Tuesday, February 18, 2014

oh this old thing (2013 Fargo 2)

Last year I was tooling around Riverside State Park on the Pugsley N/R, thinking it's the perfect bike for me for riding out there. Those fat tires handle the rocky and loose sections with ease. Then I picked up this new old stock 2013 Salsa Fargo 2 on clearance last fall. Holy Cow! There is something really precise about the steering in the drops of the Woodchipper bars. This is now my go-to bike for trails. I like the Continental Race King 29 x 2.2 tires - they're not as knobby as my other mountain bike tires and roll fairly smooth on hard pack and pavement.

By just looking at it, I wasn't sure if I would like the feel of the Fargo compared to the Vaya. The hoods are set further down the handlebar and pointed inwards a little; the ends of the bars point more outwards. But after a test ride on city streets, I found I liked the feel of it, and thought it would work great on dirt.

With the Salsa Vaya, Fargo, Surly Pugsley Neck Romancer, I think I am all set for bikes. Ha! (A vintage 3-speed would be nice). I'm thinking of selling my mountain bike and good cross bike, but may just keep them around for loaners.

There's some overlap between the Vaya and Fargo with both capable of off-road touring, but the Vaya oriented more towards road/gravel, the Fargo for the rougher stuff. Now that I have the Fargo, I feel better about moving down to 38c tires on the Vaya and making room for proper fenders on it. With the Vaya only, I was tempted to go with wider tires and forget about fenders completely.

Here's the Garmin track of a ride/walk I took Sunday on the Fargo. I'm trying to find a good 30-50 mile loop from home up Houston Rd and environs, combining single-track, dirt, gravel and not too much pavement. The Fargo handled all with ease. I was on paved Old Trails Rd for longer than I wanted trying to find some connections - maybe chip-seal will have to count as gravel. Old Trails isn't a busy road so thats's good, but it's a bit straight and boring. And of course, I ran into my old friend Trail 25, still covered in snow and ice. I'm heading out next weekend to work on the route a little more.

Note: There are doberman style dogs loose on N Hayford Rd. I didn't get close enough to see what kinda dogs they are for sure. It's a dead end road and I wanted to see just where it ended, but didn't get far before I saw the dogs about 400 yards ahead of me. At least there was plenty of warning.

So the question now is, which bike to ride the Gran Fondo Ephrata? Don't really need the 2.2" tires of the Fargo so I'm going to take the Vaya.

Or so I think now. I have a feeling I'll change my mind.

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