|Maybe the most obvious use of a Fargo- Bike packing.|
Like I said, the Fargo is very similar to the El Mariachi, but there is one very important difference- The Fargo is designed for drop bar use, the El Mariachi is not. The differences are in the length of the top tube and the "reach" measurement. The Fargo also sports a longer head tube. That isn't all, but those are the salient differences for this discussion. So, the Fargo is primarily an off-road drop bar mountain bike. But that is selling this versatile platform way too short. In fact, the Fargo has been a revelatory bike for many, and a wake up call to the bicycle industry back in 2008 when it was revealed. It was like the El Mariachi, but it was so different that it was reviled by some, confused others, and raised possibilities for a few. I got the chance to be one of the first partakers of what the Fargo could do, and here is what I wrote about the bike on this blog in November of 2008:
|A quick image of the Fargo after my very first demo ride.|
Dollar for dollar this Fargo will "out-fun" any other bike I have hands down. That's been proven to me, and I'm betting it will be proven out for a lot of folks. Maybe they should have named this bike the "Fun-go".......nah! To close to fungi, I suppose!"
Fun. Adventure. Versatility. Yeah......that was true in 2008, and those words still define this bike for me today. You may say, "But it is a fat-tired mountain bike! It doesn't do what the Vaya does, or a road bike. " I would have agreed with you in 2008, but fortunately there are a lot of people that think outside of that box and proved that the Fargo could indeed do what the Vaya does and that it could be a skinnier tired, road going machine as well. I've seen Fargos with fenders and 30mm tires. I've seen Fargos with touring bags all over the bike. They have done RAGBRAI, world tours, gravel events, Tour Divide, and have been beer runners, townies, and commuter rigs. Heck, I even put 650B+ tires on one!
Following are a few images of Fargos I have that help illustrate its versatility
|From an old Fargo Adventure Ride: Note the "alt" bar/flat bar Fargos- they don't have to be drop bar bikes.|
|Image by Jason Boucher of me riding through a field on a Fargo Adventure Ride|
|Martin's smooth tired Fargo made a great paved/gravel roller.|
|A Fargo makes a great platform for a fat tired commuter|
In fact, I am going as far to say that the Fargo has spawned other Salsa models. Certainly the Vaya can be seen in that light. However; two new models can draw a direct line back to the Fargo.
|2016 Cutthroat X-9|
The cycling masses need Fargo bikes, or bikes like the Fargo. Adventure. Fun. Versatility. That's what grows cycling, not the lightest, $10,000+ carbon fiber racing bike or mountain bike. People need a bike to utilize on roads that are desolate in terms of traffic, on bike paths, and on side roads that maybe are rough. They need to be able to ramble on that dirt and grass short cut, to gather groceries in panniers, and to be comfortable on. The Fargo can do all of that and more. Oh......and can we get safer roads and bicycle specific infrustructure while we're at it. Thank you. We need that too.
Now, there are a lot of other cool bikes in the world as well that can do some of these things, but there aren't many- if any- quite like the Fargo. It's one of my favorite bicycles.