Friday, April 24, 2009

Flat Bar Fargo Update

Last night as I was pondering our route on the Friday Morning Ride I decided the Flat Bar Fargo would be my bike of choice. The drop bar Fargo is fully loaded with gear and while fun, is somewhat unnecessary for the commute. This was the first time that I've ridden the Flat Bar Fargo any distance since building it early this spring. Honestly, I just haven't been interested in it.

Call me old fashioned, call me a traditionalist, but I believe that a bike rides best when configured that way it was intended. For the Salsa Cycles Fargo, that includes drop bars. Fitting flat bars on a bike intended for drop bars is always a challenge. I can't think of an instance when fitting flat bars to a drop bar bike where compromises aren't made to the fit. This rings true for the Fargo. If I were to fit a Fargo with Flat Bars I would have to ride two sizes larger than what I currently ride to get the cockpit position to match that of my El Mariachi or Big Mama.

For this exercise, riding what would be an XXL Fargo wasn't an option. So I pulled out my trusty 150mm Titec Ti Stem and coupled it with an 11 degree bar. This is the first time in the history of my bicycles that I haven't had to run a large number of stack spacers under the stem. The Fargo headtube is tall for flat bar fit.

So how did it ride? Well, as you would expect, like a bike. Our route took us through the suburbs to the Minnesota River Trail. On the road, the bike felt short, not so comfortable. On the trail, things felt better. The bike handled predictably and much like an El Mariachi without a suspension fork on it. Overall, it rode well.

Will I ride it again? Nope, in fact the front end is disassembled and a Drop Bar is slated to go on this weekend possibly. I just don't see the point in riding the Fargo with Flat Bars. If you want a rigid MTB, there are plenty of Suspension corrected rigid 29ers out there that can be used for multi-purposes.

You may choose to disagree, we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

1 comment:

  1. I just read your post on flat-bar Fargo's. I am curious how you did the cable routing. The bottom-bracket cable guide is angled to "expect" the front shifter cable to come down the left side of the downtube. But when routed from flat-bar shifters, it seems to make more sense to route that cable around the head tube and down the right side of the downtube. I'm interested to know how you handled that.