With winter wrapping up, gravel racing season is looming large on the horizon. People are starting training and equipment set up for the long days in the saddle ahead. Last week we finished up a Salsa Fargo Build for Mike's gravel ambitions this year. The plan was to build the bike as a fat tired racer. This bike was built not as a drop bar mountain bike, or as a comfy touring bike as most Fargos tend to be. This bike was set up as a light weight, efficient, racer with a decided forward stance. The wheels on this are super light, and the tires add a ton of comfort as compared to a standard CX sized tire.
Here's what we came up with. This bike was built to share the front Enve wheel with Mike's recent singlespeed El Mariachi build. They form the basis for the rest of the build. Functionally they are amazing, but they look stunning next to the thin steel tubing of the bike. The orange Chris King parts look just as good on the bone color of the Fargo as they do on the blue of the El Mariachi. Orange is again used as the accent color for this bike. It's carried through in the King hubs, headset and bottom bracket. It's also used for the bar tape, Salsa seatpost clamp, and the hardware on the Eriksen titanium seatpost.
The drivetrain on this bike uses parts familiar to readers of this blog. Shimano XT front derailleur and double cranks shift flawlessly up front, and are paired with Sram's dead reliable X9 rear derailleur and Sram 1070 cassette. All are reliable parts that are light weight, cost effective, and visually appealing.
Black rotors next to the bright orange hubs with black spokes offer a great amount of contrast. Against the subtle bone color with a shimmery metallic clear coat it's a hell of a combination.
Rather than the Fargo standard Woodchippers, Salsa Cowbell bars were used on this bike. These bars have quickly grown to be my favorite ever for long rides. While I love the Woodchippers for true mtb riding, these fine bars work wonderfully for gravel, CX and touring style riding. They are perfect for the intended purpose of this bike. I love the color of the bar tape for this build.
This bike is simply gorgeous. It's a bike built for a specific purpose, but one that would be comfortable in many different riding conditions. The bike is visually perfect, and functionally it will do anything Mike could ask of it. I have just finished my personal Fargo build similarly to this bike. I love Fargo's built this way. These bikes are perfect starting places for long distance gravel weapons.