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My Go Fast Salsa Fargo adventure touring bike

February 16, 2009

I put a couple of sneak peaks out there already, but today I’ll share what I call my Go Fast Salsa Fargo.

I hope my Fargo lasts as long as this barn.

I hope my Fargo lasts as long as this barn.

This is Fargo #2.  Number one is set up for off road snow riding right now and it’s got about 2000 miles on it.  The combo of Gordo rims and WTB Weirwolf 2.55’s make that bike feel really slow compared to this one.    This is my go fast Fargo and I’ve got almost 15oo miles on this one.  It feels like a good cyclocross bike but can handle A LOT more dirt.   I’ve got it set up as follows.

Frame:  Fargo – size large

Fork:  Fargo

Headset:  Cane Creek S3 (soon to be replaced with King)

Rear Derailleur:   SRAM Rival

Frt Derailler:  SRAM X.9

Crank:  Surly Mr. Whirly with XTR 36-48

BB:  Shimano (Soon to be replaced with a King)

CS:  SRAM Rival 11-28 10 spd

Chain:  SRAM 10 spd

Brakes:  Avid Road BB7’s w/ 160mm rotors

Shifters/Levers:  SRAM Rival 10 spd

Seat Post:  Eriksen Ti

Saddle:  WTB Silverado (Soon to be SST)

Stem:  Salsa CroMoto (90mm)

Bars:  Salsa Bell Lap 46

Tape:  Salsa Leather, black

Tires:  Schwalbe prototype Furious Freds

Tubes:  700×48 w/long valve stems

Rimtape:  Rox Ultralite – 2 wraps.

Rims:  Edge Composites, 32 hole

Hubs:  DT Swiss 240s, 32 hole

Spokes:  DT Competition Black

Nipples: DT

Cables:  Jagwire compressionless housing – Critical to making road brakes work well

H2o Cages:  Salsa Nickless x 3

Frame Bag:  Custom Epic Design.  Also have an Epic Design Gas Tank for food.

Coming Soon:  Epic Design seat bag.   I’m also tinkering with a bar bag, but I may end up with a small Nitto front rack to hold a small stuff sack.

A closer look

A closer look

This bike feels so good.   This is the bike that I plan to do some epic gravel adventures.   It eats up the miles.  I wish I would have had this set up last year on the Guitar Ted Deathride Invitational.   I think that 100+ miles last July on this bike would have felt like about 75 compared to the heavier touring mode set up I was on last year.   The cool thing is that this “Go Fast” bike is still so capable.   If I want to do something a little more off road, all I need to do is throw on some meaty tires and my Thud Buster seat post.  For the full on off road adventure, I’ve even set this bike up with a 22-36 tooth chainring combo so that I can climb most things.

I can’t wait to show you the full get up with gear.   That will be another day as it is still a work in progress.   Look for a full set up later in March or April.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 16, 2009 6:48 am

    Fantasic! That is one pimpin Fargo already. I can’t imagine the final outcome. This will be fun.

    King BB? Going with green or gold?

    See you soon!

  2. captain bob permalink
    February 16, 2009 7:02 am

    VERY NICE! I would love to throw a leg over that beauty sometime. One of these days I will have me a Fargo. Wait. That large you have there is my size. Trade you for some old 26er stuff…… 🙂

    Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for this rig.

  3. Ron from Massachusetts permalink
    February 16, 2009 7:49 am

    You’ve got two fargos and I can’t even get my hands on one. I guess it pays to work for salsa. Keep up the great posts. I really like how you go out and enjoy the ride, not just going from point A to point B, but how you take pictures of the different things you see along your route. I think sometimes we get caught up trying to go as fast as we can all the time and we don’t actually enjoy the ride itself. Your blog has definitely made me realize that once I get my hands on that fargo, I will be stopping more often on my rides to enjoy the beauty of nature. Thanks.

  4. Gnat permalink*
    February 16, 2009 7:57 pm

    Thanks for the comment guys. GT, looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Ron from Massachusetts: Yes, sometimes the job does have its perks. It is so true that many times, me included, I get caught up in the moment and keep my head down. This past year I’ve made a point of riding whatever speed I feel like that day. I don’t race so I don’t really need to train. I’m just looking for miles, memories and mental therapy.

    Stopping to try to capture little moments has been fun. In fact, it’s actually pushed me quite a bit because it sometimes gets me out of bed in the cold, in the dark hours and even on some wet rainy days because I want to see something from my ride.

    Oh….And regarding getting your hands on one. We shipped a bunch of Fargos this week. More shipping now. We’ve got more arriving this week and a lot more in transit due early to mid march. I suspect if you really want one, you can get one soon.

  5. February 28, 2009 8:58 pm

    Wow, I just got back from NAHBS, spent a half hour just chilling out and talking tred with the Continental rep. Was looking for the right tire for the TransIowa.
    Been loving the Specialized Bourough CX 32mm, but it’s just too skinny for riding gravel at 3am. What I like about it is it’s high pressure and the subtle fairly slick tread down the middle with just enough on the outside to sort some gravel. It’s wicked fast and is amazing on the backroads around here. Anyway… I spotted this tread in your header and with some quick searching found it here.

    Reading what you wrote about it and intend to use it for I feel pretty vindicated in my thoughts. It looks like an awesome tread. Looks like it will come in 2.0 and 2.25. That’s a lot wider then I intend to run, looking for a 38, but that’s the sort of thing I’d love to be riding if I were to ride the GDR. 🙂

    Backroads are tricky. Half the time they’re smooth as pavement, but they do have an occasional washboard, series of potholes, and loose gravel. Then about 5% of the time they’re mud that feels like riding in molases. I find mud shedding to be the most important thing, the bourough does that in spades. You only really need the traction when everything goes completely liquid, which is very very rare… except apparently in Iowa in May. 🙂

  6. Jeff Corbett permalink
    May 10, 2009 2:26 am

    Love your site! I’m thinking of buying a Fargo in the next few weeks, primarily for all-terrain touring in Australia (where I live) and as a do-it-all bike. Problem is I cannot see or ride one before I buy. I’d appreciate all advice on sizing. I’m six foot tall – is the Large the right size?
    Cheers, Jeff

  7. Gnat permalink*
    May 10, 2009 6:06 am

    Jeff, thanks for visiting the site. I sure wish I could come down there and do some adventuring with you in Australia. Some day.

    At 6 ft tall, the large is likely the right size. However, that is a very rough estimate. I’m 5’11” and have ridden both the medium and the large extensively. For full on off road adventures, I like the medium best.

    If you want to email me with your dimensions and some info on sizes of your other bikes you own, please email me at GNAT at LIVE dot COM.

  8. May 20, 2009 2:26 pm

    Hi Gnat 🙂 Great looking blog you have here- with some nice content too. I’m also in love with the Fargo…the bike I’ve been looking for to fit my crazy plans of touring on and off road here on the South Island- New Zealand…..for ages!

    My local bike shop has a 16″ (perfect for hobbits!!) waiting for me to test ride this weekend and by all accounts I’ll be laying down some cash on it 😀 I’m interested to see that you have set it up with SRAM rival brakes / shifters? This is exactly how I will take car of the gears/ brakes too. Being a SRAM man on all of my rides- I know that shifting with Shimano via bar ends will juts drive me nutso. It’s a shame that the Fargo ships with Shimano as standard…..

    I’ve bookmarked your site and will be sure to check out your future Fargo ramblings….cheers.

    I’ll be sure to blog my Fargo experiences too.

  9. Jono permalink
    June 3, 2009 12:58 pm

    I just bought a Fargo 4 days ago and absolutely love it. So comfy.

    I’m curious about your Go Fast build – I’m not up on parts, how does the gearing differ from the stock build?

    I’m wondering as I’m thinking I might want to move the gearing more towards road than mountain.

  10. Gnat permalink*
    June 4, 2009 5:11 am

    Jono, thanks for the comment and congrats on your Fargo. I hope you love it as much as I love mine.

    Regarding the gearing, it really isn’t that much different. I’m using the same 36-48 up front as the stock build. In fact, I’m using the same rings. The “Go Fast” part of the Fargo has more to do with the build components and wheels.

    One thing that you could do that makes the bike a lot more road worthy is simply having a tighter ratio cassette installed. This will make the gearing tighter and feel more road like allowing you to get that just right cadence.

    Anyway, thanks and enjoy.

  11. Jono permalink
    June 4, 2009 9:13 am

    Thanks, that’s along the lines of what I was thinking.

    Just saw your big list of components and wasn’t sure what was what. 🙂

  12. Ben permalink
    August 16, 2009 10:19 am

    Hi Gnat,

    Great Post!
    I wanted to ask you about the sizing.I’m also a 5’11 with 32 inseam.
    I have to decide on large vs medium.
    I plan on alot of everything (off/on road) and i’m not sure which size to get.
    Are you satisfied with the large frame? Would you recommend me to buy a medium size if I plan on also doing offroad?


  13. Ash permalink
    February 17, 2010 11:49 am

    Sweet setup!

    Can you run road hubs (130 mm) on the Fargo safely? Are your DTs 130mm or 135mm?


  14. Gnat permalink*
    February 23, 2010 11:16 pm

    I do not recommend 130’s on the Fargo. I run 135 DT’s.

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