FLX Trail Questions for Current Owners!

https://flx.bike/products/trail

The FLX Trail ticks a lot of the boxes:

-hydraulic brakes
-suspension
-torque sensor
-mid drive (hub is fine too)
-under $3K
-integrated front and rear light available
-600+ amphour battery

Questions:

1. is there any drag from the mid drive when pedaling the bike without battery power?
2. what is the standover clearance? 29" and under is ideal.
3. what is the effective top tube length?
4. what is the max tire clearance?
 

Nicegoing

New Member
I've had the F3 Trail for about a week now and I love it! I took a while to pull the trigger, because there is so little by way of reviews out there, but am very happy I did after finding the Ride FLX facebook group and doing a demo with a local of the F2.

So I got the 13.6Ah battery and throttle. No touring package. The bike came to my doorstep 3 days after ordering! Everything was packaged very securely and it took me about an hour to assemble, 3-4 hours for the battery to charge to 100%. Assembly was very simple, a bit tedious. I made a mistake of hitting the breaks before installing the front tire and had to trouble shoot resetting the hydraulic brakes. I am new to these, so amateur mistake.

I have ridden a few similar bikes, but this one is much quicker off the get. I have yet to do a total range test, but so far from my riding and battery levels the range estimates seem accurate. The build quality is very sturdy and the bike is very impressive to look at.

If anyone has any questions, please do so and I'll do my best to give feedback.

To answer your questions;

1. I rode it 6 miles with the battery off, and while you do have to work a bit more because of the weight and tire size, it wasn't horrible. I didn't feel any drag from the motor, it coasted just fine.
2. Standover clearence is 29-3/4"
3. Effective top tube length is 22"
4. I don't know what you're looking for here. haha
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
"4. I don't know what you're looking for here. haha"

The clearance in the rear triangle for perhaps a wider tire? In other words how much room is there at the chain stays up by the bottom bracket with the stock tires. Could wider ones fit?
 
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Nicegoing

New Member
The spacing is 3". there is about 5/8" space on either side of the stock tires. I'm sure you could fit larger tires by maybe 1/2". Hope this helps.
 
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I replaced the stock tires (27.5x2.1) on my G3 Trail with 27.5x27.25's and there is still plenty of clearance. Reason for the change was to put on tires that had extra flat protection - Schwalbe Smart Sams.
 

fr8dogjoe

Member
I am 75" with a 35" inseam and 205lbs. The trail is a great looking bike. Anyone else close to my measurements and how does the bike fit. Thanks.
 
What are the pro's and con's of the G3 Trail? I am interested in purchasing the touring.
I have had my G3 Trail for 2 months and have 400 miles on it. I had no previous experience with e-bikes and little with other bikes in recent years, so you could call me a neophyte, but I can share with you my observations. I use the bike for exercise, taking the place of my stationary bike, so I do not depend on it for commuting or "cruising" both of which probably require different needs. I've been very happy so far.

PROs
Easy to assemble. No problems out of the box, just install the front wheel and good to go (there is a video on FLX's website to help as well). I purchased the throttle, which required me to remove the left grip and brake in order to slide it on to the handlebar. And it came with a bunch of tools ( end and allen wrenches) in a little zip bag that would allow you to to virtually take the bike apart and fix on the road.

Mechanical parts (shifter, brakes, front suspension) have worked flawlessly. Brakes in particular seem very responsive. Cassette ratio is fine for my needs - I almost exclusively ride in PA Level 1 and maintain 15-18mph and normally use 5th-7th gears over mostly flat terrain. I see other e-bike riders riding much faster obviously using much higher gears and (perhaps) using much higher PS levels - thus they probably use higher gears than I do. I have read on line that some would prefer higher or lower gear combinations. I seldom use either 9th or 1st, so I like this set-up.

The electronics have all the info I need and more. The % readout on the battery is great - more below re battery and readout

The bike is nimble. I did not appreciate it until I rode with a friend and we swapped bikes for a bit. I looked at the difference in the weight after the ride and realized how relatively light the Trail is. It is really easy to handle, especially at slow speeds when I am trying to maneuver around objects/stopped cars/trail walkers.

The motor is quiet. Nice hum. I have passed other e-bikes and they sound like a diesel-electric. And plenty of power.

I am sure you have seen the EBR reviews by Kort. All the other Pros apply like wires routed in the frame, wires bundles together in front of the head stock, kick stand is out of the way, blah, blah, blah - admittedly, there is no chainstay protector (ok, I purchased one from Amazon for $10).

All of my questions to FLX have been answered promptly (although none of my questions have been "problems")

I just like the way the bike looks! Clean lines and ready to ride.

Cons (EBR)

First let me address the Cons that were mentioned in the EBR review on the earlier version of the FLX Trail (which, to me, appears to be pretty harsh).

They criticize the bike because it bounces because it does not have a rear suspension. It's a hardtail! One wonders how many other hardtail reviews wherein they made that comment. Likewise re their comments about the tires not having puncture protection and the console not being removable (they have moved it down so that it will not get damaged in a fall). All of this is pretty much "standard" for this price point. There is no chain guide - I have not had an issue with the chain coming off - and it appears that the bike has the same Alivio derailleur that EBR was critical off.

The new Trail has wider handlebars, a beefed up front axle and the throttle no longer requires the bike to be moving at 5mph in order to be activated. The throttle can now be activated from a standing stop - like at a signal.

Cons (mine)

Console readout not bright enough. When wearing sunglasses hard to read even when set at the highest setting. Fine in other conditions and a flip of the glasses will suffice, but a PITA.

Grips are rough. The grips, well, grip. Fine, but don't ride to far without gloves because the grip can be a bit abrasive. I bought "ergonomic" replacements.

Seat. Can't say the seat was any more uncomfortable than any other bike because all bike seats seem to be made as a torture test. I purchased another, wider, seat that was better for my (wider) posterior. Better fit, but not what I'd call comfortable either.

Battery % meter. I have noticed that after you use about 40% of the battery, the percentages seem to drop in hunks. Admittedly, it is not something that I watch closely when the battery is full, so maybe that is the way it goes.

Final thought, RANGE

There is a lot of discussion over "range." A LOT of factors go in to how far your bike will go on one charge; your size, terrain, speed and PA level (I note that the EBR review says FLX claims 60 miles and Kort estimates 20 - did I say he was harsh?). My experience as a 200 pounder - which I assume you are as well (I purchased the 13.6ah battery and glad I did) - riding as indicated above (flat terrain, PA #1, 15-18mph, seldom/never use the throttle) is 21 miles followed by 20 miles on one full charge - there is one caveat to the flat terrain, the last mile of both rides were up a very steep hill (ie a battery-sucking hill). So I would estimate I could have made a total of 45 miles on that one charge with no hill to kill the battery. I imagine you would get the same under the these conditions. An added bonus is that FLX batteries have Panasonic cells - about the best on the market, so with proper care, you should get a good life out of the battery.
 
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fr8dogjoe

Member
I have had my G3 Trail for 2 months and have 400 miles on it. I had no previous experience with e-bikes and little with other bikes in recent years, so you could call me a neophyte, but I can share with you my observations. I use the bike for exercise, taking the place of my stationary bike, so I do not depend on it for commuting or "cruising" both of which probably require different needs. I've been very happy so far.

PROs
Easy to assemble. No problems out of the box, just install the front wheel and good to go (there is a video on FLX's website to help as well). I purchased the throttle, which required me to remove the left grip and brake in order to slide it on to the handlebar. And it came with a bunch of tools ( end and allen wrenches) in a little zip bag that would allow you to to virtually take the bike apart and fix on the road.

Mechanical parts (shifter, brakes, front suspension) have worked flawlessly. Brakes in particular seem very responsive. Cassette ratio is fine for my needs - I almost exclusively ride in PA Level 1 and maintain 15-18mph and normally use 5th-7th gears over mostly flat terrain. I see other e-bike riders riding much faster obviously using much higher gears and (perhaps) using much higher PS levels - thus they probably use higher gears than I do. I have read on line that some would prefer higher or lower gear combinations. I seldom use either 9th or 1st, so I like this set-up.

The electronics have all the info I need and more. The % readout on the battery is great - more below re battery and readout

The bike is nimble. I did not appreciate it until I rode with a friend and we swapped bikes for a bit. I looked at the difference in the weight after the ride and realized how relatively light the Trail is. It is really easy to handle, especially at slow speeds when I am trying to maneuver around objects/stopped cars/trail walkers.

The motor is quiet. Nice hum. I have passed other e-bikes and they sound like a diesel-electric. And plenty of power.

I am sure you have seen the EBR reviews by Kort. All the other Pros apply like wires routed in the frame, wires bundles together in front of the head stock, kick stand is out of the way, blah, blah, blah - admittedly, there is no chainstay protector (ok, I purchased one from Amazon for $10).

All of my questions to FLX have been answered promptly (although none of my questions have been "problems")

I just like the way the bike looks! Clean lines and ready to ride.

Cons (EBR)

First let me address the Cons that were mentioned in the EBR review on the earlier version of the FLX Trail (which, to me, appears to be pretty harsh).

They criticize the bike because it bounces because it does not have a rear suspension. It's a hardtail! One wonders how many other hardtail reviews wherein they made that comment. Likewise re their comments about the tires not having puncture protection and the console not being removable (they have moved it down so that it will not get damaged in a fall). All of this is pretty much "standard" for this price point. There is no chain guide - I have not had an issue with the chain coming off - and it appears that the bike has the same Alivio derailleur that EBR was critical off.

The new Trail has wider handlebars, a beefed up front axle and the throttle no longer requires the bike to be moving at 5mph in order to be activated. The throttle can now be activated from a standing stop - like at a signal.

Cons (mine)

Console readout not bright enough. When wearing sunglasses hard to read even when set at the highest setting. Fine in other conditions and a flip of the glasses will suffice, but a PITA.

Grips are rough. The grips, well, grip. Fine, but don't ride to far without gloves because the grip can be a bit abrasive. I bought "ergonomic" replacements.

Seat. Can't say the seat was any more uncomfortable than any other bike because all bike seats seem to be made as a torture test. I purchased another, wider, seat that was better for my (wider) posterior. Better fit, but not what I'd call comfortable either.

Battery % meter. I have noticed that after you use about 40% of the battery, the percentages seem to drop in hunks. Admittedly, it is not something that I watch closely when the battery is full, so maybe that is the way it goes.

Final thought, RANGE

There is a lot of discussion over "range." A LOT of factors go in to how far your bike will go on one charge; your size, terrain, speed and PA level (I note that the EBR review says FLX claims 60 miles and Kort estimates 20 - did I say he was harsh?). My experience as a 200 pounder - which I assume you are as well (I purchased the 13.6ah battery and glad I did) - riding as indicated above (flat terrain, PA #1, 15-18mph, seldom/never use the throttle) is 21 miles followed by 20 miles on one full charge - there is one caveat to the flat terrain, the last mile of both rides were up a very steep hill (ie a battery-sucking hill). So I would estimate I could have made a total of 45 miles on that one charge with no hill to kill the battery. I imagine you would get the same under the these conditions. An added bonus is that FLX batteries have Panasonic cells - about the best on the market, so with proper care, you should get a good life out of the battery.
 

fr8dogjoe

Member
That was quite an in depth report. Thanks you very much for taking the time to write it. I intend to use the bike to cruise around and exercise. Sound like a pretty good first ebike.
 

Cmulv

New Member
I've had the F3 Trail for about a week now and I love it! I took a while to pull the trigger, because there is so little by way of reviews out there, but am very happy I did after finding the Ride FLX facebook group and doing a demo with a local of the F2.

So I got the 13.6Ah battery and throttle. No touring package. The bike came to my doorstep 3 days after ordering! Everything was packaged very securely and it took me about an hour to assemble, 3-4 hours for the battery to charge to 100%. Assembly was very simple, a bit tedious. I made a mistake of hitting the breaks before installing the front tire and had to trouble shoot resetting the hydraulic brakes. I am new to these, so amateur mistake.

I have ridden a few similar bikes, but this one is much quicker off the get. I have yet to do a total range test, but so far from my riding and battery levels the range estimates seem accurate. The build quality is very sturdy and the bike is very impressive to look at.

If anyone has any questions, please do so and I'll do my best to give feedback.

To answer your questions;

1. I rode it 6 miles with the battery off, and while you do have to work a bit more because of the weight and tire size, it wasn't horrible. I didn't feel any drag from the motor, it coasted just fine.
2. Standover clearence is 29-3/4"
3. Effective top tube length is 22"
4. I don't know what you're looking for here. haha

Hey could you answer a couple questions about the F3

What would you say the top speed is with throttle only? And how quick or fast does it get to that top speed?

I'm looking for a bike that can do close to 25 miles per hour at throttle only for small stretches like an eighth of a mile

What would you say the top speed is with pedaling can you hit 30 miles per hour or does it pretty much top out at 28? Is there any way to take the speed limit off like an unrestricted mode?

Yeah the bike looks really cool because it's pretty light as a couple people mentioned

Also how is the front fork does it do a pretty good job absorbing bumps in the road? Or is it pretty basic? Do you think you might need to upgrade or is it do the job??

Great thanks a lot I really appreciate your feedback looks like a cool bike. Any other thoughts you have would be cool to hear
 

Cmulv

New Member
I replaced the stock tires (27.5x2.1) on my G3 Trail with 27.5x27.25's and there is still plenty of clearance. Reason for the change was to put on tires that had extra flat protection - Schwalbe Smart Sams.
the F3

What would you say the top speed is with throttle only? And how quick or fast does it get to that top speed?

I'm looking for a bike that can do close to 25 miles per hour at throttle only for small stretches like an eighth of a mile

What would you say the top speed is with pedaling can you hit 30 miles per hour or does it pretty much top out at 28? Is there any way to take the speed limit off like an unrestricted mode?

Yeah the bike looks really cool because it's pretty light as a couple people mentioned

Also how is the front fork does it do a pretty good job absorbing bumps in the road? Or is it pretty basic? Do you think you might need to upgrade or is it do the job??

Great thanks a lot I really appreciate your feedback looks like a cool bike. Any other thoughts you have would be cool to hear
 
the F3

What would you say the top speed is with throttle only? And how quick or fast does it get to that top speed?

I'm looking for a bike that can do close to 25 miles per hour at throttle only for small stretches like an eighth of a mile

What would you say the top speed is with pedaling can you hit 30 miles per hour or does it pretty much top out at 28? Is there any way to take the speed limit off like an unrestricted mode?

Yeah the bike looks really cool because it's pretty light as a couple people mentioned

Also how is the front fork does it do a pretty good job absorbing bumps in the road? Or is it pretty basic? Do you think you might need to upgrade or is it do the job??

Great thanks a lot I really appreciate your feedback looks like a cool bike. Any other thoughts you have would be cool to hear[/QUOTE

I normally don't ride above 20mph, so I had your question in mind when I rode this am and thought I would try to come up with some anwsers while riding. Unfortunately (well, not really) my ride is along the coast and there is never a moment when I am not riding in to or against the wind. So I tried the throttle test once against the wind and once with the wind in the same place (an hour later on my return trip). Against the wind the bike got up to 25 mph. With the wind 27mph. The motor did not stop working, it just didn't go any faster. I weigh 200 lbs and had probably another 10lbs of gear along with me, someone lighter would no doubt have different results.. The "test" with the pedal showed that the motor stopped assisting at 28mph and I was on my own.

The console options do not give you an option to change the speed limits set in the controller. In fact I had previously contacted FLX asking if it could be reprogrammed to comply with Class 2 requirements of limiting the throttle at 20mph (Calif limits e-bikes on bike paths to Class 2) and was told that I would have to purchase a new console ($55). I am an outlaw - in fact when I was doing my first "speed test" this am, doing 25mph via throttle on a bike path, I looked over and saw a Sheriff's Deputy pacing me from an adjacent roadway. He just smiled and gave me a thumbs up!!!

As far as the shocks are concerned, I am no expert. I set my shocks up for my particular weight and have not given them another thought. They do have a rebound adjustment, but I would probably mess up the "ride" if I fiddled with it. The shocks are Suntour SR XCR 32's and in doing a little research I found this from Suntour:

"The hierarchy from low to high would be XCT, XCM, XCR. V2, V3 has to do with the 'version'. higher number is newer generation.

Forks specified by different bicycle brands can be configured in a number of different ways, so its hard for me to understand exactly what you are looking at, that being said;

Our XCM and XCR models come with 30mm stanchions. ( the upper tubes) if you compare this to other forks in the price range, many of our competitors will often use 28mm stanchions. Larger diameter = improved stiffness and strength. Also, the pitch, or width of these two forks is 130mm. You will find that to be a bit wider than many of our competitors. Generally speaking, wider is better."

Second, our XCM and XCR models are what we call QSP, or quick service products. That means if your fork's internals ever wear out our suffer a problem, the fork can be fixed easily by replacing the entire cartridge.

Finally, if you are shopping for a bike that is less than $1,000 I'm sure you have seen that many of those bikes are equipped with SR Suntour forks. The primary reasons for this are based on the fact that the bicycle brands have come to trust SR Suntour to supply them with a reliable product that performs well. (that may seem simple, but its a big deal) Additionally, we operate service centers in North America, Asia and Europe to back up our product.

So I guess XCR's are the top of their line and must be pretty good for the price point.

Hope this helps.
 

Cmulv

New Member

hey thanks a lot I really appreciate that

Interesting about the speed throttle is basically as fast as pedaling

Yeah I only weigh a hundred and fifty pounds so that might be plenty of power

Hey would you say that it's a pretty quick acceleration to 25 miles per hour?

Yeah just curious about the acceleration and also what happens if you're pedaling with pedal assist and you push down on the throttle does it give you like a boost to maximum power?

Yeah thanks a lot seems like a really cool bike. How does it feel in terms of going over bumps and cracks in the road and rough roads does the weight of the bike seemed kind of heavy or is it pretty good at absorbing bumps.

Yeah I got a bike with a hub motor and it's definitely a little rough in terms of you feel all the bumps you know. Just curious how would you say the extra weight of the bike affects the ride

Cool thanks a lot man really appreciate it
 
hey thanks a lot I really appreciate that

Interesting about the speed throttle is basically as fast as pedaling

Yeah I only weigh a hundred and fifty pounds so that might be plenty of power

Hey would you say that it's a pretty quick acceleration to 25 miles per hour?

Yeah just curious about the acceleration and also what happens if you're pedaling with pedal assist and you push down on the throttle does it give you like a boost to maximum power?

Yeah thanks a lot seems like a really cool bike. How does it feel in terms of going over bumps and cracks in the road and rough roads does the weight of the bike seemed kind of heavy or is it pretty good at absorbing bumps.

Yeah I got a bike with a hub motor and it's definitely a little rough in terms of you feel all the bumps you know. Just curious how would you say the extra weight of the bike affects the ride

Cool thanks a lot man really appreciate it

You have to shift through the gears to reach max speed with the throttle, so acceleration is like a stick shift in a car, you go through the gears. But yeah, acceleration is pretty good. When you are peddling and hit the throttle, it gives you a boost (my only use for the throttle is usually when I need to speed up to catch a signal) - again, if you want continue to max speed you would shift up to 9th gear. I think that is different than a hub drive - I've only ridden one and did not use the throttle - you don't depend on the gears to reach various speeds (am I correct?). Speaking of hub drives, on the one I rode, when you upped the power assist level, you could feel a sudden change. On the trail (and I read this is a difference between hub and mid-drives) the change is much more subtle. It is there, but it is not like the "thunk" I felt with the hub drive. But as you continue peddling, you can definitely tell that additional power has been added. Perhaps someone who has more experience between the two types of drives can comment.

I'll comment on the "vibrator/buzzer" that is one of the options you have in the console. It buzzes and vibrates when you change power levels. I read elsewhere where someone said it was annoying. I guess it could be (you can turn it off), but I appreciate hearing/feeling that my fingers were pushing the right button. As I mentioned (as have others) the display can be difficult to see when wearing shades and by hearing/feeling that you have hit the button, you don't have to squint to see what power level you are in (or having to look down in difficult terrain). So thumbs up on that feature.

As far as the bumps and cracks. Depends. You still feel real bumps for sure. Little stuff not really. As I mentioned before, there is an adjustment that can be made that I have not spent any time with because I have not been overly bothered by the ride.

I know FLX has a system where they can hook you up with Trail owners in your area for a "test" ride, perhaps you might try that avenue.
 
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Cmulv

New Member
You have to shift through the gears to reach max speed with the throttle, so acceleration is like a stick shift in a car, you go through the gears. But yeah, acceleration is pretty good. When you are peddling and hit the throttle, it gives you a boost (my only use for the throttle is usually when I need to speed up to catch a signal) - again, if you want continue to max speed you would shift up to 9th gear. I think that is different than a hub drive - I've only ridden one and did not use the throttle - you don't depend on the gears to reach various speeds (am I correct?). Speaking of hub drives, on the one I rode, when you upped the power assist level, you could feel a sudden change. On the trail (and I read this is a difference between hub and mid-drives) the change is much more subtle. It is there, but it is not like the "thunk" I felt with the hub drive. But as you continue peddling, you can definitely tell that additional power has been added. Perhaps someone who has more experience between the two types of drives can comment.

I'll comment on the "vibrator/buzzer" that is one of the options you have in the console. It buzzes and vibrates when you change power levels. I read elsewhere where someone said it was annoying. I guess it could be (you can turn it off), but I appreciate hearing/feeling that my fingers were pushing the right button. As I mentioned (as have others) the display can be difficult to see when wearing shades and by hearing/feeling that you have hit the button, you don't have to squint to see what power level you are in (or having to look down in difficult terrain). So thumbs up on that feature.

As far as the bumps and cracks. Depends. You still feel real bumps for sure. Little stuff not really. As I mentioned before, there is an adjustment that can be made that I have not spent any time with because I have not been overly bothered by the ride.

I know FLX has a system where they can hook you up with Trail owners in your area for a "test" ride, perhaps you might try that avenue.

Hey thanks a lot appreciate that

Yeah I got a Juiced cross-current with a hub motor. It's pretty cool the big advantages you don't have to worry about gears you can just hit the throttle and shift gears and you never have to think about it

It's pretty responsive but the Hub motor Max is out at 20 miles per hour with throttle only

But if you paddle it gives you max power up to 28 miles per hour

The only disadvantages you definitely feel bumps in the rear wheel more

I got a body float suspension seatpost and that definitely is a big help and definitely worth the money as I compared to a couple of other seatposts that weren't as good

How is shifting when you're using pedal assist does it ever kind of feel real rough on the derailleur. There's no shift detection right on that motor or is there?


Thanks for the info I appreciate it
 
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You are correct, there is no shift detection and there is usually no problem with the derailleur. The only exception I have noticed is when I am off road in steep terrain and am really pushing hard with plenty of power assist. Of course I could let off a little to shift, but at that point I am usually really needing a lower gear and that is the last thing on my mind.
 

Driftway

New Member
Great reviews, thanks.
I have some steep hills both road and trail.
Does the Trail ever feel underpowered on the steeps? I’m trying to decide between flx Trail vs Blade. Trail is significantly lighter (and less$) so hoping it is powerful enough. I’m 150 lbs.....