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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
    Location: SouthPole of MN
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    Images and links aren't working.

  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
    Location: SouthPole of MN
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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

  5. #5
    Nuts
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    I don't like Salsa Skewers!
    And I love beer!!

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

  7. #7
    Ride More, Whine Less
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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.


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

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  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
    Only dead people are old
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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
    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

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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."
    blog: fatbikebrigade.wordpress.com

  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
    www.vikapproved.com

  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
    www.vikapproved.com

  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.

  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
    www.vikapproved.com

  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
    www.vikapproved.com

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