Sort of an uneventful weekend. I did get out on 2 MTB rides tho. With a total of 2 and a half hours between them. Still looking for close to 10 hours again this week.
Im really starting to like the 29+ Farley 9.8 more and more. The more I ride it the smoother Im getting on it and the faster too. I know its crazy talk but Im actually considering racing in a couple weeks when the MTB races are in town. Im sure I wont but at least Im thinking about it. Im feeling that good on this bike right now.
Racing the big wheels you need to kinda change the way to race. Gone are the quick accelerations in tight corners. When your rolling thru the tight stuff you can really feel the big wheel diameter. Its huge. But then when its flowy and fast you sure can feel it too. Those big wheels/tires have super traction on both corners and hills. You need to learn to brake less and keep your rolling speed up on the corners. More than with a normal MTB. Once you start to brake less you don’t need to accelerate as much as before.
And on the steep but short up’s in the past the first thing that would happen to me as I grinded up in granny gear is the rear tire would spin and Im done. Not anymore. No slippage on any climb. If I can turn the pedal Im good to go.
This theory is not new. Or limited to me. Riding a fat bike over tough terrain just makes it easier. You don’t have to be so specific to your line. Just point and shoot. Either 29+ or fatter.
So now that Im ripping it up on the Farley 29 plus you may ask me about Farley vs Stashe.
First off, the bikes are really close in performance. The Stashe is more of a trail bike as the Farley does have a hint of race geometry in it. The Stashe is made to go down gnarly stuff. The Farley is made to go fast on the groomed winter race courses. Sadly, I did not have the Stashe when I was in Marquette last month. So I never used the bike for what its made to do. But I rode it enough to know how much fun it was to ride. Of course everything else being equal the nod will always go to the Farley as you can pull off the plus wheel set and put the fatties back on and join in all the winter games.
Thats said, the 27.5 by 4in carbon wheelset that comes with the Farley 9.8 is off the hook. Just a smidgen smaller in diameter compared to the 29+. Im pretty sure I would be just as fast with those wheels on in the summer. Almost no weight difference if you weigh the wheel and tire. Im only running the plus set cuz I had them made. I could sell them anytime and put the carbon fatties back on no problem.
The 9.8 Farley is lighter but also $1k more than the Stashe. So Im not comparing components here, just the bike overall. The Farley 9.6 would be a better comparison as its even a bit cheaper than the Stashe.
So the bottom line? Here in Wisconsin the winner would be the Farley hands down. Just a more versatile bike being a fatbike. If I lived in a warmer climate it would be the Stashe. Maybe somewhere in the southern States. If you don’t see any winter then the Stache is for you. Im not sure if I would even demo a MTB for me anymore. Since Im retired from (citizen) racing and just trail riding this kind of thing is what I’ll be in from now on.
For me, if I were racing I would actually take the Farley. I like the Bluto fork. It does not come with the bike but its really the only one for fat tires right now. The Manitou that comes with the Stache is a great fork and plenty heavy duty for those 10 foot drops up in the mountains but we don’t have that stuff by me. The Bluto is more cross countryish in design. Less travel. Also, I moved the rear axle all the forward on the Farley to shorten the chainstay and make it a little more snappy in the woods. I did not do that on the Stashe as the geometry had plenty of weight on the rear tire already. I could write another 1000 words on the comparison, and why this scenario is the one for me. Maybe another day.
So again, the Farley 9.8 is two bikes in one when you throw on a Bluto fork and a 29+ wheelset. Who knows? If we have the el nino winter that the weather dudes are talking about and we dont get a lot of snow I could just leave the plus wheels on well into December. If I still have them.
Lets hope that’s not the case as I like snow.