This past Saturday I popped into my local bike shop; Race Pace Bicycles and had them order me a 2014 Trek Farley. The Farley is a performance fat bike. If you are asking yourself what a fat bike is; it is basically a mountainbike, designed and built around very wide (fat) rims and tires for the sole purpose of flotation. The much larger footprint (surface area) allows for the bike to be ridden on the surfaces that would ordinarily gobble up and bog down standard width tires (Snow, sand & swamplands). This makes the fat bike, the ultimate, go-anywhere bike!
The origin of fat bikes came about years ago when Alaskan bicycle explorers and Iditabike racers would weld and sew together rims and tires to create their own custom fat wheelsets. Typically fat bikes have been used for snow racing as well as deep, back country exploration & touring. Though, with the recent hoopla, major brands are now adding performance fat bikes to their catalogues. These “performance” fat bikes lack the pannier & bottle mounting points on the frame & fork and feature lighter, more aggressive frame geometry. This is the category into which the Trek Farley falls. It’s not the ideal fat bike for touring on a multiday adventure (though you could); the Surly Pugsly and similar fat bikes have proven to be the bee’s knees for that purpose.
The Farley is selling out quickly. From what I have read and heard in talking with guys at bike shops, complete bikes are hard to come by, as most shops have sold them all. Framesets, on the other hand, are readily available. Although this information is plastered all over the internet, oddly enough, I had no problem ordering a complete Farley in my size (19.5”). Lucky me!
Fat biking is one more niche of the biking world that I am eager to get into. It’s funny how many areas of the sport you can explore. My cycling evolution looks something like this:
· XC riding & racing
· Urban Assault
· Fixed gear commuting
· Alleycat Racing
· Road racing
· XC riding