Sunday, February 15, 2009

A good weekend in the park...

The conditions Saturday were distinctly slower than on Sunday, when the track was more packed in. These pictures are from my solo run Saturday.

The Fargo's half-retro, half-modern drivetrain is rockin'. The 12-25 9-speed cassette is pretty tight with big knobby tires.

Lookin' down the trail. The Fargo readies to drop in on some packed snow action. No, it doesn't feel at all like a 'cross bike. It's 100-percent a drop bar mountain bike.

The new profile of off-road performance. In some conditions, I think this might be the fastest bike you can ride. Wilderness Park is probably one of 'em.

Sweet disc mount. Like the Big Mama, the Fargo uses post-type disc mounts, but because the Fargo is a frameset (frame and fork), you get post mounts front and rear.

The view from the top... This is how the axle lines up when you're riding with your hands in the drops. Considering where your hands are placed (about 20-30mm in-front of the stem clamp), it's actually about in-line with where it'd be on a flat-bar mountain bike. Perfect. It's amazing how close the geometry works out between this bike and my flat bar bikes... I'm still shaking my head.

Parts-wise, here's a breakdown of what I'm running on my Fargo (this one's for you, Paul):
  • Shimano dual control levers -- 3x9 with an old-school 105 left and a newer Tiagra right. I basically pulled the bars/controls from my Chili Con Crosso, so..
  • Salsa Bell Lap 46cm handlebars -- good bars, though I do want for a bit more sweep in extreme transition steering situaitons, such as you have going back-and-forth in the snow.
  • Salsa Moto Ace 80mm x 20 deg rise stem -- had it sitting in the parts bin already and it was perfect for the application.
  • Shimano Deore XT M737 (corrected... I looked again and saw I had the number wrong -- sorry!!) 58x94mm crank -- 22x32x44t rings. Running on a Shimano UN-72 BB. This crank came on my ti Bontrager and I've always wanted to use it on a 29er due to the bolt circle. It'll allow me to experiment with some crazy gearing combinations down the road.
  • Shimano Ultegra 10sp long cage rear derailleur -- has the range I need to run whatever gears I want to run and looks nice. I already owned it too. Bonus...
  • XT/Salsa Delgado Race wheels -- Came stock on my La Cruz. At times (such as now) the front wheel will get swapped out for my King/Delgado Race wheel, which has a wider, Maxxis Ardent on it. The standard tire I've been running on the Fargo is the Maxxis CrossMark.
  • Avid BB7 road discs, of course.
Have I mentioned that I love this bike? I do. It's incredible... MW took it for a quick spin in the park earlier today and almost immediately, his comment was, "this bike is good." It's true. Nice work Salsa...

I hope it was a great weekend of riding for everyone reading this message!



Guitar Ted said...

Nice MG. It's a pretty stable bike in the snow too, eh? At least I thought so, which belies the fact that it has massive offset in the fork. The numbers aren't all they're cracked up to be methinks.

Interesting shot with the axle/handlebar relationship. ya know, I find my fit feels best when that old maxim comes into play. The one that says your handlebar should obscure your view of the front axle. I never shoot for that, but I notice it's that way on all the bikes I like best. Hmm.....

Enjoy the heck out of it, MG. I know you will!

MG said...

Thanks Guitar Ted -- I appreciate your thoughts. And it's true, the Fargo is a stable roller on the snow, which is a bit of a surprise considering how quickly it likes to change direction -- I suspect you nailed it when you singled out the fork offset as the factor that contributes the most to that dual nature.

I look forward to hearing about your trip up north this past weekend. I hope it was a good one.

Thanks again Mark!


EB said...

Lucky Ducky!

paxtoncoyote said...

Thanks for posting the build specs MG, I may save it for future references. I was interested in G-Ted's take on the new Shimano 12/36 cassette today & wondered about using it on a Fargo build, I've been riding a ss for too long, I'll be in touch if I ever get one to build up with some advice for sure!

I've got a complete '79 Torker BMX bike I bought new in Lincoln back in my day & am thinking of trying to e-bay it to get started on a Fargo build if it brings anything, it's in like new condition so who knows.

Man, it's been too long since I've railed through Wilderness Park, we need to get back to see the family more often.

MG said...

Thanks guys. Matt, I can't believe you've got a complete '79 Torker just hangin' out still. That's incredible! One thing I realized long ago is that, if I can't use a bike that's in my stable, for the most part (with a few notable exceptions), I have to part with the bikes I don't ride anymore. I just don't have the room to warehouse a bunch of old bikes! That said, I do have a selection of my absolute favorites, as well as old prototypes that I'd never feel OK selling... that sort of thing.

As far as the wide-range cassette goes, I'm all for it. I've actually got a 12-34 on-deck for my Fargo right now. I'm just waiting to pick a new chain up (I'm using my old Chili's chain + a few links) to be able to run the big range on the long chainstays with the long-cage derailleur. It requires a lot of chain... like, you only remove one or two links from a 116 link Dura Ace chain, out of the box. Radical! It doesn't make for the lightest setup, but who cares?! It kicks ass!

Speaking of kicking ass, I got envious of Gnat and his Erickson ti seatpost on his Fargo, so I broke down and robbed my red El Mariachi of its Moots cinch post... So now that's on my Fargo. Wow, what a difference! I'd be stupid not to run that seatpost at T.I...

MG said...

Oh, and Matt, I'll roll with ya' through Wilderness anytime you want, my friend. You just give me a shout.

Talk to you soon. Thanks again for the comments.


munsoned said...

Now hold on just a minute there, buddy! What's going on with that rear brake cabling?!?! Looping under and around instead of over the top?!? Does that provide a stiffer feel? I've heard that STI braker levers and Avid road discs feel a little "squishy." Does this solve that issue? I'm very intrigued as I may go that route on my rear wheel.

munsoned said...

Oh, and very nice bike, by the way. As soon as I read up on this bike, I thought, "an actual Monster Cross made frame?" And Salsa took it too the extreme with 6(?) water bottle mounts.

That bike's going places.

MG said...

Sweet! I wondered how long it'd be before someone caught that... Gnat is the only person I've told about my little "trick" so far, but that's my solution to the soft Avid road brake syndrome, and it works! Basically, routing it that way reduces the ratio at the brake just enough to firm up the lever feel and the way it sweeps past the brake caliper ensures the wire won't slip off the cam (not that it would when anchored properly anyway, but use care anyway when you're setting it up, m'kay).

Good eye... You had to be lookin' to see that. I've always wondered how closely people look at my bikes when I post pictures. Apparently some people look pretty close. Very cool... ;-)


munsoned said...

I was, at first, admiring the Salsa logo IN THE DROPOUT, when I noticed the weird cable angle.

I'm going to have to try that.

Another interesting change in anchoring cables is the Hubbub Shimano. I love the Campy shifters, but like the cheapness and availability of Shimano 9 speed. So this solves the compatibility issue. It works quite nice.

paxtoncoyote said...

MG, not only do I have the Torker but I still have my first BMX bike that I ever bought, a Raleigh Rampar, steel frame, chro-mo fork, Redline V bars, Tuff Neck stem & Oakley grips. I bought them both from Mr. Bike on O St in two different locations, the Raleigh was when they were on the south side to the east & the Torker after they moved to the north side & further to the west, ironically, I still have the sales receipt from them too! YEAH, I'm a packrat I guess!

Someday I'll get some photos & post then on my blog...or E-bay!

GNAT said...

Nice looking rig MG. Glad you are liking it. Not sure I'll try your cable routing technique, but its a good bit of info to file away in case I need it.

MG said...

Thanks guys... Matt, it's very cool that you've kept those bikes around. The memories they keep with them are priceless for you, I'm sure.

And I've been thinking quite a bit about Campy, or SRAM shifters lately. I've also got another, totally different design in-mind, but it'd require rounding up a manufacturer and doing it myself. It's actually Guitar Ted's idea, but he just wants to see it manufactured and I think I may be able to align the stars to make it happen. When the pieces are in-place, we'll let 'cha all know about it. It'll be cool if it happens though...