Interbike 2011: Mad Fiber unveil clever new carbon clinchers

By James Huang, tech ed in Boulder City, Nevada | Tuesday, September 13, 2011 9.31am

Carbon road wheel innovator Mad Fiber will add a healthy dose of convenience to its product range with the introduction of a new aero clincher model for 2012 to supplement its existing tubulars

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Mad Fiber's approach to carbon clinchers is notably distinct from its competitors.  Rather than use a new all-carbon rim or adopt a conventional hybrid construction with an aluminum rim and carbon aero cap, Mad Fiber instead simply swaps in an aluminum extrusion in place of the tubular's carbon fiber one.

Given Mad Fiber's unique sandwich-type construction method (the tire bed is essentially bonded in between the outer two halves of the rim), this means that while the clincher hook and outer rim wall is aluminum, the braking surfaces are still carbon fiber and the outer appearance of the wheel itself is virtually identical to the tubulars.  Mad Fiber has also given the aluminum rim bed a tubeless-compatible shape and left the outer wall entirely solid so no rim strips are required, either.

The weight penalty is astonishingly minimal with target weight for production clinchers hovering between 1,200-1,250g – just 125-175g heavier than the tubulars – and Mad Fiber says there is no rider weight or even a tire pressure limit.  Even better, the retail price is unchanged at US$2,599.

Mad Fiber is currently estimating that the new wheels will be readily available starting in January.  Given the jump in convenience and minimal weight penalty, we expect this new version to quickly become the preferred option.

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