Vaya or Sutra

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
SnatchingDefeat
Posts: 5
Joined: 6 Jan 2011, 10:20pm
Location: Notts

Vaya or Sutra

Postby SnatchingDefeat » 6 Jan 2011, 10:56pm

Hi All,

i'm new to this touring lark so forgive me if this is covered elsewhere.
Obviously i want a touring bike. My main use for the bike will be to commute to work which is 20 miles each way, which i would see as training for longer bike packing trips. It will be mostly road travel but potentially involve national cycle route type cinder paths, the odd interesting bridleway at worse( which lucky for me could become part of my route to work). JOGLE is also on my list of things to do before i die or even worse....reach 50, :wink: .
I've looked at the usual Galaxys, Cotics, Cannondales, Kogas, Thorns etc but have narrowed my search down to the Salsa Vaya or the Kona Sutra. Mainly based on price, specs, 'apparent' riding position and looks. Reading reviews online the Vaya appears to be the better ride and quality of the two but A. it's more expensive and B. i'd then have to buy the racks and mudgaurds etc on top of the cost of the bike. Whereas the Sutra looks ready to go for a lot less but there seems to be question marks about the durability of the racks, toe overlap etc.
Also i'm an ex BMXer and MTB so i don't want a 'Bum up, head down' type of road bike. if i'm going to take the slow road i'd rather sit in a position that is condusive to admiring the scenery.
Does anyone have any experience with both of these bikes so they can give a comparison as the nearest bike shops to me are miles away and have one or the other but not both?
Thanks in advance

denisclark
Posts: 2
Joined: 7 Jan 2011, 2:58pm

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby denisclark » 7 Jan 2011, 3:16pm

I have had this problem myself. I went for the Kona Sutra because of the cost and the difficulty obtaining racks some three months ago. I think the rack problem is now resolved as Salsa have designed one. The KS is heavy and quite a challenging ride which takes some getting used to if you are used to riding a road bike, but it is worth the effort. It will go up hills if you are fit but if you are out of condition, that is probably a different story. The Salsa is fantastic but almost a cyclocross, it has excellent reviews and I test rode one on canal paths and roads during the summer - absolutely brilliant to ride. Not too sure how it would be if you loaded it - the Kona is very stable, the SV may not be. There are lots of reviews of both bikes, many by US riders. Both bikes are very good but the Kona was my choice for a tourer, there are, of course loads of options including the Dawes Karakum and the Galaxy, Thorn do some, there is a website that has reviewed tourers including Dutch and German models, Cannondale's tourers are very good but expensive. You have enormous choice but for around £1,000, maybe less at the moment, I think the KS is a good option. If you want a commuter that you can do an occasional long ride on have a look at Specialised's Tricross or TC sport which can both be fitted with panniers and guards.My mate uses a Dawes 401 which cost about four hundred quid, has rack and panniers, front suspension fork and is fast for commuting and on which he did 100 miles in two days on Route 1 in the North East! Cheers.

markenduro
Posts: 11
Joined: 2 Nov 2009, 7:45pm
Location: Burton on Trent

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby markenduro » 8 Jan 2011, 7:10pm

I have a 2005 sutra which had sliding dropouts, this has been useful for running an alfine hub for commuting purposes, it is now fitted back with conventional gears. Only the frame and shifters remain from the original equipment. They are a very heavy bike but very stable under load, one issue I found in original spec was that the gearing was far too high (front chainring was a 53t as standard), this has been replaced with a more sensible trekking chainset. For the money which you are spending I would get a test ride on both before you make up your mind. Could be worth having a chat to sideways cycles to see if they can spec you a salsa up http://www.sidewayscycles.co.uk/products/index.php?clid=10

denmancentral
Posts: 51
Joined: 20 Jun 2009, 10:28pm

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby denmancentral » 9 Jan 2011, 8:53pm

I would choose the Vaya for 3 reasons:

More upright position: (longer head tube) means the bars will be higher with their hook section more accessible without lots of spacers on the fork. If you can't use the hooks then getting the proper leverage for the brakes isn't easy.
Nice chainstay mount for rear disc meaning any rack will fit. This is a fantastic feature that should be on all disc equipped bikes.
It looks nicer and is less common!

Problems:
Kona doesn't really have a touring chainset, only a 30t granny.
Vaya has a double chainset, even worse*
Kona has pretty average racks, and an awful mounting system for the rear which I wouldn't trust for a heavy load
You have to choose between bar end shifters (kona) and brifters (salsa)!

*I'm assuming a standard spec Vaya. Of course ideally you choose your own components

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vsmith1
Posts: 22
Joined: 29 Aug 2010, 11:39am

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby vsmith1 » 10 Jan 2011, 12:25pm

I didn't consider the Salsa. But I had in my shortlist the following: Kona Sutra, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Dawes Horizon, Dawes Galaxy, Hewitt's own, Cannondale, EBC Revolution but they came down to either Kona or Surly - as I had a budget of £1000 (Cyclescheme) and that eliminated some on price and others because they aren't part of that scheme (the EBC bike).

I have had Konas before as MTBs and always liked the make. The Kona has everything but the Surly can be specced with the same for under the £1000 but the Kona has disk brakes and the Surly does not. The Kona is pretty much ready to roll - just add pedals.

Just twitching awaiting my Cyclescheme voucher to come and I'll be picking it up.

SnatchingDefeat
Posts: 5
Joined: 6 Jan 2011, 10:20pm
Location: Notts

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby SnatchingDefeat » 10 Jan 2011, 2:37pm

Cheers Guys,

These are exactly the type of questions i keep asking myself when i look between the two....and the others i've considered.
I think when i do dig deep it'll be for the Vaya as i was very impressed when i sat on one in Billys bike shop last year with the riding position and the quality of the frame/ parts and it seems to be the one i compare the other contenders to. It'll just take a bit more saving for.
In the mean time i'm putting some more durable, chunkier tyres on my ancient steel (and i mean Non cr-mo/ gears on downtube) framed Peugeot road bike and working on my fitness so when i do get a new bike i can do it justice.
Thanks for your time and suggestions everyone and keep 'em coming as i could be swayed.

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Bren
Posts: 59
Joined: 30 May 2007, 2:57pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby Bren » 11 Jan 2011, 6:25pm

If you decide to go for the Salsa and you get the choice to spec some components, ask for Avid BB7 brakes, not the BB5s that the standard build comes with.
I have BB7s on my current bike (and my soon to be delivered 2nd bike) while my GF has BB5s on hers.
My brakes are easier to keep in adjustment (inside and outside adjustment screws) and the pads last longer.

SnatchingDefeat
Posts: 5
Joined: 6 Jan 2011, 10:20pm
Location: Notts

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby SnatchingDefeat » 12 Jan 2011, 2:04pm

And thats the other alternative, buy a Vaya frame and forks and build up with a better spec.

The thing is i'd spend more time saving, buying and building than riding the thing especially as my current track record is pretty rubbish with bike parts.

For instance 2010 Rockshox Rev's bargain at £260 brand new. oh, brakes are now post mount, can't get post mount adaptor for the brakes even though LBS says it's got every type, peruse internet, buy new front brake, doesn't fit my disc, peruse internet, buy new disc, peruse internet buy new post to post mount for larger disc, now buy one that fits(LBS fault), peruse internet & buy crud catcher as previous mudgard doesn't fit either.
Or try: buy new tyres for very old road bike, take off old tyres and find out the inner tubes have almost perished, nip innertube, repair innertube, refit and pump up, inner tube explodes at 120psi, almost unintentional toilet break. Find i'm out of innertubes, order innertubes and flippin' rim tape just in case!!

imagine the pain with a complete bike..........

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Bren
Posts: 59
Joined: 30 May 2007, 2:57pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby Bren » 12 Jan 2011, 2:10pm

Buy the frame and forks then spend an hour or two with your LBS to spec the rest of the bike and get them to build it for you ?
That's what I did since I had/have NFC about putting a bike together and not the time to learn to do it.
This approach costs more but you get the bike that you want.

Underscore
Posts: 15
Joined: 13 Jan 2011, 12:45pm

Re: Vaya or Sutra

Postby Underscore » 19 Jan 2011, 8:48am

On this topic, does anyone have experience of using the Vaya fully loaded? I was pretty much set on the Sutra but I'm now considering building a bike up from the Vaya frameset (it looks like you can build up a better bike for touring including racks and guards for the same money as Salsa are asking for their off-the-peg offering) but it will need to do everything from commuting to fully loaded touring. However, I'm a little concerned that the frame won't be solid enough to remain stable in the latter case...