Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Fargo Gen I: Winter Project

My Fargo Gen I bike has gone through several permutations. The latest one has been taking shape over the course of this year. I added a new crankset not long ago and the Ti Regulator seat post and Brooks saddle, (which - honestly - that may have been done in 2021.)

Anyway, it was a good move all around and my only quibble was that the wheels, a set of old Sun Ringle' Black Flag hoops, was a bit on the flexy-narrow side. Flexy in that the aluminum extrusion and low-ish spoke count wasn't giving enough lateral support, and narrow in that the inner rim width was narrower than many current "gravel" wheel sets. 

I have some Velocity Blunt SS rims just waiting to be laced up to something, but I was held back because I remember when the Fargo had a carbon hoop set and how that literally transformed how that bike rode. I had sold those wheels several years ago, and honestly, that was a good move for me because those wheels were not tubeless and those rims were also pretty narrow internally.

I wanted wheels with a decent inner rim width

Yeah, so maybe some day I'd lace up those Blunt SS rims for the Fargo, but I'd need new hubs and those would be costly, because, well.....I'm not going to use just any old hub! So, that all got put on the back-burner. I mean, the Fargo was rideable as is. First world problems and all......

Then one day this past Fall, Grannygear, my friend and contributor to my work since the late 00's, pinged me with a  message. It went something like this; "Hey, I've got these old Roval carbon wheels that I want to move on. They need some work though, and since you are a wheel man, maybe you might want to fix them up?"

So, one thing led to another and I received the wheels the other day in exchange for a minor amount of cash (digitally, natch!). Grannygear was correct. These wheels are not perfect in any way, but with a bit of TLC and time, they should come out nicely and I think they will suit the Fargo well. 

From the days of painted spokes... Roval MTB wheels.

Near as I can tell these are 2011-2012 vintage 29"er hoops. They were reviewed by Grannygear for the old "Twentynine Inches" site I used to run. They have DT Swiss internals, DT Swiss spokes and nipples, and the wheels have swappable end caps, so I can use QR compatible end caps to retrofit these to the Gen I Fargo. No "boosty" nonsense either, which is good for that old green bike. 

They are 10 year old carbon wheels, so they need the previously mentioned "TLC". Cleaning, replacement of a couple nipples, and retensioning should put them back into order. I did not note any corrosion with regard to the nipples, so that was a good sign. 

And to boot, these won't be seeing any hard-core MTB action. They will enjoy "retirement" from Grannygear by being put to use here on the gravel roads. I should say also that the only thing these wheels will be subjected to is excessive dust, which probably is not a whole lot difeerent than their previous life in SoCal's environment, which was dusty with a different type of dust. 

I checked out the bearings and they are worn, but serviceable yet. I'll run them until they die and re-rack when the time comes. The star ratchet free hub should last a long time, and I'll take a peek at that once I remove the stubborn end cap that is on the drive side. That cap needs replacing anyway, since I am going with the quick release set up for the Fargo. 

Grannygear said these were pretty stiff laterally, and with a healthy 32 spokes tensioned properly, I bet these will straighten out the handling of the Fargo to my liking and previously held standard. The slightly wider internal rim width is welcomed as well. With an under 1400 gram wheel set, the Fargo should feel fantastic. 

I'll keep those old Black Flag wheels for the Fargo also. Those will go on when things get gnarly weather-wise. But the Rovals will live on and they will be a very welcome addition to the Fargo.


DT said...

What exactly is the inner rim width on these? I like GG's post a while back about re-purposing "old" MTB wheels as modern gravel wheels

Guitar Ted said...

@DT - These Rovals are 25mm inner width, which is spot on for a gravel set up these days.