Word spreads fast. The Trek Farley lineup is all kinds of awesome. Since launching our new website, Kyle’s early Farley 9.6 review has received plenty of responses and hits from our customers and readers far and wide across the internet. Rightly so, it’s light and handles with impeccable ability. Fat-Bike.com recently reviewed the Farley 9.8 positively. It’s no joke the Trek Farley lineup is made up of fast and capable bikes that are ready to let loose on single track.
After two months of riding his Farley 9.6, take a moment to read Kyle’s thoughts:
First, before reading this, I’d like to send you over to my initial review of the Farley 9.6. I worked hard on it gosh darnit, and not reading that first would be like reading The Deathly Hallows before The Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s just not how you do things.
Anyways, after a few additional months of ride time on the bike I continue to only have good things to say. The only downside is that my other bikes are getting jealous. The 9.6 has really grown to be my go to all around favorite bike (I own kind of a lot of bikes…).
There are a few points that I can touch on more now that I have put the bike through some additional punishment since I wrote my initial thoughts. The biggest thing that I have noticed that I didn’t necessarily expect was the float factor the 27.5″x3.8″ wheel/tire combo affords. I have owned a number of different Fatties in my years, the most recent of which being a Surly Moonlander (which I still have). 3.8″ tires have been tried and true for many years in the Fat Bike world, but coming off the widest tire/rim combo the industry has to offer (the Moonlander runs 26″x4.7″ tires on 100mm rims) I was wary of the downsize. After getting to ride the 9.6 in our one short lived snow cover, as well as a pretty substantial amount of mud/sand/loose gravel I was very pleasantly surprised by the fat factor the larger diameter rim put out. Technically there is science behind this, as a larger diameter wheel creates a longer contact area compared to a similar 26″x3.8″ setup. Without going full Bill Nye on you, I’ll just say that 27.5″x3.8″ has a surprising amount of float, is extremely quick rolling, and makes clearing trail obstacles almost effortless.
Another point I can talk about a bit more is the tubeless setup of the Jackalope rims and Hodag tires. In my previous review I noted the setup was a breeze, which it very much is. After a good amount of ride time I can note that I have had zero tire related issues. No flats, no burps, no leaks. They have held up great in a variety of riding conditions as well as PSIs. I’ve gotten time in at pressures ranging from roughly 4-5 PSI on up. I generally don’t go overly high on pressure, just a personal preference.
One big aspect of the bike (and all 2016 Trek Farleys) that I really want explore more are the stranglehold dropouts. Essentially this feature allows you to change the whole feel of the bike by decreasing/increasing the chainstay length. For this time of year, I prefer the dropouts in the farthest back position, creating a longer chainstay length. This gives the bike a little more stable feel, and gives a slight aid in keeping the bike straight as an arrow when plowing through the loose stuff (sand/mud/snow). Unfortunately singletrack season wasn’t around for a huge amount of time after I got my 9.6 so I didn’t get as much time experimenting with the axle all the way forward (creating a quicker, more nimble feel) as I would have liked. But, I am greatly looking forward to getting some more play time in once the local singletrack trails are completely frozen!
One final feature I’ll touch on (somewhat related to our little singletrack talk we had in the last paragraph) is the fact that this bike is setup and completely ready to add a bluto suspension fork for more trail oriented riding. The frame has a tapered headtube and the front hub is 150mm so it’s as simple as a drag and drop. Personally I’m a huge fan of rigid bikes. My only other two bikes I currently have that I ride singletrack with are a fully rigid carbon 29r singlespeed and a carbon CX bike. I love rigid for a number of reasons 1) it’s light weight 2) it’s cool 3) minimal maintenance (winter can be extremely hard on suspension) 4) I’m kinda weird like that. I’m definitely a proponent of rigid Fat Bikes if you’re doing mostly winter/exploratory/expedition style riding. That all being said, come next summer, you might see me with some squish on the front of my bike.
All in all I love my Farley 9.6. For the money you get a bike that super fast, light, and quick for the summer but still has all the “Fat-ness” come winter.
– Kyle Moscrip
As the most experienced cyclist at Hall Bicycle (OLD!), the young guys asked me to give my impressions of my Trek Farley 9.6 carbon fatbike.
In a word, I think it is awesome! I had been thinking about getting one for a while, and I have not been disappointed.
I have ridden it mostly on gravel roads, where my previous bike of choice was my carbon Trek Cronus CX cyclocross. That worked well, but as I get older, I find I want more traction and stability.
The Farley is super stable with tons of traction and yet is light and nimble enough for everything I have done so far.
Being older, and never having had any flexibility to speak of, my setup is a little different than stock. I went with a slightly shorter stem with a modest rise, and Jones Loop bars with Ergon grips. This gives me a more relaxed position, which I have found to be very comfortable on longer rides.
I got this bike to have fun and not have to worry about where I want to go, or when I need to get there. So far I have ridden it on pavement, gravel roads, dirt and riverbanks. It’s been the most fun I have had on a bike in a long time, and gives me the confidence that I can keep going all kinds of weird places for many years to come.
– Karl Moscrip
As of now, we have the following Farley’s in stock. In most cases, multiple bikes per size.
Farley 5 – 19.5, 21.5
Farley 7 – 17.5, 19.5
Farley 9 – 21.5
Farley 9.6 – 17.5, 21.5
Farley 9.8 – 21.5