The FLO 64 AS – A Versatile Carbon Wheel

The most common question we get at FLO is about wheel selection. When we started the company, we were known as a triathlon company, but over the last few years, we’ve transitioned to being more of an overall cycling company with strong roots still in triathlon. Our wheels are made for triathlon and road, and recently adding the FLO gravel wheel line has introduced us to a new market sector. 

Each wheel that we’ve designed and produced feels kind of like a child, and I’ve been told you shouldn’t really pick favorites, but if I’m being honest there is a special place in my heart for the FLO 64 AS. Why, you may ask? Read below to learn more about the unique characteristics of the FLO 64 AS and how it may hit a sweet spot for you, too. 

Speed And Stability

We now have three generations of wheels. With each generation came an increase in aerodynamic efficiency and handing. Today, the All Sport and Gravel wheels are the stablest and fastest wheels we’ve ever produced. 

In our All Sport Carbon Clincher line, we have 3 sizes, the FLO 49 AS, the FLO 64 AS, and the FLO 77 AS. The number roughly reflects the depth of the wheel. Generally, the deeper a wheel the faster it is. Over the years we’ve been able to make wheels wider, and we’ve learned there is a balance between width and depth where speed is concerned, which is why we reduced our FLO 90 to a FLO 77 AS (more on that in another article). 

If you’re looking for speed when choosing a wheel, you want to pick the deepest one you can handle. As a wheel gets deeper, the more you are affected by cross winds, especially on the front wheel. The more you are affected by the wind, the more likely you are to come out of the bars. Your body is the biggest source of drag, so having a wheel that you can handle in the wind while still staying down is a more important component in making you faster than the actual depth of the wheel. This is why our recommendation for triathlon wheels is a front FLO 64 AS and a rear FLO 77 AS.

But, what about a road racer, or a competitive recreational rider? Personally, I love riding a bike, and while I’m not a racer, I am competitive with myself. So what wheels are best for me?

While the FLO 77 AS is a very stable wheel, as previously mentioned, it is more difficult in tough wind conditions. This further points to the FLO 64 AS for a guy like me. Even though a deeper wheel is faster, they are not faster by that much. For example over an Ironman, a front FLO 77 AS may save you 10-15 seconds over a front FLO 64 AS. 

On the other hand, some people default to the idea that a shallower wheel is best because it’s easier to handle. However, that’s not really the case. 

The FLO 49 AS is easier to handle in wind, yes, but that doesn’t mean that the FLO 64 AS is difficult. The previous generation FLO 60s and the FLO 64s are our top seller for all riders. Over the years we’ve shipped thousands of front FLO 60/64s and have had very few complaints on handling or stability (or complaints in general). So, just because a FLO 64 AS is a deep wheel, it does not make it unstable. For a competitive cyclist, whether racing or not, the FLO 64 AS provides a real sweet spot for speed, stability, and handling. 

Vibration Dampening

When asked about the differences between the FLO 49 AS and the FLO 64 AS, I give an answer most people do not expect. The FLO 64 is a smoother ride with less vibration, which, to me, feels better. Why this happens has to do with the depth of the wheel profile. As a rim gets deeper, it increases the carbon span between the tire and the spoke bed. This span of carbon acts as a leaf spring. As you ride your bike, the rim absorbs vibration in the leaf spring. The shallower FLO 49 AS does not absorb the same amount of vibration and feels a bit harsher. Some people love this feeling, but I prefer a smoother ride. 

Weight

We still often get asked, “how much does the wheel weigh?” Back in the day, weight did matter, but it doesn’t as much now. Research, technology, and updated designs have allowed us to make different depth wheels with insignificant weight differences. For example, you may be tempted to choose a FLO 49 AS because it weighs less, but the difference between a FLO 49 AS and a FLO 64 AS is 40 grams (1.41 oz). To put that into perspective, an empty water bottle weighs about 100 grams, so not much difference at all. 

Final Thoughts

It may sound like I’m talking you out of choosing the FLO 49 AS or even the FLO 77 AS, but that is not the case. As I said earlier, all of the wheels I’ve designed are like children and I love them all. However, the FLO 64 AS is a wheel I love to ride and it hits the sweet spot for me. Specific characteristics of different wheels fit different people, and this article is intended to highlight the unique traits of the FLO 64 AS. All of our wheels are stiff in the right ways, have great components, and are hand built to deliver wheels that last a long time and perform exceptionally well—all things you don’t even have to think about when choosing any FLO wheel. If the characteristics of the FLO 64 AS seem to check all of your boxes, be sure to consider it when making your selection and compare it against the FLO 49 AS or FLO 77 AS.

FLO 64 AS

FLO 64 AS Disc