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  1. #1
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    Idea! Help a newb buy not 1, but TWO Bikes! Goals listed inside

    Background:

    Hello, first post here. I am 30 years old, 6'0, 170 lbs in great shape, and am an avid hiker and backpack 3 day trips every few months. I used to bike daily as a kid throughout teenager years on mixed terrain, but have not owned a bike since.

    I have been performing vigorous research for the past month and already have wasted some money on a bike purchase that I cannot return. I bought a $400 Diamondback Trace Sport hardtail and quickly realized that it is not comfortable enough for enjoyment.

    I then bought a REI ADV 3.1 touring bike on sale, but am going to return it. I learned that I don't like bar end shifters, limitations of tire width, and that a 3 chainring setup isn't ideal for today's standards.

    Goals:

    - I have no budget limitations, which actually complicates things.
    - Try to limit my total amount of bikes to 2 (aside from the Diamondback listed above).
    - Bike that can excel at 50 mile paved / gravel road touring with less serious biker friends.
    - Bike that can move at a fast speed for moving distances quickly, with minimum effort.
    - Bike that can excel at rocky, rough terrain including technical sections and downhills.
    - Bike that I can take bikepacking (3-7 day trips, no hotels), on mixed terrains in PA.
    - No pannier racks, in favor of bikepacking bags.


    Research:

    The best two bike setup might be 1 rigid no suspension bike, and 1 full suspension bike. I am open to the ideas of plus sized bikes and fat bikes, if they make sense.

    I'm willing to have a different wheel set for a 29er, to put thinner tires on for paved roads and trails.

    With that being said, I am leaning toward the Salsa Fargo so far as a "jack of all trades" bike to have. But I'm confused on what situations I would choose its 2.4" tires over a full suspension bike that I'd have in my arsenal?

    Anyhow, thanks for your time and I greatly look forward to all feedback / suggestions as I am ready to buy!
    -Mike

  2. #2
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    Help a newb buy not 1, but TWO Bikes! Goals listed inside

    I'd almost just go for a Gravel bike and an agressive AM hardtail for that combination. You would be sacrificing some DH but thats about it.

    The other way may be a full rigid 27.5 plus bike that can also take 29. Use the 29 for road/gravel with a fast rolling XC tire, and some plus tires for more aggressive terrain and bike packing. Combine that with a 140-160mm FS bike with a more enduro tire setup?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bronxbomber252 View Post
    I'd almost just go for a Gravel bike and an agressive AM hardtail for that combination. You would be sacrificing some DH but thats about it.

    The other way may be a full rigid 27.5 plus bike that can also take 29. Use the 29 for road/gravel with a fast rolling XC tire, and some plus tires for more aggressive terrain and bike packing. Combine that with a 140-160mm FS bike with a more enduro tire setup?
    Interesting. Do you think that the Salsa Fargo is a good candidate to fill that road / gravel 29er role? I assume a 29er instead of a 27.5 because I'm tall, and want the ease of rolling once I get up to speed.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    U sayin' Bolt ?
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    You will definitely want multiple wheelsets to cover that on 2 bikes. For the paved spectrum, I have been very happy with Hope twoFive wheels and 28c continental 4000sII tires for country road chip seal riding. I can ride 20 minute gravel sections on them as I am comfortable standing for long periods, but a full day of gravel would be tough going. I can't offer a specific gravel set, but you certainly want something more than what would get you over paved distance fast.

    As far as dirt specific, it really gets into which tires fit your terrain and the season best. If you do need another additional wheelset, like I mentioned Hope wheelsets, available from MerlinCycles, are second to none IMO.

    Personally I would save money buying a used steel or ti frame for the rigid. No one can tell you what geo you will prefer, and likely what you like as a nooblet will not be what you want 1, 2 or 5 years down the road. So don't stress it, find a deal that will narrowly clear gravel tires ( if you decide you need them ), ride it, tweak the cockpit around with stems bars etc, find what works for you and go from there. Since you bought used, swapping frames is no big deal financially.

    With the money you saved, demo and try as many full suspensions as you can, then break the bank on whichever squish strikes your fancy. There is way more to be gained by spending on suspension rather than on a rigid.

  5. #5
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    I'd probably go for something like a Niner RLT9 Steel for a paved/gravel bike and maybe a Salsa Woodsmoke for an offroad/bikepacking bike.

    Might try to find less pricey bikes that fill those niches, but those are the types of bikes I'd be looking for.

  6. #6
    One ring to mash them all
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
    Interesting. Do you think that the Salsa Fargo is a good candidate to fill that road / gravel 29er role? I assume a 29er instead of a 27.5 because I'm tall, and want the ease of rolling once I get up to speed.
    If I was going with drop bars for bikepacking I'd take the Fargo. You can go with 27.5+, 29 or 29+. It would also make a great gravel grinder and a serviceable road bike (with appropriate tire choices as noted above).

    My personal preference would be a Kona Unit (with gears) for bikepacking and general MTB.
    ¯\(°_o)/¯

  7. #7
    Loves moped riders
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmike6453 View Post
    I learned ... that a 3 chainring setup isn't ideal for today's standards.
    I'd stay away from the gearing fashion police when considering bikes, especially for any sort of touring/bikepacking.

  8. #8
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    Well guys I took the plunge and ordered a 2018 Salsa Fargo in Cream White for $360 off of the MSRP of $1800. The deal was good, so going to try it out. Also having the LBS upgrade the brake cables for $80 per their recommendation of being worth it.

    Hopefully this is the one that I will be happy with. It should be ready on 9/28 and will post back after some usage.

    Now it comes down to what should my spare wheel sets be for it, since I can go as big as a PLUS 3" tire, or skinny as a roadie tire for communiting.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    For the full suspension mtb, I think I have decided to get one with a 1x12 drivetrain and now am trying to decide between 27.5 and 29.

    For type, it's going to be a trail bike.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    I am learning more about 1x12 drivetrain in the past week and just had a thought. Would a 1x12 full suspension mountain bike serve just as well as a commuter vs a 2x10 rigid steel frame, considering that they are the same weight and same tires?

    Reason I ask, is because I plan to buy a full suspension mountain bike and saw that the Salsa Deadwood (1x12) is about the same weight as a Salsa Fargo. I'm not sure if I'd get the Deadwood yet, but just something that I have noticed as I'm in the market for a full sus mtb:

    DEADWOOD 29+ XO1 EAGLE | Salsa Cycles

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