Crosscheck vs. Salsa Vaya- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Crosscheck vs. Salsa Vaya

    I'm torn between getting a Surly Crosscheck or a Salsa Vaya. The Surly has the price war won, but the Salsa has some nice components and discs (my preference). The two bikes have different geometry setups, but I'm no expert on that. I plan on using the bike for riding rough roads and touring. I'm 6'4" with a 35" inseam. Either bike in the 60 would fit with a long seat post. I'd probably go with the 62 cm Surly and 60 cm Salsa (more of a sloping top tube). Has anyone ridden both? If so, please share your thoughts. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I'd choose vaya all day for your purposes. While the cross check is a great(awesome) bike, it's not the best tourer, though capable, and potentially less comfortable for longer hours in the saddle, though a very comfortable indeed. The Vaya is designed to do what you want to do very well and more, the Cross Check is designed to do lots of things pretty well.

  3. #3
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    You'll want the Vaya. Much better bike. The discs and longer wheelbase will help for touring and rough rides. It is a far better bike.

  4. #4
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    I have both 2011 versions of the CC and the Vaya. No question, the Vaya is a much more comfortable bike and has a more mountain bike feel.

    I prefer the feel of the Vaya. Not sure how to explain it other than to say I feel like I am sitting "on" the CC and I feel like I am sitting "in" the Vaya. In my opinion, the Vaya is by far the most well designed and comfortable bike I have ever ridden.

    It really comes down to what you want and what you'll use it for. Both are pretty solid bikes.

  5. #5
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    For touring, wouldn't the Long Haul Trucker be a better choice than the cross check? And at your height, it would be the 700c version so it would be more of an even comparison to the Vaya as well. Just tossing it out there as an idea.

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    Out of the three, I thought the LHT was a slug. I mean if you want a dedicated touring bike, then I think it would be a good option. Short of that, the CC and Vaya are more "do anything" bikes. Since I got the Vaya, its pretty much replaced the CC, so Im planning to trade my CC frame for a LHT

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. I considered the LHT. If I was doing nothing but loaded touring, that might be the one, but at my stage in life and time constraints, shorter trips down rail-trails and the like are more likely along with hilly country roads and fire trails around home.

  8. #8
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    I've had my CC for about a year and a half. I love it. It's constantly evolving and very versatile. Yesterday I test rode a Vaya and was immediately impressed. It was responsive and comfortable, and nice to ride. However, I don't like it $400 more than a Cross Check. I'm not a big fan of Sram's Doubletap either, even though the hoods were insanely comfortable compared to my Ultegra brifters.

    If I had $1500 to spend on a bike, I'd go CC with a few upgrades, over the stock Vaya IMHO.
    Jason
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  9. #9
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    If the CC headtube was longer, i'd say go for that, but the Vaya long Headtube sells it for me, that's what i'll be riding soon.......and i really wanted a CC in that sexy Robin's Egg Blue, it hurts to look at them all day everyday at work.

  10. #10
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    Dear Hand/of/Midas:
    With that pic, I'd better do as you say, or I'll be cursed for life. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    It sure seems like you ought to spring for the Vaya; a couple hundred bucks more is worth it to get exactly what you want. And there's not any easy way to add disc brakes to a CC down the road. It sounds like you prioritze strong braking, so you'll likely be very disappointed with the stock Oryx canti's on the CC. In my experience with the same brake on the LHT, you'd at the very least need to upgrade the pads and many people opt to change the whole brakes out for either wide-profile canti's or V-brakes. So that narrows the cost difference between CC and Vaya right there.

    I have a 700c LHT that I ride mainly as an all-rounder; it is perfect for that. Even though I've never done a loaded tour, as a clydesdale, I like the heavy duty build, especially over rough ground. If I was smaller, I'd probably rather have a CC though. I bought my Trucker before the Vaya hit the market. The Vaya is nice and would be great for the way I ride, but I still prefer the LHT's level top tube, crowned fork, and canti brakes. I think its hardly fair to call the LHT the "slug" of the three considering differences in tires, gears, aerodynamic setup, racks, etc. Someone set up a Vaya, CC, and LHT with identical wheels, tires, gearing, components (except brakes of course), and saddle-to-bar height and then come back and tell me that the LHT's .4 lbs more frameset weight (something like that) compared to the Vaya and CC makes a hill of beans difference speed-wise. Much less for 99.9% of everyday riding. Anyway, they are all slugs compared to road and cyclocross bikes designed for real racing. IMHO, the handling differences due to geometry, the functional differences (brakes, chainstay length, braze-ons, etc), and the esthetic differences between the bikes are far more significant. All are great bikes though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas
    If the CC headtube was longer, i'd say go for that, but the Vaya long Headtube sells it for me,
    I know it has a long fork, but CC head tubes seem so short.

    I put together one of those Nashbar cyclocross frame with the parts from a wrecked Cannondale disc cross bike and it's got me leaning toward a Vaya, although I like the versatility of the CC dropouts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bolandjd
    It sounds like you prioritze strong braking, so you'll likely be very disappointed with the stock Oryx canti's on the CC. In my experience with the same brake on the LHT, you'd at the very least need to upgrade the pads and many people opt to change the whole brakes out for either wide-profile canti's or V-brakes. So that narrows the cost difference between CC and Vaya right there.
    The Vaya comes with the "lowly" Avid BB5s, not the marginally more expensive and much nicer Avid BB7s (that the Fargo comes with). Same can be said for the CC's Oryx brakes and not the Avid CR720. Not much of a price difference on the brakes from a retail perspective, but when you cross a certain price point ($1100 and $1500 respectively), I would expect the better of the two in the stock builds.

    The Oryx's are horrible. You can try cable angles, kool stop pads, etc....you'll still be disappointed. I just paid $50 for CR720s with Kool Stop pads. Money well spent.
    Jason
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  14. #14
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    To each his own. I tried the CR720s on my CC, and they could barely stop the bike. I switched back to the stock Oryxs after one race, and they worked so much better.

    Then again, I recently put V brakes on my CC, and now I remember why once V brakes came out, I never used cantis on any of my mountain bikes again. All the power I could ever need, but still considerably lighter and cleaner than discs.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAG410
    The Oryx's are horrible. You can try cable angles, kool stop pads, etc....you'll still be disappointed. I just paid $50 for CR720s with Kool Stop pads. Money well spent.
    http://www.bikingtoplay.blogspot.com/
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    To each his own. I tried the CR720s on my CC, and they could barely stop the bike. I switched back to the stock Oryxs after one race, and they worked so much better.

    Then again, I recently put V brakes on my CC, and now I remember why once V brakes came out, I never used cantis on any of my mountain bikes again. All the power I could ever need, but still considerably lighter and cleaner than discs.
    Same here I could get the oryxes working perfectly but also switched to Vs anyway

  16. #16
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    Another very happy Vaya owner here. The CC is too plush to carry much load. The Vaya is dead solid but still very comfortable - they nailed it! Can fit big tires too.

  17. #17
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    Holy crap, is this the same forum as the one wheee I posted this?

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=713412

    Much different attitudes in this thread.

    Surly could knock one out of the ballpark if they made a traditional looking disc-only cross/tourer with a closer to level top tube (unlike the Vaya), a longer headtube and traditional looking fork (think Vaya meets Jamis Aurora Elite meets Singular Peregrine meets CC). All that and fatties fit fine!!!

  18. #18
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    Another vote for the Vaya from another Vaya owner. I've only had mine a few weeks but I absolutely love it. I've logged a gravel metric and lots of rail trail miles. The bike fits great and still feels good 4 hours in. If longer rides are what your looking for the Vaya gets my vote.


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