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  1. #1
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    Another Fargo vs Gryphon thread

    I'm considering to get a new frameset. I conrrently have a Singular Swift (1st gen), which I love. However there are a few things about the Swift that I dislike. It has no rack braze ons, the fork is too long and it has no front derrailleur cable stop. I love to ride SS, but currently I spend too much time working and trainning other sports (competitive martial arts) to keep my mtb shape up enough for one speed to be effective. Also, I'd like something more suited to the geometry of my beloved Midge bars.

    So, the choice is between the Fargo and the Gryphon. There are a couple of comparatives between them on the web, but most are with the 1st gen Fargo or the pre rack mounts Gryphon.

    The bike usage is ocasional commuting, all kinds of mtb stuff (singletrack, gravel, short rides, epic rides, etc), bikepaking and mtb/rural touring.

    The Fargo seems to be a well put together bike. It's geo probably allows a very confortable position with the Midge, without funky spacers or stems. The rack, etc mounts look really tough and reliable.

    The Gryphon has a couple of nice features. Its a Singular, and is always a pleasure to deal with Sam. It has an internal zinc phosphate coating, important to me as I live near the sea. The EBB is also nice, adds a lot a versatility and its good in an emergency.
    Something I don't like are the rack mounts, which look somewhat flimsy. I don't want to load the bike like a Patagonia tourer, but want something confidence inspiring.

    Any help with the decision will be welcome

  2. #2
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    As a Swift owner I'm biased toward the Gryphon myself for all the positives you already noted about the bike. I couldn't find any pictures of the rack mounts on the Gryphon, but if they are like the ones on the Peregrine I can't image they would not be strong enough.

    I'm torn between the Gryphon and Peregrine as my next bike.

  3. #3
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    I've just found this picture of the Gryphon's dropouts:



    In comparation with the Fargo:



    I guess the ones on the Gryphon look stout enough.
    A point for the Fargo, replaceable derrailleur hanger...

  4. #4
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    Looks like the Fargo would have less rack strut interference on the disc side than the Singular too.
    "Ride what you love, love what you ride"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    I've just found this picture of the Gryphon's dropouts:



    ..
    Hehe - that looks familiar....... The photobucket album is public, so here's the link to more pics: Singular Gryphon mr pictures by canyoneagle - Photobucket

    When in commuter mode, I have a Civia rear rack, and have loaded it with up to 60 pounds of groceries - it was rock solid.

    Since I'm running an IGH on my bike, the Gryphon was the clear choice for me because of the EBB.
    The tradeoff? The Gryphon does not have any provisions on the front fork for a lowrider rack or for fenders (I had to use P-clips for fenders).

    I believe the Gryphon can take a slightly larger tire.

    If you're doing loaded touring and running regular drive train, I'd say go with the Fargo.

    In time, I will try my hand at modifying my Gryphon's fork, which will bring it pretty close to the Fargo in terms of functionality.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jddjirikian View Post
    Looks like the Fargo would have less rack strut interference on the disc side than the Singular too.
    This is true. I used a standoff for the rack.
    That said, I felt confident loading the rack up for my daily commute and grocery runs.

    Loaded offroad touring in Patagonia? Yeah, the Fargo has a better setup IMO.

  7. #7
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    The Fargo has really well thought out braze ons for any type of accessory loading: anything cages, front racks, fenders, and the chainstay disc mount makes mounting a normal rear rack no issue.

    If you want to run SS, I'd consider the Gryphon (although I don't mind a tensioner, myself), but otherwise I'd jump on the Fargo.

    My bias: I have a first gen Fargo, and I used to have a Peregrine.
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  8. #8
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    The only thing these two bikes seem to share is a drop bar 29er style other then that I think the fargo would be much better purpose built for touring, bikepacking, and the like. I have seen a few fargos on singletrack also and these people riding them seem to do just fine.

    And with the brake in the chainstay racks will be much easier to deal with. Also there are framebags pre made for the fargo so that would save some time if you wanted that vs racks.
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  9. #9
    Kenatay
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    ZZ - I own both a Fargo and a Gryphon and would be hard pressed if forced to make a choice on which one to sale or part with but I think that would be dictated on whether I had a loaded tour planned. Got the Gryphon for single track, gravel roads, XC trails, non-technical off road stuff, some pavement, etc. I initially had it set up as a SS and it worked great. Currently, have it set up as a 1X6 on SS hub and think I am set with that arrangement as I have another 29er SS and was always looking for another gear on some trails I frequent with the Gryphon - love it for intended use but mine is earlier model and does not have the braze ons for racks and such. Of all the 29ers I have, this one is a bullet on single track but I have learned the hard way not to take it out where going gets rough and a typical mt bike with suspension is called for. Got the Fargo first gen frame on a deal I couldn't pass up on and use it for commuting and planning a loaded tour (Divide Trail) this summer. Set up as a standard 3x9 and as most, never touch the big ring. The Fargo is stiff & has a very, very solid feeling with little flex noted in frame and the longer chainstays are the most notable difference between the two (in my opinion). The Gryphon has a noticebly springier/lively feel to it and more like a road bike feeling - especially with the shorter rear end. You also need to be heads-up with the front end w/ drop bars (use Woodchippers on both) as it is responsive and quick and will dump you in a heartbeat on rough trails. I don't know that I would be too concerned with the Singular braze-on failure issue unless you were looking at loading a crazy amount of cargo on a rack and bouncing it around on some rocks (another reason for the Fargo). Sam and his personal involvement with his customers is indeed unique, incredible and refreshing in the day of typical big buisness, hands-off/turn a buck approach. I sent the owner of a company (Sam) in England an email because I needed a headbadge and he not only immediately responded but had it in my hands at no-cost within ten days.They are both a blast to ride but the Gryphon is clearly the more springy/lively of the two. Tough call to make and at first I was inclined to advise you to go with Fargo but unless you are really looking at an long-extended, self-supported off-road tour loaded with tent, bag, cooking gear, etc. - the Gryphon may be what you're looking for.

  10. #10
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    Sweet bikes no matter which one you choose!

  11. #11
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    As I guessed, this is quite a dificult issue.
    I must say that I have no intentions of HEAVY loads on the bike. And by this I mean full panniers front and rear, with low riders, etc. A rear rack with a simple bag and a framebag are the main requirements. I tend to pack light wherever I go anyway. But obviously, the ability to carry a load is nice.

    One thing that found about the Gryphon: I has braze ons for continuous gear cables. Quite cool

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_Zaskar View Post
    As I guessed, this is quite a dificult issue.
    I must say that I have no intentions of HEAVY loads on the bike. And by this I mean full panniers front and rear, with low riders, etc. A rear rack with a simple bag and a framebag are the main requirements. I tend to pack light wherever I go anyway. But obviously, the ability to carry a load is nice.

    One thing that found about the Gryphon: I has braze ons for continuous gear cables. Quite cool
    Hmmm......
    Gryphon with a Rohloff would be frigging sweet.....

    Ny Nuvinci build is the cheaper version

    Based on your post, it's hard not to recommend the Gryphon, then. I've put 50-60 lbs on my rear rack, and the bike handled it VERY well (on pavement, mind you). This is one of the most stable bikes I've ever ridden with panniers.

    To augment jeff's post - the bike does have a lively feel - very nice. I'm a 195 lb rider and the frame feels fantastic - plenty stiff at the bb when out of the saddle, too - no sense of excessive flex.
    The bike (to me) is actually pretty forgiving on the trail - bear in mind I'm using the Jeff Jones loop bar and an 80 mm stem, so it may be different with the woodchipper.

    I've seen a couple of fargos in my LBS, and those are nice, too. I believe it was the bikeradar article where the reviewer mentioned that the Fargo really comes into its own when FULLY loaded, and that it can be a bit harsh when unladen.
    Last edited by canyoneagle; 04-25-2012 at 12:45 PM.

  13. #13
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    If you're not going to run SS or IGH I would go Fargo as the EBB adds weight and possibly headaches...positioning, squeaks, etc.
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  14. #14
    Kenatay
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    Good points canyoneagle and appleSSeed. With eccentric bottom bracket reputations for failure and creaking, a valid concern, but I have made a number of needed adjustments with mine (changing chainrings, chain lengths, ss to cassette, etc.) and never had an issue - seems like a good solid product and fit w/o slippage or noise. Also, kinda neat to be able to shorten & lower the bottom bracket drop or chainstay length with a simple rotation of the ebb. The geometry of the two bikes is virtually identical so perhaps the tubing diameter accounts for the heavier & stiffer feeling from the Fargo. Maybe it's the rear stays to dropout configuration? It just feels long and sluggish at times compared to the Gryphon.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed View Post
    If you're not going to run SS or IGH I would go Fargo as the EBB adds weight and possibly headaches...positioning, squeaks, etc.
    The EBB weighs almost nothing. Certainly not enough to be an issue.

    So far, mine's been dead silent. Singular licensed the EBB from Phil Wood, which is reputed to be one of the better ones, and my experience is in line with that.

  16. #16
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    The EBB on Singular frames is of very high quality. My Swift with it's Phil Wood EBB is now 4 years old. It has been through mud, salt water, rivers, sand and snow, with a 210lbs rider cranking it. Zero noise, creaking, slipping, nothing. And even on a geared bike an EBB can save your ass sometimes. If the derrailleur fails, cut the chain, put it on a cog of choice and adjust the tension, instant SS. Been there, done that...

    So far, the advantages of each bike
    Fargo:
    + replaceable derrailleur hanger;
    + dropout design;
    + fork able to carry stuff;
    + heavy load performance;
    +(?) shorter toptube and taller front might make it more stable on step, technical descends (but then there are the long chainstays).

    Gryphon:
    + EBB;
    + better on singletrack(?);
    + corrosion protection;
    + more confortable unloaded(?);
    + better looking;
    + continuous cable guides;
    + its a Singular. I trust the brand and like to deal with these guys. Besides, it's a british brand, and I'm in Europe

  17. #17
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    Well - thanks for all the nice comments folks - always a pleasure to hear people enjoying the Gryphon!

    I don't want to repeat things which have already been said to much - but I guess it's fairly clear that if you really want maximum braze ons and load carrying ability then the Fargo is probably the way to go. The new generation Fargos are also front suspension compatible if that's a concern.

    With regard to the Gryphon's rack mounts - I don't think you should be overly concerned with flimsiness. I recommend a maximum load of 20kg - but that's more with a view to maintaining the ride qualities of the bike rather than concern of the ability of the frame to handle such a load.

    Will just add that I have good stock of Gryphons in all sizes ready to ship ;-) If you have any more questions by all means just post here or drop me a mail.

    Sam
    Yes - I do own Singular Cycles

  18. #18
    Kenatay
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    See what I mean about customer service and involvement in the sport. That alone would be the deal clincher for me ZZ. No classless act bad-mouthing the Salsa and no need to - great bikes.This guy is obviously not in it purely to make a sale, turn a profit and disappear. And, I would venture to say that everyone who owns a Singular would speak the same. Owned and run a business myself and this passion and care is the way it should be done.

  19. #19
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    The funny thing is that I was about to say that if Sam came here and talked to us I would put a BIG point to the Gryphon.

    This is one of the things I like about Singular. It's a real old fashion company in many ways. It's honest about it's products. It supports it's costumers, and supports racing, but in a way that you can contact by email any of it's racers. Quite different from many of those bike brands who put pics of hipsters riding their bikes on the website, just to say they are "cool".

    By the way Sam, I was watching today Real Madrid vs Bayern. Has anyone ever told you that you look a lot like Schweinsteiger?

    You mentioned suspension corrected geometry. I have no interest on suspensions, so a non corrected front is actually a plus for me.

    I read somewhere that the Fargo might receive the Alternator dropouts. Is this true?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff smith View Post
    See what I mean about customer service and involvement in the sport. That alone would be the deal clincher for me ZZ. No classless act bad-mouthing the Salsa and no need to - great bikes.This guy is obviously not in it purely to make a sale, turn a profit and disappear. And, I would venture to say that everyone who owns a Singular would speak the same. Owned and run a business myself and this passion and care is the way it should be done.
    Big +1 to that.

  21. #21
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    Another thing, I forgot to say that I can get both the framesets for more or less the same price, 500.

    Also, do you think the Fargo will be more rigid on serious climbs?

  22. #22
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    I can't speak to the Fargo, but the Gryphon climbs great under my 195 lb body. I have mine set up somewhat like the Jeff Jones type setup - setback post, short stem. The bike has fantastic balance on climbs, whether seated (I slide forward on the saddle) or out of the saddle.

  23. #23
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    I've never ridden the Fargo either, but my Gryphon climbs great and is a joy to ride on singletrack. I have mine set up with tubeless tires and a dropper post and find that I can have tons of fun on technical stuff.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff smith View Post
    Good points canyoneagle and appleSSeed. With eccentric bottom bracket reputations for failure and creaking, a valid concern, but I have made a number of needed adjustments with mine (changing chainrings, chain lengths, ss to cassette, etc.) and never had an issue - seems like a good solid product and fit w/o slippage or noise. Also, kinda neat to be able to shorten & lower the bottom bracket drop or chainstay length with a simple rotation of the ebb. The geometry of the two bikes is virtually identical so perhaps the tubing diameter accounts for the heavier & stiffer feeling from the Fargo. Maybe it's the rear stays to dropout configuration? It just feels long and sluggish at times compared to the Gryphon.
    I have to agree with your riding experiences with the Fargo and Gryphon. I owned both of the first gen models. I was not interested in touring or adventure biking, but just looking for a good drop-bar specific mtb frame for single track riding. The Fargo was one of the smoothest riding bikes I have ever ridden, but on the trail it felt low, long and sluggish.Really a comfortable bike, just not my cup of tea.The Gryphon was also really comfortable but for me was a much better single track bike and as mentioned if you run the EBB higher it helps provide better clearance. I was also impressed by the Singulars build quality, and comparing the two I would give the nod to Singular over the Salsa.

    Regarding the EBB I run 1x9 on all my bikes so I really didn't want or need the added weight or maintenance of the EBB, but after setting it up it never made a peep. Other than the added weight the Phil Wood EBB is a high quality set-up that should not be a concern to anyone considering the Gryphon. I am currently building a Drakkar so we will see how it rides in comparison.

  25. #25
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    I just built a drop-bar Surly Ogre. Look at the Ogre Fork for rack compatibility. It's pretty awesome and you can get it in black now. Would be sweet on either one of those I think.

    I almost built a Fargo, but the horizontal dropouts on the Ogre won me over for their versatility.
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