strong. "Papier mache" is a joke about how they feel in your hands. The front Madfiber feels like it could blow away.

While a flat tubular doesn't have the same risk of rolling off the rim, is the risk of hitting a hole in the road and damaging the rim similar to riding an under-inflated clincher?

If by "with care" you mean riding slowly and only on smooth roads with little traffic, then sure you can ride any flat (tight-fitting clincher or tubular) without hurting the rim. Throw in traffic that keeps you to the right on rough roads, and I'm not sure you'd be happy with the outcome. I've done it with an alloy clincher, and the result wasn't pretty. Rideable, but not pretty.

That would be my concern with riding a flat on carbon wheels. Ding an alloy rear rim and it'll still ride, but I don't think I want to trust a damaged carbon rim.

Incidentally, if you are going to snark at someone for their lack of knowledge, it would help to not display ignorance in your very next sentence.
Incidentally, I did admit I was speculating, which is an implicit invitation for someone to say whether what I've said is correct. I've always heard you can ride a flat tubular and it shouldn't roll off, but I've always wondered how they deal with impacts. I don't think that concern is without merit.

Maybe you don't care in the middle of a race, but riding a flat home on a training ride? I wouldn't want to risk dinging my $1500 rear wheel on the roads around here, and it would totally screw up your power numbers!

Last edited by tadawdy; 10-11-11 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:12 AM
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You have a cool LBS.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post
While a flat tubular doesn't have the same risk of rolling off the rim, is the risk of hitting a hole in the road and damaging the rim similar to riding an under-inflated clincher?
My first-hand experience with flat tubulars is limited to one, so perhaps those with more experience can chime in, but when I've flatted clinchers, they lose their shape very quickly and it doesnt take much for the rim to bang around on the road - plus, there is always the risk of the tires coming off the rim. With tubulars, the tires seemed to provide a little more protection (esp given the different shape of the rim), and there is less risk of them coming off. So yeah, you still have to be careful and avoid banging into potholes, but the risk of ruining your rims is less. I know people here have ridden a few km with flatted tubulars without damaging their rims.
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Old 10-11-11, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
Sprinters are adequate, but you should try some real nice Veloflex or FMB's some day
Originally Posted by rpeterson View Post
Conti Sprinters on those wheels sounds like it would be a really really slow ride. It's like one step above Tufos on box sections.
So I had a blast on mediocre tires, and can expect better performance if I go tubular? Unfortunately it won't be the MadFibers, and I'm sure that will change the feel of the ride ... but as far as cornering goes, it gets better?
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Old 10-11-11, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
What do I need to know?

LBS gave me a tube of stuff for the ride, said if I get a flat to spray this inside the valve, and to take a cab home if that didn't work. They said you really can't fix a tubular flat on the road, but that flats are pretty rare, and you could ride home on one if you needed. In short, they made it sound magical and wonderful.
The flat fix works on small punctures but not casing failures, you don't want to ride on a flat tubular for longer than it takes to come to a safe stop at the side of the road, flats can happen anywhere and any time, and you really should carry a pre-glued spare and pump at all times.

Tubulars are wonderful but there is no magic.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:46 PM
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--------super dope----------
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Old 10-11-11, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mmmdonuts View Post
You have a cool LBS.
Couldn't agree more. I would love to borrow some Mad Fiber wheels. Currently riding Reynolds but these are super light...
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Old 10-12-11, 09:22 AM
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I went from Zipps to Madfibers, Please hold the comments about the stem, I am recovering from surgery a few months ago, will be able to drop the stem to normal in a few months....

Bike now weighs 13.88lbs with pedals and Garmin.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JSS View Post
I went from Zipps to Madfibers, Please hold the comments about the stem, I am recovering from surgery a few months ago, will be able to drop the stem to normal in a few months....

Bike now weighs 13.88lbs with pedals and Garmin.
At what, $1,000 a pound?

SP
Bend, OR
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