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  1. #1
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    Trek Farley initial impressions review

    My brother received his Trek Farley last week. So far it looks pretty good. It weighs in at 31 lbs. We have posted an initial review with photos on our blog. It's a new blog so not much content yet. Check it out here:

    Fat Bike Brigade | The adventures of three brothers and their fat bikes

    A video review is also here:

    2014 Trek Farley First Ride and Review - YouTube

  2. #2
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    Images and links aren't working.
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by duggus View Post
    Images and links aren't working.
    Worked for me just now. Try them again.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    Worked for me just now. Try them again.
    Time to restart firefox for me I guess... you are correct... just checked on chrome and working fine.

    Nice photos... but stop running over the dog
    ...Be careful what you're looking at because it might be looking back...

  5. #5
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    I don't like Salsa Skewers!

  6. #6
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    Good video. I really was wanting to see the Farley in action.

  7. #7
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    I picked up my Farley today.

    Here she is being thrown in the bed of the truck on the way home




    It was dark before I could ride her. This was the only action shot I could take before the cold shut down my phone.


    My initial impression:
    *It is a blast to ride

    *Climbs beautifully--very stiff frame and feels efficient

    *Light steering - not twitchy, but definitely lighter than I'm used too


    Things to get used to:
    *I noticed as I would drop my leg to coast for a road crossing, I felt a slight rub on my calf from the tire. I never noticed when I dropped my leg, I would rotate in my heel. This issue is more rider than bike.

    *The 2x10 set up is a perfect combination of gears. You can pedal out into the low 20s, or climb a wall.

    *The only stock item I don't seem to like is the grips. That's a success in my book.

  8. #8
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    I took the Farley out on some singletrack this morning. The ride and handling were far above my expectations. It felt light and fast. The steering that initially felt light turned out to be perfect on the trail. This isn't the best video, but here are some clips from my morning ride.

    <iframe width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VLnAuWqiPc4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  9. #9
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    Glad you like the new bike.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt c View Post
    My brother received his Trek Farley last week. So far it looks pretty good. It weighs in at 31 lbs. We have posted an initial review with photos on our blog. It's a new blog so not much content yet. Check it out here:

    Fat Bike Brigade | The adventures of three brothers and their fat bikes

    A video review is also here:

    2014 Trek Farley First Ride and Review - YouTube
    Congrats with your new Blog, it's actually very good. Keep that up.
    I was wondering about the fork though. There are a lot of steel forks out there on fatbikes, the Specialized Fatboy has a carbon one, so I am having doubts about an Aluminium one. Must make the ride/feel harsher than a steel or carbon one. I wonder why Trek has made that choice.
    What's your take on the fork ?

    thx

  11. #11
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    I checked one out at my LBS the other day. It certainly is a good looking bike, and pretty well spec'd, but the price seems steep for Formula hubs and an aluminium fork. The anodized crank and other bits are a really nice touch, as is the through frame cable routing. Definitely the fatter brother to the Stache line.

  12. #12
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    I'm totally not impressed with the lack of tire clearance on the rear of the Farley, a 3.8 tire barely fits.

  13. #13
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    That thing looks great! Congrats on the new ride!
    Jason
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    I haven't really ridden the Farley, but my brother (who owns the bike) reports this about the aluminum fork:

    "The Farley does have a fairly stiff ride but it makes it very responsive. A steel fork might make up for a little comfort but add weight. Carbon is probably the ideal choice for a rigid fork on a fat bike but will increase the price. So I guess it comes down to what compromise you are willing to take. I think the aluminum fork offers the most bang off your buck, No regrets here."
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt c View Post
    I haven't really ridden the Farley, but my brother (who owns the bike) reports this about the aluminum fork:

    "The Farley does have a fairly stiff ride but it makes it very responsive. A steel fork might make up for a little comfort but add weight. Carbon is probably the ideal choice for a rigid fork on a fat bike but will increase the price. So I guess it comes down to what compromise you are willing to take. I think the aluminum fork offers the most bang off your buck, No regrets here."
    I would second this quote. On a road bike with no volume tires, a carbon fork is essential for dampening. On a fat bike, the tires do the dampening. If you are running soft tires, I can't see how much of an effect a carbon fork would provide other than a slight weight savings.

    I have 35 miles on the bike so far on a mix of tight singletrack, grassy snowmobile trials and paved urban trails. The handling is great on mountain bike related stuff. While the bike may be hard to find locally, I would encourage those interested in one to just take a demo ride. There is a lot of internet constipation that has people worked up -- fork material and will it fit a nate in the rear which seem to be the biggest. It's a bike. It isn't perfect. It is a blast to ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    I would second this quote. On a road bike with no volume tires, a carbon fork is essential for dampening. On a fat bike, the tires do the dampening. If you are running soft tires, I can't see how much of an effect a carbon fork would provide other than a slight weight savings.
    Despite the fat tires I think you need to consider frame and fork material in terms of ride quality for a fat bike the same as you would for any rigid mountain bike. Fat tires certainly do help compared to the skinny tires on a road bike, but you are likely to ride a MTB on much rougher surfaces than a road bike.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Despite the fat tires I think you need to consider frame and fork material in terms of ride quality for a fat bike the same as you would for any rigid mountain bike. Fat tires certainly do help compared to the skinny tires on a road bike, but you are likely to ride a MTB on much rougher surfaces than a road bike.
    I agree with this, but it's the whole package that needs to be evaluated. The best way to do that is to give it a ride instead of fretting the details in the abstract.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    I agree with this, but it's the whole package that needs to be evaluated. The best way to do that is to give it a ride instead of fretting the details in the abstract.
    If you can get a real dirt/snow test ride I think that's always a great idea.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    ...There is a lot of internet constipation that has people worked up -- fork material and will it fit a nate in the rear which seem to be the biggest. It's a bike. It isn't perfect. It is a blast to ride.
    If the bike won't fit Nates without adequate clearance at the front derailleur, then based on snow riding conditions here, I don't want it. How that translates to "internet constipation" is beyond me. I think it's strange to characterize that concern as trivial.

  20. #20
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    Trek Farley initial impressions review

    Quote Originally Posted by Northernbreed View Post
    If the bike won't fit Nates without adequate clearance at the front derailleur, then based on snow riding conditions here, I don't want it. How that translates to "internet constipation" is beyond me. I think it's strange to characterize that concern as trivial.
    It wasn't directed towards you.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    It wasn't directed towards you.
    Thanks - sorry if I came on too strong there.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Northernbreed View Post
    If the bike won't fit Nates without adequate clearance at the front derailleur, then based on snow riding conditions here, I don't want it. How that translates to "internet constipation" is beyond me. I think it's strange to characterize that concern as trivial.
    Soooooooooo... devil's advocate here, how ever did you survive before the invention of the Nate?

    When the market is so very small and there are so few products, it gets really easy to try and review something based on numbers, rumor and a few bad pictures alone. It's also easy to get completely hung up on details that may not really matter when you're looking at a style of bike that has yet to really mature- look at all the arglebargle about the 907 190mm frames- OMG according to this lousy pic they may not actually fit 100mm rims with 4.8" tires OMG END OF WORLD CANCEL ORDER!!!!!! When the truth of the matter is, the difference between a 4.8 on a 100 vs an 80mm rim isn't really that much. And from experience, the difference in traction between a nate and just about any other tire that's been deflated to almost flat is, well, sometimes it's not the tire that's keeping you from getting up the hill, right?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    When the truth of the matter is, the difference between a 4.8 on a 100 vs an 80mm rim isn't really that much. And from experience, the difference in traction between a nate and just about any other tire that's been deflated to almost flat is, well, sometimes it's not the tire that's keeping you from getting up the hill, right?
    Sorry, but I got say this is just crazy talk.

    Tire/rim clearance is a critical part of any fatbike design. Tire tread is hugely important no matter what size the tire is. The tire profile is also immensely important for flotation as is its width.

    So it completely matters what tires and what rims you can run in your fatbike.

    Especially when you are about to spend thousands of $$ and can make a different choice that will suit your needs better.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Sorry, but I got say this is just crazy talk.

    Tire/rim clearance is a critical part of any fatbike design. Tire tread is hugely important no matter what size the tire is. The tire profile is also immensely important for flotation as is its width.

    So it completely matters what tires and what rims you can run in your fatbike.

    Especially when you are about to spend thousands of $$ and can make a different choice that will suit your needs better.
    I think you're wrong in one big respect- appropriate tire/rim clearance is critical.

    If the farley isn't designed to run the fattest tires ever, is that a fail? there are plenty of XC bikes that won't fit giant DH tires. Not a fail, just a compromise towards some other design issue.

    I've got 2 road bikes I use all the time- 1 has clearance for 32s and fenders. The other maxes out with 25s. Neither one is a design failure, they're just built for different purposes. And I think that's gonna be the next phase of fatbike design- do we continue down the adventurebike superfat trail, or do we detour down the let's make it a fat XC racer trail... Trek seems to have headed one way, specialized has headed the other. It'll be fun to watch.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    I think you're wrong in one big respect- appropriate tire/rim clearance is critical.

    If the farley isn't designed to run the fattest tires ever, is that a fail? there are plenty of XC bikes that won't fit giant DH tires. Not a fail, just a compromise towards some other design issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    So it completely matters what tires and what rims you can run in your fatbike.

    Especially when you are about to spend thousands of $$ and can make a different choice that will suit your needs better.
    If you don't want bigger tires/rims than the Farely can manage then it's a reasonable choice, but the idea that being concerned about the tire/rim clearance isn't important is silly.

    If a specific rider doesn't want the ability to run the biggest tires/rims that's fine.

    From my own perspective if the Farely can take all the current 4" tires on 82mm rims and down I think that's a reasonable range of options. OTOH - if it can't take Nates on 82mm rims I think that's a fail when there are plenty of solid bikes that can and I don't see Nates as some wild and crazy tire option akin to using 2.5" DH tires on a XC bike.

    If I was buying a new fatbike I'd want clearance for BFLs on 82mm rims and 29+ compatibility. I don't see a need for 100mm rims or 5" knobbies for my riding.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  26. #26
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    I figure I have 9 months out of the year where the stock knards will be perfect (southern MN). The other three months of the year are a nasty mix of who knows what. Typically ice is a driver, so studded tires will be on the list of things to buy as winter advances. I also plan on riding on trails with other fatbikers, so I'm expecting that I can survive with the knards just fine on the snow. Here is some of the riding I did on normal (~2") tires last winter

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tezsqc28jvU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    and here
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6yFVUz_6AG8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Bontrager has promised a line of fatbike tires. I'm sure specialized will have several options too. As the sport moves more mainstream, there will be plenty of tread options in a variety of sizes. I'm certain there will be a Nate-like tire that is a touch more narrow if there needs to be an offering.

  27. #27
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    A SURLEY NATE 26X4.0 FITS ON A TREK FARLEY WITHOUT ANY ISSUES. GIVE IT A REST PEOPLE.
    Last edited by ITFITSQUITHATIN; 10-29-2013 at 01:32 PM.

  28. #28
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    [QUOTE=ITFITSQUITHATIN;10778839]A SURLEY NATE 26X2.4 FITS ON A TREK FARLEY WITHOUT ANY ISSUES. GIVE IT A REST PEOPLE.[/QUOTE

    Yup - that's nice. I should feel like an ass just for asking!

  29. #29
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    Re: Trek Farley initial impressions review

    I should hope a 2.4" tire would fit...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    I should hope a 2.4" tire would fit...
    I would hope everyone would...problem is most people on these forums were complaining about clearance issues and Nates not fitting.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super E View Post
    I'm totally not impressed with the lack of tire clearance on the rear of the Farley, a 3.8 tire barely fits.
    Quote Originally Posted by ITFITSQUITHATIN View Post
    I would hope everyone would...problem is most people on these forums were complaining about clearance issues and Nates not fitting.
    Obviously you are concerned enough to create an account to show that something is incorrect but the way I see it in this thread 1 person was complaining about it. The rest were discussing the merits of whether it not fitting would be a deal breaker or not which is actually the purpose of an internet forum, to discuss the merits of those types of things. You said your piece showed your proof. It shouldn't be a problem now as everyone knows that a farley does in fact fit a nate.
    Try this: HTFU

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super E View Post
    I'm totally not impressed with the lack of tire clearance on the rear of the Farley, a 3.8 tire barely fits.
    Glad to see Nates Fit Fine [NFF]. So anyone have photos of the Knards in the Farely?

    I gotta ask Super E - what part of the Farely's rear triangle did you figure barely fit a Knard?

    Quote Originally Posted by ITFITSQUITHATIN View Post
    Sorry I took this post from the "K-R-A-Z-Y" talk Farley thread and stuck it in here thinking maybe we could skip a little bit 'o the crazy.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  33. #33
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    Do you want photos of the knards in a Farley? I can take some tonight if you would like. Any particular area?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyyall View Post
    Do you want photos of the knards in a Farley? I can take some tonight if you would like. Any particular area?
    I think photos of any tires and of all the usual choke points [CS bridge, ST bridge and chain in lowest gear] would be great. More info the better.

    What I wanted to know was what issue in particular Super E thought was a problem? Based on his posts he clearly has a specific concern.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  35. #35
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    Will do.

  36. #36
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    Just built one at the shop and it's a thumbs up to me. I like the suspension corrected frame, the cranks, and the components. The downs are the brakes (seem cheap and I like mechanical for winter) and tight tire clearance ( bad if rear wheel gets knocked out of tru ). Overall comparing it to my pug it feels very responsive and solid, good for racing but not for snow touring.

  37. #37
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    [QUOTE=ITFITSQUITHATIN;10778839][/URL][/QUOTE

    Even if there's no actual room for a fender, it's nice to see a fender boss on the chainstay bridge...

  38. #38
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    Trek Farley initial impressions review

    I may need to take some additional pictures with a real camera and better lighting. But until then, here were go.

    Seat Stays -- no trouble


    Drive side chain stays - ~1 cm from inside of frame to tire


    Chain line with lowest gear (1 - 1 on a 2x10)


    Non-drive side chain stay - ~1cm, poor angle

  39. #39
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    Trek Farley initial impressions review

    Non-drive side without the ruler (and no feet ) - there is quite a bit of room here


    Cramped junction, a fender is probably a maybe


    Front wheel -- plenty of room up here

  40. #40
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    Thanks for the pics Heyyall. Good info.

    How is the chain to tire clearance in the lowest gear?
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Thanks for the pics Heyyall. Good info.

    How is the chain to tire clearance in the lowest gear?
    The tire whiskers clip the chain. 1/2 cm? If you were to go much wider on the tire, you run into rubbing issues with the tread.

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    Hey guys, at the shop I have built two of these already. The geometry is spot on for me quicker rear end and great stand over. I will use mine primarily for trail use and snow. The customers Farley we went with a Nate in the rear and Larry front. Gobs of clearance for the front and plenty for the rear with Nate. On the rear of mine I used the. Husker du. Plenty of clearance set up tubeless. I will get photos tomorrow.

  43. #43
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    With each ride I become more tickled with the handling of this bike. I'm still struggling to understand what it is that makes it feel great, but there is something about it.

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    This is a picture of a 19.5" Farley this is a customers, we did a few cool things different from the stock build. Shimano brakes, ano bronze hubs, turbine crank vs. the ride crank, 9.0 shifters and shimano front derr. Nate in the rear. Customer should be getting us some feedback in the next week. Really pumped built up my personal ride over the last few days. Will get photos in the next day.




  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by xgerstandtx View Post
    This is a picture of a 19.5" Farley this is a customers, we did a few cool things different from the stock build. Shimano brakes, ano bronze hubs, turbine crank vs. the ride crank, 9.0 shifters and shimano front derr. Nate in the rear. Customer should be getting us some feedback in the next week. Really pumped built up my personal ride over the last few days. Will get photos in the next day.



    curious question. with all those changes with the stock parts. did the customer have to pay for those upgrades? if so, may i ask how much more?

    thanks
    2014 TREK FARLEY
    2013 TREK RUMBLEFISH PRO
    2012 TREK SUPERFLY AL ELITE

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    I was able to still meet the retail price of the complete Farley. It cut a bit into some of the percentages, but to make a good, loyal customer happy it was worth it. Sorry I don't have a straight answer for you, a quick estimate would be approx 200$ over retail. But this one got the extra love.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by xgerstandtx View Post
    I was able to still meet the retail price of the complete Farley. It cut a bit into some of the percentages, but to make a good, loyal customer happy it was worth it. Sorry I don't have a straight answer for you, a quick estimate would be approx 200$ over retail. But this one got the extra love.
    Props to your shop still being able to do this. That's a lot of labor and parts that may gather dust.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by xgerstandtx View Post
    I was able to still meet the retail price of the complete Farley. It cut a bit into some of the percentages, but to make a good, loyal customer happy it was worth it. Sorry I don't have a straight answer for you, a quick estimate would be approx 200$ over retail. But this one got the extra love.
    wow.. $200 over is not bad for me.. ill get one from you.. lol..

    thanks though.. wish my local LBS can do the same for me...
    2014 TREK FARLEY
    2013 TREK RUMBLEFISH PRO
    2012 TREK SUPERFLY AL ELITE

  49. #49
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    went to my LBS today and they had a 21.5, people at the LBS know i ride a size 19 but the guy i talked to said the FRAME GEOMETRY of the FARLEY run smaller and that he, usually is a medium and thought he was comfortable on a 19.5. he is about 5'5 and im 5'11. do the FARLEY FRAME really run really smaller? or was the guy at the LBS just trying to sell the bike to me?

    i did end up riding the 21.5 AND thought there was nothing odd with how it fit me.. maybe i was just amazed as to how the FARLEY rode nice and smooth that i did not observe anything wrong with the FRAME size..
    2014 TREK FARLEY
    2013 TREK RUMBLEFISH PRO
    2012 TREK SUPERFLY AL ELITE

  50. #50
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    Trek Farley initial impressions review

    I'm 5'11.5" and the 19.5 fits nice. If you went the size up,you might need to switch stems. If serious, see if the shop will let you ride it for 30 mins or so. You'll be able to tell if the top tube is too long.
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