Monday, February 17, 2014

Fargo Refresh

Gave the ol' girl some much needed love.
The Salsa Cycles Fargo I've had around since 2008 has been my go-to gravel exploration rig and is a bike that I've just always felt immediately comfortable on since I acquired it. That's why I've been rather loathe to retire it, and why should I? It's a perfectly good bicycle. long as everything is in running order, that is!

I have been teaching a mechanics class at the shop where I work the past two Saturdays. It was a hands on, tune up/maintenance class. For an "example bike", I brought the ol' reliable BMC "Orange Crush" bike the first week. This past Saturday I brought out the Gen I Fargo. I knew it was rather dirty and in need of some love, but I did not know how badly in need it was of this maintenance!

In the class we checked over the bikes and made any necessary adjustments. My ol' Fargo was in pretty sad shape! The chain was shot, the cassette, having seen duty on several bikes, was surely just as bad, and I had been wanting to swap out the crank's chain rings for a better ratio for some time. I also noticed that the rear section of derailleur housing was very badly cracked. Wow! I had no idea this bike was so much in need of some maintenance. It was a good "example bike" all right. A perfectly good example of a bike that needed some lovin'!

Hey there Dave Z- I am your old cranky-crank!
Meanwhile, I had a repair job come through earlier in the week, and the owner of the bike wanted a crank set and bottom bracket removed. The old parts? I could have 'em if I wanted 'em. Turns out that the crank set in question was an old Shimano square taper, '98 model Deore XT crank with the four arm, removable spider/outer chain ring set up. We just so happened to have a new 42T outer assembly for that crank in stock at the shop. My wheels started turning....

We also had a 36T ring, and it was a middle. The old crank set I was using was a double with a 44T and a 28T granny. The 44T was just too much sometimes and dumping into the 28 was just too severe. This was most obvious at the Odin's Revenge ride last year. If I used a 42/36, with a 22T bailout granny, it might actually make more sense for my gravelly needs. Kind of a lower ratio cyclo cross set up with low geared back up.  Anyway, I figured I would give it a try.

A new 11-34T Shimano cassette was found at the shop, a new chain, and this new crankset, with another of my stockpiled UN series bottom brackets to make it all work. Things went together okay, but my OE Shimano XT front derailleur didn't work with this set up. I figured a road triple would have to be sourced, since the Fargo is down tube, bottom pull routed. However; upon further inspection at home, a DynaSys 10 speed front was found with a low mount, and it worked perfectly with my friction shifting Retroshifter. Done and done!

Next up: Cascadia fenders and some sloppy gravel riding. Stay tuned......


z-man said...

What are you using at your points of contact (saddle, bars, tape)?
Great bike!

Guitar Ted said...

@z-man: The saddle is a late '90's WTB SST metalflake model. The handle bars are gold anodized On One Midge Bars, and the bar tape is fizik red perforated tape.

Thanks for the compliment!

MG said...

The Gen 1 Fargo has always been a favorite of mine. My wife loves hers too. It's the bike she rides most.