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Old 02-18-21, 09:03 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
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Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

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I looked at a Marrakesh shortly before the lockdown started last spring (didn't buy it, it was a size too small). I was intrigued.

First thing, the gearing went low enough, around 20 gear inches IIRC. I wouldn't put up with 24 or 27 gear inches if I were buying a bike to haul lots of gear. Frame was obviously stout. I took a test ride around a gravel-under-construction parking lot, and finished with a bit of pavement.

My thoughts as they relate to the Marrakesh and Fargo. I thought the Marrakesh would be solid on gravel roads, but the tire width might compromise multi-day riding on pavement. The Fargo goes wider; I'd expect it would be optimized for gravel and trail riding, to the detriment of efficient riding on pavement, even compared to the Marrakesh.

Some questions for you to consider:
First, what kind of trails are you thinking about riding? Are these going to be surfaced in gravel, mud, fist-sized rocks or boulders?
Second, what kind of packing system are you thinking about? Frame bags, racks and panniers, or some kind of mix?
Third, can you make a solid estimate of what fraction of your proposed long ride is going to be on pavement? Will this be two weeks of road riding to get to a half a day of trails? How much are you willing to compromise on the one to enjoy the other?
Fourth, is this going to be a one time trip, or are you thinking about riding near home (wherever that is at the time) too? If the latter, what kinds of "trails" are you thinking about riding?

You may think I'm kind of ducking the question and redirecting it back to you. That's the point, really. I don't have to pay for, or ride, the bike you choose -- but you do. Hopefully thinking about, and answering these questions, will help you arrive at a decision you'll enjoy.
pdlamb is offline