Mad Fiber, ENVE 6.7, or ENVE 3.4?
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  1. #1
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    Mad Fiber, ENVE 6.7, or ENVE 3.4?

    So i decided that after getting into cycling a year ago and having raced collegiate this past season that i'm really into it and wheels seem like a logical upgrade instead of a new bike (correct me if i'm wrong...I have a caad10 105 right now)

    Anyway, I've been checking out the Mad Fibers and love them. They're super unique and are lighter than (or equal to) the 6.7's and the 3.4's, respectively (in clincher)

    But from what i've read, the ENVE smart system series are arguably the best wheelsets on the market.

    I guess my question is for general road racing and riding, are the Mad Fibers ok? Or should I go with 6.7s instead? Or should i not get deep aero wheels and get a set like the 3.4s.

    My current wheels weigh around 1800g so the "weight penalty" of the 6.7's doesn't seem like too big of a deal comparatively.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
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    What do you hope to achieve with new wheels?
    Embrace the fact that everyone on these forums has their own unique desires, needs, experiences and environment so what works for you may not work for others.

  3. #3
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    I'm doing some competitive racing, and I'm looking for a wheel that is stiff, light and aero to race on, to help improve my climbing and flat speeds.

    I guess when it comes down to it I'm sold on Mad Fiber but have concerns with it being a new(ish) product...and have heard in crosswinds it's particularly slow. And they're loud. But they seem like such a great all around wheel...

    As for ENVE, they just seem like such quality wheels but the 6.7's seem too deep for road racing and the 3.4's don't seem deep enough to help with flat speed.

  4. #4
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    If you take a strong crosswind on a set of Mad Fibers, you're going into the ditch.

    I think you're selling the Enve 3.4s short. Despite being somewhat shallower, toroidal rims have aero benefits of deeper V-shaped rims. I think you're also dismissing the staggered rim widths. You have 26mm up front and 24mm in the back. Mad Fibers are still the way of the dinosaur with 20mm wide rims, and I think you'll see much improved handling on the Enves.

  5. #5
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    No one set of wheels will cover all conditions.
    My response is based on you having a great set of reliable training wheels.
    I'd start with the Enve3,4 as the next step, no limitations on them.
    If you still need another wheel after them go for something deeper. At this point you can pick which wheel to use for the day.

    Go with a good set of hubs and spokes, avoid proprietary parts.
    MF wheels have their place, IMO they aren't for guys starting that can't buy more than one set. You need to ask yourself, what is the turn around time on getting a wheel fixed/repaired/replaced.

  6. #6
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    mad fibers have weird aero properties - https://madfiber.com/aerodynamics

    Drag should decrease in yaw up to at least 15 degrees, but the mad fibers are really bad after 7 degrees. The Enve's are a lot better.

    $3k is a lot to invest in a wheelset. Personally, given your equipment, I'd invest no more than half of that in a wheelset and do some other upgrades if that's your total bike budget.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the input!

    I can get Mad Fibers for $2200 or zipps for $2100, but for ENVES i'd have to pay retail, which I don't think i can warrant the extra $800 for them unless they're really worth the additional price, which is why i want to find something wrong with them (proving to be difficult) and save myself some cash

    I want to love Mad Fibers and I do but the iffy crosswinds are kind of pulling me away..

    I'm looking to get a new bike either this winter or the start of next season (Time and Orbea are looking promising), so it's not really an issue of budget in that respect but saving $800 by not buying ENVE's would really be helpful for that endeavor.

    Any other wheel suggestions are appreciated for sure! Thanks!

  8. #8
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    wheel choice also depends on where you ride in terms of terrain, roads, winds, plus rider weight, what sort of races you do, etc.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike View Post
    wheel choice also depends on where you ride in terms of terrain, roads, winds, plus rider weight, what sort of races you do, etc.
    Mostly in the Northeast, (MA and PA) so other than PA it's mostly flat with a few hills. I'm a CAT 4 and race collegiate in the spring in the ECCC with my university. As for weight, i'm around 165.

    Usually I don't see too many windy days but when it is windy...it's very windy.

  10. #10
    Daft Punk built my hotrod
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    Quote Originally Posted by skappy7 View Post
    Mostly in the Northeast, (MA and PA) so other than PA it's mostly flat with a few hills. I'm a CAT 4 and race collegiate in the spring in the ECCC with my university. As for weight, i'm around 165.

    Usually I don't see too many windy days but when it is windy...it's very windy.
    Get a decent pair of wheels for $700 or so, train hard, then get a set of light tubulars for racing as a reward for getting upgraded to Cat 3.

  11. #11
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    take a look at the Boyd 44. theya re erally good wheels and Boyd and Nicole are top notch when it comes to customer service and product quality. i think their prices cannot be beat.

    i have a few pairs and have not had a sinlge issue. i am about 20 lbs heavier than you and ride on some rough roads around my area.

    that will allow you to keep a lot of money to invenst on your next bike.
    2014 EVO Di2, 7970 Di2
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  12. #12
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    If you take a strong crosswind on a set of Mad Fibers, you're going into the ditch.

    I think you're selling the Enve 3.4s short. Despite being somewhat shallower, toroidal rims have aero benefits of deeper V-shaped rims. I think you're also dismissing the staggered rim widths. You have 26mm up front and 24mm in the back. Mad Fibers are still the way of the dinosaur with 20mm wide rims, and I think you'll see much improved handling on the Enves.
    ^this^ MadFiber are pretty much the least advanced of the deeper section carbon wheels available. and they can go out of true despite what their marketing says. Enve will be much, much easier to ride in windy conditions, and they're trueable. and they're strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike View Post
    mad fibers have weird aero properties - https://madfiber.com/aerodynamics

    Drag should decrease in yaw up to at least 15 degrees, but the mad fibers are really bad after 7 degrees. The Enve's are a lot better.

    $3k is a lot to invest in a wheelset. Personally, given your equipment, I'd invest no more than half of that in a wheelset and do some other upgrades if that's your total bike budget.
    ^this as well^ it's a ton of money to spend for collegiate racing (or even low to mid level amateur racing) where you're like to get crashed at least once a season. remember the rule...
    only race what you can afford to replace
    #promechaniclife

  13. #13
    Daft Punk built my hotrod
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    What Macklemore said about a $50 Gucci t-shirt also applies to most $3,000 wheels.

  14. #14
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    love my mad fibers! had them for two years, put them through hell on cross races and urban assault, never had a problem or didnt trust their integrity. HUGE advantage on hills and sprints. BEST warranty program in the industry, no rider weight limit.. I had envys before too, great wheelset, however i personally prefer the MF wheels for all around wheel performance. check out this forum too.. Mad Fiber Wheels: Triathlon Forum: Slowtwitch Forums

    happy riding!

  15. #15
    changingleaf
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    You can have a custom set of Enve SES wheels made with White Industries T11 hubs for under $2500. For the best balance of aero, stiffness, durability, and stability the Enve SES rims are the way to go.

  16. #16
    'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelgrl View Post
    love my mad fibers! had them for two years, put them through hell on cross races and urban assault, never had a problem or didnt trust their integrity. HUGE advantage on hills and sprints. BEST warranty program in the industry, no rider weight limit.. I had envys before too, great wheelset, however i personally prefer the MF wheels for all around wheel performance. check out this forum too.. Mad Fiber Wheels: Triathlon Forum: Slowtwitch Forums

    happy riding!
    care to explain how physics no longer applies to you?
    #promechaniclife

  17. #17
    Daft Punk built my hotrod
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelgrl View Post
    love my mad fibers! had them for two years, put them through hell on cross races and urban assault, never had a problem or didnt trust their integrity. HUGE advantage on hills and sprints. BEST warranty program in the industry, no rider weight limit.. I had envys before too, great wheelset, however i personally prefer the MF wheels for all around wheel performance. check out this forum too.. Mad Fiber Wheels: Triathlon Forum: Slowtwitch Forums

    happy riding!
    I hear Captain America prefers Mad Fibers to his shield when fighting Hydra.

  18. #18
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    IMO, Enve 3.4 SES are overkill on a Cannondale CAAD10 105. You'd be surprised (I think) at the difference between your aluminum frame and a carbon fiber frame when it comes time to apply the power to the pedals. But...that's not what you're asking.

    I realize it's hard to resist the urge for carbon rims, but considering you're racing, I think you'd be better off with some custom aluminum wheels built around either HED Belgium or Pacenti SL23 rims with hubs by Chris King or Alchemy. You'll save a lot of money. It won't hurt your wallet as badly if you crash and damage a rim, and I don't believe you'll notice much difference between the aluminum rims with excellent hubs and a set of Enve 3.4 SES wheels.

    I've owned the Enve 3.4 SES, and I presently own HED Belgium/Alchemy wheels (and a set of Zipp 202 clincher...which I prefer over the Enve 3.4 SES). If I raced crits, I sure wouldn't run the Zipp 202 wheels. Road racing...maybe.

    I'd also look at the Dura Ace 9000 C24 wheels as an option.

  19. #19
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    After this I think i'm gonna follow some logic here and look at some cheaper wheels and save up for a new complete bike when the right one comes along (Time ZXRS or Orbea Gold)

    Thanks for talking some sense into me everyone, I'm looking at HED Ardennes FR or Jet 4's (or Jet 5's...can't seem to figure out the difference other than the hubs/skewers), ends up being around $1000 less (or more in the case of the ENVE's). Definitely worth saving up for an awesome bike later. Probably will be my present when I upgrade to 3's or B's in collegiate.

    Also, thanks for pointing out the rim shape on the Mad's versus others. Didn't really even notice that....the Jet 4's have a shape more resembling 404's
    Last edited by skappy7; 05-29-2013 at 09:15 PM.

  20. #20
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    To address the issue of wheel trueness with Mad Fiber wheels, I sent the following email to their customer service a while back just to see how they'd deal with it.

    My email: "I have a question about the trueness of your wheels. Granted, they
    come straight and true from the factory, but what happens if the wheels
    should ever go out of true? You might claim it can't happen, but I have seen
    it happen with carbon wheels where the spokes were permanently bonded to the
    hub and rims. My friend had this happen with his Lightweight wheels, and
    there was no damage to any part of the wheel, yet he can't fix them and get
    them true again."

    I got a reply later that day from Louis: "Great question. In theory, wheels like Mad Fiber and Lightweight where carbon spokes are bonded to a carbon rim with carbon hub shells should not change shape (trueness) once all the bonds and resin is cured. That is the scientific reasoning behind these claims. In the real-world, things happen. Bonds can be partially broken and carbon fiber can crack, but still remain invisible to the naked eye. These can change the tension in the spokes and affect trueness of the wheel. While these scenarios are very unlikely, it is possible.

    At Mad Fiber, we can repair or replace any wheel that should come out of its original trueness under our warranty policy.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Louis
    Mad Fiber"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by skappy7 View Post
    I'm doing some competitive racing, and I'm looking for a wheel that is stiff, light and aero to race on, to help improve my climbing and flat speeds.

    I guess when it comes down to it I'm sold on Mad Fiber but have concerns with it being a new(ish) product...and have heard in crosswinds it's particularly slow. And they're loud. But they seem like such a great all around wheel...

    As for ENVE, they just seem like such quality wheels but the 6.7's seem too deep for road racing and the 3.4's don't seem deep enough to help with flat speed.
    Mad Fiber wheels are really only lightweight. Since I live where Mad Fiber wheels come from, tons of riders here have them. They shatter on contact in races, they rub brake pads under pedaling force, and they just are not particularly aerodynamic.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevesbike View Post
    mad fibers have weird aero properties - https://madfiber.com/aerodynamics

    Drag should decrease in yaw up to at least 15 degrees, but the mad fibers are really bad after 7 degrees. The Enve's are a lot better.

    $3k is a lot to invest in a wheelset. Personally, given your equipment, I'd invest no more than half of that in a wheelset and do some other upgrades if that's your total bike budget.
    I wouldn't invest a penny in anything except wheels and tires. If he is racing collegiate, the 105 parts are a perfect match for him. You don't need Ultegra or Dura Ace to be fast. the less than 10% weight savings is totally negligible, and the performance benefits are likely less.
    Cyclists really need to learn a little Rule #5.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by spookyload View Post
    I wouldn't invest a penny in anything except wheels and tires. If he is racing collegiate, the 105 parts are a perfect match for him. You don't need Ultegra or Dura Ace to be fast. the less than 10% weight savings is totally negligible, and the performance benefits are likely less.
    That was my thought, I figured i'd get ultegra or dura ace with a new bike when i get CAT3. Collegiate mostly everyone has a cheapish bike (especially caad10's) or they're really expensive.

    I ended up buying HED Jet 4's for around $1500 today, seems like a good fit and not too pricey compared to zipps ( which should probably be tubulars or nothing which weren't practical for me yet). For sure lighter and more aero than my stock wheels. Got a pair of Vittoria Open Corsa CX III's too, big upgrade from my last tires

  24. #24
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    technology wise, i'd ride with the SES 3.4 all day..... my wallet disagrees though.
    check my review page below!

    www.roadiemanila.bike

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbpete View Post
    You can have a custom set of Enve SES wheels made with White Industries T11 hubs for under $2500. For the best balance of aero, stiffness, durability, and stability the Enve SES rims are the way to go.
    This!

    The 5 year warranty on the Enve really speaks for their durability.

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