Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trouser review – a slim-fitting and super comfortable trail pant ideal for all but the coolest months

With an updated design for 2024, can the Madison Flux compete in the ever growing in Trail Pants category?

Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trouser
(Image: © James Watkins)

Bike Perfect Verdict

A decent trail pant option for those who prefer a slim-fitting design. Quality materials used in a paired back trouser; just be sure to check that your preferred knee pads are compatible with the tapered leg.


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    Comfortable 4-way stretch material

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    Slim tailored cut if that’s what you’re looking for

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    Decent sized rearward facing side pockets

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    Compatible with slim enduro-style knee pads


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    Very slim cut around the calf

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    Beefier knee pads may a struggle to fit

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    Some discoloration to the seat area after repeated use and washes

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    UK availability only

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If you’re a frequent flyer at your local trail center, you no doubt will have noticed the proliferation of trail pants over the past few years. No longer reserved for the gravity-orienated fraternity, the latest crop of trail MTB pants lend themselves to all but flat-out XC efforts. Madison has updated the design of the Flux Trail Trouser for 2024 and increased the price from £79.99 to £99.99, meaning they’re not quite the budget option they once were. I was therefore interested to see if they’ve improved the design and ironed out the niggles.

Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trouser waistband close up

Fit adjustment is kept simple with a moto-style ratchet closure system at the waist (Image credit: James Watkins)

Design and specifications

Madison highlight that the new Flux Trousers have been designed in conjunction with the Madison Saracen Factory Race Team, and they do have a paired back, no nonsense look and feel to them. The fabric is a lightweight 4-way stretch affair (90 percent Nylon, 10 percent Elastane) with a DWR treatment to fend off splashes on the trail. The fit is on the athletic side, with the legs tapering to achieve a snug fit around the ankle, meaning no material is left to flap about. They have an articulated fit at the knees to help with pedaling and claim to be knee pad compatible. At the back of the knee and a section at the ankle you’ll find a very stretchy open-weave fabric to help with breathability and movement. Closure is taken care of by a quick-adjust moto-style ratchet at the waist, and the waistband has printed silicone on the inside to help keep them in place. Two rearward-facing zipped pockets on the thighs are provided for storing essentials. The Fluxs are available in the Rust Orange (tested) and Black, in sizes S to XXL. Commendably, the Black colored versions are available in three different leg lengths for each size, which is rarely the case and a Women’s version is available from size 8 to 16.

Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trousers seen side-on

The slender fit means the pants don't work well with bulkier knee pads, though slimmer knee guards are fine (Image credit: James Watkins)


I’ve been testing the Flux pants over the past few spring months in the UK, in conditions ranging from cold and wet to warm and dusty. I’ve been wearing the size small, which fitted my 32” waist and 32” inseam legs well. They feel like a quality garment, with the material feeling soft and comfortable against the skin. The athletic cut is very evident when first putting them on, with a distinct tapering towards the ankle. The ankle opening is thankfully very stretchy allowing for easy fitting and removal, but the tapered fit won’t be to everyone’s taste with the lower legs hugging the calf.

The panels around the knee allow for knee pads to be worn without restricting movement, but the relatively slim cut means a tight fit for larger DH-style pads. For reference, I was comfortable riding with Fox’s Enduro Pro Knee Pads, but something like the larger Troy Lee Designs Raid Knee Guards were a struggle to fit. I particularly liked the rearward-facing side pockets, which are easily large enough for a phone. Their position means that items within don’t bounce around on your thighs when pedaling and are out of the direct line of fire if you do have a tumble. The waist buckle doesn’t feel particularly refined but does an OK job of cinching things in place.

Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trousers seen from the rear

Mesh panels at the back of the knees help stop things bunching up (Image credit: James Watkins)

On the trail, the Fluxs performed very well. I didn’t experience any bunching of material or slipping at the waist. Pedaling was comfortable with or without knee pads, and the DWR helps with the occasional puddle splash. The open mesh panels at the back of the knee have zero water repellence, so a splash in that area is soon known about. When I did get a soaking, or covered in the inevitable springtime mud, the Flux’s held their shape and didn’t sag or droop.

The Flux pants have held up well throughout testing. There is some slight discoloration to the seat area material, but this is pretty normal, and is less obvious on the Rust Orange colorway. The stitching and seams are all in good condition and the pocket zips and waist buckle still work as expected.

Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trousers pocket detail

The zipped, rear-facing pockets work well for stashing a phone etc  (Image credit: James Watkins)


When the sun’s out I’ll always pick a pair of MTB shorts to go riding in, but for cooler days I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Flux pants. There are thicker and more weather-resistant trail trousers out there, but for the shoulder months, the Flux pants work great, offering that little bit of protection from the elements and trail side undergrowth. The slim cut won’t be to everyone’s taste, and if you ride in bigger knee pads, check the fit before committing.

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The lowdown: Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trouser
Design and fitAthletic cut with tapered legs★★★★
PerformanceVery comfortable and pedal-friendly★★★★
DurabilityNo issues throughout testing ★★★★
Value for moneyCompetitive against premium brands★★★★★

Tech specs: Madison Flux Men’s DWR Trail Trousers

  • Price: £99.99
  • Sizes: S to XXL, three length options available in the Black (Short 30”, Regular 32”, Long 34”)
  • Colors: Rust Orange (Tested), Black
James Watkins
Freelance Writer

James has over 35 years’ riding experience, getting involved with the burgeoning mountain bike scene in the late eighties and hasn’t stopped riding since. He raced cross-country across the South West of the UK for many years and has even dabbled with a bit of road racing. Whether going up, down, steep or flowing, James loves it all. Living in North Devon, the hills aren’t exactly mountainous, but they are plentiful, and James likes nothing better than exploring the wilderness of Exmoor and Dartmoor, and the occasional guided trip to the Alps to get the real mountain experience.