Offering kneepad-friendly fit and a water-repellent coating, the lightweight Madison Flux trousers are a good value choice for trail riders
Whether you call them trail pants or mountain bike trousers, or some mix of the two, the advances in fit and fabric mean that they are no longer the bulky preserve of winter downhill riding. A quick look at our pick of the best mountain bike trousers shows the sheer variety of products now on offer.
Madison is claiming its Madison Flux trouser can handle DH and trail riding, which sort of makes sense if you assume downhill pants are the same as regular ones. If on the other hand, you’re looking for something with a bit of scuff protection, then the lightweight, four-way stretch construction isn’t that tough.
For trail use, though, I’ve no complaints – the material is super-breathable, it’s snug but moves with you and it also comes with a DWR coating, which helps water bead and run off the surface. All of the seams are triple stitched, and the Flux also has a downhill-style, ratchet fastener on the waist. I like the simplicity, but it could do with having slightly more adjustment. A silicone gripper on the rear hem is there to stop this trouser slipping down but it wasn’t that effective.
To aid cooling there are laser cut vents dotted around and two large mesh panels on the back of the knees. The legs are also cut to accept knee pads and there’s a slight taper in the leg, so nothing is going to flap into the chain.
I always like pockets in trousers for a phone and my car keys and while the discrete side pockets will easily swallow the latter, getting a phone in is a bit of a squeeze.
The best example of a trouser that can work for both trail and DH is the Troy Lee Designs Sprint I tested about a year ago. It’s tougher than the Flux and has a few key features like the reinforced crank-side ankle and abrasion resistant material on the seat and thigh area.
The Flux lacks those details, but it is £45 cheaper, and for trail shredding it’s totally fine. Madison just needs to tweak the position of the buckle to give a broader range of sizing and maybe add a bit more depth to the pockets.
Not as tough as some other trousers and lacks a few features, but great trousers for trail riding.