Wednesday, August 14, 2013

News Season: Part 8- Fat Bikes & US Made Bikes?

Farley complete and Farley frame set.
Apparently folks are all about fat bikes lately. This post, which was about fat bikes from Salsa has been at the top of the heap in the stats here for well over two weeks now. I'll have more about Salsa and other QBP brands in a bit...

Right now let's take a look at Trek's fat bike entry, the Farley. More details have emerged on this bike since the U.S. version of Trek World has kicked off here Monday.

The Farley was a puzzler for me when I got wind of it because it was being shown with Surly tires and rims. Trek has the horsepower to do their own thing, and as we saw with Specialized, they are planning on doing their own rims and tires, so why not Trek?

Note: The following is purely speculation on my part. You've been warned! My thought is that the Trek Farley was rushed to market, maybe a bit sooner than Trek would have liked. Why do I think this? Because it has come to light that Trek is only producing 500 Farley's for 2014. (Presumably, this includes frame sets) Still- that's a lot of Farleys, but Trek probably can not get more tires and rims from Surly right now. (Which may explain the Knards, which are a pretty terrain specific tire, not very conducive to softer conditions.)  Add to that the fact that Trek plans on having their own tires and rims by 2015. Makes one wonder........

Next, the claims on the weight of this bike. Trek is rumored to be saying this bike will weigh 26lbs. Okay, let's think about that. The last aluminum lightweight fat bike was the Salsa Beargrease. It weighed 28+ pounds in a size medium. It was aluminum, stripped of any braze ons save for the bottle cage bosses on the frame, and had a pretty spiffy kit, including some snazzy e13 cranks.

It's hard to imagine that the Farley will out do the Beargrease of 2013 by two pounds, especially considering the fact that the Beargrease and the Farley have essentially the same wheels and tires. But, we'll see. Consider also that the price on the Farley is about what last year's Beargrease was, and I can be colored skeptical on this one. The shop where I work has one coming in. My scales are ready..... UPDATED: A Trek World attendee has confirmed that the Farley will actually be in the 29 pound range as told to him by a Trek product manager. That's what I figured....

Made in the U.S.A?
QBP Brands To Be Made Stateside?

According to a post on Cyclelicious, Quality Bicycle Products may be producing bicycle frames in Minnesota within the next few years. QBP head, Steve Flagg, is quoted in the post from an interview from Minnesota Public Radio and hints that the process to reach a goal of having Stateside frame production is in process. (See more here.)

Those are bold words there. This would be the biggest frame production and bike assembly producer in the U.S. since the days of Trek's steel frame production in the 80' and 90's. Many pundits have been saying that Asian production is getting more expensive and less profitable for U.S. based companies, and at some point the tables would turn for a favorable manufacturing climate here in the U.S. Maybe that time is nigh.

3 comments:

The Biking Viking said...

Farley Farley Farley Farley Farley, Hufaaaaarrr

sorry, had to.

Three Amigos

Adrian Whitehead said...

And Trek don't plan to release them into Australia, but they are sending them to Japan, I hate their marketing strategy. I might have to import one from a US bike shop through my freight fowarder...

Steve said...

Just built a medium. 31 lbs 5 oz