Personal setups » alirawk’s fargo setup


Fargo Set-Up

  • Salsa Generation 2 Fargo
  • Full Porcelain Rocket kit (handle bar bag, handle bar bag pouch, custom frame bag, seat pack customized to fit Cane Creek Thudbuster, top tube pouch)
  • Salsa Anything Cages
  • Couple of 5” diameter/8″ tall plastic canisters from the dollar store 

On Me
Lip Balm

Top Tube:
Credit cards

Cat eye

Handle Bar Bag
Big Agnes Seedhouse 1 Tent
Tent poles
Sleeping pad

Front Fork Canisters
Emergency blanket
Waterproof matches
Steripen or Katadyn water filter
Extra socks
Extra shirt
Leg warmers
Arm warmers

Snowpeak stove
Titanium cup
Lite My Fire Spork
Gigapower (1 of the small ones easily lasts me several days)

Wet wipes
Small bottle of Bronners Soap
Small toothpaste
Butt Butter
Small 1st aid kit
Bug Repellent

Seat bag
Marmot Helium 15 sleeping bag
Down sweater
Long sleeve layer
Marmot Precip

Bungeed to bottom of seat bag
Camp shoes

Frame bag
Top section:
4l MSR Dromedary with hydration kit hose that extends out from a dedicated port in the top of the frame bag

Bottom Section:
2-4 CO2 charges
CO2 adapter
Patch kit w/glue
Presta nozzle adapter
Spare tube
Alien II
Chain lube
Tire levers
Lots of zip ties
Small trowel w/duct tape wrapped on handle
Chain cleaner
Spare derailleur hanger
Spare derailleur cable
About 30’ of 5mm accessory cord to rig up various things, e.g. hanging up one of the plastic canisters over a branch with food in bear country.
Various spare nuts and bolts

I’m pretty new to this, but come from a lot of years of rock climbing. A good deal of this gear I had already from back country climbing adventures. My goal was to keep everything on the bike and nothing on my bike. I seem to have achieved this goal. The Porcelain Rocket bags are awesome. Absolutely top-notch quality, design, and production by an awesome guy, Scott, who is eager to communicate with you to insure you receive exactly the best product to fit your needs. The canisters on the front fork happened by accident as I first tried using dry bags, but they seems to sometime snag on the spokes sometimes when the straps loosened in rough terrain. This way I can cinch the straps way down, the canisters are relatively water-resistant, super light, and work as excellent containers for food that needs to be hung up. I’ve tried throwing food in dry bags, but the Sierra Nevadas are full of some persistent critters that will find and chew threw almost anything to get to an almond inside. These canisters seem to prevent that.

The pics attached actually show the bike with all of the above gear loaded. I’ve had no issues with steep hike-a-bike sections or with tossing the bike over fences. As far as stability, the Porcelain Rocket kit so perfectly hugs the frame and handlebars that the bike rides perfectly smoothly. I often will ride hands free for long stretches over gravel and rocky dirt roads to stretch my bike and have not experienced any sort of shimmy or wobble. The heavy stuff is largely in the middle of the frame with a few small, heavier bits in the canisters.

I know it might seem like a bit of overkill, and I would love some suggestions. Coming from a climbing background, I suppose I’m used to carrying a lot of heavy gear and perhaps need to adopt more of an ultralight ethos with bikepacking. Thus far I have had no problems in the rides I’ve done experimenting with my set-up. Nevertheless, suggestions and comments would be eagerly welcomed. My aim is to be ready for the AZT or CRT this coming year and the Great Divide Tour for 2013.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?


Comments (13)

Joe DirtNovember 9th, 2011 at 10:33 am

Awesome! I have the older gen Fargo and have been wondering what kind of container I could use in the Anything cage (even though they are not officially compatible with the older forks). Nice that you don’t have to wear a pack at all with this setup. Speaking from personal experience on the AZT I wouldn’t reach for my Fargo as first choice for certain sections, but maybe that’s because I am not used to a rigid front end on the trail.

tonymasonNovember 9th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Great set-up especially getting all your gear on your bike and off your back. I think this is ideal for a race like the GDR. Have you ridden much technical single track with this set up? Both the CTR and AZT have plenty which might be tough with a rigid fork, dropped bar and lots of weight up front. It would be easy to lighten your load for racing (lighter sleeping bag, bivy or tarp instead of tent) but with your current set up you can tackle just about anything.

BartNovember 11th, 2011 at 11:21 am

Looks like you have the start to a great GDT setup! I came from a clmibing/mountaineering background too, and my first efforts were heavy in comparison to what I have now. I think for climbing/mountaineering the “worst case” tends to be much worse then I’ve experienced on the CTR. With time I’ve learned that I don’t need nearly as much as I thought and what I bring seems to get reduced with each trip. I say ride what you’ve got until you don’t like something. Then change it. It’s all personal preference when you’ve spent as much energy as you have. I think tonymason hit the major questions for the AZT and CTR, there’s a lot of tough single track out there and while I personally can’t imagine doing it with drop bars and rigid fork, it might be the perfect set up for you! I know the CTR has been done on fully rigid bikes before, so there’s no question about whether or not it can be done. But those guys are also running the LIGHTEST setups. There’s quite a bit of HAB, and I always want a lighter setup! Tents are comfy, but not needed. The fork canisters are awesome and I would consider them for the CDT, but probably leave them at home for the CTR if you can figure out how to pack enough food for the Mt. Princeton Springs to Silverton section. Probably don’t need the camp shoes either. I’ve got the giga for winter races, but use esbit and a gram cracker for summer races. Saves weight and space. I’m considering no cook options for the AZT this year. You might also consider some spare batteries, spare chain links, a couple extra spokes, and a tire boot for the repair kit. I’m learning the AZT has some special requirements for a tire strategy and am learning a lot about tire repair on the trail. Do you actually use the soap? I used to bring it, but I’m leaving it at home now because I never use it. Just rinsing off in the stream seems to be good enough for me. The extra socks and shirt is also a comfy item, not needed. You’ll be dirty and stinky at the finish regardless and the only way you’ll get a kiss from the wife/girlfriend is if they don’t catch your stench as you roll up to them 🙂

Lee McMillanNovember 12th, 2011 at 8:32 am

Love the setup! Im currently in the process of building up a new “Adventure Touring” bike myself and Id like to steal your fork canister idea. I wish you the best of luck on the Divide!

sslosNovember 25th, 2011 at 8:44 am

Remember that the Gen. 2 Fargos are suspension corrected, so alirawk could put a suspension fork on for specific events, if the need arises.
Also, I’ve noticed that a lot of folks go through great pains to shave weight, but are packing 29″ tubes. 26″ tubes are all I use; you just have to pump them up a bit before installing them to stretch the diameter. Lighter, and easier to find in small towns!


alirawkerDecember 8th, 2011 at 11:25 am

Thanks so much for the excellent comments. I apologize for not writing sooner.

@tonymason – honestly I’m not sure if I’ve ridden any technical single track. I’m actually pretty new to this, so I don’t really know what “technical” really means. I’ve ridden a lot around the southern california mountains, and some of it has been right at my limit of skill and comfort, but I don’t think the things that have forced me to HAB or carry it down really steep rock drops would be handled any differently on a suspension bike. I always ride the bike fully loaded with all of the bags and commensurate weight if not the actual packing gear in the bags — I feel like it’s good practice. The bike is still surprisingly light, despite all of the stuff. Frankly coming from a climbing back ground anything is lighter for me than a haul bag full of cams, nuts, and ropes. I have most of the weight in the framebag, i.e. water, tools, etc. Up front I’ve kept it pretty light, just my tent, which is incredibly light at just over 2lbs and about 10ozs more than a tarp tent. In the canisters I keep dried food and homemade jerky, both canisters together come out to less than a couple pounds as well. So That’s really just about 6-8pounds up front (including the bags). I honestly don’t know if that’s too much weight?

@bart – also great suggestions. Thanks so much. You make good points about what I can leave at home. And when I start racing I’m sure I will ditch the luxuries like camp shoes, socks, shorts, etc. I have lots of experience dirtbagging. As far as the drop bars are concerned, this is a curious point that I don’t fully understand — I come from more of a roadbiking background and so have mostly ridden bikes with drops, however when I was riding them on the road, I never went down to the drops, almost entirely preferring to be on the hoods. However with this bike, and especially when the riding gets hairy, especially steep ascents and technical descents, I am most comfortable down low on the drops, given the set-up it’s obviously easier to shift and brake with the sram apex.

The thing I really like about the canisters is that the jut out really only a bit further out than my feet on the pedals, so a couple of times I’ve been able to gauge and adjust a narrow passage based on how my front end fairs through the gap. The best thing about them was that they were a dollar each and fit the cages perfectly.

I guess I need to find some real bona fide technical single track to see how I handle the bike. Maybe I already have, given than most of the rides I do, the only other people I see on the same trails have fully suspended mtn bikes and they are almost all wearing shin protectors and other bits of armor.

I think if anything, I’m likely to see how far I can push my limits on this bike and then pick up a suspension mtn bike for the really aggressive down hill bombing expeditions.

Thanks again for all of your suggestions. This bike was almost entirely a product of the information I gathered while perusing this site. What an awesome community. Thank you all.

MedicineManDecember 13th, 2011 at 2:39 am

I’ve done close to 700 miles in a setup almost exactly like yours. The difference is that my frame bags were from Relevate Gear (formerly Epic Frame Bags) and my Fargo weighs right on 22 pounds before any kit or bags are attached (could be lighter if I’d give up the Brooks saddle.
Suggestions-keep riding! By the pics I see you ride in the west. If you were in the east I’d suggest hammocking. I’ve been hammockin on the AT for almost 10 years (and even hammocked at 1.6F on a 3 foot snow pack), alas trees are required and seems you have maybe too few?
I do treat my bikecamping kit just like my backpack-where even milligrams count. For a typical 4 day event on the Appalachian Trail (and good to 32F) my kit (including 4 days of food and 1 quart of water) is 22.5 pounds….I do translate this to my Fargo and suffer basically the added weight of tools,patches,and an extra tube (gone tubeless lately).
Here is one example. I used to carry a SnowPeak Ti Gigapower stove. Now I carry an alcohol stove at 1.5 ounces.
Another. A SteriPEN Journey weighs 4.5 ounces-a micro bottle of Chlorox can weigh 1/2 ounce.
One more-the Marmot Pre-cip…seen a thousand of those on various hiking trails. Excellent jacket but for me, well I’m too old to tote it. I went cuben-poncho and chaps, actually I’m using a cuben Packa while backpacking and it works on the bike too-does’t flop around like a poncho/has sleeves and is loooong in the back and weighs 6 ounces.
I’ll quite after this one-the Seedhouse 1 SL Tent is listed at 1.3kg…thats 2.86 pounds. Back in the day when I slept on the ground (even in the wet wet east) I used a torso sized pad on a body length piece of tyvek. Over me was a sil-nyl tarp and on top of me a Nunatak Gear Arc quilt (which Arc depended on what I thouht temps would be)…less than 3 pounds for everything.
Well you get the point. I’m obsessed with weight –with my age/knees I have to be.
Now the weight of the bike is all about money,but you know that already 🙂
Having preached about some places to save weight just remember some of the ‘classic’ tourers you see with panniers front and back and a bag on the bars…some I’ve seen have 100 pounds of kit! Compared to them you are 21st century! I’ve had some ask what I’m carrying in my frame bags that allows me to be out for 4 days without resupply…….

Taylor WebbFebruary 27th, 2012 at 1:20 pm

How does the handlebar bag work with the drop bars? Would it fit a standard drop bar or just the woodchiper because of the flair?

mikeFebruary 27th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

taylor – you can get the harness to work with road drops. mine is setup for nitto noodles or woodchippers, both in 46cm wide. anything narrower and it becomes too tight. and you have to size your bag appropriately.

Josh G, Portland OROctober 22nd, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Do you remember where exactly you got the cannisters? I’ve been searching for something plastic and just the right size . I think maybe baby wipes come in about that size, but wouldn’t have a waterproof lid.
I recently got my medium Gen 1 Fargo rolling and I’d love to take on the Great Divide next summer… work might get in the way.
Sounds like you fit a lot in your framebag.. What size frame do you have?
I have 42cm Woodchipper bars w/ shifters on Kelly Take Offs, which seems like it would limit my bar packing, though I’d love to figure out a way to do it.
Thanks for your post!

alirawkOctober 24th, 2012 at 10:05 am

Josh – I actually got these canisters at the “Dollar Tree” in Los Angeles area. They fit perfectly. I went through pretty much every cylindrical thing I could find in my house to get the perfect size and just stumbled upon these by accident. They are the maximum height and diameter for the “anything cages.” If you can’t find them in your area, perhaps we could work out a way for me to get you a few and mail them.

I love my bags. Scott Felter is awesome and his Porcelain Rocket gear is impeccable, not to mention he is an absolutely amazing guy to work with. He really aimed to meet my exact needs and he’d only gotten better at it over the last year. Honestly, since last year, I almost never use my anything cages. Rather I’ve downsized my gear and pretty much get everything into the bags. Still, I pretty much never ride with a backpack.

PM me if you want to get into the details.


Josh G, Portland OROctober 24th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Thanks I found this and will check it out in person, but am worried that it won’t clear front tire (Big Apple 2.35) and fender.. and maybe chainring… yes I want to try out my only Anything cage on the downtube to carry stove/ fuel somewhere nice and low.
I got a Revelate frame bag made custom for my Gen 1 med. Fargo just a while before QBP/ Salsa started their productions runs.. so I paid a good bit more and it doesn’t hold that much! Saving up for a Twinkie bag.. will def. consider Porcelain.

JimFebruary 10th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

The cannisters sound like those you get from cheap ‘roll yer own’ tobacco containers. If you have a friend who still smokes, those might even be free.

Add your review / comments

Your comment is powered by WordPress | Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS)|