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Messages - Galloper

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Are you planning to buy your bikes on arrival or bring bikes with you.   If you're going to bring bikes with you, I recommend a trip to your nearest Edinburgh Cycle Co-Op store, they have several throughout Scotland.

Their own brand bikes are pretty good, the Revolution Traveler is worth a look.   In any case they will be able to advise you and they always have a good range of bikes in stock.   They also do a one day bike maintenance course which, for £40 is well worth while.

If buying in the USA, as always a lot depends on your budget.   About $1100 will buy a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is an excellent machine.   If cash is short, have a look at a hybrid and think about the possibility of using a trailer rather than racks and panniers.

One thing to be aware of is that the shoulder of the highway tends to accumulate lots of rubbish so it's worthwhile to have puncture resistant tyres.

General Discussion / Re: Surly LHT or Cannondale Touring 2
« on: April 26, 2010, 05:58:28 am »
I recently became the very pleased owner of an LHT.   It handles extremely well both loaded and unloaded.   I've had speeds of over 40mph with a full load - panniers front and rear, bag on the rear carrier and a bar bag.   No problems.

I have to admit I don't like bar end shifters and like Tanslacks, have the bruises to show for it.   I'm also not a great fan of drop bars.   So I binned the bars, bar end shifters and cantilever brakes replacing them with trekking bars, Deore trigger shifters and V brakes.   That transformed an already delightful bike into an absolute joy.   

I might also add that it handles rough tracks and poor roads extremely well and seems to soak up far more road buzz than you might expect.   At one point I actually wondered if it had some form of suspension seat post, it was so good.   It hasn't  :)   

General Discussion / Re: traveling with a bicycle
« on: April 23, 2010, 06:47:12 am »
Avoid US Airlines, they charge an arm and a leg  :(   British Airways charge about $50 if booked in advance.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 22, 2010, 12:43:00 pm »
I agree, but flying in from the UK and on a 90 day tourist visa, I didn't really have an option.   I did consider bringing a bike from the UK but decided to treat myself to a bike which, by all accounts and from the tests I'd read, should have been perfect for the job.

Ah well, gelernt ist gelernt, as the Germans say.   At least now I know to stay well away from Salsa.   The Surly was a pleasure to ride from the outset.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 20, 2010, 06:13:11 pm »
Wayne, I totally agree with you about quality control, I've spent many years telling people that all quality control does is pick up a problem after it's happened.   I don't know whether a frame or jig check would have picked up the problem as the bike rode fine until fully laden.

As to vitriolic, my dear chap, I'm only mildly grumpy.   If I was vitriolic, as an ex Sergeant Major in an Armoured Regiment, when I get vitriolic you will most assureadly know  :)

As to Salsa going the extra mile, from my perspective they've written a few emails and posted a few messages.   Not much mileage there, I'm afraid.

Anyway, I've made my point of view known and have brought the problem out into the open.   Hopefully Salsa and their customers will all benefit from this.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 20, 2010, 12:50:11 pm »
Following much emailing between Tim from Salsa and myself, I thought an update in order.   As we know from one of Tim’s earlier postings, there is a shimmy problem with some Fargos.   Tim now thinks mine was defective and says that if I had still owned the bike, Salsa would have replaced it.

Which rather reminds me of the story told by a friend of mine who works for a large agricultural supplier.   A farmer contacted him asking for a price for a certain type of fertilizer, my friend told him it was £35 a tonne.   The farmer said “Ah, but James’ price is £28 a tonne.   My friend told him that he couldn’t match that price and that he’d have to recommend that he went to James.   At which point the farmer, somewhat red faced, admitted that James didn’t actually have any.   As my friend said later, “It’s easy to be cheap when you’ve nowt to sell!”

For the benefit of those who think I’m just whinging, buying a defective Salsa has left me out of pocket by over $800, made up of the difference in price between the two bikes and the cost of hiring a van return the wobbly Fargo, not to mention the two days spent enjoying the freeways of Socal J

If nothing else, I now know how all those Toyota owners feel!

What goes around comes around.

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 19, 2010, 01:57:26 pm »
Well, so far, all Salsa has done is market a bike as a go anywhere tourer which can't safely carry a set of panniers on the front, which Tim has as good as admitted.   Had I known that at the outset, I would have looked elsewhere

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 19, 2010, 05:31:02 am »
I'm happy for you Moondoggy, all I can say is that when the Fargo was unladen, it was a very nice bike, loaded up it was an evil handling monstrosity.

I'm planning some more lightly loaded tours which will have a mixture of off road for later in the year and for that, it might well have worked well, as it is my elderly Claud Butler will be roving the byways of France with me.  :)

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 17, 2010, 01:44:48 pm »
Or just buy a Surly and eliminate the risk of another dodgy Salsa!

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 17, 2010, 07:00:01 am »
Tim, I sent an email to your company via your own web site.

As to the inconvenience, this involved hiring a U Haul truck in Alpine and driving 160 miles or whatever, each way to Topanga, then exchanging a $1500 dollar bike for an $1100 bike.   Oh! and two days out of my holiday driving to and fro.

I was interested to see in your email that I am not alone in suffering this shimmy.   The load at the front wasn't at what I would consider an excessive height.     In fact, I used the same racks from the Salsa on the Surly without problems but I take your point about the slacker geometry.   

The tops of the panniers were below the wheel rim, the rack was a low rider with a single support brace over the wheel.   It's difficult to be precise but I would estimate the weight of each pannier as no more than about 8 or 9 lbs.   (I've just weighed one with it's normal load and it was 6 lbs.   I've added a bit to allow for the food I would be carrying.

I wanted to post a picture but the file size is too big.   If you give me your email address I'll send one to you.

Now you see how much information you would have got if someone had responded to me!

General Discussion / Re: bike security while sleeping
« on: April 15, 2010, 06:49:31 am »
I saw a rape alarm a while ago which had a pull cord.   If you secure that to the frame and attach the cord to a loop around a tree or bush, anyone moving it is going to set it off.   It was quite small but very loud.   Not sure where you'd get one but would at least warn you.

General Discussion / Re: LA cycle it or take a lft past it?
« on: April 13, 2010, 07:22:58 am »
Hi Tony, I've just (about 3 weeks ago) ridden from Malibu to San Diego and enjoyed it, lots of nice paths and only a few busy bits.   Took me three days of fairly easy riding.   Motels are quite pricey and there aren't too may camp sites.   In fact, one camp site in Mission Bay wanted $44 for a small tent.   San Clemente has one relatively cheap motel but for everywhere else, expect >$60

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 13, 2010, 07:07:27 am »
I bought the bike from Topanga Creek Bicycles and they were extremely helpful, I lost something on the deal but was able to get up and running on a Surly LHT the same day which is pretty good service by any standard.

As regards to the fault, yes, I agree, there was certainly a fault but whether it was a bent frame or forks I couldn't say.   As to whether that is not uncommon, in my personal experience over far too many bikes  :) I have never experienced a similar failing.   As a keen motorcyclist I know it happens with motorbikes too and it's generally a design fault rather than a manufacturing problem and usually sorted with a steering damper.

One of my main concerns is that I've had no response  from Salsa which is always a bad sign, either of disinterest or of something more deep rooted.

Gear Talk / Re: Bicycles for off-road riding
« on: April 11, 2010, 02:36:55 pm »
Don't buy a Salsa Fargo...   I recently bought one and when loaded up for touring it proved dangerously unsafe.   I informed Salsa of this but they have chosen not to reply from which you may draw your own conclusions!

You don't mention a budget but a Koga Miyata World Traveler will take you anywhere you want to go.   If you can get hold of one in the USA a Dawes Karakum might be just about perfect for your needs.   It comes with 700 X 38 wheels/tyres, Deore kit, comfy trekking bars and full racks and fenders.   I've used mine on plenty of tracks and trails and it copes extremely well.   Check out, I think they will ship worldwide

Gear Talk / Re: Salsa Fargo - Lemon of the year!
« on: April 11, 2010, 02:25:33 pm »
I had a set of Altura Orkney 34 L panniers on the front and a set of 56's on the back with an Ortlieb bar bag and an Ortlieb tube on the rear carrier.   As mentioned, this is my standard long tour set up which I've used on various other bikes without problems.

I was in the unfortunate situation of having flown in from the UK with a long tour in front of me so didn't really have the time to start exploring engineering solutions so it was very much a case of throwing it back at the supplier and swapping to a bike that worked.   In any case it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure the frame is to specification and all surfaces correctly faced and prepared before shipping.

At one point, at about 10 mph, the damn thing nearly spat me off which was when I decided I had to change it for a bike that was safe and fit for purpose.

Needless to say I won't ever be buying another Salsa.

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