I am looking for a new salsa Fargo, mainly as a bikepacking tool and also light gravel racing. My problem is with the stand over, I have very short inseam(67cm) and long torso and hands for my height (1.59cm). My current road bike has a standover of 69cm, which is the same as the xs on the Fargo. The problem is with all the other measurements, my body is better suited to the small Fargo, which has a stand over of 73cm. I am mainly concerned about safety, since there will be basically no clearance, and painfull dismounts. Should I go for the xs and optimize sizing with longer neck and back seatpost or should I go with the small which I believe it will be more comfortable while riding?

  • By longer neck, I think you mean a longer stem. Is this correct?
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


It’s easier to make a small frame bigger than the other way around. The Fargo comes with a very short stem per default. Only 60mm on the XS.

A 90mm stem would put your hands 6mm further forward than where they would be on the size SM Fargo which has 1.4cm more reach and a 1cm longer stem than the XS. Stems are available all the way to 140 or even 160mm length, though above 100mm or so it can result in awkward handling.

Keep in mind that installing a longer stem requires the cables and hydraulic hoses to be longer. So try to order the bike with the stem length you plan to use or ask them to install longer cables.

Don’t slide the saddle back to make the bike “longer”. Seating/saddle position should primarily be optimized for pedaling. All other adjustments are secondary.

Edit: In my opinion the only two reasons you might be inclined to get the SM size is that you can install 3 bottle cages and use 29" wheels (though those would exacerbate the standover height problem).

  • Extremely minor point: if the seat tube angles differed between the sizes, the OP would need to move their saddle on the rails. Usually the STA steepens with smaller sizes, so they would be moving their saddle back a bit. In this case, the STA is identical in each size.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 17:26
  • The stem is short because the HTA is slack. Longer stem may affect the handling.
    – MaplePanda
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 21:41
  • @MaplePanda: I have to admit, I don’t really understand the physics behind stem length and handling. It obviously affects weight distribution. I’ve read that a longer stem can “slow down” steering, which – I guess – combined with an already slack head tube angle could be too much. At the same time, it’s not unusual to see road bikes with 71° HTA and a 140mm stem. The Fargo has 68.5° HTA.
    – Michael
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 6:05
  • As far as I know, the physics is simply that for the same number of degrees turned, a shorter stem gives you a shorter length arc. So you are physically moving your handlebars less with a shorter stem. Slack head angles tend to turn more slowly but are more stable, and short stems counteract that. I think this is a feature inherited from modern MTB geometry.
    – Weiwen Ng
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 11:35

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