Flows or Arches...please help me decide- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flows or Arches...please help me decide

    Hi Everyone,

    As the title describes, I've been going back and fourth on whether to go with Flows or Arches for my next wheel build. I'll be lacing them up to 240s hubs (already have them).

    Me: 165 lbs (probably 175 with gear and water)

    Bike: Niner MCR, Reba 80mm

    Riding style: Northeast, technical rocks & roots...an average ride for me is about 20 miles, frequently do 30-40 milers. Don't get much air but I'll huck/wheelie drop 2 footers. Lots of rock gardens....just trying to paint the picture here

    Tires: I like the ability to run a fairly high volume tire....running Mk 2.4 on Bontrager Rhythms right now, but I'll also run 2.1 Ignitor/Crossmark combo in the summer. The 28mm Rhythm rim opens up the 2.1's nicely.

    So here's my dilema....

    I like the strength and wide profile of the Flow but fear it may not be entirely necesary for my weight and riding style. At this point, I'm leaning towards the Flow but please help me decide before I pull the trigger!!

    Thanks for you help,

    John

  2. #2
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    Reputation: driver bob's Avatar
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    If it was me I'd buy Arches. You're not heavy, 2ft is not any sort of drop and you're bike is XC biased.

    But it is your call. Me, I'd save on the rolling weight and enjoy the better exceleration of a lighter rim.

  3. #3
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    I am 195 with gear Hei-Hei-29er and arches have been very reliable here in SW Utah. Trued the rear once cause it was out just a tad.

  4. #4
    eschewing obfuscation
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    i've struggled with the same question... now i have arch's on my "fast" bike and flow's on my "trail" bike. i love them both. as you seem to appreciate, flows are superior for their wider stance (and thus, improved tire profile), strength and stiffness, all of which are sweet for the inherently flexier 29er wheel. Arch's, conversely, are lighter and yet, still quite stiff. in my experience, they require truing about 10% more often, but that's a number not exactly drawn from empirical data and research. for me, arch's are the way to go for racing (i'm 183lbs and too heavy for 355's under any circumstance) and flow's are the way to go for everything else, especially if you live in rocky conditions like us (i live near the pisgah nf in western north carolina.... very rough trails). either way, you cannot go wrong: stan's rims rule! good luck!
    "Bikes have wheels." -Noam Chomsky

  5. #5
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    You mean a whole extra less than a 1/4lb of weight over both wheels and loose 4mm in rim width For What???? Go with the Flows unless you're a weight weenie and racer boy, you'll appreciate what the extra 4mm does to most tyres.

    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob
    If it was me I'd buy Arches. You're not heavy, 2ft is not any sort of drop and you're bike is XC biased.

    But it is your call. Me, I'd save on the rolling weight and enjoy the better exceleration of a lighter rim.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  6. #6
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    I run both, and have never noticed the weight, however i did notice the extra grip and footprint of the flows...........So if i were to get another wheel set i'd go with the wider of the two.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    you're a weight weenie and racer boy.
    Busted

  8. #8
    Rohloff
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    If you tend to run low tire pressures and like a lot of rubber on the trail, go Flow.

    If you run higher tire pressures and just like to go fast, go Arches.

  9. #9
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    I had to make the same decision, I chose the Flows, and laced them to my upgraded 240s hub. These have been used for general XC, and as All Mountain as I get on my Leviathan. They seem great, light enough climbing and bomb proof going down. I have switched between 2.4 MK's and Geax Saguaro's, depending on trail conditions. I go between 150/155 lbs.

  10. #10
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    just to complicate things a bit further: some guys split the difference and run a flow on the back with a skinnier tire and an arch on the front with a wider tire...
    "Bikes have wheels." -Noam Chomsky

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44gnats
    just to complicate things a bit further: some guys split the difference and run a flow on the back with a skinnier tire and an arch on the front with a wider tire...
    Wish I would have thought of doing that before I went Arches. I think this would be an ideal set up. Flow front, Arch rear with Ardent 2.25s on both might just be the ticket to a great all around bike. You would save the weight of running a wider front tire but still get some extra grip up front.

  12. #12
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    When in doubt go strong. You'll never notice the weight and probably appreciate the added stiffness and durability.

  13. #13
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    Flows

    1. Wider so you'll get a nicer tire profile
    2. Stiffer and stronger than the Arch so they will hold up better requiring less truing
    3. The weight penalty is minimal, i.e., you wont even notice and it will make you stronger
    4. You mentioned rocks

    Good luck!

  14. #14
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    All......Thanks for your advise and helpful input. I'm going with the Flows

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