Stick with Stans Flow or MTX33
I have about 3-4 years of riding on a Stans Flow (prior to EX) 32 hole laced up to a Rohloff (large flange), I recently bumped the wheel on a rocky section running some lower pressure after getting a slow leak. First I noticed the broken spoke nipple and when I went to replace it I noticed the bump. Wheel was trued and I have been running it for the last several months. I noticed a few spokes coming loose and then realized I have a significant hairline crack across one of the spoke holes and small cracks starting on about 5 or 6 holes.
I have full faith in the wheel builder (Neil at Cycle Monkey).
I was reading up on rims and looks like Stans changed the Flow a bit with the EX, supposedly supports more tension and slightly stronger. Im no lightweight at 240# and ride some fairly chunky trails.
Big question is stick with a Stans Flow EX or move onto an MTX33. I really don't see any other options now that the Gordo's are gone. I want strength and don't even run them tubeless but have been considering trying the rear out tubeless...
Whats the word on the old Flows to the Flow EX? or should I just go MTX33...?
update: sorry meant the post to be in 29er components
Last edited by RipRoar; 05-12-2013 at 12:22 AM.
I've been riding a Rohloff with Stans Flow for about 5 years. I'm a little lighter than you but ride rough trails year round. I recently had my wheels trued and the mechanic said he saw some small cracks. He didn't seem real concerned but suggested I start thinking about new rims. An MTX33 is a stronger/heavier option but my preference would be for another Stans Flow. It really comes down to your preference for weight and strength.
I've never used either but you ask an interesting question. Like you I've had a pair of original Flows for about two years and they have been great. I never considered comparing the two. On closer inspection I see that the width is very similar. (MTX33 is 26.0mm. internally and the Flow EX is 25.5mm.) You can see both cross-sections here:
It's also interesting to see that the Flow EX has the extra brace across the bead seat and the MTX33 doesn't. You rode the Flow rim for some time and acknowledge that you dinged it before encountering a problem. I personally would go for the Flow EX only because I would like the option to ride tubeless, which I prefer. Are you aware that they are probably made in the same factory? SUN Ringlé I believe make the rims for NoTubes and license BST from Stan's for their wheelsets.
The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.
There's a substantial difference in weight between the Flow/EX and the MTX33. I like the MTX's for situations where mass and momentum are helpful--like tech trails. For XC-type use the Flow/EX are great rims.
Minimal difference in width/weight/durability between the Flow and EX compared to going whole hog into the MTX33.
But since you got 3+ years out of this wheel before it started slowly failing, it seems like adding a chunk of weight to gain massive durability isn't really what you need. Seems like the EX is probably the right choice.
Have a look at the WTB Frequency i23. Very similar specs to the Stans Flow (not EX), with the ability to take higher tension. Plus actual compatibility with UST bead tires, which was already iffy on the Flow and only worse on the Flow EX. I've run both Flow and i23 in similar conditions, and I'd rate the i23 a better performer.
Originally Posted by RipRoar
With WTB rumored to be coming out with an i25 rim (25 mm inner width) comparable to the Flow EX and a lighter weight i23 comparable to the Arch EX, both compatible with UST bead tires, I think Stans faces some very stiff competition. Especially for tubeless users, who really wants a rim that doesn't play nice with so many UST bead tires?
Thanks all, its basically echoing what I was originally thinking...looks like I'm going with a Flow EX....
I'm 225, and have been really happy with the Flow EXs. I've run Nobby Nics, Hans Dampfs, and even a Knard 3.0 tubeless. They all set up very easily, and even when I got careless and let the pressure get low, I've never had a single burp. I ride a lot of rocky stuff and have bottomed the rim a few times, even cutting the tire once, but the rims are still true and have no dents.
So it's safe for me to say that so far I'm 100% satisfied. A friend of mine just got a set with Hope hubs, and he is running Panaracer Rampage 2.35s. No issues thus far, although the bike shop set them up.
Wheels break sometimes. It's mountain biking, it's the nature of the beast. Consider them partially consumable. If you're not replacing parts occasionally, you're not riding hard enough.
Let me put it this way. MikeC at LaceMine29 built wheels for me, and suggested MTX33 because I'm pushing 290. (Don't judge, I look like 230 max, I earned my stature from almost two decades of powerlifting.)
If 'chunky' means '5 foot drops' and 'bottoming out a 140mm fork on a regular basis' then yeah, consider heavier rims. But I think there are some in-betweens that would give you what you need without so much rotating weight.
Besides, MTX33 SUCK for tubeless. I had to abandon it, they just don't hold air. The tire volume with a 2.35 tire is so good that I haven't snakebit yet, but if you're in an area with goatheads, and need tubeless to prevent punctures, look elsewhere.
I am 225 and I have 3 wheelsets. A set of original Flows, a set of Flow Exs and a set of MTX 33s. I found tire volume to be less on the 33s, I'm guessing because of the higher shoulder on them. Unless you have a freeride 29er and don't care about pedaling your bike up the hill buy the Flows 99 out of 100 times. The MTXs will add almost a pound to your build at the worst possible place. If you find you're still wanting of MTX i have a slightly used set forsale
Flow EX. Go tubeless and never look back.
Easy decision in this one.
If Stan made a rim wider than the EX I'd bite. Nothing hooks up like a wide tubless tire.
it seems that this is a split decision on mtx33 or flow ex...
i weigh 195 full gear and i already have an unused hope pro 2 evo 36h (15x100 front and 10x135 rear) in my stash, but haven't decided on which spokes/rims to get
for spokes, i have 2 choices:
- wheelsmith dh13, OR
- wheelsmith db14
for rims, i have:
- mtx-33, OR
- flow ex
i'm riding a hardtail and i have the habit of bashing things through, at times hopping over (if conditions are correct). i also do drops of 2-3 ft max. i bike on pavement going to trails. in the trails, i ride around rocks, mud, bushes, whatever nature has locally available. i would like to go tubeless as much as i can for traction's sake. i've heard mtx33 is quite PITA for this though, but some say its possible, hence a split decision again. what's enticing about the mtx is the price though.
Yep, you should go with it. Flow EX is great!
Originally Posted by RipRoar
I did end up going with the Flow EX built with Sapim force spokes a month ago...so far so good!
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