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  1. #1
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    Salsa Fargo -Opinions?

    I've been drawn to this bike since I first saw pix's of it. I've found a dealer who has had one sitting on their floor all season, and he's marked it down substanially. Just wondering if there are any Fargo owners out there and what are their opinions of this bike.

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I don't have one but most online reviews have been very positive. One poster claimed it was as fast and more stable under load than his Long Haul Trucker.

    It's on my short list.

    Michael
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Looks to me they got an awful lot right and not much wrong with this design. Might be as close to an "ideal" touring bike as most are gonna get short of a custom job. Retail is about $1800, so it better be
    ideal.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Going to stop by the LBS and take it out for a ride today. List is $1,995 and he's marking it down 20%.

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    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Let us know how it goes.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

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    Full review here:

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/reso...e_Schubert.pdf

    Conclusion:
    - Not as good on the road as a standard touring bike
    - Not as good offroad as a mountain bike
    - A good compromise for people who need to do both.

  7. #7
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    Mr VT -
    I own the SalsaFargo Medium. I bought the frame and built it up. Its the most comfortable touring bike I've ever rode/owned -PERIOD. This last ride I had so much weight on the rear wheel I bent the supports on the Tubus rack. Generally, I'm pathetic on reviews, sorry I can't give you a definitve synopsis of all things Fargo. I will say it is now my #1 touring ride. I have posted pictures of it on this forum. I will admitt the Fargo frame looks like no other bike, it reminds me of parts of my other frames spliced together. I just finished an 867 mile ride - fully loaded through part of the Canadian highland. For those who know the route: I rode VAncouver up the Sea to Sky, over and up the Yellowhead, then Jasper down the Icefields, ending in Calgary for the (excuse me) biggest dmn rodeo I ever witnessed. Started on June 25th and ended on July 10th....just in case you were sharing the road. Now that I have 1500 miles on the bike I feel like I can answer some questions about it with a bit of credibility - If you want - I'll do my best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpincher View Post
    Mr VT -
    I own the SalsaFargo Medium. I bought the frame and built it up. Its the most comfortable touring bike I've ever rode/owned -PERIOD. This last ride I had so much weight on the rear wheel I bent the supports on the Tubus rack. Generally, I'm pathetic on reviews, sorry I can't give you a definitve synopsis of all things Fargo. I will say it is now my #1 touring ride. I have posted pictures of it on this forum. I will admitt the Fargo frame looks like no other bike, it reminds me of parts of my other frames spliced together. I just finished an 867 mile ride - fully loaded through part of the Canadian highland. For those who know the route: I rode VAncouver up the Sea to Sky, over and up the Yellowhead, then Jasper down the Icefields, ending in Calgary for the (excuse me) biggest dmn rodeo I ever witnessed. Started on June 25th and ended on July 10th....just in case you were sharing the road. Now that I have 1500 miles on the bike I feel like I can answer some questions about it with a bit of credibility - If you want - I'll do my best.
    Great to hear from an owner. I haven't had a chance to ride one yet, hopefully within the next week we'll have some clear weather and the dealer will then let me take it for a ride. It does appear to be a very well thought out and executed bike. I like all the details. I currently have a number of bikes, but my main ride is a Surly LHT w/26 in wheels. Great bike. I like the Fargo, but just wondering were it would fit into my needs. When I did a 400 mile trail ride last month, I just fitted the LHT with some light knobbie tires and it performed well. I have all ultralight gear from my backpacking, so my loads are around 25 lbs. with no need to carry heavier loads. Have you fitted the Fargo with road tires yet? Sounds like your tour was a great adventure, was it mostly on road or off?
    Last edited by VT_Speed_TR; 07-24-09 at 08:51 AM.

  9. #9
    Member Solomander's Avatar
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    Fargo

    The Fargo looks like a cool bike. Is there any issue with getting replacement tires, tubes and wheels for 29er mountain bikes while on tour? That issue seems to be what pushes some people towards touring on a 26" mountain bike instead of a 700c bike. I would think that 29er supplies would be even harder to come by than 700c once you go off the beaten path.

    Joel

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    Quote Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
    I currently have a number of bikes, but my main ride is a Surly LHT w/26 in wheels. Great bike. I like the Fargo, but just wondering were it would fit into my needs. When I did a 400 mile trail ride last month, I just fitted the LHT with some light knobbie tires and it performed well. I have all ultralight gear from my backpacking, so my loads are around 25 lbs. with no need to carry heavier loads. Have you fitted the Fargo with road tires yet? Sounds like your tour was a great adventure, was it mostly on road or off?
    I'd say, if the LHT worked for you and you aren't planning on touring on much rougher roads, the Fargo (which is kind of cool) won't add a lot for the cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomander View Post
    The Fargo looks like a cool bike. Is there any issue with getting replacement tires, tubes and wheels for 29er mountain bikes while on tour? That issue seems to be what pushes some people towards touring on a 26" mountain bike instead of a 700c bike. I would think that 29er supplies would be even harder to come by than 700c once you go off the beaten path.

    Joel
    One more time: "29er" is marketing-speak for "700c with big, fat tires". 29er IS (usually wider) 700c rim + tire (also 700c, i.e. 622 bead-seat diameter). So, whatever relative problems/advantages need to be taken into account in the '700c or 26"' choice re. touring apply also to 29er. My take: in North America probably nothing in it (re. availability), nor in Europe, but elsewhere consensus is that rims/tubes/tires in the 26" mtb standard size are easier to come by.

  12. #12
    Member Solomander's Avatar
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    OK, Mr. Badger, so you're saying that in a pinch, a 29er bike can use a standard 700c wheel or a more typical touring tire? I didn't understand that. Thanks for clarifying that for me.

    Joel

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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    One more time: "29er" is marketing-speak for "700c with big, fat tires". 29er IS (usually wider) 700c rim + tire (also 700c, i.e. 622 bead-seat diameter). So, whatever relative problems/advantages need to be taken into account in the '700c or 26"' choice re. touring apply also to 29er. My take: in North America probably nothing in it (re. availability), nor in Europe, but elsewhere consensus is that rims/tubes/tires in the 26" mtb standard size are easier to come by.
    That has been my point for quite a while about 29er's for loaded touring.
    If you are touring where you definitely need a Large Air Volume Tire - you are probably in a remote place.
    In remote places - you are not likely to find a 29er tire, but you should be able to find a Mountain Bike 26" tire.
    For that reason I have made my touring bikes available with 26" or 700c.

    In addition - my new Taiwanese version of the Rock 'n Road Tour frames should be shipped by Mid August.
    http://bgcycles.com/BasicLoadedTouring.html

    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    http://wcamo.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
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    Geesh, a lot going on here. VT - I also have an LHT, mine is a 54cm with 26"tires - I love that bike, I like all my bikes. I plan to continue to tour with the LHT on weekend rides. I'm 50 years old and have been touring off and on since my early 20's. All five of my current and previous bikes have caused pain in my wrists, neck and shoulders. This Fargo is the first bike I've not had this problem with and I'm happy that this pain has been eliminated with the more upright riding position of my Fargo.

    My opinion is, my LHT w/26" tires is really close to, and can do most everything the Fargo does. My Fargo is different from my LHT in these ways - it's set up for my riding style/posture, I had it customized with SS Couplers, the brakes are better, the slanted Fargo top tube means I can get on the bike easier in my stiffening age, and a few other less meaningful preferences. One other important factor for my purchase of a new bike is that my LHT suffered some minor damage awhile back.

    About the 29" tires - all that 700/29" stuff confused me to pieces - originally. I have a medium tread/700X38 tire on the Fargo right now becuase I was touring on asphalt. I believe that tire is the narrowest one I can put on my Rims. BTW - It is the RIM that will dictate what width tire you can use - 29's are just really wide 700cc tires - Right?? I will be putting on some 50's soon so I can start riding on the nearby sandy trails and dirt roads. My aim is to get a back country permitt and do a multi day ride into the West Texas canyon backcountry. Hope some of that helps.

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    Wow mrpincher, sounds like you are my long lost twin. I grew up in a car free home in the 50/60, and we all biked everywhere. I have 7 bikes, including the LHT (54-26 in wheels). The bikes range from a 1965 Moulton (was my mom's), to a recumbent upright, a recumbent trike, a folding bike, to a single speed. They are all different and I enjoy riding them all because of the differences.

    I have my LHT set up with trekking bars and used an uncut steerer tube to create a nice upright position. I've got the LHT dialed in now.

    I did get to take the Fargo out yesterday and really liked the ride, and those brakes, wow!

    So now I've got my recumbent trike listed on Craigslist, and if I can sell that I think the Fargo will be mine. Lots of dirt roads to explore here in Vermont. Could I do it on the LHT, sure, but I can that the Fargo is much better suited for that. Onlt thing poor on the Fargo is the saddle (go figure), but then my Brooks is 4 years old and has 4,000 miles on it.

    That tour of Texas canyon country sounds great.

    Who did the S&S coupler conversion? How do those big wheels fit in a suitcase? I take it that is how you got the bike to Alaska.

  16. #16
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpincher View Post

    About the 29" tires - all that 700/29" stuff confused me to pieces - originally. I have a medium tread/700X38 tire on the Fargo right now becuase I was touring on asphalt. I believe that tire is the narrowest one I can put on my Rims. BTW - It is the RIM that will dictate what width tire you can use - 29's are just really wide 700cc tires - Right?? .
    You should have no problem putting a 700 x 32 touring tire on the Fargo rims.

    Michael
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  17. #17
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    Michael - I put Mavic a719 rims on this bike and I'm sure You're right about putting 32's on these rims as well. The Schwalbe 38's I have on this Fargo look like my 26X1 1/2" tires I have on the LHT. This 700x38 tire inflates to a lower psi. I like the softer feel of the tire. Years ago I started touring on 27"wheels with 1 1/8" tires with 100+ psi - I could never put my self through that kind of abuse these days. In those days speed and miles were more important than food and comfort.

    Something else I wanted to mention - the Fargo has loads of front tire clearance with my size of tire. The 700X38 tire + fender + large water bottle mounted under frame still has more clearance than any other bike I own. MY LHT fender will almost hit a large water bottle under frame. Hitting your foot on the front panniers, wheel, or fender would be next to impossible for the ordinary person.

    I don't put much emphasis on the perennial warning that kinda says, ...if you were touring on the moon where would you get 700c tires? I've toured around enough to know - when I'm headed out into vast spaces I prepare accordingly. I've always carried an extra tire or two, usually a decent folding tire and a cheapo regular tire whether a 27", 26" and now a 700. I also carry several tubes if I think the situation might require it (like the goathead stickers around here) - that's what I was taught to do by other people who toured before me.The only real tour stopping wheel problems I've ever had was that of breaking multiple spokes. That's why I continue to use big beefy straight gauge spokes, strong rims and hubs you can transport a howitzer on - haha. However, now that I have disc brakes on my touring bike, a temporarily wobbly rim from a hasty spoke change is even less of a problem, so maybe I should get over it..?

    The question about the 700c tires going into the 26" shipping case whilst mounted on the wheels - NO mine don't. You have to take the tires off the wheels to get them into an airline spec'd suitcase (26X26X10). I'd like to say there are "issues" with the idea of packing a bike into this small of a bag. I couldn't get the Fargo into ONE shipping case. I had to put the front fork, rear rack, and other components into another bag. This was not a big deal to me because I needed two bags for all my gear anyway. That's my experience.... I'd like to see someone get a bike with a long fork/steer tube, touring length chain stay, disc brake hubs, drop bars, all in one 26x26x10 bag.

    The ss couplers make my life easier in the airport and between the hotel/taxi/bus. They are a good match for my style of travel to get to the start of a tour. I can now assemble my bike in one hotel at the start of the route and then ship the bike bag, tools and stuff I no longer see a need for to the hotel at the end of the trip. This time the bags were waiting for me when I arrived 17 days later. At the start of the ride - It was fun to roll out of the Hotel lobby elevator with a fully assembled bike, when all I brought into the room was two ordinary looking bags. The desk manager had a puzzled look on her face. I'm tired - enough already.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Btflmutant's Avatar
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    I have a Fargo with Marathon Supremes (32s) and love it, Very comfortable. Have about 1800 miles on it so far.
    '09 Trek Madone 5.2 Pro
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  19. #19
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    Sir Butterfly, Great to hear from someone else. Do you tour with the Fargo? I would guess 1800 miles can't all be trails. Do you tour with pans or trailer? With four panniers or two rears? Do you have straight bars or drops? I just went for a slow evening roll around town. What a pleasure to be able to ride a bike.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Btflmutant's Avatar
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    Mrpincher, I haven't toured yet but am planning a Northern California coast tour in early August. I've been using it mostly as a commuter with a rack in back and lowriders in front. I have front and rear Ortliebs. I have drops and have never taken it offroad - probably won't either. it's been a fun bike so far as you know.
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  21. #21
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    The disc brakes would be nice in the slop but is the $2k Fargo $900 nicer than the LHT ($1100 MSRP)?...or $600 nicer than the 520 ($1400 MSRP)? All are made overseas...just sayin'

  22. #22
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    When I began to consider the Fargo as a purchase, my bicycle choices were very different bikes than the ones in your illustration. If you're just comparing the Fargo to cheaper rides I can do better - Some bike tourists have shown that unsupported, long distance tours, in frighteningly remote landscapes can be successfully done on a $400.00 "disposable" mail order bike, with very minor modifications. I bought my Fargo frame for $625.00 then spent more than $1200.00 in components to go with it. I now have what I wanted, I plan to have it for a very long time. But I get your point.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Btflmutant's Avatar
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    Skijor, I think the price difference is mainly in the components - all XT on the Fargo. That being said, I'm sure I would be very happy with the LHT or 520. I really wanted discs for the rain here in Seattle.
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  24. #24
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Btflmutant View Post
    Skijor, I think the price difference is mainly in the components - all XT on the Fargo. That being said, I'm sure I would be very happy with the LHT or 520. I really wanted discs for the rain here in Seattle.
    Quote Originally Posted by mrpincher View Post
    When I began to consider the Fargo as a purchase, my bicycle choices were very different bikes than the ones in your illustration. If you're just comparing the Fargo to cheaper rides I can do better - Some bike tourists have shown that unsupported, long distance tours, in frighteningly remote landscapes can be successfully done on a $400.00 "disposable" mail order bike, with very minor modifications. I bought my Fargo frame for $625.00 then spent more than $1200.00 in components to go with it. I now have what I wanted, I plan to have it for a very long time. But I get your point.
    Ok. I just figured with all the discussion/well-earned hype that the complete 520 & LHT get that they'd be more than capable of handling anything the world can throw at 'em. Or do you get the impression that most world-travelers just buy the frame and build what they feel is most suitable? BTW, yes I am in the market and yes the Fargo is an impressive rig.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Btflmutant's Avatar
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    I felt that if I went with the LHT, I would have bought the frame and built it up about the same as the Fargo comes stock. Would have been similar price as I recall or a little less, but the I really wanted discs.
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