Author Topic: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!  (Read 68657 times)

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Offline Fun

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #45 on: June 04, 2010, 07:26:52 pm »
It's still riding Perfect 100 lbs plus my frame and it's still totally fine.
And in my exp., Salsa has always been a great company to deal with. Fantastic folks down there who actually get dirty.
Larry

Offline duh

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #46 on: June 04, 2010, 11:24:22 pm »
Salsa and Surly are the same company: QBP.  They're out of Minnisota and your LHT was made at the same factory in Taiwan as your Fargo.  And to top it off they're the largest bicycle accessory/component wholesaler in the USA, so you can bet that everything else you bought from that LBS came from them too.  
« Last Edit: June 20, 2010, 11:46:21 am by jsieber »

Offline whittierider

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #47 on: June 04, 2010, 11:49:45 pm »

Quote
Salsa and Surly are [owned by] the same company: QBP.

true

Quote
They're out of Minnisota and your LHT was made at the same factory in Taiwan as your Fargo.

That's irrelevant to the quality though.  The same factories in Taiwan make outstanding frames on one line and total junk on another line right next to it, under the same roof, because they make them to the spec.s and cost constraints of the companies that buy the frames.

Offline duh

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2010, 10:00:25 am »
Salsa and Surly are not separate companies "owned" by QBP, they are QBP brands.  Like Doritos and Lays are brands of Frito Lay.  And given that the Fargo and LHT are almost the exact same price, I'm betting there isn't any different "cost constraint" put on by QBP to the manufacturer.  Chances are he just got a rare bad frame, or there was nothing wrong with it and he's just an idiot.  Either way the irony is in his "Salsa sucks and the company sucks and my Surly is just great". 

Offline Galloper

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2010, 09:00:49 am »
As a Brit I have to admit I wasn't aware of the fact that Surly and Salsa are owned by the same company.   I am simply comparing the two different bikes.

I think it's rather sad that Duh has thought it necessary to drop to personal abuse by insinuating I'm an idiot.   I'm actually someone with over 20 years of manufacturing and engineering experience.

It is likely I got a bad frame, these things do happen but I found it rather worrying that Tim from Salsa made the comment that there have been reports of shimmying.   This seems to indicate a design fault which I suspect was exacerbated in the case of my particular bike.

There is a fair difference in price between the Fargo and LHT, $1500 compared to $1100.   Both bikes, istr, run XT and, in general are well equipped, the difference being in the more heavy duty aspect of the Fargo, an altogether beefier machine.

What can I say, I made my comments based on personal experience and stand by them.   I have, over the years ridden a fair few bikes and have never encountered a similar problem.   The Salsa was, without doubt the worst bike I ever rode.   In comparison the Surly was and is a delight to ride.

Offline ericb

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2010, 12:57:25 am »
Worst bike for you. You keep saying "oh maybe it was defective" while calling it a lemon and the "worst bike"  you've ever ridden. These two things don't reconcile. I mean, ok, we get it... you had a bad experience with the bike. But you are seriously the only person I've ever heard of to say these things, while most other owners rave about it. Also doesn't reconcile. 


Incidentally, I now have a Surly Nice Rack on the front of my Fargo and the thing is even more stable with a load up front. About to head off for a 2 month tour.

Offline Galloper

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2010, 05:59:10 am »
Fair enough Ericb, let me be more precise.  The bike was defective.   It was the only bike I have ridden in 50 years of cycling that was too dangerous to ride.   Tim at Salsa has acknowledged that there are reports of these bikes shimmying.

Anyway, I'm happy that you are pleased with your bike, have a great tour.

May the sun be always on your face and the wind at your back :)

Offline whoopwhoop

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #52 on: June 27, 2010, 09:35:09 am »
I recently bought a Fargo and a defective fork , the brake mounts were off so the brake bolts would hit the disc on the rim. What a pain . I called salsa and they told me to put in a vice and bend it out, that's what they would do if I sent it back to them. So that's what the LBS did. It bent real easy. Factory issues occure in the massed produced world. I'm off to test it before the GDMBT. thanks for the info all..

Offline mrpincher

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2010, 07:35:18 am »
There can be more than one right answer in any situation.

I own both the the SalsaFargo and the LHT. I use them both for loaded - fully loaded touring. Respectfully, I don't buy the idea that only custom built touring bikes are sturdy enough for touring.  The net is full of accounts of men that have went on long distance tours on super cheapo $400.00 bikes....and had fun! 

I'm up front and 100% honest  - I've not ever had the Fargo shimmy or wobble on me. I have had the LHT shimmy, I also have a Fuji that will shimmy as well. It's not fun.  The half dozen times the LHT has shimmied it was becuase I loaded the bike incorrectly.
My last tour on the Fargo was Vancouver BC to Alberta.  Fully loaded, the Fargo is the most comfortable touring bike of the four I now own. If we were neighbors I'd let you ride mine - so you could see that Your answer does not fit every equation.


Offline paddleboy17

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2010, 10:11:26 am »
I used to tour on a Bianchi Volpe.  When I first got it, the bike was fine for touring.  Later after I put on 30 lbs, the bike began to shimmy.  Nothing I did, and I tried lots of things, fixed the shimmy.  For me, shimmy meant that the bike flexed left to right and front to back as I rode it.  Yes, you could ride it that way.  Yes, I found it disturbing to ride.  A 30 lb weight gain should not have made that kind of difference in the ride quality.

The Volpe frame was made from Reynolds 520 alloy, which if memory served me right, is designed for light applications.  So I am left to believe that touring bikes should never be made out of 520/525 alloy.  520's and LHT's are made from generic chromoly tubing, so cannot comment on the properties of their tube sets.  That is why whenever the question comes up about what kind of bike should be purchased, I steer them to a Jamis Aurora Elite with its stiffer Reynolds 631 frame. The Elite looks good on paper, but I don't know anyone that has actually ridden one.

I think the real question becomes why can some people tour with a $1000 bicycle just fine, and why do these same bicycles shimmy for other riders.

My belief is that things are just more complicated.  If you are 5'-3" and weight 135 lbs you can ride anything.  Once you get bigger, or heavier, or have other issues like a noisy upper body, it just gets more difficult to have a shimmy free ride.  The bike components and wheels of a $1000 bike are certainly up to the task--I don't know why frames are the problem.  The same components and wheels might fail on an epic around the world trip, but they will get you coast to coast in the US of A.

Could it be that the introduction of aluminum frames caused the design of steel frames to be perverted in an effort to take weight out?  Could it be that it is just too expensive to make steel stiff enough for a touring bike?  Do you need to add super exotic stuff?  Why can you just make the tubing diameter bigger?  Your more of a materials scientist that I will ever be, whitierrider, what is your take?

All I know is that you hear a lot about cheaper bikes shimmying.  I know a 520 owner, and his bike shimmys.  I have read about LHT that shimmy.  I have even heard about Bruce Gordon's shimmying, and that is not a cheap bike.

I know that I overreacted to my Volpe's shimmy by buying one of those really expensive custom bikes that mrpincher was poo-pooing.  My $5000 Waterford is stiff.  I have also deliberately flexed it, and she quickly dampens the flex.  I don't know what Waterford did to my frame that cannot be done for little or no added expense to a pedestrian steel frame. Now for $5000 I got to do some other really cool stuff like non-dished tandem wheels and a drag brake, but I only really needed a better frame.

If my Volpe's frame had been stiffer, I would have kept riding it.  The fit was good, the components were good enough, and the bike was great to ride unloaded.
Danno

Offline whittierider

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2010, 04:37:29 pm »

Quote
I don't know why frames are the problem. [...] You're more of a materials scientist that I will ever be, whitierrider, what is your take?

Actually I'm an electronics engineer, a circuit designer, and I can tell you that oscillations in circuits, and probably mechanical things too, can sometimes be very difficult to track down.  The unwanted signal is everywhere, making it hard to see what initiates it.  You could have a good, solid design, and yet a hidden manufacturing defect means there's an unknown deviation from the design-- so you can't really even model it mathematically to figure it out.

Although frame stiffness (or lack of it) will affect the wobble (or shimmy) behavior (for example by changing the rate of the shimmy or the road speed at which it starts), I doubt that great frame stiffness is necessary for preventing it.  When I worked in a bike shop in the 70's and test rode most bikes I fixed, I rode some awfully mushy bikes that didn't wobble.  Granted, I probably didn't get them over 20mph, or put racks on them and load them up either; but more recently I and one of our sons have ridden some pretty mushy rear wheels too, with no shimmy at any speed.  I have only a vague understanding of why certain loading on my own bikes has tended to produce minor shimmies, even at low climbing speeds.  The best explanation I know of online is Calfee's writeup on fork asymmetry here.  Fork asymmetry is not the only possible cause, but it could be that just replacing the fork on that Salsa would have eliminated the problem.

Offline TwoWheeledExplorer

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Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2010, 10:49:14 pm »
I am 6 ft. 3 in. and 260 lbs. (Down from 275 and workin' on it.) I ride a Bianchi Volpe and a Novara Safari, fully loaded, and sometimes with a BoB trailer. I can honestly say the only time either of them has every shimmied. it was my fault. I stopped, repacked/balanced the load, and the problem was resolved. I have a friend who works down at QBP/Surly/Salsa who thinks I would really love the Fargo. I met a couple touring last week, and she couldn't say enough good things about her LHT. They are both excellent bikes, but until I have a reason to replace one or the other of my touring rides, I'll keep riding what I've got.



What can I say? I like them both!

Ride safe,
Hans
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 11:19:36 pm by Trailpatrol »
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Offline johnnyo

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #57 on: June 30, 2010, 12:08:40 am »
Greetings All:

I've just purchased a Salsa Fargo specifically for a loaded tour down the Alaska Hwy from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to my home in Vancouver, BC.  I did read this series of reports, and thought that it was a bit overstated, and that Galloper was overestimating the shimmy.  I did a test ride of the bike before purchase with no load, and it was stellar.  I even used it around my home with a partial load, and although there was some shimmy, I thought it not excessive and a result of poor packing on my part.  Now, sadly, I have to admit that 500 km into this tour, I'm ready to try just about anything to get rid of the brutal wobble and shimmy that this bike is generating when fully loaded.  I have the XXL frame (I'm 6'5" and weigh 220 lbs), and have it loaded with about 75 lbs of gear (front and rear panniers, handlebar bag, and a tent on the rear rack - Surly "Nice" racks BTW) and like Galloper, have nothing but problems with shimmy - at all speeds that I've been bold enough to try.  And yes, I admit my error in not fully testing the bike before undertaking this tour. 

I've tried changing the front to rear loading ratio, moved the panniers closer to the BB (as close as the racks and my heels will allow) and have all of the heavy items in the very bottom of the panniers.  I've also tried putting the heavy items closest to the frame.  I've even used bungee cords to try and pull the panniers closer to the centre line of the frame, thinking that it is the mounting mechanism of the pannier that might be contributing to this.  Nothing seems to work.  Pushing hard on the handlebar while peddling in a bit of a staccato fashion seems to break the rhythm of the shimmy, but is slowly grinding me down... 

I'm no stranger to loaded touring, and the load that I described is what I normally do tours with.  To date, I have never experienced this sort of problem with the bikes I use - either touring specific bikes (an old 80's era Miyata and a similar vintage Nishiki) or the old non-suspension Trek 820 mountain bike that I was going to use.  I'm just getting set to send a similar message to Salsa now, and will keep you posted on how that turns out.

Right now, I would suggest that if you are thinking about buying this bike for a loaded tour, check it out thoroughly.  Load it up if you can.  I know that that sounds a bit over the top, as I suspect that there are very few if any bike shops that will accommodate that request, but if you can, do it.  It will save you the headache that I am now living with.

Good luck if you purchase the Fargo.

johnnyo


Offline Galloper

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #58 on: June 30, 2010, 06:09:13 am »
Johnyo, your report was deja vu!   I had exactly the same symptoms and tried pretty much all your attempted remedies.   In the same circumstances, I wound up hiring a van and driving the Salsa back to the dealer.   Can I suggest you contact Tim at Salsa and see if there's some on the road solution they can offer.

Tim, from Salsa, if you're still monitoring this thread, I'd suggest you have a serious and developing problem!

Thank you Whittierider and paddleboy17 for some fascinating comments.   The subject of shimmying is one that I think, will be ongoing.   In fairness to the manufacturers, and as you've commented, these sorts of problems can be very difficult to track down.

I'm put in mind of the same sort of thing which happened with motorcycles.   Frame development has pretty much been the answer and I think your comments on frame material are key!   Interestingly, the motorcycle industry found that they had gone too far on stiffness and are now building in some flex!


Offline Tim @ Salsa Cycles

Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2010, 01:03:06 pm »
Greetings All:

I've just purchased a Salsa Fargo specifically for a loaded tour down the Alaska Hwy from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to my home in Vancouver, BC.  I did read this series of reports, and thought that it was a bit overstated, and that Galloper was overestimating the shimmy.  I did a test ride of the bike before purchase with no load, and it was stellar.  I even used it around my home with a partial load, and although there was some shimmy, I thought it not excessive and a result of poor packing on my part.  Now, sadly, I have to admit that 500 km into this tour, I'm ready to try just about anything to get rid of the brutal wobble and shimmy that this bike is generating when fully loaded.  I have the XXL frame (I'm 6'5" and weigh 220 lbs), and have it loaded with about 75 lbs of gear (front and rear panniers, handlebar bag, and a tent on the rear rack - Surly "Nice" racks BTW) and like Galloper, have nothing but problems with shimmy - at all speeds that I've been bold enough to try.  And yes, I admit my error in not fully testing the bike before undertaking this tour. 

I've tried changing the front to rear loading ratio, moved the panniers closer to the BB (as close as the racks and my heels will allow) and have all of the heavy items in the very bottom of the panniers.  I've also tried putting the heavy items closest to the frame.  I've even used bungee cords to try and pull the panniers closer to the centre line of the frame, thinking that it is the mounting mechanism of the pannier that might be contributing to this.  Nothing seems to work.  Pushing hard on the handlebar while peddling in a bit of a staccato fashion seems to break the rhythm of the shimmy, but is slowly grinding me down... 

I'm no stranger to loaded touring, and the load that I described is what I normally do tours with.  To date, I have never experienced this sort of problem with the bikes I use - either touring specific bikes (an old 80's era Miyata and a similar vintage Nishiki) or the old non-suspension Trek 820 mountain bike that I was going to use.  I'm just getting set to send a similar message to Salsa now, and will keep you posted on how that turns out.

Right now, I would suggest that if you are thinking about buying this bike for a loaded tour, check it out thoroughly.  Load it up if you can.  I know that that sounds a bit over the top, as I suspect that there are very few if any bike shops that will accommodate that request, but if you can, do it.  It will save you the headache that I am now living with.

Good luck if you purchase the Fargo.

johnnyo



John, Thanks for writing in.  I received your email today, and I replied with my personal cell phone.  We will do whatever we can to help you out, so give me a ring and lets figure it out.

Tim, Salsa Cycles