Meet Rocinante, My new Salsa Fargo Ti

The Salsa Fargo feels like it was designed for me. I can’t say enough about this bike and what it’s like to ride it. Commuting to work, flying down fire roads and everything in between, there’s nothing that it can’t handle. However, as great as the Salsa Fargo is, the guys at Salsa felt that it could be even better. Who am I to argue with the guys that created such a great bike right?

Once the Tour Divide was on my radar I knew that it was only a matter of time before I would be looking for something lighter. You can imagine that I was really excited to hear that Salsa was going to include the Fargo in their new line of Titanium bikes. As soon as I could, I placed my order. That was back in November or December and I’ve been waiting patiently since then. Until now that is. Meet Rocinante, my Salsa Ti Fargo.

For the most part, I just swapped over the parts from my steel Fargo. I did however build new wheels. I’ve been wanting to go tubeless for a while and this seemed like the perfect time. I used the Stan’s Arch rims and a DT Swiss rear hub. On the front though I built the wheel around a SON 28 Dyno Hub. I’ve got a SON 20delux on my Kogswell and I’ve been spoiled by always having power for your lights. The larger wheel of the Fargo dictated that I had to use the heavier SON 28. For the light I opted for the Supernova E3 Triple. The housing of the light itself is the same as my Supernova E3, however, as you can imagine, puts out the triple the light. The best part is that all the parts are available in black, so I was able to keep the color scheme consistent. We made notes of the new wheel weights compared to the stock wheels that I was rolling. The new rear wheel is 1.5lbs lighter than the stock rear wheel, and the new front only weighs 500 grams heavier than the stock wheel! I was concerned that the weight of the SON 28 would be too much, but I’m still lighter overall with this setup!

I took Rocinante out for the first ride yesterday. I had my normal workout to do, and I wanted to do some recon for a new dirt road in the area. I got a really late start because I had to move the Revelate Designs bags and gear over to the new bike. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get it all my workouts done in the time I had. I packed a lunch and pedaled up to Chantry Flats, where I was able to enjoy the view of a scrubbed clean greater Los Angeles. I could see the ocean, San Pedro and all the way to Orange County. For some reason they had the road closed to cars so that was an added benefit. All the climbing was done without a single car coming up the road. Once I got up to the helipad I heard some air escaping from the front tire. I found the spot and just rolled the tire so that the CaffeLatex could do it’s job and before long it was sealed. Amazing! I’m sold on this tubeless stuff.

I ended up being out for longer than I had planned. I just didn’t want to stop riding for some reason. I did end up finding the road I was looking for, so I’m really excited about that. However, it’s a steep road and getting to the top does not come easy. Here’s a look at my route for the day. I shot more timelapse with the GoProHD camera too. This is the descent from Chantry Flats down to Arcadia.

Overall I’m very happy with the new Fargo. I still need to dial in the fit, but it’s pretty close. The only bummer about the frame is that the frame triangle is smaller than my steel Fargo. My current Revelate Designs frame bag will not fit at all. That frame bag was already small, so I’m going to lose even more space. I’d considered the Medium Fargo, but it was just a little too big, so I opted to stay with a size Small. I’ll just have to plan on carrying a backpack I think. Totally doable. Now it’s time to plan our first overnighter together!

Huge thanks to Chris, Scott and Eric from Topanga Creek Bicycles for putting this all together. Also a huge thanks to Jason and Joe from Salsa for answering my questions about sizing.

  • She’s a looker!

    • Robert Moore

      Great blog. Are you still on the Fargo? I’m a Ti. Fargo with Jones H-bar, Supernova dynamo and Supernova triple light. For the last 2200 miles I’ve used a Ninerbikes carbon fork….no complaints but I always wants to be able to use Anything Cages on my fork-not possible on the Niner and sadly not possible with the new Salsa carbon fork since it is tapered and my ‘old’ Fargo frame takes a straight steered. So I’m on the verge of using my original unused Fargo steel for just so I can Anything it. Thoughts on what I can expect with the change? One positive I can think of is lowering the mount of my front light and an easier fender placement. The only downside I can think of is the weight. Thoughts?

  • Holy cow, what a beautiful bike!

    Love the time lapse, too, where did you have the camera mounted? can you point it up just a little bit?

    • It was mounted on my chest. I had it mounted as far back/pointed high as possible, but you’re right, it’s still too low. I have an idea to adjust it for the next time.

  • When ya coming up for a riding camping trip, homes? 😉

    • Good question. Time is slipping away it seems. I probably won’t be able to head up until April.

  • Great looking bike! Any ride difference with a TI frame versus steel or aluminum? I only ask because I’ve never ridden TI.

  • Sick! Can not wait to one day see it in action with my own eyes.

  • Absolutely gorgeous! Love the E3 light. I’ve been running one all winter on my Fargo Steel and have really enjoyed not having to think about batteries.

  • That is sick.I was thinking of moving up to a med, but now I’m not sure. So yeah, how does the ride compare to your steel Fargo?

    • Um, it’s lighter and feels faster. I don’t know if I notice any other differences. I guess it feels more compliant? Is that the right word. Like it absorbs more. Might just be the long ass seatpost though.

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  • Beautiful bike. I’m looking at picking up a steel 2011 model… but now I’m thinking I ought to sell the go fast road bike for a Ti version.

    I’m having trouble with sizing. I’m test riding a gen1 Fargo in medium and it just feels too big. I’ve pulled in the bars, my reach is still stretched. I’d have to go to a 80mm stem to get a road bike feel.

    I see the gen2 frames have a shorter ETT and chainstay measurement… I’m guessing that is the same for the Ti version.

    What size are you running?

    What differences have you noticed between the 2 models?

    • I’m riding a small Fargo Ti. I can’t ride the medium because of stand over height. I’m 5’6″ and on my current setup I’m running a 80mm stem with the woodchippers.

      As far as the difference between the two it’s tough to say. The Ti version just feels so much faster than the steel one. The wheel build is much lighter which helps considerably. The ride is more comfortable too. I’m able to ride just about the same pace as my brevet bike with the Ti which seems amazing to me considering the tire choice.

  • Thanks for the comment back.
    I’ve been impressed thus far with the Gen1 build I’m borrowing.
    Almost took it out for a 200k this past weekend… but stuck to my Ti rando bike with gen lights and fenders.

    I’d have to part with my custom Indy Fab in order to go Ti for this. Looking at TD for 012 or 013, and will be running a dyno, Supernova, and maybe an eWerk. I’d like to be self contained as much as possible, aside from food / water.

    I’m curious if the ride change is due to the small tweaks in geometry. Not having any of the new models around to compare to or test ride is a bit frustrating…

    Anyway, great blog. Glad I found it!

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  • Benmarchman

    Awesome yea I Love my Ti…..random question though. In those pictures what kind of bike computer is that? Also what light are you using above your fork? Just was curious. Thanks!

  • iamxande

    I just got a 2016 Salsa Fargo and setup tubeless. What’s your experience? I’ve always wanted to go tubeless and was sketched out about it, mainly for touring… now I have it

    • Area45

      Wow, this is a blast from the past! I don’t even have this frame anymore.

      Tubeless is great, if you ride a lot. I don’t ride that much these days so the sealant dries up. I’ve been using tubes lately for that reason. If I were to do a trip thought I’d probably reinstall it. It works great when you need it.

      Thanks for looking.