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Gittus 02-17-21 02:07 PM

Recommendations on new rig
Hi guys,

Just chasing some quick suggestions if you have any regarding a new rig.

Where I live I am quite limited on what is around in the adventure bike scene to buy but I have found a store than stock some Salsa Fargo’s + cutthroats, and various bombtracks (hooks, audax & beyonds) mainly.

Just wondering if you had any experience with any of these at all and could point me in any direction?

I am 27 and a roadie so very new to this game although I do plan on quitting my job as an electrician to spend a lot of time doing just that if I can find the right drop bar something that would suit both trails and road stretches.

I plan on doing some longer rides down the east coast of Australia, from the Gold Coast where I live to Melbourne then onto the ferry to Tasmania where I am from (roughly 2500ks) on the roads with a some trails thrown in for good measure to break up the monotonous tarmac.

Thanks heaps,


veganbikes 02-17-21 05:07 PM

I am unsure of your budget but Llewellyn makes some really fine touring bikes in the land down under. Also there is Baum if you want something a bit more modern and more gravel oriented but I bet if you asked nicely Darren and his team would build you just about anything in steel or ti. They do some really excellent work.

Though I am sure there are others. I would love to go with a Baum but there are so many awesome builders in the U.S. I gotta support my local folks and I don't have one iota close enough to have all the bikes I really want. I have a nice stable now but with enough money and a lot less sense I would love to have a lot of custom stuff from around the world.

If you do have a bit more budget concerns I would ride some of those bikes you listed and see which ones you like and what you liked or didn't like about them. Maybe have a chart and that will help you narrow down and help us. Certainly the Fargo is a neat bike, I have a Timberjack in titanium which I have finally built and ridden and like it. They do some neat stuff. I would probably consider the Fargo if I was going deep off road but wanted drops.

Me personally if I cannot go full custom I would at least try to do frame up construction. Buy a frame that works geometry wise and will fit you and then festoon it with the parts that will work best for you. I can't always get down with stock bikes as they frequently have parts I wouldn't use but wouldn't necessarily want to spend the money to replace right away. However stock bikes aren't always bad I am just picky on things or just have brands I am loyal to because they make good reliable parts and I like supporting them or they work for an odd set up I want that the industry probably wouldn't want to promote as I would.

fishboat 02-18-21 09:01 AM

Was reading up on something else and ran across this link-summary

pdlamb 02-18-21 09:03 AM

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.

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