Need help: Farley 7 vs old Farley 8 and how to make them summer-friendly- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need help: Farley 7 vs old Farley 8 and how to make them summer-friendly

    Hi everyone and greetings from Ukraine,
    I need advice on Trek Farley I am planning to buy.
    To start with, I am new to fatbiking but very interested in getting a fatbike for all-season cycling and, mainly, for bikepacking travels which I started to do recently with my old hardtail bike.

    Few weeks ago I ordered Stache 7 18.5" but it was a little bit big for me (my height is 5’9) and I had to return it. I tried to reorder a smaller 17.5” frame but it wasn’t available locally and Trek distributor in my country told me that 17.5” Stache 7 aren’t available on Trek EU warehouse neither. Same for Stache 9.6 which I was considering as a more expensive option. Going forward, he told me that Trek not going to restock Stache 2017 models here because, basically, it is almost end of season and new 2018 models will be introduced soon (he told me it will be mid-late summer but in reality who knows when new models will hit the stores).
    Long story short, seems that I am will not be able to buy Stache until end of summer, I am not happy with it and started to look for reasonable options available.
    There two 17.5” Farley bikes that are available locally, Farley 7 2017 and Farley 8 2015.
    As far as I know Farley is mainly a snow machine and doesn’t work well in summer out of the box. My idea is to buy Farley and another 27.5”+ or even 29” wheels with 3” tires and suspension fork for summer season. This way I will have a true all-season solution. Does this make sense?
    Currently I am considering what model I should go for – Farley 7 2017 or Farley 8 2015. For the most part they have almost identical components. New Farley 7 comes with rigid carbon fork and fatter wheels/tires, also offered on discount price here. The old Farley 8 has Bluto suspension fork and costs a little bit more. Also, I assume Farley 8 can take 27.5” wheels?
    So, I need help and advice which Farley fatbike I should buy and also I need good suggestions on best way to make it summer-friendly. As I have written above, I will use it mainly for bikepacking trips both gravel and trail (not very technical though), also I don’t want it to be really clumsy and slow on asphalt. I understand, that fatbike won’t be as fast as to road bike or regular hardtail but still would like it to be ok on roads.

    PS Sorry for my poor English. Hope I was clear enough

  2. #2
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    Your English is very good. Я не говорю по-українськи. :-)

    If you are going to do single track, then you can consider the Farley 7 with carbon fork. My fat bike is rigid, with a regular fork, and it is just fine on double track or on snow. The tires take care of the bumps. It will not be as good as a Bluto on very technical trails where the tires alone do not take care of the bumps.

    And no front suspension is good if you are going to go places where there is no one to help you if you break down. I would not want to be riding out in the middle of the desert in Australia (On the Canning Stock Route, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canning_Stock_Route, for instance), with a Bluto fork that is starting to go bad.
    1980 Trek 614
    1980 Ritchey Everest custom MTB, serial #27
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  3. #3
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    I'd disagree that the Farley doesn't work well out of the box as a summer rig. Granted, I've owned fatbikes for a while now, but I absolutely love my 2017 Farley in the summer. I did change up the cockpit a bit, and set it up tubeless, but it's otherwise stock. I obviously use it primarily in the winter, but I've gotten plenty of trail rides on it over the past month as my back up bike (broke my trail bike frame last month) and on wet days. The Farley 7 is a blast AND is surprisingly light and nimble.
    While I have no experience on the 2015 Farley 8, I have ridden plenty of 4" tired fatbikes in both summer and winter. After the past few months on the Farley 7's 5" tires, I'll never ride 4" again- even in the summer. While there is some penalty with regards to rolling resistance, the 5" tires are so much smoother. When I transitioned from 4" to 5", I had also considered upgrading to a Bluto. A few rides on 5" tires set me straight. I think 5" tires make suspension much less necessary that on a 4" tire. It keeps things simple and fun.
    Also keep in mind that the 2017 has updated geometry and the mulefut rims, which are about as good as aluminum fatbike rims get these days. And while the 2017's GX group is lower tier than the 2015's X1, it's still a great drivetrain with excellent reviews. The 2017's brakes are better too.
    If you do opt for the narrower wheel set for summer (which I think you won't after setting you Farley 7 up tubeless) you will have 2 wheelsets that offer greater variety than if you go with 4". Variety is good.
    Good luck with you decision!


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  4. #4
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    KidCharlemagne,
    Yes, you're right about reliability of rigid forks on longer trips and in harsh environment.

    BurkeVT,
    Thanks for your feedback. I think I will go for Farley 7.

    I have read a bunch of rigid vs suspension threads here and most of the people agree that a fatter tires doesn't really replace the need of suspension fork on a more technical trails. Front suspension is not a real necessity but very welcome overall.

    Also, my main fear is that 5" tires will be awful on regular roads with plenty of pedaling resistance. I want my bike to be more versatile in that regard.

    I demoed Stache 7 and was very impressed how versatile this bike is both on road and on trail. With 29" wheels and 3" tires it rolls very fast and feels very nimble for a fatbike. Too bad it's not available here at this time and I don't want to waste 3 summer months waiting for it.

    I read that people put 29"+ wheels and suspension fork on Farley 7 and it rolls similar to Stache. I am thinking of doing the same - to get 29" wheelset and suspension fork for faster summer biking. The rigid fork and 5 tires I will keep for winter. This way I will have a complete solution for both summer and winter riding. Also, I think it should save me some money as I won't need another summer or winter bike.
    Last edited by Mebaru; 06-06-2017 at 06:03 AM.

  5. #5
    Loud tyres save lives
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    As is mentioned above, the Farley 7 has the big advantage that it can run bigger wheels so both 5in tyres and 29+ are an option while the Farley 6/8 are both limited to 4in tyres and 27.5+ tyres.

    I like the rigid Farley for riding on natural trails as the big tyres do a great job soaking up the rough terrain and give tremendous grip, if you pump the tyres up a bit harder I don't find it drags too badly on the road.

    I have the Stache for dry trails and purpose built mountain bike trails with more technical features, it doesn't have the float or grip of the fat bike but its short back end feels more agile and find it more fun to ride on faster stuff. That said I have taken the fat bike CX and endurance racing plus ridden it through the year before I got the Stache.

    John
    2014 Trek Fuel Ex 8
    2015 Trek Farley 6
    2016 Trek Stache 7

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