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  1. #1
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    Madfiber or Zipp 303 Firecrest tubular?

    I have tried the Zipp Firecrest tubular in 303 and 404. Never tried the Madfiber. Love the cosmetics of MF as well as the weight savings and warranty. Zipp seems to have an advantage. In technology as demonstrated by wind tunnel but I don't know if those tests translate to the real world. Anyone compare the 303 and MF?

  2. #2
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    IME the Zipps are better in windy conditions and i think their rim strength is better. the MF are kinda neat looking, but we got a few pair in and none were true...and there's nothing you can do to true them. they weren't out by much, but more than i deem acceptable on a normal wheel i'd built. oviously you can't 'bend' carbon structures, so they shouldn't ever go out of whatever level of trueness they come with. but i'd feel better about riding MF's if they at least came out of the box straight as a rail. like a Zipp. i also think MF had somewhat bad timing in releasing their wheels w/ normal width rims just as all of the major wheel brands were going to wide rims.
    they are cool looking, though.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  3. #3
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    Do you know how many mm off-true they were?

  4. #4
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    1mm at most, mostly less. but definitely noticeable. not as smooth w/ brakes on as Zipps, either. pretty good overall, but just not great.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  5. #5
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    That's not bad and if they never really come out of true, I think it might be a worthy tradeoff. Do you know for comparison how the trispoke wheels compare generally?

  6. #6
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    i've got a reallllllyyyy old trispoke clincher that's about .5mm out at worst. a little less than that vertically. i think that the new wide rims w/ the much more rounded 'nose' are a lot better in cross winds than the sharp nose on the MF rim. i have a bunch of wheels w/ older Edge rims and they're not very good either...big difference riding the new Enve and Zipp wheels.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  7. #7
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    For the prices on MF, Zipp and Enve's, if they aren't perfectly true, somethings wrong imho. It shouldn't ever get out of QC, assuming they have really strict tolerances for a high quality, high priced wheel.

  8. #8
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    https://madfiber.com/wheel_trueness

    Our precise engineering and exacting production methods mean Mad Fiber wheels emerge from the manufacturing process perfectly true. And because they are singular constructs there are no parts to rub and wear against each other; there are no structural metals that can elongate or deform with use. In other words, they do not go out of true.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    IME the Zipps are better in windy conditions and i think their rim strength is better. the MF are kinda neat looking, but we got a few pair in and none were true...and there's nothing you can do to true them. they weren't out by much, but more than i deem acceptable on a normal wheel i'd built. oviously you can't 'bend' carbon structures, so they shouldn't ever go out of whatever level of trueness they come with. but i'd feel better about riding MF's if they at least came out of the box straight as a rail. like a Zipp. i also think MF had somewhat bad timing in releasing their wheels w/ normal width rims just as all of the major wheel brands were going to wide rims.
    they are cool looking, though.
    This post is almost my exact feelings/experience.

    We have a couple sets of MFs floating around the shop that each employee is testing for a bit. The rear is not true at all.

    We also have a bunch of 303s in use and they are rock solid.

  10. #10
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote:
    Our precise engineering and exacting production methods mean Mad Fiber wheels emerge from the manufacturing process perfectly true. And because they are singular constructs there are no parts to rub and wear against each other; there are no structural metals that can elongate or deform with use. In other words, they do not go out of true.

    yeah, they just come out of the box that way.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  11. #11
    cch
    cch is offline
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    I also love the look of the Madfibers, but have heard several cases of hub issues and "trueness" that keep me away. Currently using Zipp 404 FC clinchers, and they have been solid.

    I agree with CXWrench that Madfiber's timing was a bit unfortunate. The world shifted to wide, blunt shapes after they bought their molds, and that is a big investment for a new company.

    I will say that my 404s are not magic in crosswinds. My Easton EC90s, with a similar profile to the Madfibers, pushed more in a crosswind, but with a consistent pressure. The 404s have a pulsing feeling, like the center of pressure is moving around on the wheel. It is a lighter side pressure overall, but harder to compensate for. The upside is that the drag is theoretically much lower in those crosswinds. And, the 303 should be better than the 404 handling-wise.

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