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  1. #1
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    bluto vs carbon fork for new fattie

    hey guys, newer rider here and been wanting and reading about fatties for over year now.

    think i have it narrowed down to trek farley 7 vs a spec fat boy.

    i am a big rider , 5'10 290

    not sure whether to go fatboy trail or comp. i love the idea of the bluto as i plan on riding all year with it. my other bike is a superfly 7.

    i have ridden both and both feel great, but now it seems as if the bluto is not popular, the 2017's not being offered with.

    if i go farley, would prob be a 17 unless i could find a 16 in the purple, the fatboy traili know they still have in warehouses and can get a decent discount(under 2k) the fatboy retails at 1900 and i know i can get a few hundred off that.

    not really looking to go over 2k and now not sold on the bluto or to get.

  2. #2
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    Get the Bluto. There is a rocky hill I like to try to see how far I can climb and then I turn around and go back down. With the rigid fork I had to go slow or get bounced around almost losing control. After installing the Bluto I could go much faster as it soaked up the bumps.
    The Bluto makes riding my bike much more enjoyable.

  3. #3
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    My new Boris x9 has the bluto. Me like.

  4. #4
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    Vic, I'm close to your size, (used to be even heavier), and I'm going to talk you out of the Bluto.

    If you weight 290, forget the Bluto. It is severely under-powered for you. It's meant to be a light cross-country fork for an average sized rider, it's not built to handle a three-bill Clyde. I had a fork of the same sturdiness - 32mm stanchions - on a 29er and it sucked. It had massive problems with 'stiction' - stickiness and not reacting well - and it twisted when it hit big rocks.

    IMO with your budget you should skip the Bluto, stick with a rigid fork and learn to ride within the limitations of it and use it as an opportunity to gain skill.

    If you are really set on a suspension fork, look into a Wren. (example: Wren Suspension Forks | Wren Sports). The Wren is as sturdy as a Pike, substantially beefier and stiffer than the Bluto. It'll handle your weight no problem. It's about double the cost of the Bluto, so it's out of your budget now, but if you want a suspension fork it's the best option for you by far.

    If I were you I'd go rigid for now, and save your pennies for a Wren.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  5. #5
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    At your size, I'd go rigid and 5" front tire.
    I like turtles

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I'm only 165 lbs and I use the whole travel.

  7. #7
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    I'm 220 and don't have much issues with the Bluto. With that in mind, I would have to agree with schnee and go with rigid fork for now until you can spring for a Wren.

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  8. #8
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    Carbo fork, spend savings on fenders. Happy I did. Wait for Wren to evolve or buy used.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachride View Post
    Yeah, I'm only 165 lbs and I use the whole travel.
    You're supposed to use all of the travel of any fork you install. If you aren't using all of it, you're wasting travel with terrible settings.

    I'll also second the recommendation to get the rigid fork for now and add a Wren later, esp for bigger riders. I'm 175 (close to 200 geared up) and burped air out of the Bluto on a really rowdy downhill that my bike otherwise handled well. Had to add air halfway down the mountain. The Wren is so much more stout, and because of that is much more sensitive to small hits. I got the 110mm version to match the geometry of my bike.

  10. #10
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    Do all you guys that suggest saving for the Wren have one?
    I'm 190lbs and my Bluto is tons better than ridding a rigid fork.
    My buddy was 300lbs now down to 240lbs and he likes his Bluto also. He did add 3 tokens and adjust the air pressure and damping to get it to work good.

  11. #11
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    For its shortcomings, having a Bluto is still far better than having no suspension.

    Rigid over Bluto is akin to saying- "that beer isn't my favorite, I'll have water instead."
    '17 Cutthroat
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  12. #12
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    I would either look into a lefty setup, wren fork, or have Waltworks build you a steel rigid fork. No need to go carbon unless you like to get beat up on the trails.

  13. #13
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    bluto vs carbon fork for new fattie

    Rigid Steel -> Rigid Carbon -> Bluto (if under 200# or ride non-aggressive) -> Wren
    Collection of fun carbon & titanium bikes

    @tgi_cycling

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  14. #14
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    bluto vs carbon fork for new fattie-ict-fs.jpgI'm 230 and pretty much max out my 120mm Bluto on my ICT. That being said, with 4.6 GC's, the Bluto totally transformed the bike into a rock eating machine. At 290, it may be a bit much for the 32mm stanchions.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by EBG 18T View Post
    Rigid Steel -> Rigid Carbon -> Bluto (if under 200# or ride non-aggressive) -> Wren
    I've ridden all 4 options and like the Wren best for aggressive riding.


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  16. #16
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    I'm very happy with my Bluto but I'm only 190lbs and don't hit big jumps.
    Totem KDS-D fatbike, Brompton M2L-X Ti, 6kg Dahon Dove, 1998 GT Forte Ti road bike

  17. #17
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    I'm 240 (was heavier) and have a bike with lefty OLAF and one with rigid fork (aluminum). No comparison to me. Suspension is better IMO. Just got back from Copper Harbor and was the only fat in our group suspended. It opened up a lot of trails as enjoyable as opposed to being "doable". A couple in my group are upgrading this year. My $.02.

  18. #18
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    I would also go rigid over Bluto. To many burping stories and flexing stories for me. I am 175lbs and I run my 4.9 tires on my current bike at 10-12 lbs of pressure on the hard pack and it does well for me in dirt,roots and rocks. I am buying a 2017 Farley7 in a week or so. The Farley is a sweet bike for sure. I am waiting for the Olaf to be available in the USA as I work for a c-dale and trek dealer p/t and can get a deal on them. From all I know the lefty is the stuff! I ride a lefty mtb and it is the stiffest shock I have ever ridden. No flex in that thing.
    My 2cents!

    Good luck with the decision!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paochow View Post
    For its shortcomings, having a Bluto is still far better than having no suspension.

    Rigid over Bluto is akin to saying- "that beer isn't my favorite, I'll have water instead."
    Some of this makes sense to me. I've never understood why people like rotten plants in their water, I'd much rather have plain fresh water.

    Also, the Bluto is rather disappointing to many riders. It would be best to try one if possible before spending the money on one.

  20. #20
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    Like I said before, I've owned a fork that was basically the Bluto but for a 29er, and it wasn't great. When the going was relatively easy, it was good, but when it got rough at all the fork got overwhelmed.

    I put my money where my mouth is, though - I have a Wren on order. I'll post pics after it's installed.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  21. #21
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    Hmmmm... I've been contemplating putting a Bluto on my 2016 Farley 9.6. I'm a consistent 215# (I'm 48 and that seems to be my average weight year after year). This thread has me wondering. Since winter is coming anyways... I may as well wait til next spring to make any final decision on the matter. But will remain curious about the Bluto. I've wanted a Bucksaw since they came out, but didn't have one in my area to try out and am pretty happy with my Farley (it's my first carbon bike).

  22. #22
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    ohhh i feel more confused now than a couple days ago. lol

    i just learned of a salsa dealer within a hour from me, and i want to go check out the muk and blackborow.

    i think i am over thinking it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Some of this makes sense to me. I've never understood why people like rotten plants in their water, I'd much rather have plain fresh water.

    Also, the Bluto is rather disappointing to many riders. It would be best to try one if possible before spending the money on one.
    I'll drink water over budweiser or miller...
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  24. #24
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    I can add this just so you can see what I found...

    I used to ride a 29er fully exclusively. Then I got a fat bike. I built it up with 100mm rims and 4.8" tires. I had ridden a bike with HuskerDus on Marge Lites and a Carver suspension fork. That bike was fun as hell but I liked my big fatty better.
    I also ride my fat bike rigid with 29+ wheels. It's a little harsh. I still enjoy my old 29er fully but not often enough to keep it anymore. What I've decided to do is get a Rockshox Yari for the 29+ wheel and ride it as a hardtail in 29+ and replace my Stumpjumper with something like a Lenz Fatillac or some other 29+ FS bike.
    On the 5" tires, I don't feel the need for a Bluto.
    I like turtles

  25. #25
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    I would say it depends a lot on the surface you're riding. Overall i'm a huge fan of the bluto as it makes my rides more enjoyable, i can go longer and don't feel rattled with great control. Obviously that makes the bike front heavy and expensive. I could see getting a solid fork first on a great bike/spec and upgrade in the future, but after testing both option back to back i was sold on the bluto and spent serious money on my ride...

  26. #26
    turtles make me hot
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    If I were running 4" tires on my bike I'd absolutely run a Bluto.
    I like turtles

  27. #27
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    I always find that a fat bike rides dramatically different in the winter as compared to the summer, in the winter, the low pressure+snow compressing+relatively slow forward speed means that the tires absorb most everything and you don't really need suspension much. On the dry, things change pretty rapidly and you can often get to a much higher speed and in rough terrain, your undamped-tires become pogo sticks. I can definitely see the benefit there, but it's dependent on where and how you ride. For riding on snow, especially if you'll be riding on new snow every once and a while, I'd pass it up, not a huge benefit. For a 4-season bike, yeah probably a good idea to have it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I always find that a fat bike rides dramatically different in the winter as compared to the summer, in the winter, the low pressure+snow compressing+relatively slow forward speed means that the tires absorb most everything and you don't really need suspension much. On the dry, things change pretty rapidly and you can often get to a much higher speed and in rough terrain, your undamped-tires become pogo sticks. I can definitely see the benefit there, but it's dependent on where and how you ride. For riding on snow, especially if you'll be riding on new snow every once and a while, I'd pass it up, not a huge benefit. For a 4-season bike, yeah probably a good idea to have it.

    Which brings to mind the question... how is the lockout function on the Bluto? On my last suspension bike (Gary Fisher Hi-Fi) the lockouts on my Rock Shox Recon and Fox Float really didn't make the difference that I wanted them to. My preference would have been the lockout going from feeling almost like a rigid fork/shock to my couch when not locked-out. Perhaps I was hoping to defy the laws of physics with that notion, but that's what I wanted.

  29. #29
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    The Bluto has a lockout?

    Don't make me laugh.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    If I were running 4" tires on my bike I'd absolutely run a Bluto.
    Do you weigh 290? Maybe 260?

    Lots of light people on this thread are mucking it up with info that doesn't help.


    Quote Originally Posted by ttakata73 View Post
    I'm very happy with my Bluto but I'm only 190lbs and don't hit big jumps.
    Like this. Yeah, so what?

    If you're not 250+, why are you here? Should I come into the weight weenie threads and tell everyone to buy stronger parts because I break them so often?
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  31. #31
    turtles make me hot
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnee View Post
    Do you weigh 290? Maybe 260?
    I'm currently 265. I understood the question perfectly.
    I like turtles

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I'm currently 265. I understood the question perfectly.
    Cool, I appreciate it. I hope you understand, the signal to noise in here is too low.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  33. #33
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    I'll make sure to run my future posts past you for approval.....

    OP, Go steel. Take a look at the Surly offerings.

  34. #34
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    A few things to consider on the fork choices:

    Everyone has different needs when riding and where everyone rides is different. One person may prefer rigid over suspension on the same trails. Hopefully the OP can test ride a few different rigs to get a feel for a preference.

    Be sure to check the weight and riding limitations of those carbon forks. I believe some fork manufacturers put weight limitations on them.

    There are only a few options for suspension fat forks right now, but the Bluto is the only fork spec'ed on the bikes you are looking at.

    Hopefully some test riding will help narrow your decision.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    I'll make sure to run my future posts past you for approval.....

    OP, Go steel. Take a look at the Surly offerings.
    Based on how relevant your advice is, you should.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moto View Post
    Everyone has different needs when riding and where everyone rides is different.
    /\ this

    I'm in the light (165lb) category so shouldn't be posting to this thread, but I've seen heavy riders who just sit on the seat and pedal along and don't ride aggressively, I'm sure they'd be fine on a bluto. I've seen skinny riders who ride like bulldozers and probably wouldn't be satisfied with a Bluto.

  37. #37
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    Well I'm embarrassed. Earlier I said that I use the whole travel even though I'm only 165.

    Well apparently you can adjust this thing? I don't know, it's new to me. There are knobs and caps and valves and stuff, oh my. The bike came without any info on this.

    It's rather frustrating that there seems to be no single source of a simple overview of what the deal is with this shock. Yes the service manual is great, but I just want to know basically how the thing works and how I should adjust it. From what I have seen Rockshox has done a terrible job of doing this.

    I blame the internet. I want my info fast and simple with little attention span needed.

  38. #38
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    The blue knob on the top of the one leg is compression damping, the red knob on the bottom of one fork leg (with the rabbit and turtle) is rebound damping. There's also a cap on the top of the leg without the blue knob that you can unscrew and you'll find a valve under it where you can adjust air pressure using a fork pump.

    Lots of good info on the webz about fork tuning, but the best I've seen is in Leonard Zinn's book "Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance".

    I'd say that the reason there's no info on the bluto is that pretty much all forks are similar with some variation on those same knob adjustments. They all typically have compression and/or rebound damping and some way to fiddle with it. From there setting them up is all the same, ride it, adjust it, ride it again.

    Good luck.

  39. #39
    since 4/10/2009
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    Best suspension setup how-to I've seen.

    Bikerumor Suspension Setup Series: Full Series PDF - Free Download! - Bikerumor

    Agreed that fork specific instructions are kinda useless. It's better to understand what the knobs and valves do, so then you can adapt to any suspension components on the market.

  40. #40
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    Thanks guys, I'm getting a handle on it now, it just surprises me that the literature on setup from Sram is so poor. It's like they assume that the user already knows this stuff. My old mt bike has a Manitou elastomer shock that has no adjustments other than changing out the bumpers. This shock by comparison is pretty darn slick. I love how technology is just getting better and better.




    To the OP: Get the Bluto or the Wren. A suspension fork is nice. At your weight I would not be worried about the wieght of the fork. I would be more worried about sudden catastrophic failure of some high end lightwieght carbon fiber thing which depends on just how well the workers laid up the carbon. But then again, I don't even know to adjust my Bluto so take it for it's worth .

  41. #41
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    yes post away!

    I missed a sale on 2016 Farley 7's being blown out for 1500 over the weekend. was up north

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    I am 220lbs can I post?
    Is that 220 pre or post giant turd?


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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic0280 View Post
    yes post away!

    I missed a sale on 2016 Farley 7's being blown out for 1500 over the weekend. was up north
    Damn. I'll take two.
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

    16' Trek 8.4 DS
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    16' Sturgis

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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachride View Post
    Thanks guys, I'm getting a handle on it now, it just surprises me that the literature on setup from Sram is so poor. It's like they assume that the user already knows this stuff.
    I'm not surprised. That's like frame manufacturers telling you how to route the cables (they don't). It's like wheel and tire manufacturers telling you how to change a flat (they don't). It's like dropper post manufacturers telling you when to drop your seatpost (they don't). Do you see the trend here?

    Yes, they do assume some things. They assume that a shop is going to help you with initial setup if you buy your bike from them. Mine does, but not all do. They should. That's one of those service things that shops are supposed to do to set themselves apart from the internet. They also assume that you can use Google to find one of the existing excellent tutorials out there for fine tuning things on your own later. Some of those are put out there by the suspension manufacturers themselves. Youtube has lots of videos produced by suspension manufacturers themselves that even go so far as showing you how to do the service on the fork/shock.

  45. #45
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    So as a 265lb rider, hitting the BMX track would not be advised with the Bluto then?
    I'm in the same boat as the OP. I still have my 1998 Rock Shox Judy DH on my old 26" that has seen its fair share of hard landings, but now that I'm older and wiser I'm wondering if I should run rigid with the type of riding I do (which is tooling around with the kids, some BMX tracks, some sand, some rocks, trails, gravel roads, skate parks..).

  46. #46
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    I've ridden suspension since back in the 90's when it was first introduced, and had a Mag 21 on my Bontrager Race Lite back in 93 or so, so I have a point of reference on suspension.

    I currently ride a Farley 7 with the carbon fork and for where I ride 99.999% of the time I have no use for a suspension fork. The carbon fork is the way to go for my fairly buff single track, a root here, a rock there kind of riding. I use my legs and body-english to navigate obstacles. I ride pretty fast, I hit roots, I jump, and a suspension fork would be needless weight, expense and maintenance.

    Now if I was in the habit of riding aggressive, rocky downhills with drops, then yeah I'd probably use a suspension fork, or even a full suspension bike.

    As it is, the carbon fork does everything I need it to do. It's compliant enough, it's light and precise. Especially with fat tires - the need for a suspension fork is greatly reduced until you start talking about pretty gnarly stuff.

    I like the low maintenance 'grab and go' aspect of rigid forks as well.

  47. #47
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    Super intrigued by all this discussion regarding forks. I need to test drive a bike with a wren and bluto.

    I'm having a hard time envisioning what it would be like to add four pounds to the front of my bike. But I can also see the benefit of some cush.

    Don't know if it's for me......
    "At least I'm enjoying the ride"

    16' Trek 8.4 DS
    16' Farley 7
    and I'm OK admitting..
    16' Sturgis

    Minneapolis MN

  48. #48
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    If the weight gain is worth the trade-off for your riding conditions, go for it.
    Not for me.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    After riding with the WREN this week, cannot believe how bad the Bluto is. I have one rigid fatty and one with the WREN - never would go back to a Bluto. The WREN feels as solid as any fork I have ever used, DH included.

    Good to know. If I decide to spend the money on a suspension fork... might as well spend a little more and get a good one. Since winter's coming, I'm going to put-off any final decision on the matter until spring.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    I'm having a hard time envisioning what it would be like to add four pounds to the front of my bike.
    Well, you're adding a 4.7 pound fork after taking off the previous 2.something pound fork. So it's less than that.
    Yamaguchi Cross YT Jeffsy Salsa Mukluk & Vaya Canyon Commuter

  51. #51
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    Test ride a Wren

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff_G View Post
    Super intrigued by all this discussion regarding forks. I need to test drive a bike with a wren and bluto.

    I'm having a hard time envisioning what it would be like to add four pounds to the front of my bike. But I can also see the benefit of some cush.

    Don't know if it's for me......
    The Wren 150mm travel fork will be available for test rides on the LaMere Dopamine full suspension carbon fat bike, during Interbike's Outdoor Demo Days in Bootleg Canyon, NV September 19 & 20th. Stop by the Onyx booth where you can test their wheels on the Dopamine.

  52. #52
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    My wife and I share two Farleys. We only knew the Bluto before getting the 9.6. We rented 2016 AL models with the plastic fork before owning.

    Both work! Friends with these bikes say they like the rigid just because of the balance and weight. I'm starting to get that. I took the rigid Farley to the nastiest place there is to ride in my area. Anything downhill was slower than with my Remedy and Transition Covert but it was totally enjoyable. I'm going back tomorrow and again going to go the rigid route and just do a moment of track stand and balance where I'd usually blast fast with an AM bike.

    One more observation on that rigid vs suspension ride. Two of us on rigid bikes might have been riding slower but we somehow did more miles and finished around the same time. Others had flat tires. Hmm.... seems like just riding your bike no matter what it is is somehow effective.

    My wife and I tested different brands, we rented 3 different brands over 3 years. The bottom line for us was gen 2 Farley bikes are just really nice products. That desire to have another Bluto or similar went away really fast but in all fairness, we do have a Farley 8 with one.

    I'm sure that Wren is really great but I find you get diminishing returns with a lot of sports toys. Working on my bike engine usually gets me WAY more than tweaking the bikes.


  53. #53
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    25
    everyone gave great feedback and i took all of it into consideration.

    just an update, i ended up picking up a 2016 Salsa Blackborow. i got a awesome deal on the year end model, love the way it rides(chill and not aggressive)

    first ride out, 12.5 miles and couldn't stop smiling!

    thanks for the feedback y'all

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