Update: I upgraded my FLO wheels to their new AS 64 and AS 77’s. Take a look at the more recent review of FLO Cycling Wheel reviews.
I like science. Spreadsheets, clinical studies, and things like that makes my INTJ + Enneagram 5 mind happy.
So it was great to find this bike wheel company back in 2016. The two founders, brother Chris and Jon Thornham, were compelled to deliver leading-edge aero engineering in their approach without attaching an astronomical wheel price that requires you to refinance your house to go faster on a bike.
One thing I like is that they are committed not to just wind tunnel testing but real-world testing. This approach led to them to a pretty significant recent re-design of their already solid offering of wheels as they more strongly considered the impact of rolling resistance. Science, yeah boy!
And they value educating their customers, something I always like to see as a component of marketing. (After all, I own a marketing agency). They put out lots of valuable content videos.
Silly Wheel Wars
It is interesting to note people getting into wheel wars. Many forums are littered with folks arguing over <1 sec over 40km. Most of us DO want to go fast. Equally most non-pro cyclists would gain way more speed by working on their positioning and conditioning than they would be switching wheels for a ~5 watt savings.
Yes, in fairness, there was some aero-beef in 2018 with Hambini, but he’s kind of a poopy-head to everyone. Yes, for climbing you could get a $8,320 Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer Schwarz Editions. Or you could pay $2,600 for a set of Enve 7.8s.
Or get a set of 78AS from Flo for $1,488, go practically as fast and hire a coach, get an aero helmet and skinsuit, or whatever with the rest of the money you save.
Sidenote: If I didn’t ride FLO it would probably be the HED Jet 6/9 Plus Carbon.
Most of us don’t need marginal gains. We need huge, moon-jumping type leaps first, and are capable of that if we apply ourselves. Only near the maximum human performance ceiling do marginal gains become more important. Unless you have a pro contract, you probably aren’t at that point. For the majority of us, we could lose 10 lbs. and ride an extra intentional 2 hours a week.
My Current Wheel Set-Up
White Industry Wheel Custom Front with Continental 25 GP4000s
Rim Depth 30
Total weight w/ tire 1300g
White Industry Rear Custom with 25 GP4000s
Rim Depth 30
Total weight w/ tire 1600g
FLO 60 Aluminum Carbon Clinchers Rim Brake with 23 GP4000s
Total weight w/ tire 1300g
Mavic Kysrium Elites with Aero Cover with 25 Continental GP4000s
Total weight w/ tire 1975g
Add in a rear FLO 77 AS Carbon. I just need to measure the Cannondale SuperSix to make sure it’ll fit since it’s a 2012 model frame. (Yeah time for a new one…)
Later, I might add in a FLO Disk.
How FLO Wheels Remain Affordable
FLO uses a direct to consumer model. In the old days, there used to be sale days where you’d need to login to your computer ahead of time and better ready to race-click on the mouse to checkout before others did to order your wheels. Those days are gone, but the great prices still remain.
My Experience on the Flo’s
The FLO wheels feel nimble but sturdy. They are responsive. I want to try them with wider tires, but my frame limits me a bit. I am going to do some downhill “aero testing” comparing the White Industry to Flo+Aerocover setup soon, along with working on my position. Yes, I know this isn’t 100% scientific, but a now decried but once famous cycling pro coach recommended it as a way to work on your aero positioning, etc. Coast down a hill and then cruise the flat until you hit 10 mph and put a marker on the side of the road. Repeat many times and when you start consistently going farther you are more aero.
The wheels are durable, as well. One section of roads near my North Texas home I refer to as Sector 19 Trouée d’Haslet because it sits between the county maintained section and city maintained section as a kind of no-mans-land of care. The Flo wheels have taken that segment many a day and kept on ticking.
Try ‘Em. You’ll Like ‘Em. I Don’t Make a Dime.
If you want a great set of wheels and to not have a spousal member say, “You spent WHAT on bike stuff? Doesn’t your bike already have wheels?” hit up FLO Cycling. (Note, my spousal unit is super supportive and the only time the purchase brakes have been tapped are on what she calls “a backup E-bike.” ha!) That isn’t an affiliate link. I make zero if you buy ’em.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the FLO Factory Team, not for them to induce me to use their wheels, but because they were already working so well for me. When the opportunity came, I jumped. I hope to introduce their value to the Ultracyling world a bit more.
Jordan Fowler has experience as a head swimming coach of the Frisco Swim Team, a TAAF-awarded coach, a track and field distance running consultant for select Texas High School runners, and has competed as a triathlete, road runner, and cyclist. Though he is remarkably slower than he was in his 20s and 30s, he still enjoys endurance sports and sports science studies.