Hit the open roadAAApavement optionalAAAaboard the revamped Salsa Fargo. A suspension-corrected front end allows you to bolt on some squish if that's your style or run it as it comes for mellower fire roads and ultra-distance days on paved roads. Drop bars give you more hand position options than risers, so you won't be battling the dreaded numbness for the last 20 miles of your ride. Designed as the ultimate adventure-touring rig, the Fargo features a full complement of braze-ons, for everything from fenders to racks to bottle cages, and the fork legs each have a mount for Salsa's Anything CageAAAan over-sized, multifunctional platform for anything from sleeping bags to fuel bottles.
Strengths: Sturdy frame, smooth ride, fresh design (tan is the best color I have seen the Fargo in), comfortable touring-style handlebars.
Weaknesses: Minimal clearance between front tire and pedal, a little jittery with weight on the front.
Just took my 2011 Fargo 2 out for a 7 day trip to Joshua Tree, CA. This is the ultimate work-horse. I took off without knowing road conditions. This bike carried me and 40 extra pounds down 20 miles of unexpected, unpaved desert road. This bike was made for being put through hell. The frame is sturdy and all welds look great. The 29 inch tires saved my life on the sandy slopes and rocky trails. All around genius design.
Strengths: There are many strengths for this bike. Its versatility, ability to do many things well, comfort, frame strength, paint job, etc. This thing is as fast as I can make it go, has a great gear range for climbing things like pipelines, and will haul an awesome load. I have tubus racks on mine and they are wonderful. I have anything cages on the front with 3 other bottle cages and these are normally more than adequate for the things I do. Love how the frame is sized - I can comfortably ride a large frame because of the shortened top tube. I really like the Rapid Rob Schwalbe tires - they grip well, roll fast, and cushion the ride over the rough stuff. Not so good on pavement, but hey - that's not their job. I traded out the bar ends for Sora brifters and I love how it shifts. Had to trade out the front der also as it didn't work with brfiters, but a Sora front der took care of that problem!!
Weaknesses: None really - it's a little heavy, but at the size of the bike and the materials of the frame, you can't seriously expect it to be a weight weenie, right???
I am looking forward to taking this some serious long distance touring. I've done longer rides on it, but I want to really load up and go for a week or so. This bike is all I could ever want for the type of work I bought it to do. I have become more and more convinced that if I could only havd two bikes, one for road and one other that this one would be on that list. If I had to have only 1 bike, this one might well be it!!!
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2012
Strengths: Versatility, quality, and smile factor.
Weaknesses: None yet...
I had no history with Salsa Cycles prior to test riding the Fargo. In fact, I went into the LBS to purchase a Surly LHT. After taking out the Surly I spotted the Fargo and asked if I could give it a shot; I'm glad I did. I smiled throughout the test ride and decided on the spot that it was the bike for me.
From jumping curbs and barreling through mud and gravel, to cruising with the family on asphalt, this bike does it all. I love it!
Similar Products Used: I haven't seen a comparable product.
Bike Setup: Brooks B17 Special; everything else is stock
a Cross Country Rider
from Dublin, OH, USA
Date Reviewed: February 18, 2012
Strengths: So versatile, as fast as my cross bike on the road (with the right tires), as good as any rigid 29er off road (with the right tires again)
Lots of well thought out braze ons. Six bottle mounts!
Weaknesses: A bit heavy, although I really only notice when I pick it up.
I wouldn't mind a rim braked, flat bar version. I guess that's an Ogre.
It's amazing how much this frame does well. With fat knobbies, it's a fine rigid off road 29er. With 35mm slicks, it'll go along on the road as fast as you can pedal. Load it up with panniers and it's a great tourer. Who needs a Long Haul Trucker? The spectrum of riding this bike cover well--not just making do, but doing well--is very wide. Salsa clearly put a lot of thought into this frame, and it shows. Well done!
Before this, I had the Peregrine, which often gets compared to the Fargo. I find the Fargo to better in all respects: more tire clearance and standover clearance off road, and a more lively ride on road. It also works better with racks and fenders.
I'm 6'3" and ride an XL (22") first gen frame. I'm happy with the fit.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 21, 2011
Strengths: Does what it was designed for. Really great for wet weather funky riding with full wrap fenders, handles great. My wife lived hers after the first ride.
Weaknesses: None so far but the fsa bottom bracket is junk or at least mine was. Maybe fsa will replace it after only 4 months of normal use. Been a shimano man until now so I was a bit surprised to see that part fail so soon. I have had even low end shimano last 2 seasons of serious rain ridiing. A larger front rotor would be nice. You will burn thru pads pretty quickly with such a heavy machine.
Super fun gravel road and smooth trail machine with 30 psi and can make a club road ride no problem if you can spin and are strong with 60 psi.
No need for a cross bike with this machine anymore.
A TI version with bling parts would be pretty sweet.
Similar Products Used: None like this really. My rigid 29r was close but the higher front end and funky road style bars make it way more comfortable to ride
Bike Setup: Stock but added a longer stem on mine. The wife's bike is stock.
Added planet bike full wrap fenders and two layers of bar tape
a Weekend Warrior
from Sioux Falls, SD, USA
Date Reviewed: February 4, 2011
Strengths: Salsa made the Fargo in a frame that is not only big enough for me but is actually visually appeasing. The Woodchippers combined with the frame mounts and tire clearance allows one to use the Fargo as a commuter, touring rig, xc bomber and a winter ride. The quality of the frame, its sizing, and its versatility make the Fargo a 'jack of all trades and master of none."
Weaknesses: Thee only issue was that from the factory. The front disc mount had to be 'modified' (bent where I am from) in order to allow the caliper and disc to align correctly.
My car has gotten plenty of rest because of the Fargo. At first it was my commuter, then my winter transporter, and soon to be my gravel hauler. This bike is the Gerber Multiplier Tool of bikes. If you do not know if you are a commuter, weekend warrior, roadie, xc'er, or a drinker this is the bike needed to float your boat. NO REGRETS...!
Similar Products Used: Its a FARGO...nothing quite similar...
Bike Setup: SLX build with Planet Bike fenders (two thumbs up), Nokian Gazzas for the winter and Spec Infinity Reflects for summer, several bottle cages (24oz can holders), some lights, and a wisecracker...
a Cross Country Rider
from Fairfax, CA
Date Reviewed: January 22, 2011
Strengths: Versatile, steel frame and quality build and paint.
Weaknesses: Maybe a little heavy, about 27 pounds without water but all my trail bikes come out to about 26 to 30 pounds.
This bike is set up as a long distance "discovery" bike. I've taken it over fifty miles at a time and have no problems dealing with whatever the trail type is.
My setup with a short stem gives me a slightly upright position and is very comfortable. There are six bottle mounts, fender and rack mounts--amazing.
I can set up with all my water and equipment on the bike and it saves my back from sweating or getting achy from a pack. I'm not sure if this is the type of bike for "ripping" up the trail with, but its certainly one of the most comfortable.
This is my fourth 29er bike; not as nimble as my Redline Flight, Access XCL or as adaptable as my Karate Monkey but for touring its amazing!
I think Salsa hit the touring niche with this one.
Bike Setup: XTR drivetrain (8 speed) with thumbies, Avid mechs, Titec j-bar and seatpost, FSA headset and stem, Brooks saddle
a Cross Country Rider
from Carson City, NV, USA
Date Reviewed: August 11, 2010
Strengths: Does what the specs say it will do. Great ride unloaded or loaded down with gear on the trails, fire roads, and/or pavement. Climbs wonderfully, takes bumps better than expected for a fully rigid, and descends pretty well.
Weaknesses: Not real keen on the Tektro brake levers, but so far they work.
This is a cool bike. Great for winter riding, off road touring, around town errands, etc. It really gives me a shi*t eating grin ever time I ride it. Not as responsive as my Vassago Bandersnatch or Jabberwocky, but I never expected it to be. Fun, fun, fun!