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  1. #1
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    Flow MK3 Durability?

    In less then a half dozen rides I've managed to smash a Flow MK3... something I hadn't done in over two years on Flow EX. Bad luck... or new/lighter/wider isn't all it's cracked up to be? Anything better, stronger, stiffer at 30mm internal I should be looking at?

  2. #2
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    A friend of my managed to cracked his crest (new version) 3 times. I stay away of the new line of that manufacture


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  3. #3
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    I have a nice dent in my front making tire changes a real PIA. But then again i went over the bars.
    My rear spoke holes all have cracks but I don't take my tires off when truing the rims. They may have had too much tension from the begining. I have had them for 2 years though. \
    My I9's with MK3's are pretty light but next time I'll go for a heavier rim for sure.

  4. #4
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    Well, let's see if we can do some investigating that my help us figure this out....Old FlowEX weighed about 520g-25mm wide, new FlowMK weighs about 520g-30mm wide The new rims are 5mm wider and actually weigh a bit less than the old ones AFAIR, so how could anyone trust they would be as strong

    You want strong and 30mm IW, try the WTB Asym i29 or STi29 for seriously strong, DT Swiss also has options, as does Spank and a few others.

    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    In less then a half dozen rides I've managed to smash a Flow MK3... something I hadn't done in over two years on Flow EX. Bad luck... or new/lighter/wider isn't all it's cracked up to be? Anything better, stronger, stiffer at 30mm internal I should be looking at?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  5. #5
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    You might try investigating the differences in material properties between their respective alloys before getting too full of yourself.

  6. #6
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    They changed the alloy that they are using? If that's the case, then maybe, but I wasn't aware that they had. Either way, once upon a time when tubeless was now coming to be, Stans was basically the only name unless you went complete UST, but these days, SO many better options out there I don't even bother to look at them.


    Quote Originally Posted by OwenM View Post
    You might try investigating the differences in material properties between their respective alloys before getting too full of yourself.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  7. #7
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    I can highly recommend the Spank alloy rim options. Awesome rims and mine have been very durable.

  8. #8
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    The MK3's are garbage IMO. The old EX's had a triangular profile where the spokes entered the rim the new ones are flat giving less strength. Built a set for a buddy he cased a wall lip and completely bent the rim at impact point. The weld spot on the Stan's is finished like crap it actually makes the wheel hard to build and true. My personal favorite for aluminum rims is DT Swiss.
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  9. #9
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    Killed a flows with neo hub so they sent me arch mk3, got 5 or 6 cracks around spoke holes on my arch mk3 after a year of use, Stans ain't what they used to be......They offered me rim replacement, I haven't gotten around to it yet, wish they'd just send me another wheel complete. Buuuuut the 3 times I have dealt with their warranty they have been good in the service department. I have run Stans for the last 5 years on various flows and neo hubs with good results but the next wheelset will be Christ King

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    They changed the alloy that they are using? If that's the case, then maybe, but I wasn't aware that they had. Either way, once upon a time when tubeless was now coming to be, Stans was basically the only name unless you went complete UST, but these days, SO many better options out there I don't even bother to look at them.
    They went from good old 6061 in the EX series to 6069 in the Mk3 series, not that it really makes much difference since their design & quality control is questionable. I have the same opinion as you, 10-15 years ago Stans was about the only tubeless choice other than full UST, but these days they're pretty much coasting on name recognition.

    These days I go DT or Spank for all my aluminum rims. Since you're denting rims, I'd recommend the DT EX511 since it's stronger though a bit heavier than the more popular EX481. With Spank, the Oozy Trail 345 fits the same role. Both the EX511 and Oozy 345 are very solid rims and significantly stronger than a Flow Mk3, not to mention much better quality. Spank & DT rims are dead straight out of the box whereas Stans rims will often have a noticeable kink or wobble at the seam.

  11. #11
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    Good to hear my suspicions are confirmed. These MK3 didn't really build up all that well, and one rim strike pushed the whole rim up/over. I can't imagine a Flow EX doing the same thing and the rims had ZERO wall dents. Perhaps I'll give EX511 a shot.

  12. #12
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    Durable + stansmk3 = not to be used in same sentence

    Add me the disappointed mk3 user (tried a couple of these rims on my hardtails..on a symmetrical spaced hub/equal tension both sides), the new flat wide profiles= hops galore w/ the arches and flows..seams are also not as good as they used to be..wall thickness is just shaved waay down for weight weenies IMHO
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  13. #13
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    Dt rims have a much better finish than Stans. There is no deviation radially or laterally at the weld point. They are also shot peened which helps increase strength. Don't know wheel size or what type of riding you do but I have XM481's on my FS an they have been bulletproof in the rocky terrain where I ride.
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  14. #14
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    FWIW, I contacted Stans who graciously offered me a crash replacement discount. Yea.... thanks but I'll pass.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rngspnr View Post
    Dt rims have a much better finish than Stans. There is no deviation radially or laterally at the weld point. They are also shot peened which helps increase strength. Don't know wheel size or what type of riding you do but I have XM481's on my FS an they have been bulletproof in the rocky terrain where I ride.
    DT rims are fantastic and I just built a road set for myself. The seam hop and/or tension imbalance is totally acceptable though.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    I can highly recommend the Spank alloy rim options. Awesome rims and mine have been very durable.
    +1 After a lot of reading and talking to a few shops, I settled on Spank Oozy w/Hope Pro4 hubs, DT competition spokes and brass nipples. Good compromise between weight and strength and great bang for buck.



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  17. #17
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    I wanted to check out the WTB KOM Tough I35's since they have the same ERD. Then I saw they were pinned instead of welded. Has anybody built up DT's or Spanks with the I9 straight pull spokes?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    DT rims are fantastic and I just built a road set for myself. The seam hop and/or tension imbalance is totally acceptable though.
    Seam hop and imbalance? On DT rims? All the ones I've built have had no hop or imbalance. They build up as nice as carbon true and round.
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  19. #19
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    Replaced Arch EX rims with Arch MK3. So far a couple dents on the front rim.

    The Arch EX I had were 5 years old and went through 3 bike frames. The rear spoke holes started to show signs of cracks earlier this year, so I decided to replace them with wider new rims and went with Arch MK3. I've had many many rim strikes on the EX and they never dented. Rims were straight and round even after I unlaced them from the hub. I should have gone with another rim.

    Btw, these are 26"

  20. #20
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    damn...making me regret Arch MK3. Only my front wheel so far and making me consider having the rear wheel made with another rim. Will look goofy with different rims front and rear but at least a front replacement/rebuild is cheaper than front and back.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    I've had many many rim strikes on the EX and they never dented.
    Right?! Either the new design sucks or the material they're using is soft as butter. When a somewhat minor wall strike pushes the whole rim flat and to the side something is wrong...

  22. #22
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    I bought the new flow mk3 because Of stans old reputation. New rim has needed a fair bit of love to re-true over 2 seasons, and I managed to put a small hop in it over this summer (mostly my fault). Wouldn’t recommend them. Buddy has spanks that have been fair to him but he’s managed to thrash a few (2) so far (1 his fault, not sure the other one). I think we are going to try DT next, they have a strong presence and reputation online these days.

  23. #23
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    DT SWISS EX511, my weight floats around 250-300lbs never had issues.

  24. #24
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    WTB i29 Asym.

  25. #25
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    I've seen the Flow MK3 hold up well with some riders, but they may not be hitting square edges at speed like some others. The DT Swiss and Race Face rims are my other go to alloy rims.

  26. #26
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    I think they are too light/weak for how wide they are. The rimbed seems to be where they saved too much weight.

    I had some minor dings in the bead of mine, and then found several spokes were starting to pull through the rim (hairline cracks). Ended up replacing with the same rim to match the front wheel but started running a Cushcore insert and slightly less spoke tension.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatsDirt View Post
    In less then a half dozen rides I've managed to smash a Flow MK3... something I hadn't done in over two years on Flow EX. Bad luck... or new/lighter/wider isn't all it's cracked up to be? Anything better, stronger, stiffer at 30mm internal I should be looking at?
    Yeah, same thing happened to me. Previous Flows went 3 seasons without an ounce of problems, dented the MK3's on each of the first 2 rides. I am done with Stans, rebuilding with DT rims.
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