Salsa Fargo Owners
Calling all Fargo owners.
I’m debating one for Tour Divide duties next summer. Does anyone here ride one and what do you make of them?
Also, other than the Gryphon – what else might be an option do we think?
Also also, does anyone near Manchester have a large framed one I can swing a leg over in return for a beer?Posted 4 years ago
Use mine for everything from general off road to commuting with the wee one on the back to road bike action in Mallorca. A very versatile bike. Not superlight but built with load carrying in mind. The position is upright meaning it is comfy for multiple hours in the saddle. I run mine with Specialized Captain S works tyres which are good as a road / off road compromise. It feels stiff and slightly harsh when the tyres are pumped up so either run them a little soft or get a suspension seatpost. I love the Woodchipper bars for comfort and the feel great on the drops driving into corners on descents.
The new ones have a carbon fork and alternator drop outs so will be lighter overall and offer flexibility if you like single speeding.
I run a large and am 6 foot 1 and a bit!
SannyPosted 4 years agoAliniSubscriber
I would also recommend the Vaya, I run mine with either conti touring tyres for road / fire road duties, and was pleasantly surprised to find I can run 29 x 1.75 / 1.8s for more off road biased adventures.
It’s a really nicely finished frame…I .really rate Salsa. 🙂Posted 4 years ago
Can’t help on the test ride as I’m in Suffolk but I can say that if I could only keep one bike it’d be the Fargo. To quantify my fussiness I’ve chopped and changed through 6 MTBs & 2 Roadbikes since 2011.
As for getting an AWOL ugh. It’s the Stumpy MK1 all over again. Let someone else get an idea popular and copy it. 😉
In all seriousness, isn’t an AWOL more like a Vaya, has it room for full size MTB tyres?Posted 4 years agostevemakinSubscriber
XL Fargo here, plus I also have a Vaya
I’ve done 2 fully loaded tours (panniers etc) and numerous S24O’s with frame bags etc with my Fargo, and as much as I like the Vaya I’d choose the Fargo if one of them had to go
as for the tour divide, I’m hoping to be able to do it next year as a tour over about 3 months, its the fargo that will be with me
The Gryphon is very similar in concept and Sam has a number of riders who have done quite well in the TD, sure he’d be able to put you in touch with them 🙂Posted 4 years agoMrTallMember
I’ve had mine a few years now and they’re fabulous bikes.
Never done any real touring on it as its been more of a commuter/winter bike. Super comfy, especially with the 2.35″ big apples on it. Ploughs through everything in its stride and has been faultless over 4000+ miles.
Mines in Brum but its an XXL so not much good for test rides for others!Posted 4 years agomidlifecrashesSubscriber
Here’s mine in “day out” mode. I also have Tubus racks and panniers and it handles well loaded up. Done a few multi day trips but nothing epic. It’s an XL, I’m 6’2″ and could equally well have gone for an L, but this is the frame that turned up in the classifieds first. Bell Lap bars on mine, mix of XT and 105 for a do anything gear range.Posted 4 years agomcmoonterMember
I’ve got a notion to ride the divide on my Fargo too, but as a tourer not a racer.
Boblo and I did a Trans Scotland on / off road ride earlier this year and the bike was great.
It is a heavy bike though. That surprised me until I rode it laden off road, it barely flexes under those conditions either. So its built that way for a purpose.
I’m using really heavy Schwalbe Marathon XR tyres, these blunt the speed a bit, but they are near indestructible. I’ve got Bell Lap bars on mine, I like them, but have not tried Woodchippers to compare. We rode some badass descents quite happily on the hoods.
It’s a great all round off road tourer. I’m tempted by a Vaya too, but I already have a nice steel Roberts that carried me across America.
Posted 4 years agoslparsonsMember
I’m 6’2″ and on a large, it suits me fine, equally I could have gone for a XL probably, I’d use the Salsa sizing guide but be aware of the amount of frame slope and the TT length.
I agree the frame is well finished, but so was my Singular Swift.
I’d say Salsa do spec a nice build with quality parts on their built bikes, of course buying a frame and building it up yourself is more fun, albeit more expensive. I like knowing there is not another built the same as mine.
In terms of anything as robust and versatile as a Fargo or Gryphon, designed for drop bars, probably not; not without going custom, in which case take a look at Shand.Posted 4 years ago
Thanks for the replies folks 🙂 I’ve been picking brains a bit and dug out most of those articles in my searching. Hence trying to get bum time on a Fargo as I know the medium is just a teeny bit too small… or at least I think it is.
@duffer: there will be bloggage. Mostly just my normal ranting and whining though. Lead in will probably be much the same as the Highland Trail race…just…well more. Link in my profile.
@richpips: It’ll be the Ti one…not the heavy metal one if I get one 🙂 As for fast.. sub 20days, not Mr. Hall fast, I am hopefully being realistic.
As for the AWOL…ehh no. It’s not a Fargo in disguise, more like the Vaya in its aims, gravel racing and all that.
May just pop Sam an email over the Gryphon, see if anyone round these parts has one….it may be a little different to what I want though.Posted 4 years agomcmoonterMember
Mcmoonter…what size is yours…and how tall are you ??
I’m a bit over six foot tall, but I have shortish legs. The frame is a medium. I measured the stand over height against my Flux and it was similar, so went for the medium over a large. The top tube really slopes to make for a stiff main triangle, I used a 410mm seatpost. I think I could do with a 10 or 20mm longer stem though. As it is I have a fairly upright position which is fine off road but it feels a bit strange on road. It’s a compromise.Posted 4 years agocoastkidMember
Always has to be a haterz – and i hated mine, sorry and to be fair it is designed to be loaded up with a lot of kit while i used mine unladen mostly.
I rode mine unloaded and it was easily the most over rated bike i have bought – and the last bought on internet reports of a bike.
I found it heavy – too heavy compared to a road bike for err, road speed 🙂
And then far to ridged for offroad, it was awfull compared to the Karate Monkey frameset i sold to build it (the build is back on a KM and loving it) i was just sore after every ride, shaken to bits off road – i blame the straight fork.
When i sold the frameset and blogged about it a load of guys posted up the same views about the same opinion of it as i had – on said Fargo? go far away from me! which made me giggle a bit.
Sold it at a big loss too, was no interest in it for ages yet it was minted, went in private sale for under half price. No way was it worth £500 for the frameset. Very dissapointed in the end, be the last Salsa i buy.
Some Fargo owning friends (Steve M and others) mentioned the bars – i used Salsa Bell Laps, but some of those guys that also disliked it said they had tried all types including Woodchippers of and still found it an unforgiving brute.
So least i know i am not alone in not getting on with one – yet some friends swear by them.
Horses for Course 🙂
Doing a bit of Rough Stuff on my Big Brothers old 1987 Peugeot Triathlon which i stuffed some 32mm cx tyres on, nice and bendy frameset and fly`s on the road, a giggle to ride and i have relised why – i have no high expectations of this old road bike but i did for the Fargo. and as a free hand me down with a pair of £24 tyres i love it way more than the Fargo 🙂
Here is the blog post comments i had on other ex Fargo owners, but don`t be put off if you have your heart set on onePosted 4 years ago
I’ve a 33 and a bit inside leg and am on the large. A medium would have been too small for me. On my first ride, I thought “Jeez, this is upright!” but the more I have ridden it, the more I really rate mine. The multiple bosses add to the versatility. I am genuinely surprised at how quick it is and love riding on the drops. It has spoiled me for riding my cross bike which barely gets a look in now. The Woodchipper bars have been a revelation in terms of comfort and for control on woodsy singletrack off road. On my local trails, mostly woodland singletrack and open fire roads, the Fargo copes with everything I throw at it.
I run it with a triple and 10 speed set up. I find that the Ultegra shifters work well with an older style top pull XTR front mech and 9 speed XT rear mech as you can place the front mech cable in the inside of the mech to get the right cable pull.
It’s funny how a few folk find it cumbersome. I tend not to notice the weight of a bike when I ride it as for me it usually comes down to wheel weight. Having said that, I also ride a Beargrease which despite having wheels that must weight double that of the Fargo, bloody flies along! 😀
Have you also looked at a Steel Jones with the Unicrown fork? I test rode the steel space frame last week with the Truss fork then tried a mates big standard diamond with a fat front end. The former was nice but the latter was a bit of a revelation. About as comfy a rigid bike as I have ever ridden and the weird looking front end bar set up just felt right. I now want one……Have a look at Jeff Jones site for a report by someone who did the divide on his. I really like how the cheapest frame he does was my favourite. it makes a real change as I usually have expensive tastes! 😆Posted 4 years ago
It’s funny how some find it harsh, I find it really comfy, laden or otherwise. I’m not suggesting they’re lying, just horses for courses I guess.
Descending or dropping into bombholes can be daunting at first but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll get past anything you could on a regular rigid mtb. The only bit that hasn’t lived up to the hype is the brakes, I don’t find the BB7s really compare to hydraulics.Posted 4 years ago
@Sanny: The weight of the steel version was putting me off a bit, but I did a quick think about it and figured ‘well my SS weighs a lot more than my XC bike and I never notice it’. I just figure that it may be something I’ll notice after 20 or so days in a row. Have you had any issues with the fork giving any toe overlap or anything? Or flexing in not good ways?
@jonnystorm: Not the first person I’ve heard who’ve said it rides like a a pig when not loaded. Main duties will be loaded, also down the line a bit of touring I expect.
So anyone else out there with ideas??Posted 4 years ago
The weight isn’t an issue. If you are riding loaded up, a couple of extra pounds on the frame makes **** all difference. I actually like the fact it isn’t super lightweight as I like reliability and strength! I run 719s on XTR hubs with Specialized S works tyres and reckon that is where you are more likely to experience a difference. They are still as true as the day I had them built despite being used for the nursery run with a kiddy seat on the back. The Ti one looks sweet but given how well my steel one rides, I’m in no rush to upgrade. I’ve had no toe overlap issues whatsoever. I run size ten MT91 boots in the winter with no issues at all while my mate Gary is a twelve and had no issues riding it.
Hope this helps?
SannyPosted 4 years ago
THanks for overlap answers folks. Will probably not have fenders on so major worry there, and I have feet that aren’t flippers so should be ok.
Weight is only a worry as I want to have to haul as little bike over parts of the Divide, or to have that weight as food/water rather than frame. However, there is a lot to be said for steel and its ability to be welded if anything goes wrong I suppose :/
Had a peak at the Co-Motion as well….very nice, but I can get a price on the Fargo through work, or another friendly bike shop so it keeps things a little cheaper.Posted 4 years ago
@Basil – already have a set waiting for them .. well in the shop anyway. How did you find changing the position over on the stem to change to the new bars?
@Merchant-Banker – What beer do you like, and when are you free? 🙂 I’m out in Chorlton area and can spin out to you along the Mersey.Posted 4 years agoBasilMember
Wanted the most dutch riding position possible, so left the steerer uncut and use a 90mm stem.Posted 4 years ago
Love looking at the scenery and have had too many miles riding head down over the bars.
Bars are wrapped in Spech Roubaix tape, gives lots of positions, the bars are plenty wide for leverage when getting all off road.
And you get real brakes!
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