2018 Trek Farley EX 9.8


Got out for a small shake down on the 2018 Farley EX. Not even an hour but it was enough to start the tweeks. For the most part its the same bike as the 2017 except its got 12 speed Sram Eagle and the Manitou Mastedon fork.

I’ll start with the fork. Its stiffer than the Bluto. Im a bigger guy and I noticed that almost immediately. I like that. Not that I do any big hit stuff but if I did that fork is better. If I do any 5 foot drops that fork would shine. I can do those, I just choose not to. The fork is a bit heavier than the Bluto and thats expected for something a beefy as the Mastedon. It’s the Mastedon Comp. Not the higher end Pro model and that was a bit disappointing when I saw the spec sheet on the bike. But you gatta do what you gatta do to hold a price point.

I did have a little trouble with getting the shock stiff enough for me. They dont have 265 pound guys in mind when they  engineer these things. For the most part for suspension bikes I have to kinda wing it to get it to work for a guy as big as me and this Manitou fork is no different. Max air pressure is stated 120 but Im at 130 right now. I think it should be fine but sometimes I will need to have the lockout half on if Im hitting some bigger stuff. I have the rebound wide open too.

This is not a flaw on the forks part. This is me trying to get it to work for me. I’ve been dealing with this my entire life. The rear shock is the same as last year and works great. Its got a 300 pound air limit and Im running at about 275 with success.

Now, I only have about 50 minutes on the bike but Im liking the Eagle 12 speed. A 50 tooth cassette. With a 30 tooth ring thats a super low gear and will help me get my fat ass up a hill for sure. Many times I’ve looked for a lower gear on my 42 tooth only to find out Im already in it. Im going to be able to pedal up way more hills with this thing. The fact that you can probably walk faster than I would be pedaling is beside the point. Pedaling is still pedaling.

Overall, the bike is a pound and some change heavier than my 2017 but thats OK. The ride more than makes up for it.

Im pretty sure I will keep the Eagle on the bike and not go electronic like every bike I’ve had since 2012. That granny gear was made for fat guys.

I of course ditched the dropper post. I have always said if Im on a trail that requires a dropper post I have no right to be there. Plus I lose a pound doing so.

I’ve got a few tweeks to do yet. I’ve decided to get a offset seatpost. I dont need to go that much farther back but the seat Im using has carbon rails and would rather have the clamp in the middle of the seat as opposed to pushing it back as far as it is. A change of grips and adjusting of the levers and Im off.

And by off I mean to Hayward on Thursday. By Thursday afternoon I will be on CAMBA single track on my new bike thats not black and has a stiffer fork and a lower granny gear. Im pretty pumped. It’s been awhile since I had time away for the store. March? Wait, no.. I was up in Marquette in April? I forget.

Anyway, Im already working ahead in the store. Its only a three day week for me! Better get to my ordering!!


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