The Fara F/All-road review in a sentence: F/me, this bike is fast. Lightweight and aerodynamic but robust enough to handle whatever you throw at it, this 'gravel-light' model from the small Scandinavian upstart rivals the premium alternatives from big-name brands.
Designed with the terrain and surfaces of the company's hometown, Oslo, in mind (where most road rides include a smattering of light gravel or the odd woodland trail), the Fara F/All-road is instantly at-home on the UK's pothole-strewn country lanes and canal-path cut-throughs.
The bike is centred around a full carbon frame and fork set-up. It's a thing of beauty, too – all smooth lines and aero flourishes, while the 'Morell red' colourway sparkles in the late summer sunshine. The frame's geometry is on the endurance side, and at times, I feel like I'm on an out-and-out road bike – my body is encouraged to hold an aerodynamic position and ride squat and on the hoods or in the drops. But even on rides of three-plus hours, I don't suffer from any aches or pains.
Despite its riding position, the frame also shows signs that the F/All-road is for more than going fast in a straight line. Three bottle cage mounts, an integrated bikepacking system, mudguard mounts, a top-tube mount and fork mounts show that Fara has also designed this bike for travelling long distances fully loaded.
[First reviewed October 2023]
Fara F/All-road review
Fara F/All-road review: Price and availability
The Fara F/All-road is available to buy now directly from Fara. Prices start at £3,915/ $3,999/ AU$ 5,999, although as each bike is customisable, you can upgrade or tailor each component to your requirements, which can have an impact on price.
The model that I tested (which included carbon fibre upgrades to the stock aluminium wheels and SRAM’s second-highest spec groupset) comes in at £5,428 (approx. $6,675/ AU$ 10,416). The entry-level build (fitted with the SRAM Rival AXS and Fulcrum Rapid Red 900 wheels) will still set you back a smidge over £4,000 (approx $4,920/ AU$ 7,676). So cheap this isn’t. But, if you’re looking for a full, carbon fibre gravel bike, the Fara F/All-road actually starts to look like a steal.
Fara F/All-road review: Features
The direct-to-consumer nature of Fara means that each bike can be customised to your specific needs or requirements. This means that, for some extra money, you can upgrade to SRAM’s second-tier Force AXS 2x12 groupset (if you’re more familiar with Shimano’s line-up, it’s the Ultegra Di2 equivalent).
Wireless, smooth running and with no noticeable gaps when shifting across its full spectrum of gears, the 46/33 chainring and 10-36 cassette was a good companion on any of the road or gravel rides that I embarked on during testing. Its top gear is big enough to easily hold 40km/h-plus without spinning out like a madman, while at the other end of the scale, you’re left with a small enough gear to inch your way up steep, off-road ascents.
While it’s not possible to buy a 1x drivetrain from Fara, the F/All-road can be switched to a single chainring set-up if you want to, with a small cover plate included to cover where the front derailleur is installed.
Brakes are also from the SRAM Force range, and the flat-mount disc brakes were confidence-inspiring on all terrains and in all conditions. Plus, with fully integrated cable routing and truly wireless gear shifting, the frame’s clean lines are allowed to remain drag-free.
As mentioned, the wheels included on my test bike were the upgraded Fulcrum Airbeat 400 DB. Lightweight, fast rolling and aerodynamically optimised, they were incredibly responsive, getting up to speed quickly and holding momentum effortlessly. Even when fitted with Panaracer’s wide, 35C Gravelking tyres, I could reach and sustain speeds in excess of those on my road bike, securing some Strava PBs and the odd KOM during testing. The only downside was that the tyres aren’t set up tubeless out of the box, and you’d want something with a bit more grip for winter off-roading.
Finished with Ritchey’s Butano WCS aluminium handlebars, 3T’s Apto Integrale and Fizik’s Argo saddle, every component has been chosen with speed and comfort in mind.
Fara F/All-road review: Riding performance
I rode the Fara F/All-road review extensively for a month and used it for a variety of rides – from my regular gravel loop in Epping Forest to an 85km road-only route where I wanted to see how it faired against a bog-standard road bike.
While I’ve already touched on its speed (did I mention that this thing is a rocket?), it was fast without compromising on comfort. On the asphalt, the wide tyres smoothed out any imperfections in the tarmac, and the geometry allowed me to get into an aero position without feeling like a contortionist. Off-road, the carbon fibre components took the sting out of the rough stuff, and the saddle had enough padding to prevent my backside from bearing the brunt.
Fara F/All-road review: Verdict
Gravel bikes get a lot of flack for being a marketing gimmick and essentially rigid mountain bikes from the 90s with drop handlebars. But the Fara F/All-road proves that this criticism is misguided. This is a bike that can truly do it all – road, gravel, bikepacking – and leaves me questioning why you would ever buy an out-and-out road bike. Sure, a road-focused machine might be marginally faster in the hands of the right rider, but for the majority, the Fara F/All-road allows you to have two bikes in one, saving you money and storage issues.
Fara F/All-road review: Also consider
Carbon fibre all-road bikes with electronic shifting are a common feature of most big brands’ line-ups, but our favourites are the Gravel SL Pro build from Ribble (£4,499), which also has the benefit of being customisable, while the new Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 AXS has electronic shifting, carbon wheels and some tricks up its sleeve (or rather, storage in its downtube). Although it’s been around for a while, it’s hard to beat the Boardman ADV 9.4 (£2,517) if you are looking for a budget-friendly option.