Disclaimer: Now, I have to explain that I have been a big fan of what Salsa Cycles has been doing in regards to ideas for bicycles for several years now, and each one of these bikes I have exemplify certain aspects of what excites me about riding bicycles. This may come off as a "fanboi" post, but it is what it is. I like these bikes. So, here we go- I'll give some commentary on each bike as I go....
I was rocking this bike at the camp's South side where conditions were bone dry and rock hard. Having all that suspension on tap made mincemeat of the trails, and I did two passes which left me feeling fine afterward. I wasn't rattled. I felt tired, but not beat up.
Not that those hidden roots and rocks under the leaves didn't try to rattle my cage, because they did. The combination of big Bontrager 29-4's and Big Mama suspension just smoothed it all over though. The Bontrager tires seem to be gripping well, and these would be a good tire for around here on the front of a rigid single speed, or as I have them- on a full suspension trail bike.
The Mukluk and I have been heading over to the "lake-let", (overgrown pond?), nearby the Guitar Ted Laboratories where there is a neat path around the lake. I was taking in some late Fall colors here, but what is really cool is that the water levels are down slightly.
This has exposed a lot of boggy, mossy, and sandy areas often covered in Red Cedar dead fall that I can now ride across on my Mukluk. Right on the water's edge, I can cruise along rather easily, for the most part, where there is no way I could even ride another bike at all. Probably not even walk on some of it without sinking through to my ankles in gooey mud. Those big Larry tires and 82mm wide Rolling Darryl rims just make this "impossible" terrain a possibility that is a ton of fun to be able to do.
The bonus here is that I didn't even tear up anything. In fact, I think I didn't even get any mud on the bike. Just got a bit wet is all. This is a low impact rig, that's for sure. I recently scored some Big Fat Larrys from Ben Witt that are even wider tires than what I have on this now. When those go on, the flotation level will go up a few more notches, taking me into even more normally unrideable territory. Fun? Are you kidding? This thing makes me grin on every ride I take it on.
|Fargo Gen I|
Ya know, I just got a new Fargo Gen II, and I am really stoked about that rig. It is going to tear up the single track when I get it ready, and I could even get a suspension fork on it when the going gets rough, but there is something about Gen I that I can't let go of.
I "bonded" with this bike almost immediately. Ever since I've had it, it just feels "right" every time I throw a leg over it. Like it was custom made just for me. Uncanny that. I've never had a feeling like that since I've had this bike around with any other bike I've ridden, and I've ridden a lot of different bikes.
Added to that is all the great rides I've had on this bike. Two Fargo Adventure Rides, numerous gravel rides, and even some single track rides. This bike has been all over the Mid-West with me. Night gravel rides and commuting. All those great memories. I plan on making many more with this bike.
|Adventure By Bike|
Their bicycles reflect this, and it fits my style. Just like the days back when I would ply the paths down by the Cedar River on my single speed, coaster brake Huffy with 26 X 1 3/8ths tires, only now the bikes are way better tools for my poking around. They assist me in seeing what is down by the water's edge, what is over that next big hill, or what is just beyond the woods.
I suppose I could use anybody's bikes for this, but when the company has people that live and breathe the same things I do, it comes out in the products. So, a tip of the cycling cap to Salsa and the crew that made this stuff a reality.
Yeah- they aren't perfect, but nobody is. They just seem to keep pushing my buttons, and I am glad to be able to ride these rigs that fit me and my style really well.