Madison Flux pants review – clean, simple, great value trail trouser

Can this budget pant handle challenging trail conditions or is it just too flimsy?

Madison Flux pants being worn in a garden
(Image: © Paul Burwell)

BikePerfect Verdict

The waist is lacking in adjustment and the pockets are too small to get a hand in, but if you’re a little thicker in the leg or across the hips, this is a great value trouser for summer rides.


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    Cracking value for money

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    Lightweight, breathable and quick drying

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    Ample room for knee pads

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    Two handy zipped side pockets


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    Those handy side pockets are far too small

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    Moto style closure lacks adjustment

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    Thigh perforations purely cosmetic

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The best MTB pants have increasingly become a popular alternative to wearing shorts, particularly through the colder months. But since there’s more material in trail pants, they’re generally a more expensive option. Madison’s Flux trouser bucks that trend though and is comparable in price to a decent pair of baggy MTB shorts. The advantage with a pant is it offers a bit more protection if you’re riding in the bracken or brambles and all the dirt you can just peel off with the trouser at the end of a ride. 

Waist detailing on Madison Flux pants

The Flux pants use a ratchet waist closure and adjustment system (Image credit: Paul Burwell)

Design and Specifications

To keep costs down, the Flux is built using a fine-tooth, polyester fabric. This has a hint of elastane mixed in, which creates four-way stretch. That means the Flux moves when you do, so it doesn’t feel restrictive when really hammering the cranks. 

That said, the Flux is quite loose fitting, particularly in the waist, and that’s because it doesn’t have any Velcro tags or cinch adjustment. The only closure is a DH/moto inspired ratchet and, while it can affect the fit to a small degree, it's positioned in such a way that the Flux wasn’t any tighter with it all the way in or out. I’d recommend going down a waist size to stop this pant hanging down but the potential problem with that is it could means compromising sizing elsewhere, such as in the leg length. The upshot is to just try before you buy.

The Flux does have some nice details and the build quality is pretty good for such a budget pant. There are twin zipped side pockets, a silicone grip on the inside back to help stop slippage and a ton of perforated venting on the waist, thighs and knees. Madison inserts a lightweight mesh panel at the back of the knee to boost breathability and finishes of the ankle with a plain cuff. 

Knee detail on Madison Flux pants

Mesh sections at the back of the knees help stop your nether regions from overheating (Image credit: Paul Burwell)


I like a side pocket or two on trousers because you can store a phone or your car keys and even just stash a tool when you’re fettling your bike before a ride. The problem I have with the pockets on the Flux is they’re just too small for medium sized hands, which meant I had to fish around with fingertips to get anything out. These pockets will hold a tool but they’re too tight for a phone or wallet

Madison has done its homework regarding the use of knee pads though, because the Flux is generous in that area. That rear knee venting also boosts breathability in warmer conditions, although this panel can get a bit breezy if the wind picks up. The Flux does dry quickly and even comes with a water-resistant coating. The material is not warm enough for full winter use or even early-season but summer rides it’s the perfect weight. I’d like to see a little of venting in the front, the perforations just above the knee and side of the hips seem more cosmetic than effective, but this isn’t a pant you really get that hot in. 

Initially the lightweight material didn’t feel that durable and there’s a little bit of shine in the seat, but so far there have been no snags or bobbles elsewhere. The short zip on the fly is still going strong, as are the zips on the side pockets – but that’s only because I haven’t been using them. 

To be fair, I'm just nit-picking, because for the money I can’t really fault the Flux. Despite Madison’s claims to the contrary, you will want something more durable and possibly closer-fitting for the bike park, but if a bit of brush protection is all that’s needed, the Flux fits the bill.

Pocket detailing on Madison Flux pants

Zipped side pockets are useful – providing your hands are small enough to delve inside them (Image credit: Paul Burwell)


The Madison Flux is a causal trail pant with room to spread out. The build quality is very good, the price is right and it’s available in this inoffensive gray, as well as a more practical black. Just don’t expect to get anything major in those minor pockets. 

Tech specs: Madison Flux pants

Paul Burwell
Freelance writer

Paul has been testing mountain bikes and products for the best part of 30 years, he’s passed comment on thousands of components and bikes, from the very first 29ers and dropper posts to latest e-MTBs and electronic drivetrains. He first put pen to paper for Mountain Bike International magazine but then contributed to What Mountain Bike, Cycling Today and Cycling Weekly magazines before a  20 year stint at MBR magazine. An ex-elite level XC racer, he’s broken more bones than records but is now sustained on a diet of trail building, skills coaching and e-bike trail shredding.