Monday, December 28, 2015

Bikes Of 2015: "Fat Fargo"

The "Fat Fargo" was the "perfect bike" on a couple of occasions
Here's a bike that, to be quite honest, I used far more than I had ever thought I would when this year began. Back in January it was pretty much an experiment in a possible bikepacking platform, maybe reverting back to the XC-ish, dirt oriented Fargo I figured it always would be ever since I have had this 2012 version of the Fargo. A chance at getting to go to the Dirty Kanza 200 ended up changing my outlook on this bike dramatically.

The Bike: This is a Gen 2 version of the Salsa Cycles Fargo model which has been modified to be a 27.5+/B+ type drop bar hard tail bike. I built it up originally from a frame and fork. I'll detail some of the more interesting bits from the current build:
  • Wheels: The hubs are '00 era Chris King ISO Disc hubs laced to Velocity USA Blunt 35 rims with Wheelsmith spokes and alloy nipples. 
  • Tires: WTB Trailblazer 2.8's tubeless
  • Divetrain is a 3X9 using an '07 LX crank and SRAM 9spd 11-36T cassette
  • Shifters are a mixed bag. Rear shifter is a Gevenalle 10 speed GX. (YES- ten speed), and the front shifter is a Shimano bar end. 
  • Seat Post: Salsa Cycles Regulator titanium 27.2 x 400mm
  • Handlebars: Salsa Cycles Cowchipper 46cm. 
The longest ride I have ever done in terms of mileage and time in the saddle was done on this bike at the DK200 last Spring. I also used it at Odin's Revenge, and in both instances I was told by fellow riders that this was "the perfect bike" for the conditions. In many ways, it perhaps was that. I know that at the DK 200 that I had a distinct advantage over many when it came to the mud and water crossings. At Odin's, the "moon dust", ruts, and dirt were easier with the bigger, cushy tires. I had float too when it mattered. 

Disadvantages maybe were more wheel weight, and a heavier over all bike, but honestly, the planted feel and stability the bike had in the higher speed down hills and technical stuff made up for it. Anyway, I don't foresee any major modifications to this set up and I expect to use it again at some events next season. 

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