Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Countdown To Odin's Revenge: The Rig

Basically the DK200 rig with a new stem and bar.
Odin's Revenge is June 27th, which isn't that far away, so I have been busy, when I could spare the time, turning around the Fat Fargo from the DK200 grime and abuse. I'm pretty much there with the exception of servicing the rear hub.

I spent a couple solid hours cleaning this bike on Sunday, getting all the grime off the wheels and frame. The drive train came through with flying colors since the DuMonde Tech lube worked so well. It actually was easy to clean up the entire crank, cogset, and chain since it shed the dirt so well. The free hub on the Chris King hub is noticeably draggy and louder now though, so I think it needs a good going through and that should be good to go for the event.

So, why take the Fat Fargo when you have all these "gravel bikes"? Yeah......there is that! Well, the thing is that, much like the Dirty Kanza 200, there are extenuating circumstances at play which sway me toward this bike. At the DK200, it was the chunky, rough course, rocky water crossings, and the typical flat tire issues you see with skinnier tires. Well, the mud, soft spots, and rocks that actually were the scene there ended up playing into my hand even more. Anyway, at Odin's there is a lot of potential for rutted out dirt, mud, or soft, blown out road surfaces where bigger tires with wider contact patches and some modicum of float will be superior to skinny tires. Much of the course can be "regular gravel", but with this year's wet Spring, and now early Summer out there, I'm betting on a bigger tire.

I think the Cowchippers will be awesome.
That tire is the WTB Trailblazer, of course, and I will be running them tubeless, so I should be okay on that front. The Cowchipper handle bar should work really well also. I haven't been able to thrash on it yet, but test rides around the neighborhood portend good things here. Besides, it is so close in feel to a Cowbell Bar it barely feels different. If I had one criticism of the bar it would be just that- too close to a Cowbell. I might have swept the extensions a bit more, but this is good. The stem is a no-name deal that was the same rise and extension as the Salsa stem I removed. Another highlight is the Salsa Cycles Regulator titanium post. Highly recommended from a comfort standpoint. Don't look at the weight of that post, if lightweight is a must though. The thing is, it is metal, tough, and has enough give that going to a carbon fiber seat post seems silly. Plus, I've broken a carbon post before, so I am a bit gun shy on those for off roading.

Tony, my traveling companion for the DK200, was in the shop and asked if I wanted to ride out with him to Odin's, so it appears we will be doing that big drive together. He asked about the bike choice, and when I told him it would be the Fat Fargo, he said, "You'd be crazy to take any other bike." It was a nice thing for him to say, and of course, it pretty much cemented my decision! Hey, I've taken a Fargo out both times I've done Odin's and I've not regretted that choice, albeit those both were on my Gen I Fargo.

There will be some changes with regard to frame bag/handle bar bag carrying capacity and type, but I have to dig a little deeper into that. The likelihood of having a very hot, dry Odin's is quite high, so unlike the wet, cool DK200, the gear choices will be different, and there is a drop bag option to think about as well. Stay tuned for more on my preparations for Odin's Revenge soon.......


james said...

Has the seat clamp proved durable on the Ti Salsa post? Have you been able to get it to slip when you get your butt/weight back hard against the rear of the saddle?

Tyler Loewens said...

I was giving this some thought yesterday while mowing the lawn....the Fargo really is ideal for Gravel events like Odins. I wish the q-factor on my Mukluk didn't effect my knees so bad, otherwise I would take that with some sort of b+ tire.

Guitar Ted said...

@james - At first, this was an issue, but through dialogue with Salsa Cycles product engineers, we arrived at the solution which was to start with a fresh post, and then assemble it DRY with no grease or ti-prep. The only place I used Ti-prep/anti-sieze was on the shaft to keep the post from freezing in the seat tube.

Since I have done this, I have had zero slippage or unwanted movement of any kind.

MG said...

I'm seriously considering the BWNN with a 29+ wheel on the front (running a 2.4" tire) at Odin's. Either that or my fatbike. We'll see, but I agree with Tony. That'll be the perfect rig for Odin's Revenge.

Sam said...

I like the hooks and shorter extensions of the cowchipper, but I do miss the flare of the woodchipper. They should have retained that woodchipper flare, imo.