Madison Flux trousers were developed with input from top level downhill racers and have been stripped down to the essentials and are designed to be as at home hitting park laps as they are on all day pedals.
Product: Flux Trousers
Tested: by Ross for 3 months
Riding trousers are one of the single greatest inventions known to man. Although that might be stretching it a bit, they are great and from mid-autumn through to mid-spring they are pretty much all I wear for riding.
The ease of not having your actual skin covered in mud cannot be underestimated, and being able to whip your trousers off at the door and come inside for a hot coffee without depositing mud all over the place is priceless.
Also read: POC Consort MTB Dungaree review
Over the past few years they’ve also had a bit of an evolution, developing from gravity-focused-moto-inspired heavyweight strides, into lighter, more flexible and tailored trail troosers. Most brands now offer some form of full length leg wear and these can range from super light weight and stretchy to full on waterproof. I tend to prefer the lighter weight ones, and accept that I’m going to get wet as I find them more versatile, but they still keep the majority of the mud off.
The Madison Flux trail trousers fall into that latter category, being made from a four way stretch material that is designed to be comfortable on the bike and allow a full range of movement.
Available in two colour options – black and slate grey – the Flux trousers have a tailored fit that is designed to work with knee pads and sits nice and fitted at the ankle so there’s bunching or flapping.
There is laser cut venting on the knee, though and rear yoke, along with ‘a rear knee mech panel acts as an exhaust vent’ to aid with ventilation and keep things when pedalling. The Flux trousers are also designed to be hard wearing and feature double and triple needle stitching in key areas to ensure longevity.
The Flux trousers are available in sizes S to XXL to cater for waist sizes 28” to 42.5”. Waist adjustment is done via a ratchet system and they also use a standard zipped full height fly. The rear yoke area has printed silicone grippers to stop any slippage and they also benefit from two small pockets on the thoughts for stashing those ride essentials. To help shrug off the worst of the weather the outside also has a DWR coating that helps trail spray bead off.
Fit and performance
The Flux trousers have a soft feel to them and are comfortable as soon as you put them on. The front of the trousers seems to fit slightly snugger than the rear, bit once on the bike this makes sense. During the test I’ve ridden them with and without knee pads and they work well either way. The pads I’ve used are Leatt Airflex Pro which are quite nice and slim, and they fit well apart from a bit of riding up at the ankle due to the slim fit. Anything chunkier than those though and I think they might feel a bit restricted.
The leg has a nice fitted, tapered fit to it and comes in nicely at the ankle which stops any flapping around and means there’s no chance of them getting snagged on anything. I’m around a size 32 waist (and 183cm tall – yes, I know I’ve mixed decimal and imperial) and tested a size M in the Flux as that’s the size I wear in pretty much every other pair of pants or shorts. Looking at Madison’s size guide I could probably have gone with a size S (up to 32.5) as I’m on the tightest limit of the waist adjuster but leg length is great and I wouldn’t really want to go any shorter. It’s a long timeI’ve been considered a size small!
Hopping on the bike and getting going the Madison Flux trousers are comfortable and unrestrictive, whether that’s for a long pedal across an open moor or throwing yourself around and hanging off the back on steep, fast and rough descents. The fit well with no excess material flapping around to catch or snag on anything and the DWR has done a good job of shrugging off water from puddle splashes and wet undergrowth.
They’ve been ridden in temperatures ranging from below zero to pretty much double figures and have remained comfortable, with the venting and not overly thick material doing a great job of keeping things cool when working hard. They’ve endured mud, snow, bramble, gorse, and the occasional crash and are still rip, tear and scuff free, with no loose threads from any of the seams.
My only real gripe with them is the stash pockets. Madison states that they ‘give plenty of storage options for your phone, keys and lift pass’, but unless your phone is the size of a match box you’re going to struggle. Not a problem if your jacket has pockets (or you carry a pack – I don’t) but not ideal, and not great if it’s too warm for a jacket.
Madison Flux trousers: overall
Apart from the small pockets I can’t fault the Madison Flux trousers. They’re properly comfortable to wear and perform well on the bike. It would be worth checking the sizing before you buy as you may find that you need to go smaller than your usual size, but they’re well worth trying.
|Tested:||by Ross for 3 months|