Monthly Archives: August 2016

Farley EX 9.8

First off, let’s talk a little about my tire choice for Marquette. I took off the fat Hodag 3.8 and put the smaller Chupacabra 2.8 on. Thinking that I was going to rip it up with the smaller tire. And for the second time I was wrong. As I mentioned the first time I had it on its just too small and does not roll over stuff like a taller tire. As I said before the whee20160828_113304l\tire combo is smaller than a normal 29er MTB. Hated it. Won’t do it again.

So much more fun with the bigger tire two weeks ago. Smoother and easier to ride.

However I did get a new PR on Bensons Grade. Took an entire minute off my best time up that hill and thats not too hard when you’re still at 11 minutes. So thats one thing the smaller lighter tires did better than the bigger. But that just a few minutes of a ride that lasted hours.

Anyway, thats water under the bridge cuz my new Farley EX came yesterday. And I had it less than two hours before I was out on the trails.


Take a look at that beauty. It’s been two years since I had a rear suspension. If you look back a few posts I was undecided to get the heavier EX or the lighter 9.9. And Im so glad I picked the EX. The first thing I did to the bike was cut the bars down to a respectable 710mm and remove the dropper post which has no need where I live. Mounted the tires tubeless which was very quick and easy. Threw on some pedals and weighed it. 30 pounds. The heaviest bike I’ve ever owned that was not steel. But still, when you think about it, it still is a fat bike. So maybe that number is not so bad.


I didnt have the bike more than an hour and I was off to the roughest trails in the area.


I’ll tell you that I forgot about the 30 pound weight in a minute. It’s been so long that I rode a rear suspension that I forgot how it was. And my full suspension bikes in the past were all XC bikes. So I got quite the awakening to trail tuned longer suspension.

It was frickin amazing. Super rocky section that had me standing, not pedaling and hanging on for dear life on my hardtail Farley I was now sitting and pedaling if I wanted to.

Once I got used to the different geometry of the bike Im pretty sure I was way faster than my hardtail. Maybe not in the climbing but everywhere else. I could keep the gas on over the roughest sections.

And this is not new with full suspension bikes but its been so long for me its almost new again. I could care less about the weight. This is the bike for me. I always said i would get a full suspension fat bike the second they had one. You could not slap the smile off my face.

Also new to me is the trail geometry of the EX. You sit back on the bike a bit more and once I got used to it felt way more fun. Really, I should have been on a EX all those years I struggled with a XC bike on the fun trails.

I still have the 29+ wheels from the hardtail Farley and Im not so sure I will use them here. The carbon 80mil Wampa,s seemed just fine. I’ll think about it.

One thing I missed was the Di2. My hardtail 9.8 is sold and is taking the Di2 with it. I will be considering making the upgrade in the future. This time the new XT stuff. Little cheaper.

In closing, the Farley EX 9.8 is a keeper. To those who said a front fork on a fat bike is “not needed” and then those now who say the full suspension fat bike is “not needed” come and ride this thing. If you ride hard and all summer and winter this is one bike to rule them all. I can’t wait until the next ride. (tomorrow)

More is it develops.



North trails

It was a great weekend in Marquette. But It started out a bit scary. Woke up early for the drive up and it was pouring out. A quick check of the radar and it looked like there were two rain systems and Marquette was going to fall directly in between them. So I took the chance and left. It poured all the way to Green Bay and beyond. In fact I was three hours into the four hour drive and still raining. I considered turning around. I just did not want to get stuck in a all day rain there like I did two weeks ago. But I pushed on.

When I got about 30 miles to go it stopped raining. When I got to Marquette the sun was out. Crazy.

I arrived at the campground around noon, the others were already riding so I set up camp and lounged around for an hour before they got back. After we went in town for some lunch we packed the bikes and headed for the south trails. We did the same loop I did two weeks ago. It’s a nice hour and a half loop between the green and red loops.

South trails

Since I was with others we did some “more funner” stuff too. It was a great ride and I was already super glad I did not turn around this morn. Im pretty sure I got a PR on Bensons Grade. After getting a PR there just two weeks ago. I think I took a full minute off the climb. Which is easy to do when it still takes you 11 minutes.

After that ride it was close to dinner time so we again headed back into town to check out Harbor Fest.


This is the same weekend we came here last year but this time the festival had some of the big ships show up. Pretty cool. I would have loved to watch this one sail in port (or out for that matter). It was the typical festival atmosphere that I dont like so much. Too many people and such but it was not that bad. We ate dinner ar one of the food trucks there. I had my limit of one beer.

Sunday morn the others decided they wanted to sleep in since there were staying another day but I had to get back home by 5pm for a family function so I needed to ride, get cleaned up and down the road by noon. So it was the north trails that leave right from the campground.

These trails are by far my favorite. I’ve said this many times but I’ll take the north over the south any day. Very scenic and fun too. Over the last few years a lot of burmed stuff has been built there. The first pic above is from the north. It winds along a river with a few dams and ponds to boot. Very cool.

North trails

This huge pipeline runs thru the north trails. Not sure where the water go’s or where it came from but the pipe sure has a lot of leaks. Im thinking it has something to do with the mines? Not sure which direction the water is running.

North Trails

The trail goes right under the pipe.

So it was a great ride Sunday morn also. And a nice all around visit to make up for the last one. I got in all the riding I wanted and even tho it was just a overniter it was a good time nonetheless.

Now that I got my fill of Marquette for awhile I’ll look forward to Hayward,WI in Sept and Oct. The best riding of the year is upon us and Im pretty excited about my new bike that is coming this week. More on that later.


Im Out

Once again I load up my stuff and head to Marquette,MI for some riding of bikes in the woods. This time I took off the bigger 3.8 Hodags for the much smaller 2,8 Chupacabras.

And when I say smaller I mean it.


Here are the two different tires on the same rim. Smaller for summer and bigger for winter I guess. That’s why I went for the Easton ARC 45’s. 27.5 by 45mm. You can run your summer and your winter tire on the same wheel.

Sure, all you moster truck fat bikers will scream its got no float but that’s not true. In fact, the footprint is smaller by a few millimeters. And how often do I blaze trail in deep snow. Like never.

And this setup is lightning fast on the groomed trails, its the setup I had at the Birkie last March.

As for the summer tires, they are a bit too small in diameter for my taste. In fact they are smaller than a average 29er. Thats too small for me. But I’ll have them on for the Marquette trail riding this weekend. Should be fun. Shooting for my PR on Benson’s Grade ( A big hill) so will see how that go’s.

I’ll get ready and leave at first light. Im camping this weekend and there is rain in the forecast. Got rained out a couple weeks ago and I hope it doesn’t happen again.

Have a great weekend!


Win One, Lose One.


Nice visit to the park this morn. Took a few pics….

So here it is Thursday. And I’ve got some pretty exciting news. A buddy of mine is heading up to Marquette to camp a few days and has invited me to pirate his campsite Saturday nite and I think I will take him up on it.


It’s going to be a quickie so I leave early Saturday, get up there about noon and get a afternoon ride in. As a bonus there is a music festival going on Saturday nite and one of the Tall Ships is stopping in port for that. So thats should be nice.

Then get another nice ride in Sunday morn after I pack up and leave for home around noon, to make a dinner date at 5pm back home. How’s that for a busy weekend.

And will be the second time up there in two weeks! Rain in the forecast tho. I dont want to repeat two weeks ago when I spent pretty much the entire day looking out the hotel window at rain.

If it looks bad I can for sure bail.

Im going take off the 3.8 Hodags and put the 2.8 Chupacabras back on the Farley. That should liven up the ride up there. Practice my tail whips on the South trails.

Alas, there is some give and take. Ive decided to scrap the Shuammy Fat Tire 40 in three weeks. While I will lose my $70 registration I just dont want to spend the $500 for that weekend. Id rather wait a few more weeks, hotels get way cheaper, the crowds are down and just head up for some trail riding. Sometime in Oct and Nov. I’ll get up there for sure, just not on race weekend.

Id better get to work. I’ll post pics of the tire swap tomorrow.