It's new rear wheel time and I can't decide between a Flow or EN521. Has anyone ridden both? I'm ~95kg in my kit and ride a hardtail on some pretty rocky trails so want a something relatively tough without going crazy.
Hope Hoops - Flows v EN521
Not ridden both - I do like my HH Flow though.
After 2 years of being clumsy & a similar weight I've just had to break out the spoke key also tubeless!
I killed the rear Flow in my Hope Hoops... It took 3 years- 2 of 'em in a big trailbike doing enduro and downhill racing and 2 trips to france, then a year in a downhill bike including the endurance downhill at fort william and a stack of uplifts. Cracked at the valve hole eventually but I can hardly complain! Replaced it with a Flow Ex but I'd have happilly gone with another Flow, 3 years of that sort of use is pretty impressive. Tubelessness encourages silly low pressures
521 is heavier and narrower, and no tubelessness, but on the other hand is a little bit harder/less easy to dent- Flows are strong, but maybe just a little bit soft. Absolute strength is too hard to judge tbh.
Ride a set of 26er EN521 and a set of 29er Flows. I am at least your weight and then a bit. Pros for the flows are width if you want to run anything over a 2.3, allegedly tublessness is a bit less of a faff if that is what you want (I don't so doesn't worry me). Cons are that they can be an absolute pain to get some tyres on - Stans used to have a list of what worked and what did not. On the 29ers, I have found Maxxis to be fine and SB8s to be a complete no-no, so choose your tyres wisely. I built them up myself and found them a bit more of a faff to get right than the Mavics I have built. I have also read that Flows may be easier to dent but suspect that goes with tublessness and low pressures.
521s are pretty bombproof, 30g per wheel heavier and if you are buying as a rim, half the price. I bought one as a rim and one as a hoop. On balance I would go EN521 unless I wanted to run particularly wide tyres but it's not my money this time around.
The internal widths are very different, for me this is the deciding factor. The answer btw is Flow EX
I've just bought a set with 521's for my BFe mainly because that was all Wiggle had left!
If the 521's are as good as my old EN321's were they'll last ages and take a fair bit of abuse for their weight. The only issues with them is that they're a bit narrow by modern standards and aren't tubeless. Cheap to replace if you do kill one though.
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