Monday, January 7, 2013

Special Project: Titanium Fargo

Here at Europa we love special project bikes. We often are putting things together on the side of our own, and often times in the winter we get to do this for customers.

2013 Fargo Titanium Frame
This time we have the privilege to assemble what should be a fantastic bike for one of our customers named Mike. This bicycle will be used in a very unique way, as well, so this gives the project an even higher level of excitement, (if that is even possible when building up a titanium frame!), for us as we put the pieces together.

Mike has been a Salsa Cycles rider for some time now. He already has a few really nice examples of Salsa's rigs, including a steel Fargo, which is being broken down for the parts to put onto this project. This new Fargo will be that "notch higher" kind of ride that the frame material gives the owner.

Subtle graphics, tidy welds, and a 44mm head tube.
In fact, this titanium Fargo is all new for 2013. It features a new frame tubing set, which is butted, and which adds a 44mm type head tube to the party. This is a good thing because it allows the owner of a Titanium Fargo to use a traditional 1 1/8th fork, or a tapered steer tube fork, with only the swapping of the bottom headset cup.

Further refinement comes in the cable routing. The steel Fargo had down tube routed cables for the derailleur. The 2013 Fargo Ti moves those to run underneath the top tube, along with the brake cable to the rear, and all housings are now full length, which combats contamination better.

Tight seat cluster welds. Every frame comes with a seat collar.
The Titanium Fargo features all the great braze on options you've come to expect from Fargos in the past. Two water bottle mounts, one on the seat tube, one on the down tube, and one underneath the down tube to raise the total to three. Add in two more mounts, one on each Fargo fork leg, and you can have up to five water bottles. Or, the fork mounts and upper down tube mount can be used as Anything Cage mounts with the extra third braze on at each location noted.

Not only that, but Salsa has Revelate Design frame bags to festoon on this bike, especially designed to fit a Fargo. Frame bags are a "rackless" option to traditional rack and pannier touring, and has become the smarter way to bag a bike. Especially for off road adventures.

Note the rack mounts and fender mount.
However, Salsa realizes that many folks are already heavily invested into traditional touring gear. Never fear! The Fargo has rack mounts as well. Not only that, but any Fargo can be set up with fenders to keep the rain and mud off of you.

The Fargo that Mike is building has a special purpose, as we mentioned earlier. Mike is building this up to tackle Tour Divide. This is a 2745 mile route that folks tackle which starts in Banf, Canada and ends at the U.S./Mexico border at Antelope Wells, New Mexico. All this is off road on the Great Divide Route.

The Fargo is tailor made for such an adventure, and the titanium version even more so. The great ride of titanium, and its toughness should serve Mike well as he attempts this monster of a ride later this coming summer.

Chain stay mounted disc brake caliper mount.
The Fargo is a mountain bike, and as such, you can mount a suspension fork, or use the included steel Fargo Fork. Tires up to 2.3" should clear these chain stays with plenty of mud clearance. Or, you can easily run tires in the 42-50mm range for paved roads, or for gravel riding. This frame design is intended to be set up with drop bras, but certain flat bar options can work well with a Fargo too. Mike will be fitting his with the Ragley Luxy Bar. Wide, short/shallow drops, and a big swept drop extension for torquing the climbs or for comfortable cruising.

Traditional threaded bottom bracket.
Well, this is an honor and a thrill for us to assemble for Mike, and we'll feel a little bit like part of us is on that Tour Divide attempt. The final build will feature a little "pop" of a certain color, and will have some nice touches. So, stay tuned and we will pop up a picture of the final build when we get there.

In the meantime, you could own one of these fine frame sets yourself, or pick up our 2012 Fargo steel bike for a song. Just pop on in anytime and take a look.

We like talking about how far you can go on a Fargo. And we like coffee. Stop on in for a cup sometime.....

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