Flow Bikes are a UK company and their bikes are designed by Steve Weir, who's been at the helm of various other brands including Funn, Muddyfox, Identiti and Revell Bikes. Flow look set to make an impact on the UK scene with their two latest frames, the Myth 4X and the chassis that we tested, the Moe street/dirt jump rig.
The Moe is made from 4130 chromoly steel and has a roomy 22in top tube, which all our testers felt happy with, even me, giraffe-legged Doddy. The 13in seat tube and the short 16.5in rear end make for a compact, modern look. The head tube has a huge transfer plate on the under side of the down tube and thick reinforcing rings top and bottom, so this thing has no trouble warding off evil.
Out back, a mountain bike bottom bracket and tidy machined dropouts retain the slenderness of the steel frame.
With no V-brake mounts, your only option is to run discs, which might raise a few eyebrows, but you'll soon forget about that once you've built the bike up with a whole bunch of top notch kit.
A frame as neat looking as this would be wasted without a good spec, so we furnished our rig with a selection of the coolest new test parts we had in the office. It rolled on wheels made from new Ringlé Demon hubs and Sun S-Type rims shod with excellent Tioga FS200 tyres. Stopping was capably handled by lightweight Magura Louise FR disc brakes.
A 2006 Marzocchi Dirt Jumper I fork spun in a Cane Creek headset combined with an Azonic Equilibrium stem and an Azonic B- 52 scandium bar, and Big Cheese grips kept the old biker pads (aka those 'orrible calluses on your palms) at bay. Spanking new Charge Bikes cranks together with an MRP System 3 device and DMR 10th anniversary V10 pedals graced the bottom bracket shell, and an SRAM X-9 drivetrain with a Shimano Ultegra cassette shifted gears with the minimum of fuss.
Finally, a lightweight Charge Bikes mid-sized jump seat on a RaceFace Diabolus seatpost made for a strong, comfy perch.
With looks as good as the Moe's it's easy to think it'll ride well before you've even taken it for a spin. The Moe doesn't disappoint. The roomy top tube felt just right with the short back end and low-slung top tube.
Compared with other hardtails we've ridden recently, the Moe felt slightly odd at first - the low top tube and fairly high (13.25in) bottom bracket made the bike feel small, but not low. This isn't a bad thing because the Moe can be pedalled through anything without the pedals smashing on the floor - great if you're a bit of a 4X thrasher, though it did take us a while to get used to the sitting on, rather than in, feel.
The Moe is a solid, predictable frame that's been well designed for a variety of purposes; 24 or 26in wheels sit well in the frame, and despite being the burlier brother of the Myth, it could easily lose a couple of pounds in the build-up and hit the 4X gates. As you'd expect for a dirt/street frame, it's happy flying through the air down the trails or off a flight of stairs. We like it a lot.