Trek Farley 9.8 Summer Edition

Current state.

I was going to post on this sooner but I wanted to ride it a bit before I said anything. So I got one of the few released Farley 9.8’s a few weeks ago. I also have one of the few framesets too. Anyway, I rode the bike immediately as it was out of the box and was impressed with the way it handles on the dirt. I had the Bluto fork and 29+ wheelset before the bike even got here but I considered not even putting the stuff on. But I did put the Bluto suspension fork on as Im old and rickety so that was a for sure. Remote lockout of course.

Stock bike with stuff ready to go on.

So I rode it with the stock wheelset for awhile which just happened to be Treks new carbon 27.5 rim by 4in tire combo. Super fast. These things are going to fly on the groomed snow trails. These wheels are almost as tall as a 29+. In fact I was going to just sell the 29+ wheelset I just built for the bike. Its that close in diameter. And with the Trek wheels being carbon the weight was also about the same, like within 10 or 15 grams per wheel with tire. If you just went wheel to wheel without tire the carbon’s were way lighter.


Ive been 29+ for quite a while. This pic is my old 9zero7 Whiteout from 2013. A 23 pound bike back then. But no suspension fork yet.

So here I had the new Stans Hugo 52mil 29+ wheelset just sitting here so I thought I might as well run them. Running DTSwiss Big Ride hubs. So I got a pair of Panaracer FatBnimble plus tires. They are the lightest on the market right now. I weighed them both and they both came in under 800 grams.

But they were so thin, with such a small bead that I could not get them to bead up tubeless. Sure, I could have done some things with tape on the rim and such but Im not into ghetto tubeless. So I threw in a pair of tubes and off I was. Again the 29+ wheel and tire setup was a smidge lighter than the carbon bigger wheel\tire.

Off the bat the 29+ wheels felt faster on the bike in the dirt. Being a bit taller and lighter. It just felt I could hold momentum longer. So I’ll save the carbon wheels for winter and snow and stay 29+ in the warmer weather.

Then, I was a bit concerned as the Hugo rims are tubeless specific and I could not get the Panaracers to go. The rim is very tubeless specific and the real reason I got them. Both last years Jackalope fatbike wheel was tubeless specific and was a breeze to mount up, even could use a floor pump. This years Wampa carbon wheel was the same. Instant tubeless. No issues.

So I was a bit bothered about the tubes in the Hugos so I ordered a pair of Bontragers Cupacabra 29+ tires and pulled off the Panaracers. The Bontys mounted up tubeless super easy. Again it seemed it would have went with a floor pump. The Bonty tire is a bit heavier than the Panaracer but take away the tube and I saved 10 grams per wheel. Oh boy.

But its not the weight but the tubeless ride and puncture protection. A bit lighter is not a bad thing tho.

So once again Im off now with tubeless. Also, the Farleys (and the Stashe) has an adjustable rear axle where you can adjust the chainstay length . It works well. All the bikes come with the axle all the way back and I moved it all the way up and it just feels better in the woods. I should have done that with the Stashe this summer.

So this is the way this bike stays until winter. Based in history I could leave this setup on until some time in Dec. But I hope not. I would love to put the wider carbon wheels\tires on and ride in the snow sooner than later.

I think I could ride a bike like this from now on. If you don’t race in the summer or even if you do, Im telling people to just get a high end fat bike, either throw on some 29+ wheels or not, and have one bike to rule them all. Ive always had the latest and greatest dual suspension cross country bikes but Im just too old for that. But my old back will go for the first duel suspension fatbike Trek comes out with. If any. I can tolerate a rigid rear fatbike. Its not as good as suspension but still way better than a hardtail MTB. Just run the tire a bit lower and I get just enough forgiveness to let me walk away without holding my back.

Or anything else for that matter. Bring on winter!


4 thoughts on “Trek Farley 9.8 Summer Edition

  1. Hi Dano
    I have a 9.8 and want to go 29+ also. I have been trying to determine if a bluto will allow for the 3″ tires…bonty’s. Most have said it is close for comfort. I want to use a 38mm outer rim. I see you have 52mm and obviously it works. Do you think my set up would work? Don’t want to invest in the wheels if not.
    Thanks in advance.

    1. It was a tight fit for the bonty tires on a 50 mil rim. I really don’t know how much diameter a 38 mile rim will produce. Honestly on such small rims the tire might have a weird shape when inflated. Ive also used the Panaracer Fat b nimble 29+ tire and its a little smaller in the sidewall. So the wheel\tire was not as tall as the Bomty’s were. Maybe that?

  2. How big a difference do you feel from 29+ to the 27.5 Hodags? I am not sure about going to invest in 29+ for my fat bike. The Hodags could be the perfect solution. And then a carbon fat bike would be really nice.

    1. For summer, I liked the 29+ better. Right now Im running 27.5 Easton Arc 45’s with the Hodag. Its also nice in summer but I run this setup in winter too when I dont need a lot of float. Which is about 85% of the time.

      I had a 27.5 plus tire on a while ago and deemed it too small for me.

Wa da ya think?

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