the bikes

One thing I’ve learned from bikepacking is the importance of simplicity and functionality.  When you look at gear it has to work, be easy to use, and multi-purpose when possible.  I’ve naturally gravitated to a simpler setup in my garage as well.  Instead of a XC race bike, a road bike, a touring bike, a long travel full-sus bike, a gravel grinder, a bikepacking rig, and on and on…..I get it and I’m not knocking it.  I challenged myself to see if I could get by with two bikes and that is where I am currently.

2012 Salsa Fargo “Feleena”

Feleena loaded up

I love this bike. PERIOD.  It is the most versatile and therefore fun and adventurous bike I’ve ever owned.  Before buying mine I scoured over internet articles and reviews.  Everyone seams to rave about this bike.  Still, I was skeptical and cautiously optimistic at the same time.  It didn’t take me long to realize that the Salsa Fargo lives up to the hype.  There is something very empowering about getting on a bike and knowing you can go pretty much anywhere and have a good time.  This bike is equally happy on pavement, gravel, or singletrack, and it loves to be loaded up for long trips.

I purchased this bike used last year and since then I have replaced everything but the crank.  I built it up for bikepacking, but specifically for the GranGravel 500 that I participated in earlier this year.  I will do an in-depth review of the bike and my setup and gear in the near future.  For now, here is a breakdown of the build.

2012 Salsa Fargo
Frame – Large, steel
Fork – Exotics Carbon, diy water bottle mounts
Front Hub – SON28 Dynamo
Dynamo Lite – Klite
Rear Hub – Hope 240
Rims – Blunt SS
Tires – Maxxis Icon 2.35’s
Saddle – WTB Pure V
Frame Bag – Oveja Negra 1/2 Frame pack
Saddle Bag – Oveja Negra Gear Jammer
Top Tube Bags – Oveja Negra Snack Pack’s
Feed Bag – Revalate Designs
Handlebar Bag – Salsa Anything Cradle with Dry Bag
Aerobars – Profile Design T1+ Alum
5 bottle cages

2018 Salsa Pony Rustler


Before this bike I had a 2017 Trek Top Fuel – Project One.  I like to call it the Ferrari of mountain bikes.  Light, fast, rigid…..and not that comfy.  It is great at XC racing without much diversity.  Pictured below, just for fun.  Both pictures (above and below) were taken at Palo Duro Canyon, TX.  One of my favorite trails in TX.  Look it up if you’re in the area!


Damn, that is one sexy bike.  But I had to find it a new home to make room for the Pony Rustler…

This bike bike is almost completely stock.  I changed the grips to ESI Extra Chunky and the seat to WTB Pure V.  The biggest upgrade for this bike came when I purchased a second set of wheels so I would have a 27.5+ option and 29er’ option depending on terrain.

Between the Fargo and a full sus bike with two wheel options I feel like I can tackle just about any bike adventure.

Wife’s bikes

2013 Salsa Fargo


Second to my Fargo, my wife’s 2013 is my favorite bike in our garage.  I purchased this for her as a surprise.  It came as a SS 29’er, but I quickly started the process of building the perfect adventure bike for her needs.  She rides an XS frame which comes with it’s own set of challenges.  I am going to be doing a full write up on her bike to help any other short statured bikepackers.

2013 Salsa Fargo
Frame – XS, steel
Fork – Stock Salsa
Wheels – Unknown:) When I was playing with the idea of 27.5 for this bike I went to my LBS and bought a cheap used set they had in stock, just to test the concept.
Tires – Vittoria Mezcal 2.6″
Saddle – WTB Deva
Frame Bag – Rockgeist custom bag
Saddle Bag – Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion Mini
Top Tube Bags – Revalate Designs
Feed Bag – Revalate Designs
Handlebar Bag – None, she just has me carry all the extra weight

2016 Giant Lust 2

From our first bikepacking trip