Flux is a new brand that aims to bring quality, “podium ready” carbon wheels to the market at a highly competitive price.
Since my first look back in May, I’ve clocked up close to 500km on the Flux 350R wheels and I’m ready to give my verdict on these lightweight and affordable hoops.
Flux 350R specs
The Flux 350R wheelset sees custom-specified rims laced to high quality DT Swiss hubs Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Flux sources its rims from the Far East, using pre-existing moulds but specifying the layup and construction of its rims.
“To bring a wheel to market at this price point, it wouldn’t be viable to create new profiles from the ground up,” Flux said, adding that since the rims are “modelled on the market leaders’ aerodynamic theories”, there would likely be no benefit in producing fully custom rims.
It should also be noted that this is the business model that many direct-sale wheel brands work with. The difference here is that Flux is being more upfront about where and how it sources its rims.
The Flux 350R wheels spin on DT Swiss 350 hubs and are laced with Sapim CX Ray spokes Jack Luke / Immediate Media
I opted for the slightly cheaper of the two builds Flux offers, with the rims laced to a pair of straight-pull DT Swiss 350s hubs. The wheels are also available with DT’s slightly lighter 240 hubs or, for those with especially deep pockets, Chris King’s R45s.
All of Flux’s wheels are built using top-of-the-range Sapim CX-Ray spokes in a 20 front/24 rear arrangement.
Flux uses asymmetric rims for its wheelset — the front wheel is 44mm deep and 27mm wide with the rear coming in at 50mm deep and 26mm wide.
Mounted on the bike, the difference between the two wheels is barely noticeable Jack Luke / Immediate Media
This is said to reduce the effect of crosswinds on the front wheel while maintaining a degree of aero benefit out back. When fitted to the bike, the difference in appearance of the two wheels is barely noticeable.
I double checked these measurements and they were absolutely spot on — Flux gains brownie points here as I’m a serious stickler/pedant for such things.
With two layers of Stan’s tubeless tape, the wheels weighed in at an extremely respectable 716g for the front and 822g for the rear — or 1538g for the pair for those that don’t want to crack out the calculator.
The rims also feature a basalt-infused braking surface, titanium bead reinforcement, customisable decals and faff-free exposed nipples that will please mechanics the world over.
Flux 350R impressions
The low heft of the rims and tubeless setup — 2,260g for everything including valves and sealant — combined with the high quality build makes for a set of wheels that feel wonderfully fast, taut and responsive.
I take my testing very seriously Laura Dow
I ran the wheels on my NeilPryde Bura test bike — a decidedly stiff and racy ride — and I didn’t manage to elicit the slightest rub from the brake pads when climbing out of the saddle. Despite some egregious pot-hole abuse, the wheels have also stayed arrow-straight and well tensioned throughout my test period.
It’s near impossible to truly quantify the aero qualities of a wheelset without access to a wind-tunnel, so I won’t make any bold and numerically backed claims as to how these asymmetrical wheels performed in this regard.
However, given that the profile of the rims is comparable to so many modern mid-depth wheels, I have no doubt that these would perform well here.
What I will say is that I found the wheels to hold their line very well in side winds or gusty conditions. I did experience the very slightest ‘tug’ at the bars on a handful of occasions — usually when entering a more open area from somewhere more sheltered — but this was not particularly distracting in its intensity and was easily corrected.
The wide rims plumped these Schwalbe Pro One tyres up well Jack Luke / Immediate Media
The generous and thoroughly modern 18mm internal width plumped the supplied 25mm Schwalbe Pro One tyres to a healthy 26mm wide at 85psi, giving them a nice supportive profile that inspired confidence when leaning into corners and improved comfort on broken roads.
I ran the tyres set up tubeless throughout my test period and reseating them was a totally hassle-free affair, requiring only the core of the valve to be removed and a healthy ‘poompf’ of a regular track pump to pop them back into place.
Like many other rims on the market, the brake track is infused with basalt Jack Luke / Immediate Media
Each set of wheels from Flux comes with a set of Swisstop brake pads Jack Luke / Immediate Media
The dry-weather braking is pleasingly powerful — no doubt aided by the included high-quality SwissStop Flash Pro Black Prince pads — and didn’t feel as grabby or ‘pulse’ as much as I’ve experienced with similarly priced carbon wheels in the past.
Braking is also generally quiet and I only managed to elicit a squeal under the heaviest and most panicked of emergency stops in the dry.
Braking in the wet was similarly good, though did get a little more noisy during hard stops. Toeing in the pads a touch cured this without noticeable ill-effect on the power of the braking.
The supplied alloy external-cam QRs weigh in at 46g for the pair. While very light, they aren’t the most secure feeling and require a moderately alarming amount of grunt to clamp them in place.
Though they never came loose during my time testing, I’d definitely be keeping an eye on these in the long run.
With that said, the wheels come with a two year warranty and Flux was keen to stress its focus on hands on, one-to-one customer support — you’re not buying these wheels from some faceless entity and if something should go wrong, you’re likely going to be dealing with someone who helped design the wheels.
Flux 350R verdict
Since I wrote my original first-ride review back in May, the price of the Flux 350R wheels has dropped quite considerably.
After deciding to focus solely on direct to consumer sales and sourcing a new logistics supplier, Flux was able to drop the price of the 350R wheelset by £300, coming down to a seriously impressive £699.
While the original price of £999 was competitive for a set of 1500g mid-depth carbon wheels, this new price puts the wheels well into the realm of affordability for serious riders.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Flux 350R wheels and perhaps with the exception of the skewers, there’s nothing I’d be rushing to change about them.
So if you’re after a properly fast, modern, mid-depth wheelset that’s built around some of the most well respected hubs in the industry, these are well worth your consideration.
Flux 350R against the competition
At the high-end of the market, Roval’s 1,375g CLX 50 (£1,870 / $2,4000 / AU$ N/A) wheelset is a good benchmark to compare the Flux wheels to.
While I can’t make any solid claims about the aerodynamic qualities of the Flux 350R wheels against these, given they weigh only 160g more and cost £870 less, these look like seriously good value for money on paper.
Prime’s £729 ($974.99 / AU$1,249) RR-50 wheelset is probably the the most comparable ‘budget’ carbon wheelset on the market (though we’re yet to spend any time on these).
Weighing in at 1,560g (claimed) and usually available with a 10% discount — bringing them down to £657 — these also appear to be excellent value for money.
However, for about £50 more you get name-brand quality hubs and considerably wider rims (18mm vs 16mm) from Flux alongside that warm fuzzy feeling of supporting one of the little guys.