Friday, September 9, 2011

MY FIRST FARGO RIDE!

Well, the first ride on the new Salsa Fargo is in the books and has found its proper place in history. That is probably somewhere between what I ate for lunch yesterday and the current status of my bank account. None of it is earth shaking…

The ride occurred as part of our Thursday night group ride. The group was composed of a wide range of bikes and styles. There were higher end racers, a cruiser or two, a fixie with no brakes other than the guy’s tennis shoe, a Surly Long Haul Trucker, A Surly Pacer, and me on the Fargo.

Until the moment the group gathered for a pre-ride chat, I didn’t realize how big the Fargo was on those 29’ers. I felt like I was towering over folks. There were a couple of moments during the ride when I thought, “Hmm, I could probably climb this guy’s back without much difficulty.” Going from the triple Shimano setup on my Fuji CCR3 to the compact double of the SRAM AVID grouppo has required some adjustment. I noticed the difference while riding the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, SC last Saturday but, the differences really came home to roost while trying to keep up with the road bikes in a group ride. I found myself pedaling much faster than usual and breathing harder.

The Thursday night ride is an easy cruise for all but the newly “getting fit” riders so I’m not used to working up a sweat quite as much as I did last night. I was very aware later in the evening of how tired my legs were even though the Fargo is surprisingly only 7 lbs. heavier than my Fuji carbon fiber bike. That was an eye opener for me!

At the end of the ride, I was very pleased with the quality of the ride even though I did work a little harder than usual. The balloon tires and CroMoly frame really evened out a lot of road bumps and it was a refreshingly smooth ride even though I’m running a little more aggressive tire tread than is necessary on the road. (Not to worry, my LBS has ordered me some Big Apple semi-slicks for a more comfortable road experience.)

The Brooks B-17 saddle was very comfortable even though this was the first ride. I’m looking forward to when it gets broken in properly. I’ve had to order Proofide from Amazon as no local dealers or REI carried it in my area.

I’m still trying to get the bike setup properly for me and that means setting up my VDO-Z1 bike computer to work on both the road bike and the Fargo. I’ve had a very unsatisfactory shopping experience getting the necessary parts for speed sensor, cadence sensor, and mount for the Fargo. My dilemma, after multiple trips to a bike shop in another town, was finally solved by ordering what I needed from Amazon. If a salesperson ever tells you that the speed sensor and mounts are universal, walk away… They are most definitely not universal.

As I was leaving for the group ride, the FedEx dude pulled into my driveway with the final part I needed and I slapped it on the front fork of the Fargo. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to dial it in so my metrics from the ride weren’t available on the VDO. I’ve been using “My Tracks” on my HTC Thunderbolt as a backup and it has worked quite well although I don’t get exactly the same metrics reported as on the VDO-Z1.

The only problem that I’ve experienced with the Fargo is that the front wheel doesn’t turn freely at all. I know that it is an adjustment with the Avid BB7 disc brakes. Having never used disc brakes before, my skill level and understanding of how they work is limited. Bro Dave is graciously sending suggestions from sunny Southern California and I’ve watched several videos on You Tube about BB7 setup. I hope to resolve the issue later today.

The shop where I purchased the Fargo is 1.5 hours away and they are closed today so calling them is not an option. I think this may be a good learning experience for me…

I hope you are able to get out and ride this weekend as fall of 2011 begins to make itself known..

Until later,

- Zeke

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