Saturday, February 06, 2010

Salsa Vaya

We received a new Salsa Vaya this week. First impressions are very good. I like the parts spec for the money. The bike comes speced with a wide range drive train via a 50-36 compact double for the front, and a 11-32 cassette in the rear. This affords the rider a near triple range of gears, while having a better chain line and a simpler set up. Wheels are nicely done with cartridge bearing, high flange hubs from Formula, laced to DT's lightweight 470 disc rim. The Conti 42c tires come ready for anything. The are undoubtedly a source of a lot of the bike's weight, but they look ready to survive the apocalypse. Adding to the overall versatility of the bike, I am sure it will fit the latest batch of Monstercross sized tires. 45's should clear and would look just right on this bikeThe paint and graphics work for me, I really like the light blue on dark brown paint scheme. Little touches such as an embroidered saddle with matching bar tape make the bike really look the part of a clean, refined all rounder. All in all, this should be a nice bike for a person looking for an affordable entry into a gravel machine, or something that will carry reasonable touring loads over varying terrain.Nice work boys!

17 comments:

Erik said...

I can't tell you how sweet that is! And you scooped Salsa! Are you allowed to disclose MSRP yet?

Ben said...

Erik,

I'm not sure I scooped anyone. The bike has been in detail on the Salsa Blog for a few days now. Thanks though ;)

MSRP from Salsa is $1499.99

Most sizes are in stock.

Cheers,
Ben

Head Honcho said...

Sure is pretty, and I see many-a gravel roads in that bikes future.

rideonpurpose said...

when will someone make a 'race' bike for gravel? I thought that was what this was going to be... it does look comfy though.

Ben said...

What would your requirements be to fulfill a gravel race bike?

My current thoughts would be for a Rock Lobster Alloy frame with a Wound Up or similar carbon fork. There's lots of ways to go with something like that.

Seems to me that the jury is still out on what a GX type bike would be. I've seen people line up on everything from SS CX bikes to fully geared 29ers with 2.1"s. That's a pretty hard niche to take a stab at.

I can see any number of bikes that would qualify as racy. The Vaya with a set of kick ass wheels would more than fit the role of long distance gravel race bike in my mind. Comfortable, stable geo would make for a bike that is easy in light of rider fatigue. Wheels and components could easily make it weight competitive. That would do it for me.

Then again, I'm never going to be up at competitive GX race weight of form, so it's all just theoretical. I do think this will be a kick butt gravel bike. In my experiance it's the rider that makes a race bike, not usually the other way around.

Jerry said...

Looks like Salsa has another winner. That's a nice addition to their lineup.

Butcher said...

Ben - Thanks for the shout out on the Vaya. We think it is a pretty cool bike.

RideOnPurpose - You want a gravel racing bike?! Check out the Amigo's blog later today (monday). We've got something special cooked up just for you!

Tom said...

What do you think about using the Salsa Woodchipper bar on the Vaya?

Tom

Ben said...

I would think that would be a great combo. I'm loving the Woodchipper on all of my like use bikes.

Ben

Jeff said...

Would it be an absolute crime to put smaller tires on this? I love the features the Vaya has to offer, but I'd honestly want it for more road than gravel. Would, say, 32c tires work?

Ben said...

I would say a 28c tire or larger would work fine on the stock rims. There'd be no shame in that either. The bike is designed primarily for road touring.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Ben. I keep going back and forth between the Vaya and the Masi Randonneur. I like both bikes, but I love Salsa as a company and I love the idea of disc brakes...

Thanks for the post, pics, and comments.

Ben said...

No problem.

You know which one would get my vote ;) Seems like you have two very good reasons to help your decision.

MG said...

Looks good... I can't wait to get my frameset and start the build-up. It's gonna' be a fun bike...

Thanks for gettin' me excited, Ben.

Cheers,
MG

Ben said...

You're welcome sir! It's a great bike. You'll love it.

commuter cyclist said...

I'm interested in this bike vs Surly LHT and Rivendell's Sam Hillborne (way more expensive I know, but beautiful I think). I do a lot of downhill braking towing a Chariot trailer (30+ kg), which wears my V-brake pads pretty fast. So... would the cable-actuated discs cope better? I've never used dics, so I nothing of their reliability etc, but if they're better for my purpose I'd give 'em a go. Any comment?

Ben said...

What you are describing is a perfect example of why discs work so well on touring type bikes. I would go so for as to say that discs would work better in any situation I can think of. Period. A v brake may be perfectly adequate in most situations, mechanical discs, especially Avid's, have them beat when it comes to pad life, power, wheel life, wet braking, and almost anything else.

Avid mechanical brakes have been around since 2002, and remain largely unchanged. They would hands down be my choice for a touring bike of any type. There's simply no reason not to use them from a functional standpoint.