Bets around the Dirt Rag virtual water cooler (which is located in the virtual Dirt Rag HQ) put money on Trek releasing a 27plus full-suspension trail bike or a Stache 29plus full-suspension ripper.
Neither guess was accurate, obviously. Instead, Trek dropped a 27.5 x 3.8 Farley EX trail bike with full suspension at the Sea Otter Classic. Actually Trek dropped a pair of them. This 120 mm travel fatbike is looking to insert itself into what Trek sees as a growing high-end market for fat bikes.
Farley EX 9.8
Trek didn’t cut corners here, equipping the 9.8 model with a carbon frame, the full compliment of Trek suspension tech (RE:activ shock, full-floater shock, active braking pivot, etc.), a new Bontrager Drop Line dropper post and Bontrager 27.5 x 3.8 tires.
Those big tires have many of the same advantages of 29 vs 26 wheels, and some fancy engineering actually drops weight from the 26 x 4.7 tires seen on many of Trek’s previous fat bikes.
While many companies seem to be pulling back from the fat market, this release shows is Trek doubling down with a serious commitment to riders looking for a full-time, full-fat trail bike.
Farley EX 8
Sharing most features of the Farley EX 9.8, the EX 8 saves cash with less-expensive components all around. The critical RE:activ shock and Trek’s suspension technology remain in place, but aluminum replaces the carbon as the frame material of choice.
Geometry is trail oriented. Not super slack, not super steep, but looking like a good balance between slack-shred-machine and cross-country race bike.
Trek isn’t ignoring the hardtail side of the fat bike market. There were plans in place to develop a less-expensive fat bike, but sales trends showed huge sell-through in its higher-end carbon models, hence the 9.9. Even with 27.5 x 4.5 tires, the Farley 9.9 is claimed to weigh 22 pounds. Twenty-two pounds! With real tires. Pretty amazing.
A host of lightweight Bontrager bits accompany the OCLV carbon frame, but the real star of the show are the HED Big Deal carbon rims, which are one of the lightest, if not the lightest, fat bike rims on the market.
With fat bike races now selling out in most parts of the country, this looks like a serious contender for raciest fat bike ever, even directly out of the box.
Pricing and Availability
All these bikes are scheduled for a fall release. Pricing looks like this:
|Farley EX 8||$3,499.99||August|
|Farley EX 9.8||$5,499.99||August|
There are less expensive hardtail fat bikes as well:
And one for the kids!