Mad Fiber Wheels: Like an Egyptian


Super into King Tut

Introducing myself to Rik Hjertberg from Mad Fiber wheels, said

Here cause I’ve got a wheel fetish. Ridden, raced, reviewed most of the wheels on the market, heard you got some new wheel thing going on.

Rick’s response was a long-winded, rambling discussing on King Tut’s wheels with a few references to Kozo Shimano and other media he’s met since he started this Seattle-based wheel company. I fit right in here, I thought ‘cause Rick and I could talk wheels all day.

Googled this Tut thing he was talking about. Rik was right, as I’m sure he mostly always is. King Tut’s wheels are an engineering marvel then and arguably now. Not much difference really, except in weight to what Reynolds, Enve, Hed, and Mavic make.

tut wheels fast

Tut liked to go fast

They were the Ferrari of antiquity. They boasted an elegant design and an extremely sophisticated and astonishingly modern technology,” Alberto Rovetta, professor in robotics engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan, told Discovery News.

And where the others focus on modern aerodynamics with F-1 engineers and wind-tunnel gurus in a who’s the fastest arms race, Mad Fiber is making an everyday-race, 1,000 gram wheel set for under 3K. What brought me to their factory, was their PR guy Jasen knew I had a hot new Cross bike also built in Seattle and wanted to get it closer to 15 lbs. It weighs just above that now, in Ti.

mad fiber spokes

A spoked approached to wheels

In the Cross categories I race, old age and treachery overcomes youth and skill. Last year, I wrote about the importance of weight when I rode the Parlee into the ground. Lift/carry a bike hundreds of times across a Cross course and 3 – 5 lbs adds up; especially when you’re closer to retirement age than most of the field.

making wheels in seattle

Making wheels in Seattle

It was busy at Mad Fiber and I think Rik had another crazy idea just dawn upon him, related to King Tut, so I left with that Walk Like an Egyptian song by the Bangles in my head.

I noted to Rick, as I was walking out,

I’m going to ride the shit out of these wheels and they’re not going to break, right?

“Please do and no they won’t,” he said.

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