Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Fargo Facts

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    94

    Fargo Facts

    I'm looking into the Fargo as a new bike for my wife. I understand the importance of good bike fit and a professional fitting, but I thought I'd bounce this off some of you experienced riders.

    My concern is she's only 5'2" tall, with a standover of 29 - 3/4". She's a little person weighing in at 100 lbs. I'm confident we can tweak the stem for reach, but I'd like to ask for some of your experienced opinions to see if this bike is a possibility for her (without the pitch of a salesman). We'll be bikepacking forest roads, gravel, but definitely no techno single track.

    Any advice you folks can give will be appreciated.

    CC

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    10
    I think the seat tube height on the small is 16" and the stand over is about 28.5".

    My wife is about 5' tall and normally rides a 15 or 16" frame. She tried the small fargo and had no issues with it.

    The only way to tell is to get her out on a test ride.

    My limited experience with the fargo is that top tube is relatively compact. I have a medium fargo because it fits me from a stand over aspect, but I'm juuuuust bordering on being cramped with the top tube dimension - even with the seat back. It fits, but just barely.

    I test rode the ogre and the top tube length was more than an inch longer on the medium and the reach a little roomier - with the same effective seat tube height.

    In other words, the Fargo is a little more compact up top.

  3. #3
    Birthday Collector
    Reputation: ATBScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,549
    Stand-over on a Fargo 2 (middle of the Top Tube) is just a hair over 29" with the 2.2 Race Kings on it.
    R.I.P. Corky 10/97-4/09
    Disclaimer: I sell and repair bikes for a living
    http://www.endlesscyclesonline.com

  4. #4
    never summer
    Reputation: singlefin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    240
    One of my wife's friends is 5'4" and she was riding small Fargo 3 without issue on the stock build. She finally ended up going with a Vaya.

    If your wife doesn't find the small Fargo comfortable she should check out the Surly Troll. It comes in 14 and 16 inch.
    Fargo Ti + Moonlander + Necro Pug + Nature Boy

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by skiploder View Post
    I test rode the ogre and the top tube length was more than an inch longer on the medium and the reach a little roomier - with the same effective seat tube height.
    The Fargo is designed for drop bars, which have more reach than a flat bar - hence the shorter effective top tube length per size.

    OP:
    If she want's drop bars, I would recommend looking at the 50/52 Vaya, which use 26" wheels and can fit 2" mountain tires. It will handle what you are looking to ride with it just fine.

    If she wants flat bars or you were planning to build the Fargo with flatbars - I would recommend looing at the XS (14") El Mariahci instead, paired with a Fargo fork.

    -PK@Salsa

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    94
    Thanks, guys. I have a 58 cm Vaya and love it. I'm thinking she will better suited for what we're doing with the mountain drive train. I'll be on my X-Cal for the dirt. I'm still considering the Vaya for her. This is a tough decision for sure.

    I mentioned no techno single track, but I'd like to keep our options open for the dirt.

    CC
    Last edited by Crudcake; 01-12-2013 at 07:41 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Positively negative
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    858
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarf View Post
    The Fargo is designed for drop bars, which have more reach than a flat bar - hence the shorter effective top tube length per size.

    OP:
    If she want's drop bars, I would recommend looking at the 50/52 Vaya, which use 26" wheels and can fit 2" mountain tires. It will handle what you are looking to ride with it just fine.

    If she wants flat bars or you were planning to build the Fargo with flatbars - I would recommend looing at the XS (14") El Mariahci instead, paired with a Fargo fork.

    -PK@Salsa
    I have never understood the fit of the Fargo, maybe you can clear it up for me. Isn't the Fargo designed around the Woodchippers, which were designed to be ridden in the drops primarily, and when ridden in the drops don't the Woddchippers fit like any "alt" MTB bars with a lot of sweep?

    Basically what I'm gettin' at here is that it seems to me that the TT of the Fargo should be basically the same as other MTBs, maybe even a little longer, but it should have provisions for the bars to be much higher.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the Fargo, I just wish I understood it.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    59
    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I have never understood the fit of the Fargo, maybe you can clear it up for me. Isn't the Fargo designed around the Woodchippers, which were designed to be ridden in the drops primarily, and when ridden in the drops don't the Woddchippers fit like any "alt" MTB bars with a lot of sweep?

    Basically what I'm gettin' at here is that it seems to me that the TT of the Fargo should be basically the same as other MTBs, maybe even a little longer, but it should have provisions for the bars to be much higher.

    Don't get me wrong, I like the Fargo, I just wish I understood it.
    The Fargo was designed to yield an average hand position "roughly" the same as an El Mariachi of the same size - but using drop bars. The top of the hoods position being just above the flatbar Mariachi postion and the drops position being just below. If superimposed over each other the Mariachi bar would run approximately through the band clamps of the road levers on the Fargo.

    Taking into account the forward reach of drop bars plus the reach of the road lever hoods (or the diagonal distance out and down to the drop position if you dislike the hoods) - the top tube lengths were shortened accordingly to keep the total reach the same. In other words:

    Mariachi(Eff TT + Stem - Bar Sweep) = Fargo(Eff TT + Stem + Bar Reach + Lever Reach)
    [it's actually not exactly equal on the millimeter - but generally, that's the idea and the ball park]

    The Woodchippers were designed after the fact - FOR the Fargo. The old Bell Lap bar was actually the design bar for the first Fargo frames. We found that the difference between the hoods and drops of typical drop bars like the Bell Laps was just to drastic, and we were setting up our Fargos biased to either one of the postions, sacrificing the usefulness of the other.

    Enter the Woodchippers - designed to be a less drastic difference from the hoods to the drops - so that BOTH positions could be more effective in off-road situations - more so that a traditional drop bar which was originally intended to get aero in a sprint on a paved road. The flare is ergonomic, but also adds significant width to the hand position. Wider is more stable when negotiating rough off-road terrain. This is why many who own and use their Fargo as a "dirt drop MTB" choose to set up their Fargos dedicated to the drop position. However, those owning and using Fargos for mixed riding, touring, and gravel often choose to setup the bars inbetween to use both the hoods and the drops equally. For some the 'chipper just doesn't work, and the Cow Bell bar (the evolution of the Bell Lap) with only 12degrees of flare is also a great bar for this type of Fargo use. The Cow Bell is actually my personal favorite dropbar and what I use on my gravel and road bikes.

    The big thing to remember is the Fargo TT lengths factor in the added reach of dropbars and road hoods - that's why they are shorter per size. Woodchippers have forward reach even with all the flare and sweep. Alt bars are usually 'zero' or negative reach - which requires longer stems or TT's to keep the hands in the same postions relative to the saddle.

    -PK@Salsa
    Last edited by Zarf; 01-13-2013 at 07:53 PM.

  9. #9
    Positively negative
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    858
    Quote Originally Posted by Zarf View Post
    The Fargo was designed to yield an average hand position "roughly" the same as an El Mariachi of the same size - but using drop bars. The top of the hoods position being just above the flatbar Mariachi postion and the drops position being just below. If superimposed over each other the Mariachi bar would run approximately through the band clamps of the road levers on the Fargo.

    Taking into account the forward reach of drop bars plus the reach of the road lever hoods (or the diagonal distance out and down to the drop position if you dislike the hoods) - the top tube lengths were shortened accordingly to keep the total reach the same. In other words:

    Mariachi(Eff TT + Stem - Bar Sweep) = Fargo(Eff TT + Stem + Bar Reach + Lever Reach)
    [it's actually not exactly equal on the millimeter - but generally, that's the idea and the ball park]

    The Woodchippers were designed after the fact - FOR the Fargo. The old Bell Lap bar was actually the design bar for the first Fargo frames. We found that the difference between the hoods and drops of typical drop bars like the Bell Laps was just to drastic, and we were setting up our Fargos biased to either one of the postions, sacrificing the usefulness of the other.

    Enter the Woodchippers - designed to be a less drastic difference from the hoods to the drops - so that BOTH positions could be more effective in off-road situations - more so that a traditional drop bar which was originally intended to get aero in a sprint on a paved road. The flare is ergonomic, but also adds significant width to the hand position. Wider is more stable when negotiating rough off-road terrain. This is why many who own and use their Fargo as a "dirt drop MTB" choose to set up their Fargos dedicated to the drop position. However, those owning and using Fargos for mixed riding, touring, and gravel often choose to setup the bars inbetween to use both the hoods and the drops equally. For some the 'chipper just doesn't work, and the Cow Bell bar (the evolution of the Bell Lap) with only 12degrees of flare is also a great bar for this type of Fargo use. The Cow Bell is actually my personal favorite dropbar and what I use on my gravel and road bikes.

    The big thing to remember is the Fargo TT lengths factor in the added reach of dropbars and road hoods - that's why they are shorter per size. Woodchippers have forward reach even with all the flare and sweep. Alt bars are usually 'zero' or negative reach - which requires longer stems or TT's to keep the hands in the same postions relative to the saddle.

    -PK@Salsa
    THANK YOU! But I still think the stock Fargos come with the bars to low .

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    154
    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    THANK YOU! But I still think the stock Fargos come with the bars to low .
    A lot of owners run their Fargo with limited spacers and a low rise stem, even then the current headtube length can leave the bars higher than is wanted. Not all folks want a chopper with bars higher than saddle
    I own a Surly, a Surly, a Surly and a Salsa. Probably some others in there too at the bottom of the pile.

  11. #11
    Positively negative
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    858
    Quote Originally Posted by dickyelsdon View Post
    A lot of owners run their Fargo with limited spacers and a low rise stem, even then the current headtube length can leave the bars higher than is wanted. Not all folks want a chopper with bars higher than saddle
    But it'd be nice for the rest of us to not have to factor the cost of a new fork into a bike purchase. You can always cut the fork shorter, can't cut it longer.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    But it'd be nice for the rest of us to not have to factor the cost of a new fork into a bike purchase. You can always cut the fork shorter, can't cut it longer.

    Maybe you need to be looking at a larger size frame. That would get you the higher bars and longer top tube that you're looking for.

  13. #13
    2OFME
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    128
    I'm 5'4", saddle height is 68.5cm, inseam is roughly 30". I have a Gen1 Fargo in size small. I run a 70mm stem with cowbell bars and bar end shifters. You can see pics of it at ON & OFF RHODES search for Fargo.
    I'd say the newer model should fit your wife, but you may also want to look at the 50cm Vaya too.

  14. #14
    Harrumph
    Reputation: G-reg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,575
    Think about looking around for a V1 for smaller riders. The fork is shorter as it's not suspension corrected for a 29er fork.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    94
    Thanks for all the info.

    CC

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •