If you are looking for a versatile and sturdy bike then the Salsa Fargo is the best option. Although the manufacturers call it a 29-inch mountain bike, it is ideal for almost any terrain, on and off the tarmac.
The sophisticated overall design and the thought given to detail, makes it a complete bike, providing excellent handling, and great riding comfort.
Fork and Frame
The Fargo is constructed from tough Classico CroMoly steel tubing, and the design comprising of compact triangles, gives the bike a good commanding height for off-road touring.
The overall structure has a well-balanced geometry between fork and frame, which provides excellent tire clearance. Although this is not a suspension bike, the fork’s design provides a very smooth ride even on the bumpiest terrain.
Drop Bars and Shifters
The Salsa Fargo being a mountain bike has shallow and flared drop bars, which are the trademark of cyclocross racing. These handle bars, coupled with the overall design gives this bike excellent versatility.
The front part of the bike is quite high, which makes the drops very accessible, without the rider having to get into an aggressive position. This makes the drops very comfortable even when gripping over long stretches.
The design of the bars, also provides easy shifting to different hand positions as per the individual requirement over varied terrain. All controls are easily accessible, and the shifters are conveniently placed at the bar ends. The shifter mechanism for the front is non-indexed, which makes trimming quite simple and effective.
The Fargo is equipped with 6-bolt 160mm Rotor disc brakes that are powerful, and quite effective on steep descents, even when carrying a full load. The brake mechanism is mounted inboard, so that the caliper does not foul up the guard eyelets and rack.
This design is also ideal for avoiding any interference with the mounted accessories. Although this mounting design avoids many foul ups, you will have to carry a suitable allen key, if you need to adjust the mounting bolts.
Even though, the mechanism of the brake is quite sturdy, it will require a change of levers after extended heavy use. The spare parts for brakes, and other components are readily available in stores that stock bicycle parts of SRAM Corporation.
If you consider the sleek design of this bicycle, you are likely to doubt its loading capacity. However, you will be surprised to find that it has one of the best capacities for bikes in its class.
There are six cage mounts for bottles, four of which are mounted on the primary triangle, and the other two mounted on each of the fork leg’s rear. This ensures enough water supplies even on the longest rides.
Apart from that, the Fargo also provides options for other luggage, like frame-fit bags. These bags will not interfere with the water supply, as they will not be taking up the space provided for bottles.
Salsa Fargo is equipped with big Vulpine tires measuring 29 x 2.1″, and they give a very comfortable ride on almost all types of rough terrains. These tires are ideal for touring, and may not be the right option for racing.
The treading on these tires may also not be sufficient for extremely muddy and slimy tracks. Overall, these tires are ideally suited for extended touring on dry rough tracks, and tarmac.
Specifications For The Salsa Fargo 29er Mountain Bike
- Frame Material: KungFu steel
- Headset: 1.125 in Cane Creek S3
- Rear Axle: 135 x 10 mm
- Fork: Salsa Fargo
- Rims: DT Swiss X470
- Hubs: Formula
- Spokes: DT Swiss
- Front Derailleur: SRAM X.7
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM X.9 (10-speed)
- Shifters: SRAM Apex
- Crankset: FSA Comet
- Chain Rings: 27 x 39 t
- Pedals: not included
- Bottom Bracket: FSA
- Brake Levers: SRAM Apex
- Brake Calipers: Avid BB-7
- Handlebar: Salsa Woodchipper
- Grips: Salsa Gel Cork
- Stem: Salsa ProMoto
- Chain: SRAM PC-1030
- Cassette: SRAM PG-1050
- Sprocket Range: 12 – 36 t
- Tires: Continental Race King
- Tire Size: 29 in x 2.2 in
- Valve Stem: Presta
- Seatpost: Cane Creek Thudbuster ST
- Seatpost Diameter: 27.2 mm
- Seat Collar: Salsa LipLock
- Saddle: WTB Pure V Race
- Recommended Use: adventure touring
- Manufacturer Warranty: 5 years
Handling and Riding Comfort
The Fargo scores primarily on riding comfort and easy handling. The short stem design coupled with the angle of the handlebars provides a relaxed position for the rider’s head and upper body. This makes it ideal for cruising on a single track, and provides effective control while dodging traffic as well.
The Bell Lap bars of Salsa are the key components, which gives riding versatility to this hot bike. The ability to change hand positions quickly and comfortably, makes handling the Fargo very easy, even in tricky maneuvers.
Another great feature of this nice bike is that it is extremely stable even while going at high speeds down an incline. There is no wobble, and the rider can maintain balance quite effortlessly. The big tires and fork design provides a very comfortable ride even though there are no suspensions.
Things to Consider While Shopping for Salsa Fargo
The selection of size will depend on your height, and the type of ride you are most likely to take frequently. The medium 18-inch model would be ideal for people around six feet tall, and who need to cruise on single tracks.