Saturday, September 08, 2012

Experimental Vehicles

Experimental Rig #1
Number 1: Salsa Cycles Fargo Gen II w/Fox G2 100mm Fork-

This one was inspired by Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles who had told me that a G2 specific fork, (51mm offset) would work well on a Fargo. We spoke of this a few times, and I was aware that he was going to set his steel Gen II Fargo up with such a fork.

I had decided that my own Gen II Fargo would be my all-purpose drop bar mountain bike. The rigid fork was somewhat limiting though, and when I thought through the suspension fork idea submiitted to me via Ben, I realized I could try it out.

I have this G2 Fox 100mm Float fork from a 2008 Gary Fisher HiFi. It had been on my Trek Sawyer previously, but I figured I could set the Fargo up for a test run to see if I might indeed be as pleased as Ben was with his set up.

Conclusions: First of all, I don't get too hung up on "the numbers" game, so don't ask me about axle to crown, bottom bracket height, or any of that other nonsense. To me that wasn't as important at this point as the concept was: A Fargo with a suspension fork. If I liked it, I could discern the numbers later and work around things.

Well- I liked it. This fork won't do, though, since the steer tube is about a half an inch too short for my mind's comfort, and I am not too happy with the flex this particular fork exhibits. I will probably seek out a G2 Reba with a through axle, or a Fox G2 fork with a 15QR axle. The experiment showed me the bennies of going this route with regard to a real, trail worthy drop bar set up I can take anywhere. I may even do some bike packing off this platform as well. But this will go back to the rigid fork until then.

Experimental Rig #2
Trek Sawyer With On One Carbon Superlight Rigid Fork: 

Of course, the Sawyer needed to have a fork, after donating the squish to the Fargo experiment. I chose the On One Carbon Superlight rigid fork as the replacement.

The On One fork sports a shorter axle to crown measurement by 15mm over the original steel Sawyer fork. So, not a big deal there. However; the offset is 4mm less. Hmm- probably a wash as far as telling anything from the saddle when riding.

And that's pretty spot on. The wheel flop exhibited with the Fox sus fork is almost totally mitigated with the On One fork, and obviously, it is a lighter set up. I think as far as single speeding goes, this will be a great set up. This should be a fun bike as Fall comes on.

So, there ya go. One hypothesis proven, and another combination for the Sawyer that should be a winner and stay for a long time. I can't wait for Fall riding!

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