Is Salsa Fargo Apex 1 Worth Buying? [Salsa Fargo Apex 1 Review]

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Salsa Fargo Apex 1

  • Price: $2649
  • Category: Gravel Bicycle
  • Tire: 29×2.2″
  • Brake: Mechanical Disc
  • Gear: 1×11

What we like about it: The gravel road bike that brings you the perfect experience. And the Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel body is equipped with Teravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2″ durable vacuum tires to keep you safe during your ride. It is your most reliable guardian on the road!

What we don’t like about it: Not enough paint color options.

Rating: (4.7/5)


Salsa Fargo Apex 1

The Salsa Fargo is built from rugged Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel, and its most notable feature is its durability. The Salsa Fargo is reliable, whether it’s in the harsh, dusty environment or on the clean, tidy city trails. The easy-to-use 1×11-Speed drivetrain makes it simple to operate and easy for novices to master.

If you look outside, you’ll find that this is where Salsa Fargo can shine. “Push the limits, push the boundaries” is the core of Salsa’s spirit. Take Salsa Fargo anywhere you want to go, where you can achieve challenges you’ve never dared to think of before, and Salsa Fargo will exceed your expectations and bring you more surprises than you ever thought possible!

Here we elaborate on the performance of the Salsa Fargo Apex 1 while riding, key features, components, and specifications. As well as other versions of the series. If you want to know more please refer to our review.

Learn More: Salsa Cutthroat Apex 1 Review-Gravel Bike Looks Cool, Wouldn’t It?

Gravel Road Riding

Salsa Fargo Apex 1

Since gravel road riding has been a big hit in recent years, I took the Salsa Fargo Apex 1 to a rural gravel road away from the city. There are countless rocks and loose sandy soil, as well as winding and varied stretches of hills. But I wouldn’t worry about it for a second, and you’ll see what I mean if you take a first look at its massive wheelset.

As I rode the Salsa Fargo over the harsh gravel road, I felt the crushing sensation of the Teravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2″ tires in contact with the ground. The rough, raised tread pattern on the tires made it obvious that the traction from the Salsa Fargo Apex 1 was strong enough for me to completely ignore the small obstacles on the road.

This gave me an excellent experience on the ride. Combined with its wide and sturdy Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel frame, combined with the Firestarter Carbon 110 fork, I even found it a pleasure to be on this near 4h ride.


I also noticed that the WTB Volt Steel SL saddle, which is soft and firm, is even more ergonomic than the mountains I’ve been riding for years. Combined with the 73.0° seat tube angle, I didn’t feel much fatigue even when I was doing a little hilly climbing.

And of course let’s not overlook the great role played by the SRAM 1×11 drivetrain, which saved me a lot of unnecessary sweat. If you need more adventure, you can upgrade the drivetrain. salsa Fargo Apex supports Alternator dropouts technology, which will save you a lot of trouble.

Of course, the ride wasn’t all smooth sailing. As I rode through a near 300° corner, my ride didn’t slow down due to a handling error on my part. But the near-perfect 69° head tube angle worked as it should here.

When my stamina was nearing a threshold, the two full-size water bottles on the free body gave me timely hydration, which made for a perfect end to the gravel trip.

City Road Riding

In my previous gravel review, I had already gotten a feel for how well the Salsa Fargo Apex performs. With 29 x 2.2″ tires I wanted to see how it would handle city riding better. Most people think that city riding is too big for the Salsa Fargo Apex, but I don’t. The combination of terrain makes it a great ride.

When I went over a section of brick pavement in the city, the bumps were frequent but not violently jittery, making me appreciate the vibration-absorbing ability of the Teravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2″ tires and the all-carbon Firestarter Carbon 110 fork. Of course, to compensate for the strong grip of the 2.2″ tires, I upgraded the drivetrain to support Alternator dropouts, so I could still get around the sidewalk quickly.


The Salsa Fargo Apex 1’s mechanical disc brakes came into play just in time when I had to brake my spinning tires at the end of the road.

I was surprised at how quickly the Salsa Fargo Apex reacted, and I also felt the tremendous grip of the raised lines on the tire tread rubbing against the ground at the moment of braking.

The mechanical disc braking made me change my mind about this more classic braking method. Not only that, but the mechanical disc braking method also plays a vital role in reducing weight, which helps with body flexibility.

In addition, the assembled cargo carrier can also give some commuters more cargo reserves while also more convenient for long trips. A large enough capacity bracket can take three or four days of necessities.

Main Features


Salsa Fargo Apex 1

In my previous review, I already gave a lot of credit to the Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel body frame of the Salsa Fargo Apex 1. The Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel is strong and tough, and the Fargo Apex 1 was born for the outdoor adventure battlefield.

The dark green paint gives the Fargo Apex 1 a quiet and calm storytelling look. The glossy design gives Fargo Apex 1 a silent, yet glowing look that is both beautiful and functional. Even mud spills are easy to clean with a single wipe.

The 29 x 2.4″ standard size vehicle comes with fenders. If you choose another size, you can also choose whether or not to install the mudguard according to your preference.

In addition, the Salsa Fargo Apex 1 allows for the optional installation of a cargo carrier. With the cargo carrier and water bottle cage installed, the Fargo Apex 1 has enough capacity for riders to carry essential supplies for several days, making it easy to get around.


Whether it’s a road bike or a fat tire bike, comfortable geometry will make your ride twice as good.

There is nothing more important to a bike than good geometry. So right from the start of my ride, I felt the benefits of the steep 73° seat tube angle. Compared to some aggressive mountain bikes, this angle makes pedaling easier and allows me to improve my ground stance height.

In addition, thanks to the strong traction from the 2.2″ tires, I was reassured when I saw the moderate 85mm Trail and the steeper 69° head tube angle. It gives me more responsive steering.

In the course of my ride, facing more variable terrain, the adjustable rear lower fork length (445-462mm) also contributed greatly to the flexibility of the ride.

Components and Specifications

SRAM PG-1130, 11-Speed Drivetrain

Salsa Fargo Apex 1

The SRAM PG-1130’s drivetrain features a durable JET Black finish, which allows it to exhibit a higher level of corrosion resistance in daily use.

The 1×11-Speed gearing also makes the Salsa Fargo Apex 1 easier and more convenient to use, but the 11-speed gear range is more than adequate for shifting in the face of complex terrain. In addition, if you notice that the Salsa Fargo Apex supports Alternator dropouts technology, you’ll understand that it allows for the ultimate drivetrain versatility for some riders who want to take on more difficult challenges.

TRP Spyre-C mechanical Disc Brake

Compared with the hydraulic disk is not easy to maintain and has a sense of weight, I prefer the light and easy-to-operate mechanical disk. After all, in everyday use, there is no big difference in the performance of the two, while the price is a big difference.

The TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes are simple to operate, just press the controller and the Salsa Fargo will precisely feel your intention to brake and bring sensitive braking. The 2.2″ tread is wide enough to provide a strong grip even on slippery roads, resulting in superior braking power.

The relatively price-friendly mechanical discs offer high enough performance on a simple basis. Such high-cost performance is also the reason why I am so fond of mechanical discs.

Teravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2″ Vacuum Tire

Salsa Fargo Apex 1

The 29 x 2.2″ tires are fat tires with wide enough tread, and I was convinced by the strong grip they produced no matter how bad the road conditions were.

Teravail Sparwood, vacuum tires are known for their remarkable durability. “Tougher and more durable” is what Salsa has always demanded from its products. Tough enough to run over gravel without the risk of puncturing the tire. In addition, the tremendous convex pattern on the surface of the tire can ensure a strong braking force and grip when necessary, fully guaranteeing the absolute stability of the rider in the process of riding.

Salsa Fargo Apex Version 1 Iteration

In the previous article, we have thoroughly and reliably reviewed the performance of the various components of the Salsa Fargo Apex 1. But to make your choice even easier, we’ve done a fair and unbiased review of the other versions of the Salsa Fargo Apex 1 and compared them to the Salsa Fargo accordingly.

Salsa Fargo Apex 1

Compared to the Salsa Fargo, the Salsa Fargo has a price advantage. Although the Salsa Fargo uses many components that carry over from the Salsa Fargo: the same size brand of Teravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2″, durable vacuum tires, and TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes.

However, the Salsa Fargo does make considerable upgrades from the Salsa Fargo, specifically by changing the Salsa Fargo’s body frame from Fargo Triple Butted CroMoly to the more corrosion-resistant and stronger Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel and upgrading the shock fork from Firestarter 110 to Firestarter Carbon 110, etc.

The upgrade of the fork also reduces the weight of the body while providing better shock absorption. The Salsa Fargo also upgraded the cranks of the Stylo 6K Eagle DUB to Truvativ Stylo 6K DUB, a change that greatly improves riding comfort.

Overall, the Salsa Fargo has enough changes and upgrades to match its price. If you have a bigger budget, then the Salsa Fargo is a better choice for you.

2019 Salsa Fargo Apex 1

There is not much difference in price between 2019 Salsa Fargo and Salsa Fargo, both continue Salsa’s fine craftsmanship as usual. Apart from having the same 1×11-Speed conventional system and almost identical geometry data and other constructions, there are still many differences between 2019 Salsa Fargo and Salsa Fargo on some important components.

First off, the 2019 Salsa Fargo’s body frame and damping forks are carbon, while the Salsa Fargo uses Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly steel hydraulic disc brake, while the Salsa Fargo has the easier-to-maintain TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brake. In addition, the 2019 Salsa Fargo has Maxxis Ikon 2.6″, 60 TPI/EXO/TR puncture-resistant durable tires, while the Salsa Fargo has lighter Teravail Sparwood durable vacuum tires.

The 2019 Salsa Fargo’s configuration makes it difficult to avoid the heavier weight, while the Salsa Fargo performs better in this regard. If you are not so concerned about the impact of weight, then the 2019 Salsa Fargo will also be a good choice for you.

What we like about it

  • Rugged, corrosion-resistant Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel frame for longer life
  • Simple and easy to operate 1×11 variable speed system, more friendly to novices.
  • Simple to maintain mechanical disc brake.
  • More in line with the geometry of the human body structure, to bring you a more comfortable riding experience.
  • A large-capacity cargo holder can be installed for outdoor travel.

What don’t we like about it

  • There may be some consumers who feel that the mechanical disc braking method is not enough with a sense of technology.
  • Not enough paint color options.


What is the tire size of the Salsa Fargo Apex 1?

The tire size for the Salsa Fargo Apex 1 is 29 x 2.2″.

What is the drivetrain of the Salsa Fargo Apex 1?

The Salsa Fargo Apex 1 has a 1×11 drivetrain.

What are the brakes on the Salsa Fargo Apex 1?

The Salsa Fargo Apex 1 has TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes for the tire size.

How do I choose the size of the Salsa Fargo Apex 1?

SizeRider height
XS150- 161cm
SM159 – 175cm
M/D173 – 183cm
LG180 – 191cm

Salsa Fargo Apex 1 Specs

 Salsa Fargo Apex 1 Salsa Fargo Apex 1 Salsa Fargo Apex 1 
BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded
Color: Olive
Fargo Triple Butted CroMoly
BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded
Color: Red
Fargo Triple-butted CroMoly Steel
BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded
Color: Green
ForkFirestarter 110 DeluxeFirestarter 110Firestarter Carbon 110
Rear ShockN/AN/AN/A
Bottom Bracket73mm BSA, threaded73mm BSA, threaded73mm BSA, threaded
HeadsetCane Creek 40Cane Creek 40Cane Creek 40
StemSalsa GuideSalsa GuideSalsa Guide
HandlebarSalsa Woodchipper DeluxeSalsa WoodchipperSalsa Cowchipper
SaddleWTB Volt CompWTB Volt CompWTB Volt Steel SL Medium
SeatpostSalsa Guide Deluxe, 18mm offsetSalsa GuideSalsa Guide
GripsSalsa Gel Cork Bar TapeSalsa Gel Cork Bar TapeSalsa Gel Cork Bar Tape
Rear DerailleurSRAM Apex 1SRAM Apex 1SRAM Apex 1
Front DerailleurN/An/aN/A
CrankSRAM Stylo 6K Eagle DUB, 32tStylo 6K Eagle DUB, 32tTruvativ Stylo 6K DUB, 32t
ShiftersSRAM Apex 1 HRDSRAM Apex 1SRAM Apex 1
CassetteSRAM PG 1130, 11-42tSRAM PG 1130, 11-42tSRAM PG-1130, 11-42t, 11-speed
ChainSRAM PC 1110SRAM PC 1110SRAM PC-1110
BrakesSRAM Apex 1 HRD, 160mm rotorsTRP Spyre-C, 160mmTRP Spyre-C (160 mm rotors)
RimsSUNringlé S.R.C. 15 x 110mm, Düroc 30WTB Serra Hubs 15 x 110 mm, WTB ST i25 TCS 2.0, 32hWTB Serra 15 x 110 mm hub, WTB ST i25 TCS 2.0 32h 29″ rim
TiresMaxxis Ikon 2.6″, 60 TPI/EXO/TRTeravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2″ Durable, Tubeless ReadyTeravail Sparwood 29 x 2.2″, Durable, Tubeless-Ready
Disk Rotors74mm post mount (160-180mm)74mm post mount (160-180mm)TRP Spyre-C (160 mm rotors)


Comparison Table

BicyclesPriceDrivetrainTiresBrakesClick view
Giant Revolt Advanced 2 $30002×11700×38cShimano GRX600 Hydraulic Disc BrakeClick View
Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless$28991×11700x40c
Shimano GRX RX810 Hydraulic Disc
Click View
Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 1by $27991×11700 x 45cShimano GRX RX810 hydraulic discClick View
Scott Contessa Addict Gravel 15 $29992×11700x45cShimano BR-RX400 Hydraulic Disc BrakeClick View

Giant Revolt Advanced 2 vs Salsa Fargo Apex 1

Giant Revolt Advanced 2

When comparing, I easily noticed that the Salsa Fargo has a longer Stack than the Giant Revolt. This also means that my upper body is under less stress when riding the Salsa Fargo, which reduces the stress on my lower back and neck, and shoulders.

In addition, the Salsa Fargo is more stable on the trail than the Giant Revolt. I think this can be attributed to the Salsa Fargo having a longer trail value. This also helps a lot with the steering of the ride: it makes the steering more agile.

In terms of similarities, both the Salsa Fargo and Giant Revolt use stronger and more durable vacuum tires. This is to ensure that even when riding on a road with sharp stones, the rider can pass smoothly and quickly without the risk of a flat tire.

The Salsa Fargo’s 1×11 drivetrain is more novice-friendly and easier to operate than the Giant Revolt’s 2×11 drivetrain, and can fully satisfy the rider’s shifting needs on any trail.

I prefer the Salsa Fargo for the ease of speed control.

learn more:Giant Revolt Advanced 3 Review – The Best Carbon Gravel Bike For The Money

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless vs Salsa Fargo Apex 1

2023 Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Driftless

Comparing these two gravel bikes, looking at the geometry of the Trek Checkpoint and Salsa Fargo alone, we see that they are roughly the same in terms of seat tube angle, head tube angle, and wheelbase. They both opt for a more scientifically based and ergonomically correct design.

The Trek Checkpoint and the Salsa Fargo both have the more classic 700c tire size, the difference being that the Salsa Fargo has a more standard 38mm tire width, while the Trek Checkpoint is a bit wider. As we all know, when climbing, the wide tires will have more grip and traction. But too wide tires will inevitably add unnecessary weight, which will have an unavoidable impact on climbing uphill.

In terms of braking, Trek Checkpoint chose the higher maintenance and heavier Shimano GRX RX810 hydraulic discs, while Salsa Fargo chose the easy-to-maintain TRP Spyre-C mechanical discs. Although many consumers think that the mechanical disc braking method is not enough with a sense of technology. But in my opinion, in the case of roughly the same performance, the more expensive Salsa Fargo may not be a better choice.

learn more:Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 Review – The King Of The Adventure

Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 1by vs Salsa Fargo Apex 1

2022 Canyon Grizl CF SL 7 1by

In terms of price, Canyon Grizl is a little higher compared to Salsa Fargo.

 The Canyon Grizl and Salsa Fargo share the same 1×11-Speed shifting system and the same classic size 700c tires. In terms of geometry, both the Canyon Grizl and Salsa Fargo have chosen nearly identical seat tube angles and head tube angles, both of which contribute to the rider’s comfort and agility during the ride. It is worth mentioning that the Salsa Fargo has a much higher value than the trail value of Canyon Grizl, which is of great help to the stability of the ride and the flexibility of the steering.

In addition, the Canyon Grizl uses Maxxis Rambler 45mm non-vacuum tires, while the Salsa Fargo uses tougher and more durable Teravail Sparwood 38mm vacuum tires. The Salsa Fargo outperforms the Canyon Grizl when faced with rougher riding surfaces. The wide tires also add unnecessary weight to the body to some extent, which can cause some problems for the rider on some special roads.

Overall, Salsa Fargo is rated higher in my mind than Canyon Grizl.

learn more:Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 Suspension 1by Review – Take A Gravel Ride That Just Says Go!

Scott Contessa Addict Gravel 15 vs Salsa Fargo Apex 1

essa Addict Gravel 15

The Scott Contessa’s superior performance as a carbon-framed gravel bike with high-end components and hydraulic disc brakes leaves me almost impeccable. But the Salsa Fargo’s great price/performance ratio and tradition of good manufacturing allow it to hold its own against the Scott Contessa.

The main difference between the Scott Contessa and Salsa Fargo is their different drivetrains: 2×11 drivetrain and 1×11 drivetrain respectively, plus different width tires. For both of us, I think the Scott Contessa’s 45mm tires are too wide, while the Salsa Fargo’s 38mm tires are moderate and offers less drag during the ride.

In addition, the Scott Contessa and Salsa Fargo have opted for hydraulic discs and mechanical discs for their braking methods respectively. For that matter, the hydraulic disc design has always been controversial. Its more expensive price and high maintenance costs have discouraged many cyclists. The same can be said for mechanical disc brakes, which are more price friendly and simple to maintain. But some consumers will feel that it is not enough technology and is too traditional.

Therefore, my advice is to choose them according to your budget as well as your preferences. Whether you choose Scott Contessa or Salsa Fargo, you can be pleasantly surprised by their quality.

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