Velocite Bikes Flux 1  2012 Mountain Bike Review

Velocite Bikes Flux 1 2012

Reviews / XC Bikes

Velocite Bikes 5,670

At a glance

Quite literally ‘at a glance’ the Velocite Flux looks like a force of nature. Strong, purposeful and fast is how it looks and the top draw kit that adorns the Flux only serves to enhance that impression.

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Velocite are a reasonably new company, being formed in Taiwan in 2008. Rather than see their lack of history as a disadvantage they see it as liberating, having no out dated design concepts to hold them back.

The Flux is the only mountain bike Velocite offer, the rest of the range consists of 3 uncompromising carbon road frames and an alloy road trainer. The range is small and extremely focused, the intention being purely performance based. Next year will see the range grow and they want to have a full range of MTB;s in the line up soon.

The bike we are testing is the Flux 1, which is the top of the range offering.

Tech heads

Velocite use what they call High Compaction Technology to ensure tube thicknesses are exact and that there is a smooth finish both inside and out. The head tube is tapered and there is a large carbon yoke where the top tube and down tube meet it. The down tube is oversized and the shape morphs and flares slightly as it drops down the BB area where there is a full-length BB30 carbon shell. The top tube is bowed and flows around the seat tube to form sturdy seat stays before carrying on in a continuous curve to form the chain stays that deepen as they join the BB area. Gear cable routing is internal but the rear brake line is surface run.

Kit wise the spec is second to none, you can choose whether you want Sram XX or Shimano XTR, our test bike came with Sram XX.

The fork is a Rock Shox Sid XX giving 100mm of travel, a legend in xc racing terms, drive train and braking are covered by Sram XX and Fulcrum Red Metal 3 wheels are shod with Continental Speed Kings.

Finishing kit includes a 3T 115mm stem and a 3T 640mm flat carbon bar, Velocite provide the seat post and saddle, both carbon.

Geometry

Velocite Flux 1 Small

Seat tube 440mm
Effective top tube 573mm
Head tube 125mm
Chain stay 425mm
Front triangle 641mm
Wheel base 1066mm
BB height 300mm
Head angle 70.5°
Seat angle 74°
Reach 407mm
Stack 575mm

Weight w/o pedals 20.4lbs

On the trail

The Velocite is a short wheel based, compact bike that feels instantly aggressive and up for the fight.

Stiffness is high and acceleration is direct and very solid, it feels like the bike pounces forwards. Feedback through the frame is good even though it is clear that the Flux has been made stiff rather than compliant and damping.

At speed the combination of the long stem and narrow bar meant that things soon felt a little twitchy, this is a shame as the beefed up front end offered real precise handling and the 15mm axle fork coped admirably and held its lines well for what is very much a race fork.

A quick rummage in the van and a 90mm stem and some 685mm low rise carbon bars were quickly transplanted onto the Flux.

This made a huge difference to the handling of the bike but it did shorten the cockpit enough to be noticed on long drags but the overall improvement in handling and general comfort weighed this. Of course stem length and bar width are personal preference so ensure you set it up to suit you.

Singletrack is a blast on this bike, the twistier the better as it will turn on a sixpence and will leap out of corners as the power comes in. Velocite’s road bike knowledge is evident as things open up and the bike literally swallows up the miles.

When climbing moderate inclines it feels like there is a hand on your back giving you a push, if it gets steep and technical the bike is agile enough to be able to hop and lift over roots and rock steps and tight switchbacks can be taken wide at speed due to the tight turning circle.

Point the bike downwards and things can get a touch nerve racking but the changes we made to the stem/bars combo really helped give some control.

For

The Flux is a combination of a stiff frame, lightweight, aggressive proportions and top-flight kit. This all adds up to a bike that needs to be hammered and the pay offs are speed and razor sharp handling.

Against

The Velocite is not for everyone, it is a niche bike that will chew up and spit out anyone that is not fit enough, fast enough or just plain good enough. That said at over £5300 it is doubtful that it will find its way into the hands of anyone that does not know what they want.

The tight, taught rear end is a blast and translates energy into forward momentum with ruthless efficiency but can be harsh and uncomfortable on longer rides, it can be hard to control over rough ground too.

The short wheel base does mean that the Flux is a handful when speed is ramped up high, however, this is marginally off set by the low BB.

Conclusion

There are a number of bikes out there that are built to give the capable rider every chance on race day and the Velocite Flux can claim these uber XC rigs as companions.

Velocite have tweaked the geometry and this has given the Flux a character all of its own, one that promises fun but hints at danger, we found this to be an appealing package.

Fun, fast and muscular…. If that sounds like you then the Velocite Flux may just be your soul mate.

Price: £5300

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This review was in Issue 16 of IMB.

For more information visit Velocite Bikes

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By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

Tried this? What did you think?