Sell me on Trek Farley 9.8 for my everyday bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Sell me on Trek Farley 9.8 for my everyday bike

    I know there are a million fatbike as only bike threads & this one probably wonít be much different but I need some encouragement, I think.

    A little background on me & how I like to ride: Iím primarily an xc guy in New England & I like to race endurance events. Next year Iím planning on a couple of 6 hour races & the wilderness 101km as part of my training plan for Shenandoah 100. If I can find some shorter xc races with a fat class, Iíd race a few of those, as well. Most of my rides are in the 2-4 hour range & 99% of the time I ride a singlespeed. I have a 2016 Spec Fatboy comp which is probably the funnest bike Iíve ever ridden but itís a tank & I dont think itís worth converting to SS or trying to lighten it. I love the cush of the fat tires & love the rigid front end as I spent many rears on a rigid On One Scandal I built up.

    So why the Farley 9.8? Iím really intrigued with the 27.5x4 & up tire sizes. Seems like a perfect size for a fatty. Itís light & I can easily singlespeed it. (Does anyone know if there is a Shimano style free hub option for the Rapid Drive hubs?) My current bike is about 24lbs & im sure I could get the Farley to that weight by going tubeless & eliminating the shifty bits. From my experience on the Fatboy, I should be able to roll over rocks & such that I normally adjust my line for on my current bike. Come winter time, I can put the gears back on & cruise around in the snow. Iím in western MA and we get all kinds of snow conditions but Iím not really worried about maximum float. I actually canít stand winter (I worked outside at night for too many years & developed a serious aversion to being cold) & ride in the snow to stay fit & keep the winter blues at bay.

    So what do you think? It seems this bike would be a very good fit for what I want to do with it but Iím hesitant to shell out so much on bike even though Iíd be getting a significant discount from my lbs.

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Well, as long as you don't mind being beat to hell. These are rigid bikes and they behave like rigid bikes (with no damping). If you go really slow, like 5mph or less, you can manage impacts, but in my experience, on trails, that's not possible, your speed is generally higher than this and varies significantly on downhills. In these situations, it performs exactly like you'd expect a rigid bike to. Maybe with a thudbuster and mastedon it will be bearable, but that's a lot of weight (6lb fork!) to be lugging around for 6hrs or more.

    The correct number of bikes though is N+1
    "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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  3. #3
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    Friend has a suzi q and he claims hes as fast as his epic on it in summer.

    The wampas crack. New hub is sweet.

    9.6 and put your own carbon on it i feel is a better option. And it has a shimano hub already with nx eagle.

    You basically are paying for a dropper... you dont sound like you need.

    Wheels that are prone to crack.

    The next crank my 170lb friends delaminated let alone how many iver heard have cracked theirs.

    The carbon steer tube is like what? 40g lighter?


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  4. #4
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    It's a really nice colour. I'm sold.
    It doesn't matter what I ride as long as I ride it Rubber Side Down●~●.

  5. #5
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    It would be a badass every day bike, lots of riders would be thrilled to have it. If you want it, buy it, if you decide you want something else, or in addition to it later, you can do that to. There's no set # of bikes you can or should own, it's a constant variable depending on where you are in life at that moment.

  6. #6
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    For your needs, I would be looking at the Farley 7.0 with the Mastadon suspension fork.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback!
    Wampas cracking is not good news but a 9.6 & building a different wheel set could be an option. The comments about rigid being rigid are true but rigid on the Fatboy felt a heck of a lot different than it did on my Scandal with 2.4 Ardents! I canít but a 6lb fork on a bike that Iím going to race... also, Iím not getting younger & at 46, I really appreciate the 120mm Sid I run on my Soma Juice. The n+1 formula only holds as long as there is cash to afford the next +1!

    Lots to think about for sure!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by solarplex View Post
    Friend has a suzi q and he claims hes as fast as his epic on it in summer.

    The wampas crack. New hub is sweet.

    9.6 and put your own carbon on it i feel is a better option. And it has a shimano hub already with nx eagle.

    You basically are paying for a dropper... you dont sound like you need.

    Wheels that are prone to crack.

    The next crank my 170lb friends delaminated let alone how many iver heard have cracked theirs.

    The carbon steer tube is like what? 40g lighter?


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    I've had excellent results with carbon wheels, especially in winter. Carbon fork is great, especially when lofting the front and popping it up. Carbon frame saves a few pounds and is definitely noticeable. X01 and XX1 have been great for me. Next SL has been pretty bad. I'm seeing if RF will warranty an arm from my XC bike right now, they should because it's in the warranty period, but I'm fed of up of having to go through all sorts of intermediate parties and if they refuse for some reason, the choice to go to SRAM is made for me. The SRAM use a metal skeleton instead of a pedal-insert bonded into carbon, so they are infinitely more durable IME. Funny though that a spare XX1 arm I have bolts right up to my Next spindle though Carbon bars are great for reducing heat-transfer out of your hands, in fact, the carbon bike is nice for that when you have to push it or do anything where you touch it, aluminum is basically the exact opposite of what you want, it's a crazy heat sink that sucks heat away even in relatively warm temps. It's a little vain, but winter fatbikes is really one of the best applications for carbon parts, unlike more abusive (sharp rock) environments and warmer environments. A 23lb fully functional fatbike is pretty fun.

    Maybe the answer is to build your own bike from the ground up? That's the only way I do it these days, it's the only way to get what I want.
    "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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  9. #9
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    Building my own is usually the way I go & probably what I should do. The other bike Iím considering would be a built around a Vassago Mooseknuckle frame. Obviously two totally different bikes! Honestly, my thinking about a fat bike for my main ride is the grip of the fat tires & their ability to roll over so much more than say a 2.35 tire can without adjusting my line too much. Iíve had no problem with SRAM carbon cranks -I run an X01 on my Soma & a set on an On One Lurcher frame that I ended up ruining in a crash that I rebuilt around a Vassago Bandersnatch frame. One of my riding buddies is on his third pair of Next SL cranks, I think they both had trouble at the drive side spindle interface. Great point about carbon vs aluminum as a heat sink too, btw. I may not have a problem with carbon rims, Iím anywhere from 145-155lbs most of the year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I've had excellent results with carbon wheels, especially in winter. Carbon fork is great, especially when lofting the front and popping it up. Carbon frame saves a few pounds and is definitely noticeable. X01 and XX1 have been great for me. Next SL has been pretty bad. I'm seeing if RF will warranty an arm from my XC bike right now, they should because it's in the warranty period, but I'm fed of up of having to go through all sorts of intermediate parties and if they refuse for some reason, the choice to go to SRAM is made for me. The SRAM use a metal skeleton instead of a pedal-insert bonded into carbon, so they are infinitely more durable IME. Funny though that a spare XX1 arm I have bolts right up to my Next spindle though Carbon bars are great for reducing heat-transfer out of your hands, in fact, the carbon bike is nice for that when you have to push it or do anything where you touch it, aluminum is basically the exact opposite of what you want, it's a crazy heat sink that sucks heat away even in relatively warm temps. It's a little vain, but winter fatbikes is really one of the best applications for carbon parts, unlike more abusive (sharp rock) environments and warmer environments. A 23lb fully functional fatbike is pretty fun.

    Maybe the answer is to build your own bike from the ground up? That's the only way I do it these days, it's the only way to get what I want.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Well, as long as you don't mind being beat to hell. These are rigid bikes and they behave like rigid bikes (with no damping). If you go really slow, like 5mph or less, you can manage impacts, but in my experience, on trails, that's not possible, your speed is generally higher than this and varies significantly on downhills. In these situations, it performs exactly like you'd expect a rigid bike to. Maybe with a thudbuster and mastedon it will be bearable, but that's a lot of weight (6lb fork!) to be lugging around for 6hrs or more.

    The correct number of bikes though is N+1
    I rode a rigid Farley all summer as my regular trail bike. Swapped the VanHelgas for 4.0 Jumbo Jims and went at it. It was great as an every day trail bike but agree that I'm beat to hell at the end of the summer. Neck and shoulders hurt and have tendonitis in my left forearm. Suspension fork probably would've helped. Sure was fun though. Light and fast and buckets of grip.
    No moss...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I've had excellent results with carbon wheels, especially in winter. Next SL has been pretty bad. I'm seeing if RF will warranty an arm from my XC bike right now, .
    They do kinda like to break, and their BB aren't much to brag about either.

  12. #12
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    Farley has been my main bike for about 3 years. It's like having a bunch of bikes since I have two wheelsets, two forks and two drivetrains.
    -27.5 x 3.8 x 50mm rims for summer
    -26 x 4.8 x 100mm rims for winter and sand dunes and the roughest trails
    -Bluto fork and Carbon fork.
    -Single speed and 1x11.

    In it's lightest configuration--rigid single speed with 3.8's, it's about 23 pounds. How well does that climb you ask? Well lets put it this way-- I was braking on uphill turns the other day. But the bluto is always preferred on the descents.

    Recently I dusted off my super light 29 carbon hardtail and put on new 2.5 tires. Every time I ride it I miss the Farley. I just don't see why anyone would want such tiny tires in the mountains, unless all you have is super buff bike park type riding. I rarely keep track of my times when riding, but a few timed laps on my favorite 1 hour ride agree. The super light 29er race bike is slower!

  13. #13
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    I'm a fan of fatty's and was on a 16 Farley 7 for 2 years (my son will take it over) and recently picked up a 18 Farley 9.8 used with Wampa. Both are rigid. Love the Farley!! I'm from New England and live in an area of NY with similar terrain. I had a set of 50 Duroc's laced up with 3.8's to ride a lot of summer trails with my kids. I have a blast with it BUT I won't sell you on the 1 fatty to take the place of a FS traditional ride. Whether it's a 160 enduro or a 130 trail ride; I feel it's the best of both worlds to have both.
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  14. #14
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    This is what I was thinking would happen if I end up building one!

    Quote Originally Posted by Teton29er View Post
    Farley has been my main bike for about 3 years. It's like having a bunch of bikes since I have two wheelsets, two forks and two drivetrains.
    -27.5 x 3.8 x 50mm rims for summer
    -26 x 4.8 x 100mm rims for winter and sand dunes and the roughest trails
    -Bluto fork and Carbon fork.
    -Single speed and 1x11.

    In it's lightest configuration--rigid single speed with 3.8's, it's about 23 pounds. How well does that climb you ask? Well lets put it this way-- I was braking on uphill turns the other day. But the bluto is always preferred on the descents.

    Recently I dusted off my super light 29 carbon hardtail and put on new 2.5 tires. Every time I ride it I miss the Farley. I just don't see why anyone would want such tiny tires in the mountains, unless all you have is super buff bike park type riding. I rarely keep track of my times when riding, but a few timed laps on my favorite 1 hour ride agree. The super light 29er race bike is slower!

  15. #15
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    Nice! Im not ready for a full suspension bike yet, I figure Iíve got 10 years or so before I go back that route. Last full sus was a Mongoose Teocali which was great for what it was but the day I got dusted by my buddy on his Trek Rig SS, that all changed. Fell in love with SS & left the rear shock behind. Someday. Just not quite yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by biscut View Post
    I'm a fan of fatty's and was on a 16 Farley 7 for 2 years (my son will take it over) and recently picked up a 18 Farley 9.8 used with Wampa. Both are rigid. Love the Farley!! I'm from New England and live in an area of NY with similar terrain. I had a set of 50 Duroc's laced up with 3.8's to ride a lot of summer trails with my kids. I have a blast with it BUT I won't sell you on the 1 fatty to take the place of a FS traditional ride. Whether it's a 160 enduro or a 130 trail ride; I feel it's the best of both worlds to have both.

  16. #16
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    I would have no problem going all fat all the time. The massive volume of a 4.8 makes smooth transitions out of all manner of chunder that make a 2.3 feel downright sketchy. The fat has a magic ability to turn everything into brown pow and make you ride like a kid. Of course, I jut ride for fun. While a fatbike is indeed fast in certain situations, it will not hang with the leaders in any serious xc race.
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  17. #17
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    Lol. Thatís ok, Iím not going to hang with anybody in a serious xc race either! Itís cliche but Iím just racing myself. I did win 2 races on the Fatboy in fat class a couple of years ago, though. In the first one my then 12 year old son won his class in what was his first race. It was a great day!



    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Pitted View Post
    I would have no problem going all fat all the time. The massive volume of a 4.8 makes smooth transitions out of all manner of chunder that make a 2.3 feel downright sketchy. The fat has a magic ability to turn everything into brown pow and make you ride like a kid. Of course, I jut ride for fun. While a fatbike is indeed fast in certain situations, it will not hang with the leaders in any serious xc race.

  18. #18
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    The carbon Farleys are amazingly versatile machines. B Fat wheelset for when float is needed, 29+ wheelset for when speed is preferred.

    I've built dozens of Wampa rims and have yet to have a customer come back with even a peep of a complaint, and haven't heard of a single crack.

    I use Wampa's on desert traverses because I trust them implicitly.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the info, Mike.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    The carbon Farleys are amazingly versatile machines. B Fat wheelset for when float is needed, 29+ wheelset for when speed is preferred.

    I've built dozens of Wampa rims and have yet to have a customer come back with even a peep of a complaint, and haven't heard of a single crack.

    I use Wampa's on desert traverses because I trust them implicitly.

  20. #20
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    Had a 9.8 for a couple years now. Put Northshore grips on, added a Lauf fork, and run tubeless. Ride it year round, using studded Gnarwhals in the winter. Sold the original fork on Craigslist to offset some of the cost of the Lauf. Only issue has been with the SRAM Guide brakes and some repair work. Great for the Twin Cities and CAMBA trails in NW WI.
    Remember, nobody knows. So let's find out...

  21. #21
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    Over the winter, ended up taking Jayemís advice & started planning a frame up build but failed to pull the trigger on ďCĒ fameset from my lbs due to cost so I ended up finding a complete 2017 9.6 for significantly less than a new frame on craigslist -itís not a C but I figured saving 1/2 pound for $350 was a better choice. The build ended at 23.2lbs ready to ride which is fine by me!

    I hemmed & hawed about whether to go with B less fat wheels with 3.8ís or 29+. In the end I found a good deal on a slightly used wheelset with Derby AM spec i40 rims built with DT double butted spokes & DT350 hubs to which I swapped in 54T ratchets.

    I put XT brakes on it & an eBay score X01 GXP (190/5Ē spacing) crankset with 32T zero offset direct mount chainring which Ďjustí clears the chain stay with 9mm spacer. That threw the chainline off to the outside by 4mm but it shifts great.

    Rode it for the first time this morning & I freaking love it! Toward the end of the spring Iíll put the shifty bits away for awhile & run it singlespeed.

    Thanks to all who contributed to the thread, I ended up with what I think is going to be my favorite bike to date!

    Sell me on Trek Farley 9.8 for my everyday bike-2e3f04ab-db6b-4e6e-911b-a402fa022bea.jpeg

  22. #22
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    Absolutely perfect wheelset for the next few months -- and exactly the same as what I have on my Farley. B Fats will be nice to have come November. Enjoy.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Absolutely perfect wheelset for the next few months -- and exactly the same as what I have on my Farley. B Fats will be nice to have come November. Enjoy.
    So far so good! Thanks Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
    Over the winter, ended up taking Jayemís advice & started planning a frame up build but failed to pull the trigger on ďCĒ fameset from my lbs due to cost so I ended up finding a complete 2017 9.6 for significantly less than a new frame on craigslist -itís not a C but I figured saving 1/2 pound for $350 was a better choice. The build ended at 23.2lbs ready to ride which is fine by me!

    I hemmed & hawed about whether to go with B less fat wheels with 3.8ís or 29+. In the end I found a good deal on a slightly used wheelset with Derby AM spec i40 rims built with DT double butted spokes & DT350 hubs to which I swapped in 54T ratchets.

    I put XT brakes on it & an eBay score X01 GXP (190/5Ē spacing) crankset with 32T zero offset direct mount chainring which Ďjustí clears the chain stay with 9mm spacer. That threw the chainline off to the outside by 4mm but it shifts great.

    Rode it for the first time this morning & I freaking love it! Toward the end of the spring Iíll put the shifty bits away for awhile & run it singlespeed.

    Thanks to all who contributed to the thread, I ended up with what I think is going to be my favorite bike to date!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What tires and size are you using?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Negotiator50 View Post
    What tires and size are you using?
    Iíve got Bontrager XR2 29x3. Still trying to dial in the air pressure...

  26. #26
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    I didn't want to get beat up on a rigid so I went with a Farley EX8 full suspension, which I've been riding (for cross country) for the last few years. 27.5x3.8. It's a blast to ride, has very confidence-inspiring traction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
    Iíve got Bontrager XR2 29x3. Still trying to dial in the air pressure...
    Interesting. I didn't like how much the 29x3 rose the bottom bracket and how difficult it became to bring the bike up to speed. I sold that wheelset and I went to 27.5 x 3. Now I'm building another 29 wheelset with i32 rims and 2.6 tires. I hope I like that better than the 29 x 3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    I didn't want to get beat up on a rigid so I went with a Farley EX8 full suspension, which I've been riding (for cross country) for the last few years. 27.5x3.8. It's a blast to ride, has very confidence-inspiring traction.
    I think the getting beat up on rigid thing has a lot to do with riding gears & sitting more than standing. Iíve got my bike set up with gears now but it wonít be long before I have it set up singlespeed -jammed some lumber into the derailleur the other day & have been fiddling & fussing to get it straightened out. I really need a hanger alignment tool... I also have a couple of bad lumbar discs which seem to prefer standing & mashing to sitting & spinning. My favorite bike to date was a rigid On One Scandal with a white industries freewheel I couldnít get off the hub after I put it on. Loved that bike & rode it all over New England 32/21 without a problem. Different strokes for different folks, I guess!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Negotiator50 View Post
    Interesting. I didn't like how much the 29x3 rose the bottom bracket and how difficult it became to bring the bike up to speed. I sold that wheelset and I went to 27.5 x 3. Now I'm building another 29 wheelset with i32 rims and 2.6 tires. I hope I like that better than the 29 x 3.
    I donít feel much of a difference in getting this up to speed from my Somafab Juice with Stanís Crests & Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35. The Farley is more than 1.5lbs lighter right now -I push the pedals & it just goes. It feels incredibly efficient! Iím liking the higher bottom bracket in the rock gardens near me, havenít had a pedal strike yet.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
    I think the getting beat up on rigid thing has a lot to do with riding gears & sitting more than standing.
    Yeah, I donít know anything about the way you ride. I only know that I have a lot of singletrack miles on a rigid Fatboy and a lot of mile on a full-suspension Farley EX8 and thereís no comparison relative to getting beat up on the trail, and that would be especially true IMHO for someone with some lumbar disc pathology.

  31. #31
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    This started as a 2018 9.6 (frame replaced under warranty with what I think is '17 9.8 - this is pic of original frame). Get the Mastodon forks, put your own carbon on, and get set of 29+ wheels, and this is a GREAT gravel (29+), trail and fat bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sell me on Trek Farley 9.8 for my everyday bike-farley.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by xseal View Post
    This started as a 2018 9.6 (frame replaced under warranty with what I think is '17 9.8 - this is pic of original frame). Get the Mastodon forks, put your own carbon on, and get set of 29+ wheels, and this is a GREAT gravel (29+), trail and fat bike.
    Nice bike! What is that seatpost? Iím assuming itís got some cush engineered into it?

  33. #33
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    This bike rips!

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    Iíve got about 175 miles on this thing now & itís awesome!
    Managed to jam some lumber into the rear derailleur not long after I put the 29+ wheels on. Tried to straighten the hanger but my dadís hanger alignment tool didnít clear the frame so converted to SS sooner than Iíd planned. So glad I did, rigid SS is my favorite bike set up -totally fits my riding style. I get myself into too much trouble descending (far too many stitches & hematoma of the urethra on my last bike) the lack of squish on the front keeps me at a more reasonable speed for my weak downhill skills. On the other ends of the spectrum, this thing climbs anything I have the strength to mash up with ease. So glad I ended up on this bike.

  34. #34
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    Awesome, glad to see one SS'ed!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
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    Iíve got about 175 miles on this thing now & itís awesome!
    Managed to jam some lumber into the rear derailleur not long after I put the 29+ wheels on. Tried to straighten the hanger but my dadís hanger alignment tool didnít clear the frame so converted to SS sooner than Iíd planned. So glad I did, rigid SS is my favorite bike set up -totally fits my riding style. I get myself into too much trouble descending (far too many stitches & hematoma of the urethra on my last bike) the lack of squish on the front keeps me at a more reasonable speed for my weak downhill skills. On the other ends of the spectrum, this thing climbs anything I have the strength to mash up with ease. So glad I ended up on this bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    The carbon Farleys are amazingly versatile machines. B Fat wheelset for when float is needed, 29+ wheelset for when speed is preferred.

    I've built dozens of Wampa rims and have yet to have a customer come back with even a peep of a complaint, and haven't heard of a single crack.

    I use Wampa's on desert traverses because I trust them implicitly.
    Mike you seem to know your stuff - I have a Farley 9.6 that Iím not in love w the tires 4.5 - can I put 3.8 on those rims ? If not how much will it cost me to get new wheelset 27.5 x 3.8 .
    Also what would I need to go 29 plus ?
    Thx


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    The carbon Farleys are amazingly versatile machines. B Fat wheelset for when float is needed, 29+ wheelset for when speed is preferred.

    I've built dozens of Wampa rims and have yet to have a customer come back with even a peep of a complaint, and haven't heard of a single crack.

    I use Wampa's on desert traverses because I trust them implicitly.
    What a great blog wow ...


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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Why not get a Stache ?


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    I wanted a bike I could ride year round in New England & a Stache canít fit 27.5x4.5 tires.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNatureBoy View Post
    Mike you seem to know your stuff - I have a Farley 9.6 that Iím not in love w the tires 4.5 - can I put 3.8 on those rims ? If not how much will it cost me to get new wheelset 27.5 x 3.8 .
    Also what would I need to go 29 plus ?
    Thx


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Iím sure Mike will have a more complete answer for you but you can put 27.5x3.8 tires on your current wheels. To go 29+ you will need a wheelset built around 12x197/15x150 spaced hubs & rims in the i35 to i40ish range. My wheels are built on DTSwiss 350 big ride hubs with 54T ratchet, Derby AM i40 carbon rims laced with DTSwiss double butted spokes. Iíve got Bontrager XR2 29x3 tires on there & im really liking them. These are my first wheels with carbon rims & I was nervous about rock strikes. Iíve had a few but Iím re-learning how to ďride lightĒ & they are getting more infrequent. Riding SS helps with that a bit I think, as Iím standing to pedal much more than when riding a bike with gears.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
    Nice bike! What is that seatpost? Iím assuming itís got some cush engineered into it?
    It does. Weighs a pound, but really smooths things out, great for gravel riding.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by xseal View Post
    It does. Weighs a pound, but really smooths things out, great for gravel riding.

    https://cirruscycles.com/pages/store

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