The Shakedown

Titanium bikes are a lot like drugs. You don’t think you want one. Then someone let’s you ride theirs on a whim. “Wow that feels pretty nice!” Then you venture out and buy your very first Ti bike. “One won’t hurt, will it?”

Late last summer I got my hands on a Mukluk Ti. Wow, my very own Ti bike! And I fell in love with it. The ride was quick and responsive, yet compliant. Smooth and supple the titanium soaked up the harshness of whatever I threw into my bike's path. Dang, I was addicted. 

The next bike was an easy choice. I love the do-it-all nature of my Fargo. From singletrack trails to gravel roads, to a bit of pavement sprinkled in with a few gravel connectors, the Fargo is my Jack-of-all-trades bike. The Ti frame graced my hands and the ideas of the build started flowing. In my opinion, with Ti it is imperative to build with a single color in mind. The whole bike comes together nicely when you have that one little bit of information to tie it all back together. My color choice was blue. 

Building a bike in the winter is nice...and it isn't. You think you will slowly chip away at it in your basement since the idea of riding in sub temps is numbing. But if you are like me, you just can’t. I put in the blue headset and the rest of the parts started flying on. What a beauty. 

Spring came the day before I finished my build, and as in many other areas of the world its arrival has been a cold one. But nonetheless, it was time to ride the bike, shakeout any bugs,  and stretch those new cables. But this being a special bike, it needed a special shakedown ride. 

The state of Wisconsin opens an early trout season during the month of March, just to give trout fishermen a little tease of what is to come. With the early season winding down to an end, why not load my Ti Fargo up and go tempt the fish of Kinnickinnic River into a springtime treat. Like a ship builder smashing an expensive bottle of bubbly against their latest creation, I needed to christen my new rig for a lifetime of adventures to come. 

The bike rode even better than I hoped. Through the countryside and past the fresh smells of what seemed like an everlasting winter, the bike soared. I had not yet loaded her up with frame bags and gear so it could be easy to make any necessary adjustments as I discovered them. I used a backpack and an Anything Cage to bring my gear to the river. Eric rode with and cooked us up some hot coffee while I waded through the river and tried my hand at catching the elusive brook trout. Benton fished from the shore with a nice little spinning rod and reel set up. The fishing took on a whole new life with the added journey of getting there by bike. Let’s just say the smiles came easy. That is the way to break in a new bike!

This post filed under topics: Explore Fargo Justin Julian

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Justin Julian (Red)

Justin Julian (Red)

I am lucky enough to be the General Manager of Salsa Cycles. I hail from central Missouri where the hills hide some of the most fascinating treasures. Moonshine being one of them, great singletrack being the second. Bikes have been an important part of my life from the ripe ol’ age of 3. I have raced, rode, crashed and enjoyed motorcycles for going on 34 years now. The bicycle has been a critical part of my motorcycle career (loosely used) in terms of training, enjoyment, rehab, and escape from the day to day. Both of these two-wheeled contraptions are the reason I exist. They are very much part of my life and being. Cycling and motorsports are also a strength and bond that connects my wife and two boys. Live to ride, ride to live!


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Luke | April 3rd, 2013

Where did you get the blue annodized bolts, and why no blue bottom bracket?

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cmherron | April 3rd, 2013

Sweet!  This sounds like it was a lot of fun.  I love the blue-on-Ti look, super clean!
Also, you’re dead-on regarding Ti bikes…

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Charlie the bikemonger | April 4th, 2013

Can’t help notice there is no mention of actual fish… But it’s called fishing, not “catching”

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Eric Benjamin | April 4th, 2013

A Ti Fargo with blue components is the Adventure Monkey’s dream bike. I can see me using that on the Dirty Kanza 200 all the way to the Stagecoach 400. I am dreaming, but that will someday be my ride! Thanks for the write-up or um, motivation!

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Jeff Reed | April 16th, 2013

Thanks Justin for the terrific article and photo’s. I am just across the border in Minnesota and it indeed has been a cold and messy spring. I did manage a ride over to Minnehaha Falls and the Sea Salt Cafa this afternoon and stopped for an adult beverage. The only sunny day in the last two weeks. Still not warm. keep on biking and keep on writing my friend!

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