Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

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reohn2
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Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by reohn2 »

Bought at the begining of August and built up with drops and touring oriented kit.
I ride it with either Marathon Mondials,Racers or Schwalbe Landcruisers all 700x35mm size,it's used for general riding or RoughStuff ie anything from towpaths,gravel forest roads and a bit of singletrack,so have two wheelsets available.I have it set up with the drops quite high:-
Image
In to photo it's got STI's fitted,I've changed them for Tektro RL340's and Kelly Takeoff levers.The stem I've settled on is 1cm shorter than the one in the photo.
I have to say that after first seeing these on Salsa's site I thought they looked the real deal :) after reading some reports by real people on blogs etc,decided to keep my eyes open for a decent s/hand one,then they changed the colour scheme with a choice of Orange(yuk) or Black(I had a black Kona :? ) anyway a NOS Bronze 57cm one came up on Ebay :) so I bid and got it for £345 including a Hope headset,nice :)
I have to say it's a dream ride for my purposes,dayriding roughstuff and general hard work.It's stable and honest,though I don't and probably won't ride it loaded,hence the lightweight rack,but with a Tubus on and some panniers I think it'd take them in it's stride.
It has a high headtube and a low BB with 450mm c/stays and it's a disc only(BB7's) machine :)
Nothing seems to phase it,its extremely surfooted&planted and I've had the feeling of being in it rather than on it,almost intuitive no think handling to the point of boring even,yet at the same time exciting in it's lack of troublesomeness(is that a real word :? ).
When I was researching it I kept coming across people writing things like "its a do it all bike" "a bike that just get on with the job in hand" or "I have three bikes and now I only ride the Vaya" they're right it's the kind of bike you feel at home on.
It real gets to you in an unusual way which leaves me lost for words.On the inside of the chainstay there's a sticker that says "Ride 'n' Smile" it's not wrong :D
I'm very pleased with it :D :D :D

BTW the 2013 frames come in white with blue decals or red and gold decals,but I still like the bronze.
Edited for the inevitable R2 grammar goofs and spelling mistakes.
Last edited by reohn2 on 18 Nov 2012, 10:53pm, edited 1 time in total.
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al_yrpal
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by al_yrpal »

These are now £335 at Triton. Still ruminating if there is any point in replacing my Subway frame with one?

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...
reohn2
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by reohn2 »

al_yrpal wrote:These are now £335 at Triton. Still ruminating if there is any point in replacing my Subway frame with one?

Al

At £325 it's a steal! buy one.
There really isn't any comparison(and I haven't even ridden a Subway),but in recent years I've owned a Galaxy and a Cannondale T800,both noted as good touring bikes,they're not in the same class!
TBH nothing has put a smile on my face like the Vaya :D
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Malaconotus
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by Malaconotus »

Hi Reohn,

What gearing did you set yours up with? And the wheel build?

I'm within hours of pulling the trigger and buying one of these. I wanted the black, but will have to settle for the white unfortunately as they changed colour while I vascillated.

I'm a little concerned about chainset compatibility. Did you move away from STIs due to trouble getting them working with a mountain or trekking chainset?

Thanks,
Graham
reohn2
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by reohn2 »

Malaconotus wrote:Hi Reohn,

What gearing did you set yours up with? And the wheel build?

I have two wheelsets,one set on Deore M525 six bolt disc hubs,the other on XT 756 six bolt,built with sapim DB spokes with DT Alpine on driveside rear,rims are DRC ST19's,self built.
Gearing is 14-32 8sp cassettes(made up from two cassettes) on each pair of wheels.
Chainset is Stronglight Impact triple 26-36-46,Deore rear mech,Tiagra 9sp front mech.

I'm within hours of pulling the trigger and buying one of these. I wanted the black, but will have to settle for the white unfortunately as they changed colour while I vascillated.

http://www.charliethebikemonger.com/sal ... -773-p.asp
charcoal is available but only upto 57cm size
http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/m4b0s25p8 ... a_Frameset
Againg only upto 57cm size

I like the new white n blue 'un too :D


I'm a little concerned about chainset compatibility. Did you move away from STIs due to trouble getting them working with a mountain or trekking chainset?

Thanks,
Graham

No the 7sp RSX units STI's work great with the Stronglight Impact(I also have 9sp Ultegra units working great on another bike with the same c/set)I changed both the Vaya&Kona over to Kelly's for the winter so the STI's wouldn't get damaged in a fall and as I had two pair of 8sp D/Tube levers decided to make up custom cassettes.
I was using 8sp cassettes with 7sp STI's but only using the lower 7 cogs,11-32 cass using 13 to 32(7 ratios).
So I had some 14t (9sp)high cogs and with a bit of jiggery pokery made up 14-15-17-19-21-23-28-32 cassettes on all three wheelsets,giving some nice close ratios where I like them for the road and some real low ones for offroad/climbing.
The unforeseen plus was that the Tektro RL340 brake levers I'm using with the Kelly's pull a little more cable than the RSX STI's so the brake pad adjustment on the BB7 road calipers needn't be as critical and gives quite a bit of free lever travel with the pads backed off,which is great when swopping wheels about :)
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Malaconotus
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by Malaconotus »

Thanks. That's all really useful stuff, especially as one of my budget build options is to swap the drivetrain off my Dawes Horizon in the short term at least (7-speed RSX shifters, 2300 front mech and chainset, 52/42/26, Deore rear mech, 14-34 cassette) But I already have some 9-speed Tiagra shifters and a Tiagra front mech so I might get the smart looking black Sora chainset and go 50/39/26 with a 12-32 rear. Did the RSX levers work OK with the BB7s, or was the set-up finnickity?

One of the things pushing me to the Vaya is the stack and reach on the 60cm frame. It's bigger than most 61cm frames on the market, more like a 63cm or 64cm in other people's money, which at 6' 5" will be perfect for me. But the charcoal sold out at Ison a few months ago so it will be the white frameset. I've not seen the white in the flesh. The charcoal was stunning with the metallic flecks close-up. I'll be getting it through work (Edinburgh Bike Co-op) from Ison. Trade price, which is not a big saving due to the extra layer of distribution between the US and here. Tomorrow is the last day for me to order a staff purchase for the year and I'm crunching numbers trying to justify it.

How whippy do you find it? I'm broad-beamed even for my height and I can elicit front mech rub on every steel bike except my Long Haul Trucker, but I'm hoping the Vaya is pretty solidly built and stiff in the BB area?

I'm planning on building wheels with Deore 6-bolt hubs, DT Swiss spokes, and Exal LX17 rims.
reohn2
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by reohn2 »

Malaconotus wrote: Did the RSX levers work OK with the BB7s, or was the set-up finnickity?

Not really though I do like a lot of free lever so I can hook my index finger around the lever from the drops without activating the brake,if you see what I mean?

One of the things pushing me to the Vaya is the stack and reach on the 60cm frame. It's bigger than most 61cm frames on the market, more like a 63cm or 64cm in other people's money, which at 6' 5" will be perfect for me.

60cm T/Tube is a bit long for me,but should be great for someone you're size :)
The charcoal was stunning with the metallic flecks close-up.

Yep,must admit it's rather nice. :D
I'll be getting it through work (Edinburgh Bike Co-op) from Ison. Trade price, which is not a big saving due to the extra layer of distribution between the US and here. Tomorrow is the last day for me to order a staff purchase for the year and I'm crunching numbers trying to justify it.

You'll get a good deal then,better get in early :wink:
How whippy do you find it? I'm broad-beamed even for my height and I can elicit front mech rub on every steel bike except my Long Haul Trucker, but I'm hoping the Vaya is pretty solidly built and stiff in the BB area?

I wouldn't describe it as whippy by any means,but then again I'm no powerhouse.
It's a nice and predictable touring type bike but not bone jarringly solid when ridden unloaded with that nice steel feel about it and great on bridleways and tracks.
I'm planning on building wheels with Deore 6-bolt hubs, DT Swiss spokes, and Exal LX17 rims.

Sounds good to me :)
Don't forget the BB7's they're great stoppers :D
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al_yrpal
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by al_yrpal »

Been fitting Land Cruisers and mudguards on my Vaya 3 today. I have done what you (reohn2) did at the front and used the pannier screw on the fork leg, but only on one side. On my Subway I just made a spacer from a nylon block. I have left the plastic brackets on the end of the supports as I have no wish to get catapulted! I notice your rear mudguard is rather close to the rear tyre in the middle, mine is too - Tortec reflective edge mudguards. I am a bit worried about that because we have lots of mud around here and it could jam up. I shall probably have to make some adjustments to the bracket that attaches it to the frame
Looking at the 40mm Land Cruisers the tyre section is much much smaller and narrower than the 26" versions which I fit on my mtb in the summer.They won't be that brilliant off road at this time of year but I will give it a go.
Around here, off road we have dense forests with hilly rugged gravel tracks, big puddles, deep mud, slippery chalk and flint, leaf mould and hidden sticks, loads of tangled roots, all completely natural. There is lots of pretty good singletrack in field bridleways like you see in mtb mags too. We also have some less challenging tracks like gravel forest fire roads and canal and river banks. What sort of off road terrain are you tackling on the Vaya?
Mine is fitted with BB5s - dead easy to align and adjust with those clever washers. I like the big adjustment knob on the fixed pad. I have decided to see how I get on with the 52 - 30 triple as I discovered mine is fitted with a 34 sprocket giving me a lowest gear of 24". I might be able to live with that when loading touring.
I am not familiar with bar end shifters, the rear is indexed and clicks, changing very nicely , the front seems to be just a linear friction shift which is quite good because you can tweak it to adjust for chain rub on the front changer - is this normal or should it be indexed?

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...
mrjemm
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by mrjemm »

Hehehe, this is all interesting stuff and I should probably add my tuppence worth, having built mine up, ridden and metamorphosed it over the last 2 years.

When I get my head around what may be of interest I will add more, but for now I will say mine is the same as R2's in being a bronze 57cm one, though I have often had doubts about the size I chose- recently sat on a 56 in Keep Pedalling, Mancester (in white, if you're wanting to see one), and it worked. Probably helped that it had th smaller cowbell bars, while I have the moto ace (for the non oversizeness) bell lap, which I never used the drops on. So have this week swapped out for something different... For another time or thread.

I have really enjoyed the ride, even on a loaded 1150 mile jaunt. I built originally with SRAM Apex (like complete version) compact double, but prior to that trip swapped to a triple (dimension cranks, TA rings, campag mech) that I like far more, though still apex rear mech. This set up is great to ride. There is a bit of flex in the frame, and at times it has felt a tad twitchy, though this was strangely improved when loaded. Don't really know what whippy and front mech rub means, but I think there is what could be described as this- if grinding hard it seems like the chainset moves a bit relative to the front mech.

Fork ends being stubby made front pannier racks a bugger to fit, so gave up on tubus and got Salsa's own low riders that worked a treat, although made of aluminium.

While using drops (until yesterday) I used Tektro RL 520 levers, sram tt500 bar ends and mountain BB7s (and Salsa top levers)- a really nice combo that gave very nice feel, power and modulation.
I use bar ends, though can't see why any other shifter option wouldn't be a breeze to fit. Latest bars aren't drops but still use bar ends, though debating swapping to thumbies.

Not so keen on the compact geometry- think aesthetically I prefer horizontal top tubes, and the top tubes on these are long- tonnes of seat post out, but stratched out feeling (hence new bars).

Early ones don't have the replaceable hangers that the newer ones have, which I would like- had mine straightened twice after no big accidents- a fall on wet leaves and a clumsy drop in shed against radiator/bike stand. Downtube dinged too, and no idea how that happened, so perhaps a bit dainty. Paint chipped plenty from early on also. But then I am clumsy.

I shall try to remember to post some pics too, especially of my new set up... (OK, I have put on some Titec Jones bars, and it feels like a different bike, not sure I like it, but after a ride tomorrow I'll have a better idea). Cheers, Jem.
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al_yrpal
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by al_yrpal »

If you are on the biggest ring and the smallest sprocket or vice versa the heavily angled chain may rub on the front mech. If you have a friction shifter you can tweak it slightly clear.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...
mrjemm
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by mrjemm »

Indeed I do, all the time- lovely benefit of bar-ends. I meant with strokes making the chainset seem to twist, if you're talking about my reference to chainset moving relative to frame/mech.

With the longer, stiffer frame, I guess the Surly truckers would suffer these both less. Am sorely tempted but the disc trucker's rear end is really quite ugly. The singular peregrine is gorgeous in comparison, but chainstay mounted caliper. Hmmm. A Shand please...
reohn2
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by reohn2 »

al_yrpal wrote:Been fitting Land Cruisers and mudguards on my Vaya 3 today. I have done what you (reohn2) did at the front and used the pannier screw on the fork leg, but only on one side.

Why not both sides for symetry?
I notice your rear mudguard is rather close to the rear tyre in the middle, mine is too - Tortec reflective edge mudguards. I am a bit worried about that because we have lots of mud around here and it could jam up. I shall probably have to make some adjustments to the bracket that attaches it to the frame

There's a big for clearance with 35mm though that's as big as I want to go.

We also have some less challenging tracks like gravel forest fire roads and canal and river banks. What sort of off road terrain are you tackling on the Vaya?

Pretty much the same really,which it takes in it's stride compitently and I've not had any problems with mud clogging,something I acutely aware of on some of the muddy tracks I ride.

I have decided to see how I get on with the 52 - 30 triple as I discovered mine is fitted with a 34 sprocket giving me a lowest gear of 24". I might be able to live with that when loading touring.

The 24" bottom gear should be OK but I'd never give the 52 any real use,if it's a 42 middle ring with the cassette you have that 52 will act as a good chainguard unless you're a strong rider :)
A chainset such a Spa'a own for £35 with 18-38-48 could be a good upgrade,the one fitted looks to be a 130mmBCD 74mm granny so you're limited to a 39t middle ring,whereas the Spa c/set is 110mm,74mm which means you can go as low as 34t on the middle if it suits.Both chainsets will take 24t on the granny ring 74mmBCD
I am not familiar with bar end shifters, the rear is indexed and clicks, changing very nicely , the front seems to be just a linear friction shift which is quite good because you can tweak it to adjust for chain rub on the front changer - is this normal or should it be indexed?

Al

The friction front changer is normal and you'll find is a good friend,as you can trim it to suit at the extremes of the chainlines
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reohn2
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by reohn2 »

mrjemm wrote: There is a bit of flex in the frame, and at times it has felt a tad twitchy, though this was strangely improved when loaded.

I cant say it flexes though compared to an alu frame anything is.
I can't say it's twitchy either,though I haven't ridden it loaded, I would imagine it''ll handle a load very well.
Don't really know what whippy

Flexible?

and front mech rub means, but I think there is what could be described as this- if grinding hard it seems like the chainset moves a bit relative to the front mech.

That's a bit of flex in either the BB or the frame in the BB area or even a chainring slightly out of true.

Not so keen on the compact geometry- think aesthetically I prefer horizontal top tubes, and the top tubes on these are long- tonnes of seat post out, but stratched out feeling (hence new bars).

I'm of the opposite opinion,I like the look of compact frames and the low stand over.I wouldn't say the Vaya's had long TT's they're proportional IMHO.

I shall try to remember to post some pics too, especially of my new set up... (OK, I have put on some Titec Jones bars, and it feels like a different bike, not sure I like it, but after a ride tomorrow I'll have a better idea). Cheers, Jem.

Look forward to seeing it :)
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al_yrpal
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by al_yrpal »

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...
mrjemm
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Re: Report on Salsa Vaya frameset

Post by mrjemm »

Nice pics Al. Sounds like a good ride for sure.

I also had a lovely ride yesterday, and so far really like the bars. Make it feel like a totally different bike- another good one! Not so sure yet about climbing with them, but for me on the level and downhill they make a great improvement. Found several useful positions on them too, and most importantly to me, I can sit up far straighter while still holding the bars, which brings me back to the Vaya- I still can't comfortably ride it no-hands for any distance; how about you? It doesn't help that I've set myself up quite a 'busy cockpit', that quite likely upsets the balance.

Will have to wait on pics- I have just gone away for a job and need to settle in and get set up. No riding or tinkering with bikes for a while, harumph.
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