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  1. #1
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    Vaya vs. Fargo; help me choose?

    So, for the past couple months I've had my heart set on the salsa fargo. A bike that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Something I can tour on, something to ride local fireroads and light single track. Sounds amazing.
    Now that I have enough money to purchase the fargo and along comes the vaya. My only reservations I had with the fargo is that the mountain bike geometry would bore me (former freerider turned fixie hipster). Just the sitting upright thing makes me feel like I'm going super slow and takes the thrill out of the ride.
    First this will be an urban commuter, second a touring bike and third a fireroad warrior. Could anyone thats ridden both give me a little insight to how differently they ride from each other. I think id like to snatch up a vaya, but really fear missing the extra braze-ons.
    Help?

  2. #2
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    The fact that the vaya can take racks, fenders and 3 bottles I think it's just down on the number of bottle mounts isn't it?

    I'm in the seriously considering a Vaya camp.

  3. #3
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    Intended Use

    Quote Originally Posted by chauvinist_youth
    So, for the past couple months I've had my heart set on the salsa fargo. A bike that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Something I can tour on, something to ride local fireroads and light single track. Sounds amazing.
    Now that I have enough money to purchase the fargo and along comes the vaya. My only reservations I had with the fargo is that the mountain bike geometry would bore me (former freerider turned fixie hipster). Just the sitting upright thing makes me feel like I'm going super slow and takes the thrill out of the ride.
    First this will be an urban commuter, second a touring bike and third a fireroad warrior. Could anyone thats ridden both give me a little insight to how differently they ride from each other. I think id like to snatch up a vaya, but really fear missing the extra braze-ons.
    Help?
    Here is our take on this. Buy the Vaya if you DO NOT plan to ride off road. Buy the Fargo if you PLAN to ride off road.

    Regarding the bottle mounts, the only mounts not on the Vaya that are included on the Fargo are the two water bottle mounts on the back ofd the fork legs.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
    Adventure by Bike

    Check out our blog!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by chauvinist_youth
    ...
    Now that I have enough money to purchase the fargo and along comes the vaya. My only reservations I had with the fargo is that the mountain bike geometry would bore me (former freerider turned fixie hipster). Just the sitting upright thing makes me feel like I'm going super slow and takes the thrill out of the ride.
    ...
    I'm sure that there would be no problem getting a lower position on the Fargo. Despite having an XXL frame, I still had to use about three inches of spacers to get the handlebar high enough for the drop position to be comfortable offroad.

    A further aspect to consider is that if you want to use a full sized frame bag, the bottle mounts on the fork of the Fargo come in quite handy.
    My bike blog: www.yetirides.com

  5. #5
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    that framebag point is quite valid. how big of a difference in length and rake is the fargo fork from the vaya fork? Any reason I couldnt just throw a fargo one on the vaya?

    EDIT: Answered this myself. Wouldn't be ideal at all.
    Last edited by chauvinist_youth; 02-11-2010 at 12:50 PM.

  6. #6
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    What do you think of the old La Cruz? The Vaya is very close - more braze-ons, and a bit taller headtube, and very dirt/fire road capable. It can take 42c rubber. Personally that's all I ever need. Sounds like you'll be on the road more, so the Vaya would be a better handling bike, with a 71.5 headtube, versus 70 for the Fargo. The Vaya will definitely accommodate a more aggressive position.

  7. #7
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salsa Cycles
    Here is our take on this. Buy the Vaya if you DO NOT plan to ride off road. Buy the Fargo if you PLAN to ride off road.

    Regarding the bottle mounts, the only mounts not on the Vaya that are included on the Fargo are the two water bottle mounts on the back ofd the fork legs.

    Jason
    Salsa Crew
    That's a great, succinct answer, Jason. The Vaya is not an off-road bike. It's a road-based adventure bike. Granted, gravel roads are cool, but when it crosses over into singletrack, I'm crossing over to my Fargo ten times out of ten.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salsa Cycles
    Here is our take on this. Buy the Vaya if you DO NOT plan to ride off road. Buy the Fargo if you PLAN to ride off road.
    Could we get more specifics The above is just not a very satisfying response. What about the Vaya makes it better for road? Will it fall apart if I run it on some easy singletrack? Why is my Fargo a poor choice for gravel and pavement?

    I hear you saying that the Vaya is best for road, and that the Fargo is best for singletrack, but I am missing the explanations as to why.

  9. #9
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    I agree with all the above comments - as a new Vaya owner I'm decidedly biased, that said I'll offer my thoughts on this:

    The Vaya can probably handle smooth singletrack... I take my 'cross bike on singltrack around here (Colorado Springs) all the time and it's got cantis - the BB7s will make life much nicer for that stuff. It is not the ideal tool for singletrack however ... so will it work? Sure, you can make it work for some singletrack, though I'd be more cautious when things get a bit rougher... there the Fargo will easily handle rocks and roots without much effort...

    So if you're looking for a more clear-cut answer I'd say this:
    The Vaya prefers smoother surfaces and can go plenty fast on them... it'll handle dirt but as things get rougher and switchbacks appear... the geometry will not make things easier - on the Fargo, it'll be the opposite... it'll ride the road fine - but on a twisty mountain descent it'll be fun (I LOVE twisty mountain roads) - but not like the Vaya... on rocky singletrack with switchbacks the Fargo will be the tool of choice.

    It's like comparing a Subaru WRX and Toyota Land Cruiser... you can take the Suby on some dirt - but it won't be happy where the Land Cruiser is in it's element...

    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  10. #10
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    I think if you want a do it all bike then Fargo is it

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wannabeRacer
    I think if you want a do it all bike then Fargo is it
    I kinda want one of each. Not sure how to convince the wife though.

  12. #12
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    The Vaya has the same head angle as their cross bikes, 71.5 for a 55cm frame. The Fargo, at 70 for the same size, offers slower steering for rough terrain. You can use a Fargo for the road, it would just feel more sluggish, not as responsive, in the steering department.

  13. #13
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    I have two excused JonathanGennick = tell her, you need one so we can go out riding together and I need a new touring bike for work and its also good for towing the dogs and kids etc..

  14. #14
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    Wannabe, lol! I already have trouble explaining that I need a rainy-day errand bike and a sunny-day errand bike, and a just knocking around the neighborhood bike, and....

    Maybe next year. I can envision a Vaya, or something like it, in my future.

    @mudrock, your explanation about the geo is helpful. Thanks. I can't imagine wanting anything less sluggish than the Fargo. I've never thought of the Fargo as being slow to turn.

    One thing I wonder: why is the top-tube on the Vaya so short relative to the Fargo? Is it a road-bike thing? I'm 5' 9". I ride an 18" Fargo. My top tube is 497mm. Salsa's site would have me on the 56mm Vaya, with a top tube of only 560mm. That's a huge difference.

    I would need to go up to the very largest-size Vaya to get the same top-tube as on the Fargo. Yet both bikes are designed for drops. I don't understand that geometry difference.

    My utter lack of road-bike experience is probably apparent here.

  15. #15
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    You're neglecting the fork rake. The 55cm Vaya has 50mm offset and a 71.5* head angle, vs. a Med Fargo with 55mm offset and a 70* degree head angle. The Vaya will still be a bit quicker, but I don't think it would be a huge difference.

    To my mind, the Vaya is basically as capable as my Surly Crosscheck (or another cross bike). It's fine on the road, fine on dirt roads, and an exciting challenge on single track. The Fargo is more mountain bike like, but a bit quicker on the road. Off road, it's as capable as any rigid 29er.

    Quote Originally Posted by mudrock
    The Vaya has the same head angle as their cross bikes, 71.5 for a 55cm frame. The Fargo, at 70 for the same size, offers slower steering for rough terrain. You can use a Fargo for the road, it would just feel more sluggish, not as responsive, in the steering department.

  16. #16
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudrock
    The Vaya has the same head angle as their cross bikes, 71.5 for a 55cm frame. The Fargo, at 70 for the same size, offers slower steering for rough terrain. You can use a Fargo for the road, it would just feel more sluggish, not as responsive, in the steering department.
    The Fargo also feels heavier on the road due to the heavier tubeset, beefier wheels and wider tires...

  17. #17
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
    I kinda want one of each. Not sure how to convince the wife though.
    Just do it... They aren't that expensive (relative to a ti bike, for example).

    I'm fortunate to have both.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Vaya vs. Fargo; help me choose?-3dropbars.jpg  


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgersib
    Just do it... They aren't that expensive (relative to a ti bike, for example).

    I'm fortunate to have both.
    Droooooollllll ...
    So how come you've got a "Ride and Smile" sticker on the seatstay ... is that an aftermarket addition?

    S
    "You know how they make aluminum bike frames? They take steel and suck out all the soul..."

  19. #19
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    Hi guys,

    Can anyone of you guys let me know the exact weight of the Vaya frame+fork and Fargo frame+fork?, it isn't clear on Salsa's site.

    I'm also trying to decide between the Vaya and the Fargo. I already have a MTB, so this one would be mostly for my everyday commute (@ 23 miles roundtrip) on well paved roads, some gravel cycling with the wife and occasionaly (once or twice a year) some off road bike camping...

    I like the looks of the Vaya, so i wonder how much abuse can hold a 40c tyre with a good rim (w/ 36 spokes) going off road under loaded panniers.

    Any experience?

    Coque.

  20. #20
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    Can anyone of you guys let me know the exact weight of the Vaya frame+fork and Fargo frame+fork?, it isn't clear on Salsa's site.
    i was also having some trouble finding the frame+fork weight for the vaya.
    I saw the weight of the frame is 5 lbs 5 oz for the 58cm, but i am assuming that doesn't include fork. or does it?
    the fargo, however, is stated as "Medium (18") frame weighs 5.1 lbs, fork weighs 2.6 lbs with uncut steerer". this would mean that the Fargo frame weighs less than the Vaya frame?

    i think i may move my stuff over from a stock LHT, except for the disc stuff, of course. so i will need wheels, etc. or i may sell it to fund the purchase of a stock Vaya. i would probably come out close to the same either way financially, but i could also sell the lht frame after the build too. hmmm. hmmm. hmmmmmmm.

  21. #21
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coque
    Hi guys,

    Can anyone of you guys let me know the exact weight of the Vaya frame+fork and Fargo frame+fork?, it isn't clear on Salsa's site.

    I'm also trying to decide between the Vaya and the Fargo. I already have a MTB, so this one would be mostly for my everyday commute (@ 23 miles roundtrip) on well paved roads, some gravel cycling with the wife and occasionaly (once or twice a year) some off road bike camping...

    I like the looks of the Vaya, so i wonder how much abuse can hold a 40c tyre with a good rim (w/ 36 spokes) going off road under loaded panniers.

    Any experience?

    Coque.
    Sorry man... Didn't put either frameset on the scale before I built 'em up. I don't worry about those things much, typically.

    As for how much abuse a 40c tire can take riding off road under loaded tires... It depends how rough the off road conditions you're riding are. If the conditions are too rough for 40c tires, they're too rough for a Vaya. At that point, you need a Fargo anyway. I'd say that's your cutoff point.

    I've ridden everything up to smooth singletrack on my 40c Schwalbe Marathon Extreme tires on my Vaya, but if you're going camping and you're going to tour loaded off-road, a Fargo (or your existing mountain bike) is the only option, unless you want to make some serious compromises (or the trail is very smooth). The Vaya was not designed as an off-road bike.

    But that said, on your communte, 363 days out of the year, you're going to wish you had a Vaya... Because in that realm, it's faster and more efficient, period. You have to decide what you want the bike to do well and make the decision based on your priorities.

  22. #22
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevereeneo
    Droooooollllll ...
    So how come you've got a "Ride and Smile" sticker on the seatstay ... is that an aftermarket addition?

    S
    Thanks... Yeah, that vinyl is definitely aftermarket. You know... the kind that makes the bike faster!

  23. #23
    i heart singletrack
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    Quote Originally Posted by aljee
    i was also having some trouble finding the frame+fork weight for the vaya.
    I saw the weight of the frame is 5 lbs 5 oz for the 58cm, but i am assuming that doesn't include fork. or does it?
    the fargo, however, is stated as "Medium (18") frame weighs 5.1 lbs, fork weighs 2.6 lbs with uncut steerer". this would mean that the Fargo frame weighs less than the Vaya frame?

    i think i may move my stuff over from a stock LHT, except for the disc stuff, of course. so i will need wheels, etc. or i may sell it to fund the purchase of a stock Vaya. i would probably come out close to the same either way financially, but i could also sell the lht frame after the build too. hmmm. hmmm. hmmmmmmm.
    Like I said above, I haven't had my Fargo or Vaya frames on the scale, but I've held both naked frames in my own hands, and will say without hesitation that the Vaya is definitely lighter than the Fargo. The Vaya fork is also much more svelte than the Fargo fork. A side-by-side comparison clearly reveals this.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgersib
    Like I said above, I haven't had my Fargo or Vaya frames on the scale, but I've held both naked frames in my own hands, and will say without hesitation that the Vaya is definitely lighter than the Fargo. The Vaya fork is also much more svelte than the Fargo fork. A side-by-side comparison clearly reveals this.
    sorry, i think i posted right before or right after you did.
    i get what you are saying about weight not being that important. my goal is to have a very efficient machine for extended S24O's for which the frame weight is somewhat significant than it normally would be for me. this is going to be my 'light and quick(er)' bike and i am comparing the CC vs LHT vs Vaya

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgersib
    But that said, on your communte, 363 days out of the year, you're going to wish you had a Vaya... Because in that realm, it's faster and more efficient, period. You have to decide what you want the bike to do well and make the decision based on your priorities.
    You know you're making my problem even worst, don't you? ;-)

    Truth is i think the Vaya is my bike but i love the "no limits" mentality of the Fargo, like most of you, i guess.

    See, i'm new to cycling and the sport i dedicated my life to is surfing. But almost two years back my surfing related health problems went worse and i had to be out of the water for some time, i was gaining lots of weight and i always thought that moving my car to be at the office parking for nine hours was a waste of energy, space and money, so i decided to commute by bike. All my friends belong to the MTB world, so i made a bike from pieces and ended with an scandium MTB frame, discs and 700 wheels (yep, they fit with 30c slicks and there's even tight room for mudguards). Then i realized i prefer a drop bar when there're strong winds (quite often here), so i installed one. Then i realized the frame was small for me and i never liked the tight fit of the wheels, so i found a good deal on a Mariachi and bought it... And built a MTB from the scandium frame. I think now that the Mariachi might be to big for me (L size, i'm 5'11'' tending to shorter legs/longer reach), but i'm used to it and i'm afraid the 57 or even the 58 Vaya will be short for me...

    Why do i tell you all this?, because i'm open to any kind of advice with this "Vaya project"...

    Here's my beast (now she has clipless pedals, a new rear wheel and no chainguard) so i i guess i made my own Fargo/Vaya just before they were on the market:



    BTW. lately i'm using a computer my sister gave me, and starting to give some atention to cadence and heart rate i'm tryin to be more efficient and, for the first time, i'm paying some atention to weight also, that's why the Vaya looks sexier to me.

    Thanks for reading guys and my apologies for my bad english.
    Coque

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