Whether you're randonneuring, or out for a long weekend ride with no particular destination or direction, you need a rig that can go anywhere, do anything, and perform both while holding a huge load of weight. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, then the Salsa Fargo 3 will likely change your life. The Fargo 3 is the perfect blend of touring experience and Salsa's long-standing knowledge of how to build a bike that works. Featuring a proprietary material construction, and accoutrement dedicated to making the long-haul easier, the Fargo 3 is for the wild-at-heart that would rather ride their vacation than drive it.During the design phase, Salsa left no stone unturned in order to make the Fargo 3 the ultimate off-road touring bike. To start, the frame is made from the same proprietary Kung Fu CroMoly that graces the lauded El Mariachi. Salsa designed this material to walk the line between weight and strength, leaning a little more toward strength. For trouble free travels, the Fargo 3 uses a rigid fork, made from the same material, that prevents you from the toils of fork service over your tour. However, the Fargo is compatible with an 80mm travel suspension fork, but you should know that Salsa has included two sets of Everything Cage bosses on the rear of the rigid fork's blades. What's even more important than the Fargo's materials is its attentive geometry. You should notice that the acute angle from the 73-74 degree seat tube to the 70-71 degree head tube aligns the saddle position to a comfortable drop ratio with the bars. And with the Salsa Woodchipper handlebars' 26-degree flare angle, the geometry works hand-in-hand with the components to provide you with a comfortable back position while hammering or cruising in the saddle.To keep you riding hydrated, the Fargo 3 accepts three water bottle cages, in addition to the two Everything Cage mounts on the fork. The frame also features integrated rack and fender mounts that have been cast and ribbed into the dropouts for no-nonsense durability. The attachment area has been given substantial clearance due to the 160mm disc brake being mounted to the chainstay. The fork's disc brake has also been mounted intuitively, being positioned mid-blade. The mounting position still clears up to a 185mm rotor, too. Note that Salsa has designed the rack mounts to work flawlessly with its Wanderlust Rack and Down Under/Minimalist racks, but anything burly will suffice.The Fargo 3 uses the triple-ring FSA Alpha Drive Trekking crankset, and even with a triple, the frame has been designed to accommodate 2.3in tire widths with plenty of room left over for mud to pass. For shifting, the bike comes equipped with Microshift Bar-End 3- and 9-speed shifters that have been mated with a Shimano Deore low-clamp, triple front derailleur and a Shimano Deore 9-speed long-cage rear derailleur. To ensure that you can get over a mountain pass fully-loaded, Salsa included a 11-34 cassette that allows spins lower than a 1:
Weaknesses: The Fire Starter fork flexes a lot but you get use to it.
From doing road touring to straight mountain biking the Fargo does it all!!
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2012
Strengths: Versatility, tire clearance , and durability
Weaknesses: Frame flex when the bike's loaded but once you get used to it you don't notice it.
Bought the frame set and built the Fargo for off road touring and camping with a Bob trailer. The Bike has been great. Have it set up with 45mm tires and fenders an have done some great single track with a 60lb trailer and no problems. I'd give it 5 chilis if the frame didn't flex so much but then it probably weigh more.
Any particular reason why the 2 has the gearlevers together with the brakelevers like on a normal road (Racing) bike and the 3 has endlevers??
And what made you choose the one over the other?
I do not have the chance to sit on or try a fargo sine I have to buy one online so if you have a pho ... Read More »
I'm thinking about a Salsa Fargo 3 for an all-rounder all-seasons type of bike... but according to my LBS there are none to be had! Anyone know of someone who might still have one or two in stock? I haven't had a chance to ride one, but given Salsa's sizing I'm guessing at 5'7" I'd be a small frame. ... Read More »
Hi, can anyone chime in with some advice...I'm looking at buying a Fargo for a 3rd world loaded bike tour and local fire road riding...I have an opportunity at a Fargo 2 with SRAM for $100 bucks more then the Fargo 3 with Shimano...I understand the SRAM are more expensive components so I think it's ... Read More »
Got in the Fargo Ti last week (medium frame) and brought it to the LBS for a weigh in. 3.5lb frame weight. It really feels like nothing when balanced on your finger. The steel fork weighs 2.5lb. The frame looks pretty substantial but come on. Three and one half pounds??? Will this really handle heav ... Read More »