After describing the my Fargo setup in great details, here's a few words about the ride. The first thing I noticed about the bike is that it's really smooth. The steel frame is excellent in the way a good steel frame should be. It's not too stiff but it is very stable. It rolls with the trail and it eats what is dished out. What really surprised me about this bike is that it pedals and climbs really well for how heavy it is. As you can see I made no effort to make the bike super light. But the bike still feels fast. Like any 29er, the key is to keep the wheels' rolling momentum going so they can keep rolling over stuff. And the Fargo is a 29er mountain bike at heart.
My frame is the size XXL. It's probably not the tightest handling bike ever made, but I have no complaints. It turns well in tight spots and feels smaller than it is. I think the change from drop bars to something more mountain-like allows for better trail handling.
One of my favorite rides at the moment is a lap around the Boulder Reservoir. It's mostly fast hardpack covered with a bit of gravel. There's a short section of descent that steep enough so you can't really slam on the brakes and come to a stop, but the Fargo feels really stable and comfortable. The head angle is slack compare to some other 29er hardtails, at 71 degrees. I think this is to provide stability for full loaded touring. But it also makes for a nice ride on a variety of terrain, including beachfront property and rocky steeps.
Here's one for the brochure. This is just above one of the trailheads at Marshall Mesa. There's miles of singletrack and gravel roads there and The Fargo is right at home. The trip around Marshall from Boulder is a really nice long ride. One of these days I'll get some trail photos to go with the landscape photography. The Fargo actually rolls over rocks, I promise.