Fargo Update

As spring takes a firm hold on our part of the country, leaves are popping out in their vibrant spring green, and flowers are splashing color across a formerly drab landscape. 

Without a doubt, spring is one of the most beautiful and exciting times of the year.  For me most of the excitement comes in the form of riding and camping with a reasonable amount of gear.  Fortunately this weekend looks promising for my first touring ride of the season, which will be an adventure tour aboard my Fargo test sled.  We’ve had two amazing weekends in the previous two weeks, both of which required my attention for one reason or another.

spring

Yes, that’s my car’s engine minus transmission.  Sure is a real bummer when bicycle touring is thwarted by auto repair, but sometimes you just can’t avoid it.  If there were to be any adventures that involved getting a bicycle and myself out of the city in a quick fashion, that clutch had to be replaced–and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t going to replace itself. Spending a beautiful weekend crawling around under a car like a greasy monkey will make this weekend’s trip will be all that much more rewarding.

car

I’ve been riding the Fargo for some time now, and like usual have felt the need to swap things around a bit for my personal tastes.  I just wasn’t feeling the vibe of Salsa’s Moto Ace Bell Lap Cyclocross style handlebar on the Fargo.  It was giving me the classic issue drop bars present; get the bars high enough so the drops feel good and the tops and hoods are just too high, positioning the tops comfortably means the drops were too low for sustained use.  Riding the Fargo as a mountain bike meant staying in the drops nearly the whole time, which is fine for some, but seemed like a compromise I wasn’t willing to make.  A drop bar with less drop and more flair would be a much better fit for the Fargo if one wanted to stick with drops.

salsa fargo

When looking for a replacement handlebar, I definitely wanted to maintain a maximum number of hand positions for distance comfort.  A quick call to Jeff Jones, and his new Loop H-Bar was on its way.  My initial assumption was that this bar would give me the multitude of hand positions needed without the height disparity of a drop bar.  Only trade off in this situation is the 130mm stem needed to maintain cockpit length.  Despite the long stem, my weight distribution is nearly identical to what it would have been with the drops.  I’m happy to report that this bar feels much better for my use and tastes on this bike.  More confidence inspiring and easier handling off road–and yes, I’ve ridden my fair share of drops in the dirt.

Oh look, my seat is a touch crooked.

salsa fargo

So, with a decent weekend outlook and all other obligations fulfilled, I’ll be heading out for 3 days on the Fargo traversing singletrack, old forest roads, as well as dirt and tarmac roads in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands.  The eventual destination being Ohiopyle State Park, home to some of Pennsylvania’s best class III and IV whitewater.

ohiopyle

Look for a trip report and photos in an upcoming blog.

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