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Interbike 2011: Mad Fiber unveils clever new carbon clinchers

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The aluminum extrusion is shaped to securely lock in tubeless tire beads while the solid outer rim wall means no additional rim strips or tape are necessary, either.

The aluminum extrusion is shaped to securely lock in tubeless tire beads while the solid outer rim wall means no additional rim strips or tape are necessary, either. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mad Fiber will add a brilliantly clever new carbon clincher to its range for 2012.

Mad Fiber will add a brilliantly clever new carbon clincher to its range for 2012. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mad Fiber's unique sandwich-type construction method required only that the central rim section be swapped out in order to make a set of clinchers. The braking surfaces thus remain carbon fiber, the outer appearance is essentially unchanged once tires are installed, and the weight penalty is extremely minimal at just 125-175g per set.

Mad Fiber's unique sandwich-type construction method required only that the central rim section be swapped out in order to make a set of clinchers. The braking surfaces thus remain carbon fiber, the outer appearance is essentially unchanged once tires are installed, and the weight penalty is extremely minimal at just 125-175g per set. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The sides of the Mad Fiber clincher wheels are identical to those of the tubular, meaning that even though the tire bed is aluminum, the braking surface is still carbon fiber.

The sides of the Mad Fiber clincher wheels are identical to those of the tubular, meaning that even though the tire bed is aluminum, the braking surface is still carbon fiber. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Next-generation Mad Fiber wheels will use a new one-piece driveside spoke assembly that looks more finished than the original setup. Mad Fiber creator Ric Hjertberg stresses that the underlying unidirectional fiber orientation and design is still identical, though.

Next-generation Mad Fiber wheels will use a new one-piece driveside spoke assembly that looks more finished than the original setup. Mad Fiber creator Ric Hjertberg stresses that the underlying unidirectional fiber orientation and design is still identical, though. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mad Fiber's old driveside spoking arrangement used individual spokes bonded together.

Mad Fiber's old driveside spoking arrangement used individual spokes bonded together. (Image credit: James Huang)

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 range.

Mad Fiber's approach to carbon clinchers is notably distinct from its competitors. Rather than use an entirely 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 tubular version. 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.

The weight penalty is also astonishingly minimal with target weight for production clinchers hovering between 1200-1250g – just 125-175g heavier than the tubulars – and Mad Fiber claim 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 from January. Given the jump in convenience and minimal weight penalty, we expect this new version to quickly become the preferred option.

This article first appeared on Bikeradar.com.