A lot of folks may be wondering why I picked the Salsa Cycles Fargo as my number one 29"er product of 2009. (Or maybe not! At any rate.......) I was reminded why I did just yesterday while reading the Gnat Likes... blog where Jason, the blog author and head of Salsa Cycles, was opining about riding his Fargo and how it allowed him more enjoyment from cycling, and gave him an opportunity to clear his mind. Readers of the blog responded in the comments section in a like manner. Things like, "I've never ridden this much in winter" were written. Amazing stuff, really.
And that's just it. That is what the Fargo has done, (and more), for its owners. It has given them the means to do things that they would not have done otherwise. Could another bicycle have sufficed? Yes, absolutely. However; one must remember that the Fargo is a bike aimed squarely at something other bikes miss, or have only hinted at. That is our spirit of adventure.
The Fargo, when it was launched, was "foundational". What I mean by that is twofold. First, and most obviously, the bike could be interpreted in several ways by the end user. Mountain tourer? Yes. Urban commuter? Definitely. Gravel grinder? For sure. Long distance, ultra marathon machine? Just ask Joe Meiser! (Joe rode the entire Tour Divide route on a Fargo in 2009) The point is that while some folks just didn't get the Fargo, and still don't, others immediately saw possibilities for the bicycle they really wanted. They saw a "foundation" to build off of.
While that is amazing in itself, what I believe is the Fargo's most important feature and most impactful is that it can be a "foundation" for "the ride". What is "the ride", you might ask? Well, it is that ride, that route, that adventure that the Fargo becomes the perfect bicycle for. Take our situation right now. Winter, and a bad one at that. Yet folks that own Fargos are not sitting around wondering when the snow is going away. Nope! They are riding their Fargos all over, wherever one can ride this winter. When the trails open up, they will go there. When the gravel roads get clear of ice and snow, they will go farther there.
How could I not pick the Fargo as my top 2009 29"er product? Well, I knew these things were true for me about the Fargo, and I assumed by the numbers of web stats pointed at the Fargo that a lot of other folks were feeling similarly. However; when I read stuff like I did yesterday, I know I was right about it.
Still, a lot of folks won't "get" the Fargo. They will never understand what it is that folks find so cool about that ungainly looking frame and drop bars, and low bottom brackets, and all those goofy braze ons. But that is okay, becausefor the ones that did "get" it, and for the ones that will, the Fargo will be the foundation of a lot of sweet rides in 2010 and beyond.