- How strong are Flows?
Currently running a Mavic 721 on the rear of my BFe.
Looking to get a new rear wheel, and wondering if a Flow would be up to some serious hammer? The 721 has been fine. Needs to take the Alps on a burly hardtail, running UST. I realise this depends on riding/weight etc. but do you think a Flow can handle what a EN521 or 721 can take?Posted 5 years ago
The metal’s softer than a 721, you’ll bruise/ding the rim more easily- 721s are very hard. But that doesn’t really translate into strength- 717s are harder than 729s 😉
I’ve no issues with the strength of mine, 2 years on the big full suss including a fair amount of dh, now they’re on the dh bike and seem happy there too. To be fair, I’m light and not generally hard on my bikes so that’s not the most stressful test.Posted 5 years ago
The main advantage of flows is that they are lighter than EN521’s or 721’s but unlike mavic rims they have no eyelets. Lack of eyelets should not a problem if the wheel is not over tensioned but these rims have a max tension of 950N which is quite low. Given the is the rear drive side (DS) will be under that tension then the NDS will be under lower tension, so when jumping or riding of drops e.t.c the NDS spokes may loose tension and flex may therefore be an issue. Choosing the right hub will help here.
I have 721’s as well and would use them again as they the most robust rim I have ever had. I want a lighter set of wheels but I am still waiting for the 721 to fail me after 7 years. I think I will be waiting for several more years yet.
USt is mavics tubless system anyway so Stans won’t use it. they have there own method – rim strips. Also the EN521/721 is cheaper than a Stan’s flow.Posted 5 years agochakapingSubscriber
but do you think a Flow can handle what a EN521 or 721 can take?
They also don’t work with a rimstrip and UST tyres (LUST HR anyway). You need to use the tape – which I hate.
They work good with a rimstrip and non-UST tyres though. And mine survived a reasonable amount of hammer min the Alps unscathed. Not MC Hammer levels of hammer but maybe Mike Hammer levels.
HTHPosted 5 years ago
Well every rim can crack at the eyelets if 1) the tension is high enough or 2) if the rim suffers big impacts. Given the 721 is meant for free riding/ some down hill action big impacts are a likely cause for 721 failure. After all we do abuse our rims. If we didn’t we they would not fsil. MTB’s are not meant to be a cheap hobby.Posted 5 years ago
Superficial – Member
I’m pretty sure Emmeline Ragot won the world champs on Flow rims.
Sabrina Jonnier definately did. People say “Aye, but one race run and they’re for the bin”- every set she took to the IXS looked like they’d been in the wars, and they were in no hurry to bin them
bm0p700f – Member
Well every rim can crack at the eyelets if 1) the tension is high enough or 2) if the rim suffers big impacts.
Only point I was making there is that people read a lot into the absence of eyelets but in reality, is it such an issue? Wheelbuilder mate of mine puts it thusly: “It’ll definately mean they don’t last as long- but then if they’re being used right you’ll kill them way before that’s an issue”Posted 5 years agoTazSubscriber
Good thread (or maybe good timing) Was just about to splash for Flow rims. May well still go that way.
Would prefer to run tubeless. What would be the best Mavic alternative. Strong, tubeless compatible and lightish in that order of priority?
Sorry for the (slight) hyjack.Posted 5 years agoCragMember
Agree with NW regarding the width and weight, not sure on the strength however.Posted 5 years ago
I’ve used 717’s and 719’s (granted, not tubeless rims) and they are less susceptible to dings ime.
Not that the Flows are the swiss cheese of DT swiss vintage. Flows are a great compromise rim imo. Lightweight, wide, tubeless and reasonably strong.
The rear on my bike is coming up to 4 years old and is pretty much shagged. Irrespective of shape and dings, it continues to run tubeless without issue.ScottCheggMember
No, you won’t.
You could suck up 100g difference by picking a different tyre.
I would never have another Stans rim. Hope Hoops/Flow spokes pulled out of rim on the second ride. I can’t help but feel that an eyelet would have held it together better.
I’ve recently replaced my 5 year old XM819’s with new 819’s. They just work.Posted 5 years agomessiahMember
Flows are a great compromise rim imo. Lightweight, wide, tubeless and reasonably strong.
Only point I was making there is that people read a lot into the absence of eyelets but in reality, is it such an issue? Wheelbuilder mate of mine puts it thusly: “It’ll definately mean they don’t last as long- but then if they’re being used right you’ll kill them way before that’s an issue”
What I like about Flow’s compared with Mavic options are the extra width; running wide tryes on the wider Flow rim means I can run less pressure than on Mavic’s skinny rims before I get the dreaded squirm. The extra width of the tyre given by the wider rim and clever profile also help protect the rim from some damage… that’s not to say I haven’t destroyed Flow rims (I have)… but I think the width and profile go some way to make up for the reduced strength of the Flow rim vs Mavic options. Until I felt the benefits of the extra width I was a Mavic devotee… but Mavic have dropped the ball by not producing wider rims (IMHO etc etc).Posted 5 years agomessiahMember
i though the 721 and the flows have the same rim width?
Don’t know… but your comparing apples and pears… A Flow rim is a ~480g AM type rim where a 721 is a 580+g DH rim.
If you want all out strength the 721 will have it at a weight penalty, whereas a Flow may well be strong enough and has the advantage of being considerably lighter… which of the two you are willing to compromise on is up to you 🙄Posted 5 years agomr plowMember
I find the stiffness between my flows and my 721s to be night and day. The 721 wheels are much stiffer. My flows have dents in them after a year and a half of moderate use, my 721s have no dents after 4 years use with uplift days, fort bill etc under them.
Neither have failed as such. The Flows are lighter but don’t take a pounding as well. For “serious hammer” I would stick with the 721 ime. 🙂Posted 5 years ago
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