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Very slender cylindrical fibers are capable of bending over and maintaining side contact with an opposing substrate even as the fibers are pulled away, providing a mode of adhesion for fiber array adhesives. This paper analyzes side contact and its effect on normal adhesion and provides guidelines for fiber length to achieve side contact under zero load as a function of elastic modulus, area moment of inertia, initial geometry, and energy of adhesion between fiber and substrate. Numerical results for several relevant geometries are presented as well as a comparison to recently reported normal adhesion measurements of multiwalled carbon nanotube arrays.