Installing the tires was a no brainer, and I didn’t have any issues with getting either of my tires to pop on in a tubeless mode. The rear wheel went on the bike just fine, without any issues, and the outer thru axle adapters for the 142mm spacing stayed on as I wrestled the wheel into the rear triangle of my Ibis Mojo HD. The front wheel, on the other hand, caused me a few headaches, and the 20mm adapters seemed not stick tightly to the hub bearings? Once I did get it installed there wasn’t any play, and everything spun freely.
The wheels rolled nice and smooth, without any stickiness, and although the 3.30 rear hub isn’t a high POE type, its 3 pawl and 30 point engagement system worked adequately. What I really noticed was how well the wheel steered, and it offered excellent control and stability, and the additional width was noticeable, especially when rolled over for cornering and when bashing through a rock garden. I didn’t feel any sloppiness, looseness or flex in the wheels, though I do need to crank them harder in some more heinous terrain. The rear pulled fine when I cranked on it on uber steep climbs, and it accelerated well, and gave good traction when required, and the width offered a secure and stable platform.
These are some pretty sweet rims, which have great width, strength, bead socket technology (tubeless), and Stan’s 3.30 hub’s offer an excellent price point. Two words sum up my first impressions of the new Flow EX wheels, control and stability. We’ll have a full in-depth review of the wheels later in the summer.