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  1. #1
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    Salsa Fargo Any Real Life Experiences

    I am considering getting a Salsa Fargo for unsupported touring. I have read one post regarding its handling that was negative. Have any of you used this bike and have ridden it fully loaded? I don't want make a decision based on one persons post. Any opinions? Not looking for alternative choices just real life experiences with the Salsa Fargo.

  2. #2
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    I've had my Fargo for a year now and have had no handling issues. I have a set of rear panniers, a dry bag across the rear rack, a handlebar bag, and a small dry bag on a front rack. I find the bike extremely stable and it rides like it has a suspension with the 29er WTB Vulpines. I've riden it unloaded on singletrack trails and it handles fine given the narrow drop road bars.

    If you want to get more opinions or see the touring folks are doing on the Fargo, look at the MTBR forums under the Salsa section
    1965 Moulton Speed 4, 1974 Fuji 12 speed, 1987 DB Ascent EX, 2006 Dahon Speed TR, 2009 Salsa Fargo, 2011 Gravity 29.4, 2011 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Moonlander

  3. #3
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    Fargo here Fargo there - on my fargo everywhere

    Sorry about the title couldn't help myself.

    I attached some pics - this bike IS different. I find it's very comfortable, easy on my shoulders and wrists, a joy to ride loaded or unloaded. I truley mean that. I now own an LHT, Fuji, Jamis, Fargo and each has accompanied me on tours. This fargo is the easiest to climb hills with and for some strange reason easy to get rolling out of the intersection in traffic. It's stable and stiffer than the LHT. I remember weighing it and it was a smidge lighter than my LHT (for a comparison.)

    I feel obligated to say this - the myth of all fargo's wobbling uncontrollably is not true. Mine does not wobble in the least - I've tried to induce a shimmy - it won't do it. For the record, my LHT will shimmy if I put my "surly nice" front rack on and load the front panniers light and put on the handlebar bag. I will mention that I fixed the LHT shimmy by trial and error - obviously that's not possible in all cases on all bikes.

    The post mentions loaded touring - I've had this fargo on the road a couple years ago in Canada. Rode unsupported/loaded from Vancouver up to Whistler then up a real big & steep hill to Kamloops then north up #5 over to the breathtaking Mt Robson and a short jog right to Jasper down through Banff on over to Calgary. It was a spectacular ride, an ideal setting for a bike tour. The picture by the river (I think the big Thompson) is how I loaded up for this trip. I had to pile everything on the rear rack becuase I had NO room left in my airline luggage for two front panniers. The Mavic A719 rims are stellar choices for touring. The rear wheel handled all that extra weight without issue. I prefer riding with both front and rear pans because the bike feels balanced.

    I also took this rig from here in Amarillo Texas north up through the Oklahoma panhandle, Kansas , into Colorado then west behind the front range to Leadville, Aspen, Berthoud, Grand Lake to Estes. Another epic ride.

    The only bothersome issue I have with the bike is the pump won't stay secure becuase of the profile of the couplers. PITA.

    I built this up from the frame. I'll see if I can dig up my component list and post it. Bilinky (?sp) did the couplers.

    Fargo gets five stars for loaded touring in my book. -
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mrpincher; 09-02-10 at 11:57 AM. Reason: I said Aspen - I was thinking Winter Park.

  4. #4
    timberline12k timberline12k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpincher View Post
    I built this up from the frame. I'll see if I can dig up my component list and post it. Bilinky (?sp) did the couplers.

    Fargo gets five stars for loaded touring in my book. -
    I would appreciate seeing your build list. I just received my 2010 24" XXL Fargo Frame set and am trying to decide on my build list. I plan to set it up as a 20 speed with 2X10 SCRAM.

    I read all the reviews (positive and negative) and the Fargo was the only bike I could find that matched my needs.

    If you check out the Fargo build list at the bottom of the following link there are some nice components ($800 for each rim is way out of my price range):

    http://www.gnatlikes.com/gnats-equipment/

    He does work at Salsa, but he has put on tons of miles on his Fargo.
    Last edited by timberline12k; 09-01-10 at 11:54 PM.
    David
    Salsa Fargo | Kona Unit

  5. #5
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    The Fargo seemed the bike of choice on the GDMBR this year. I counted 6 north to south.

    I rode the route with a guy http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=4861&v=B9 who is very knowledgeable about both mountain bikes and touring. He would often rave about how pleased he was with his Fargo.

  6. #6
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    Just did an overnighter last weekend on my Fargo. I had probably 25+ pounds of stuff on there, and it was dead steady from a walking pace to 30+mph downhills.



    I've read ONE account of a Fargo that wobbled, and Salsa determined that the fork on that frameset wasn't straight. I wouldn't worry about it.
    Last edited by seat_boy; 09-02-10 at 02:39 PM.

  7. #7
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    seat_boy,

    What size frame is that??

  8. #8
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    Here's the componet list. I tried to copy & paste from my Universal Cycles invoices. Those guys were super to work with.

    I'd encourage a bigger fenders if you want to use a bigger tire.

    Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 BS77 Bar End Shifter 2/3 x 9
    Shimano FD-M773 XT Front Derailleur 28.6/31.8/34.9 Clamp (9 Speed)
    Shimano RD-M771 XT Rear Deraillier SGS - Long Cage
    Shimano Deore CS-M510 Cassette 11-34 9 spd

    White Industries Bottom Bracket 68mm x 113mm (Stainless Steel)
    Sugino XD600 Crankset 170mm
    Sugino 74/110mm Standard Rings 24t x 74mm Inner
    Sram PC-971 Chain

    Cane Creek S8 Headset Black 1 1/8"
    Dimension Flat Top Bar44cm x 26.0mm
    Deda Elementi Logo Stem 82/98 deg x 100 mm x 26.0

    Avid BB7 Mountain Disc Brakes 2010 51mm IS Front or Rear (160mm Rotor)
    Tektro RL520 Brake Levers

    Phil Wood Rear Disc Hub 135mm x 36h
    Phil Wood QR Front Disc Hub 100mm x 36H
    Mavic A719 Rim Black 700c x 36 Hole
    Wheelsmith Straight Gauge Spokes
    Wheelsmith Nipples
    Black Brass 12mm
    Schwalbe Marathon Cross Tire 700 x 38c
    SKS P50 Fenders 700c/26" Black

    Brooks B17 Special Saddle Black
    Salsa Shaft Seatpost 27.2 x 410mm (Black)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpincher View Post
    seat_boy,

    What size frame is that??
    It's the XL. FWIW, I'm 6'3" with a 36" PBH, 34" pants inseam, and a 32" saddle height.

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    @mrpincher: how much does yours weigh? My only complaint about mine (the stock xt build) is the weight. Most people wouldn't complain about a 29lb off road tourer but I often trtour on my carbon/aluminum road bike and it weighs in fully loaded at 30lbs. Any tips on where I might shave weight?

    The disc are a bit of hit, but I wouldn't change them. The rims are fairly light. Haven't checked the bb weight. There's no clear direction on where the weight is. It isn't all in the 6.5 lbs frame though. (Mine is the XXL frame btw).

    Was thinking of possibly building up a road specific wheelset with some lighter rims. Maybe a lighter hub.

    There's probably some weight in the crank, but I'm not going to XTR for it. Like I said though, the bb might be hiding some weight...but then it's outset... so maybe the only weight to kill is in the crank.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    The Fargo seemed the bike of choice on the GDMBR this year. I counted 6 north to south.

    I rode the route with a guy http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=4861&v=B9 who is very knowledgeable about both mountain bikes and touring. He would often rave about how pleased he was with his Fargo.
    Ha! That guy was riding with my buddy Phil Randolphe. LOL. Well... not my buddy, just a local rider I know.

    BTW, I've ridden mine plenty on and off road. Did 650 miles of Trans Wisconsin backroads, atv and singletrack earlier this summer. Will try and post some more info later.

    Until then pics:

    some related groups:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/fargo_a...ation_society/

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/ultralightbiking/

    some of my own fargo pics:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmeiser2/tags/fargo/

  12. #12
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    mmeiser - my fargo weighs 36 pounds (that's before I load my gear on it - BTW). That's with front and rear racks, pump, ss couplers and light. For comparison my Lht weighs 35 pounds sans the couplers, light or front rack.

    Sorry - I'm the wrong person to ask about cutting pounds or ounces. I travel comfortably - my wife say's that I thrive in the great outdoors while most others just survive.

    I've relatives in Wisconsin - maybe I'll get to ride up there someday. Be well.
    Last edited by mrpincher; 09-16-10 at 06:10 PM. Reason: clarity escapes me words

  13. #13
    Bicycle Lifestyle AsanaCycles's Avatar
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  14. #14
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    Check Adventure Cycling's forum for a lengthy thread about a bad experience with bike, including some information provided by Salsa.

  15. #15
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    My son has done over 10,000 miles on his Fargo in the last year. First Paris to Istanbul and Then Cairo to Cape Town. The Bike finished the year in great shape, considering the abuse it endured, particularly in Africa. The wheels stayed true the whole distance, and although we replaced deralliuers and brake handles when he finished, that was more because we had spares and wanted to clean the bike up. On the Africa trip, there were a total of 4 Salsa Fargo's, and none of them had any major problems.
    Jamis Satellite 08.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gubaguba View Post
    I have read one post regarding its handling that was negative. Have any of you used this bike and have ridden it fully loaded?
    I have one, and have been riding it as my daily rider since about a year and eight months ago. It is quite stable both loaded and unloaded. I have it setup kind of like mrpincher does in regards to being coupled, but a bit different as fat as controls, and bar configuration. I hate drop bars, so I built mine with flat bars, then added some Titec J-Bars a few months back. I can ride it standing up with no hands, and it is not twitchy or pigish at all. It is easily the best "do everything" bike I have ever owned. I have a build list and history of it from the very start on my Flickr, with far more picture than most people would care to sort through. You can see as much/little as you like here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/seditio...7608544023694/

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    Quote Originally Posted by shmulb View Post
    My son has done over 10,000 miles on his Fargo in the last year. First Paris to Istanbul and Then Cairo to Cape Town. The Bike finished the year in great shape, considering the abuse it endured, particularly in Africa. The wheels stayed true the whole distance, and although we replaced deralliuers and brake handles when he finished, that was more because we had spares and wanted to clean the bike up. On the Africa trip, there were a total of 4 Salsa Fargo's, and none of them had any major problems.
    Do tell more. Thanks.

    You're in SW ohio? Dayton area? I have a brother who lives there. Just road through there and indiana on the way down to kentucky on my fargo. Lots of pics on my flickr feed http://flickr.com/photos/mmeiser2/ Curious more about your sons travel 4 fargo's eh? Must be tour de' africa?
    Last edited by mmeiser; 11-03-10 at 11:02 PM.

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    I crossed the US on Salsa Fargo (3000+ miles) on 28mm Continental 4Season tires, rear rack and bags - the bike with a rider and the load was 300 pounds, and I had no problem with the front. Only when you really overload the front high on the handlebar or front rack, then the front tends to wobble left and right, any bicycle would. I rode it both loaded and unloaded over some rough terrain and it handled really well. Make sure your setup allows you to ride in the drops most of the time. That way Fargo is a very good handler and responder.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Btflmutant's Avatar
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    I've got about 7000 miles on mine, including an unsupported tour of the Baja peninsula earlier this year. Love it! No problems with anything; I had it going 45 mph down a hill with a tailwind fully loaded last year and felt very stable!

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=6422&v=HE
    Last edited by Btflmutant; 12-01-10 at 01:11 PM. Reason: add link
    '09 Trek Madone 5.2 Pro
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