I heart my Salsa Vaya- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    I heart my Salsa Vaya

    Not a build thread so much as just a quick heads up that my bone stock 2017 Vaya GX is just an incredible bike and I love it so so so so so very much.

    Now granted I'm probably the perfect consumer for this bike: daily loaded commuter (mostly the bike is loaded) in a hilly wet city with awful pavement, recreational weekends linking roads and fireroads, occassional tourer who keeps it relatively light. I like the Fargo, but the steel in the Vaya is drawn thinner to the point that the Vaya feels positively springy (Fargo felt dead to me).and yet it is stiff as all get out in the bottom bracket and drives super snappy power through the chainstays. Stand up on the thing and it snap-surges forward like a Ritchey road bike. And I'm 6'3 200lbs and not fat - I flex bikes and this one is stiff in all the right places.

    It is also somehow soooo silky smooth over rough surfaces in a way that makes them dissappear. This is hard to relate, but for instance the Surly LHT is really damp over rough surfaces, but it feels like a bike dampening the rough, a little dead in the trade off. The Vaya feels like it would bounce around on the rough but doesn't at all. It's practically magic.

    It's a fast bike! Positively blows away my past normal commute times. And yet it's also SUPER COMFORTABLE in it's upright body position. Geometry is precise and quick but also gracefully stable and long enough that my heels don't get near the panniers. Again, magic - haul all my shizz like a mule but dances like a compact road frame when I stand up and rock through city traffic.

    Anyway Salsa bravo, my hat is off to you, it's a special sort of love I've got for your magic bike the Vaya - 500 miles so far but let me tell you this is a marriage that goes as long a she'll put up with me

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    congrats on the new ride. Get some pics up soon. How long is your typical commute? How do you like the GX group? I was toying at selling my warbird for one of the Vayas.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Hi - I'd post pics but literally it's stock, the blue one. My commute is 8 miles, so not so long but riding is the same time front door to butt at desk as driving, and I'll take the 80 miles a week as a base when I'd otherwise just be sitting in traffic ranching bad brain chemistry.

    I like the GX build - parts are all sensible, work nicely and have comfortable ergonomics. I've heard the SRAM Apex shifter described as "agricultural" in the way the mechanism feels when you shift. This is a fair assessment. They remind me of a well-made set of lawn scissors from when I was a kid - something kind of pot-metal-esque in how they feel, but highly functional and effective. I've also heard they stay in tune for a long time and always cleanly hit the gear you're looking for, and have found this true as well. The ergonomics of the hoods is very comfy and functional.

    IMO the Apex crank is cheap looking and ugly but works well, is stiff and not too heavy.

    The WTB Nano tire it came with works really nicely, grippy and fast on a lot of different surfaces wet or dry. I like them enough to buy if they hadn't come with the bike anyway.

    The Vaya-specific carbon fork is a great fit for the bike. My guess is that it's a little more supple and springier than the Firestarter fork. It tracks well and doesn't deflect (credit the through-axle probably), doesn't buck or kick, doesn't load and release either. Feels seamlessly like part of the frame. I think too that it takes maybe 1.5 lbs off the bike, which might make a difference in why my GX feels so lively.

    That Warbird is a nice bike - more of a full on charging machine than the Vaya, yes? I wonder if the Vaya would be sporty enough in comparison. But I like the Vaya - so fun to ride, so immediately intuitive for me.

    I had a grand plan to buy the msrp $1800 Vaya GX new for cheap that went like this: apply for REI credit card and get $100 credit at REI. Buy bike at REI with REI card and get 15 percent back as dividend (standard 10% plus 5% bonus from REI card). Buy bike in Portland over phone and pick up when passing through anyway so no sales tax. In this scheme the 2017 GX would have been $1570 all totalled, and if I didnt like it I could roll it back into the store 364 days later and say nope, not for me, and get a full refund.

    But what happened was I walked into the least friendly most attitude bike shop in Seattle and paid 2k out the door. You see they had the last size XL GX in WA, and th closest 5 states and BC Canada. I called Salsa and they said they were totally out of stock and done building the 59.5cm GX until the 2018 model year. Wasn't gonna wait that long to save 10k nickels and in the end glad to have gone w/ a LBS, even if the last on my list.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    I am leaving my CAAD 12 road bike for an all around bike and the salsa Vaya seems to be it. However, I am not sure whether to buy the 2017 or 2018 because I can not determine the deore vs tiagara component comparison which is better and some other minor changes)

    Here is a link to each bike. Same price, which is spec'd better for the same money??? PS I like the 2017 green one but 2017 should be better, equal or not as good as the 2017??

    The 2017 Vaya:

    Thew 2018 Vaya:

    Before I go, the Apex version.... that much better besides the carbon fork?


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