Based in Oslo and selling direct to consumers, Rouleur Live proved an excellent opportunity to get up close with Fara’s range of versatile bikes. Recently redesigned, the newest machine in the firm’s trio is aimed at the more rugged end of the gravel spectrum.
Called the F/GR, it joins the tarmac focused F/RD and the mixed terrain F/AR. Echoing the adaptability of these two bikes, the F/GR takes the Fara range further into the wilds. With flared bars and clearance for tyres up to 50mm, its carbon frame is nevertheless remarkably light. With a claimed weight of 1,050g for a medium, it’s still more than happy to carry a full complement of bags. Helping it do so are a vast array of mounting points, including several on the fork. However, even smarter are the mounts on the underside of the top tube. Allowing for various attachments, one of the most popular is likely to be the studs for Fara’s magnetic bikepacking bags. Using automatically locating Fidlock fixings, once fitted, these enable a frame bag to be attached or detached in seconds. With the interior of the front triangle standardised across the bike’s four sizes, smaller riders won’t be shortchanged when it comes to carry-space either.
In fact, a single Roswheel-manufactured frame bag will serve on each. Seam welded and waterproof, the brand also produces front and rear holsters that can be ordered with the bike. There’s also a new downtube integrated stash box for carrying spares. Designed in a country with even more rain than the UK, mudguard mounts are also present and correct.
Given its focus on self-supported trips, the bike’s features are held to tried and tested standards. This sees the inclusion of a conventional 27.2 seatpost, creak-free T47 bottom bracket, and simplified internal cable routing. Moments after the launch, we caught up with Fara owner Jeff Webb to get the lowdown on the F/GR.
“Our range is built around a trilogy of bikes covering road, all-road, and gravel,” explains Webb. "Having redesigned the first two, this is the last to be due an update."
"One of the first things you might notice is that the bike resembles the F/AR. It’s built around the same design. It has a similar chainstay design, although they’re actually thicker on the F/GR, as we found we didn’t need the extra compliance when using bigger tyres. Of course, the other thing you’ll notice is the clearance. We’ve built up the display model with 50c Gravel Kings, which is the maximum it can accept."
"The colour is a kind of smoked pearl. It’s based on a type of rock formation you find in Norway. It’s available only for those pre-ordering the bike. The landscape always inspires us in Norway. It’s a wild place, so it’s also why we wanted to make bikes that are easy to maintain. Take the cabling, the cable outers run full length through the frame, so if you need to change a cable, you can thread it in at the lever, and it will pop out at the back. There are also no holes in the frame, so it won’t collect dirt or water."
"At the same time, there’s a front derailleur mount, so you can run a 2x chainring set-up if you wish. We’ve also included a stash hatch, which is a new feature for us. It allows you to store a small bag inside the downtube containing the necessities you always want to have with you. The frame also has mounts for our integrated bikepacking system, which allows a pack to snap in and out of the frame using the Fidloc system. It’s a bike that’s ready to head anywhere you want to go. In Norway, everyone loves this style of gravel riding. With so many awesome spots to camp and explore, we wanted the F/GR to be a bike that would take you there”. Launched on the first day of the Rouleur Live show, Fara is now taking pre-orders for the F/GR with a delivery date of Spring 2022. With each bike custom assembled, riders can pick from various Campagnolo or Shimano groupsets, along with wheels from Fulcrum and saddles from Fizik. Starting from 3,239€, Fara’s direct-to-consumer approach means their bikes are also keenly priced.