Two months ago we finished up our long term review of the Mad Fiber Clinchers; we had spent over a month riding them and had been extremely impressed, not only for their extreme lightweight nature, but for their handling as well. However there were two items that we wished Mad Fiber could have improved upon, braking performance and lateral stability. Well it appears that Mad Fiber has been listening to the comments; let us introduce their new Road.2 wheelset that Mad Fiber claims to have increased lateral stiffness by 15%.
Part of this increase in stiffness comes from how Mad Fiber re-engineered their rear wheels. The wheels now use a new intersecting rather than alternating the left\right positioning of the spokes. Mad Fiber has also gone with a new, hollow steel skewer and carbon levers versus the old titanium skewer. You may recall that we believed the original skewer to be a bit on the flexy side and while incredibly light (44g for the set) may not have been the best bet for a heavier rider. The new skewers weigh in at 79g (for the complete set) and should provide a more stable ride.
Mad Fiber has also changed their production process to create a more refined appearance for the wheels. During our review we had notice that the carbon near the hub tended to have a bit of a rough finish to it. Mad Fiber is claiming that with the Road.2, customers will see a smoother luck. Additionally Mad Fiber has increased the number of color options to five; all black/stealth, gray/red, gray/blue, gray/orange and the standard gray/white. When you are paying this much for a wheelset we tend to believe that you want components that will match your bike, so this was a welcome addition for us.
You can go with either clinchers or tubulars, both cost $2999 with the steel bearings, and $3199 for the Ceramic Speed ceramic bearings. Both come with a two year warranty and a two year crash replacement program.
We like where Mad Fiber has gone with this update to their lineup. The flex we saw in our initial reviews never made us fear the wheelset, but tended to make us a bit more nervous when we stomped on the pedals. With the Road.2 it sounds like there may be some major improvements there for us to check out and yet another reason that customers should not overlook this brand; now if only they could find a way to make the wheels stop just a bit faster.