Author Topic: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?  (Read 2307 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline summerbee

Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« on: October 21, 2012, 09:28:46 pm »
Yes, I'm coming over to the lighter side. I want to enjoy the world as I pedal thru it these days. I come from a road/mountain biking background. Touring bikes are a different breed..and I am on the horns of deliema. One local bike shop strongly recommends the Salsa Vaya while the other advocates the LHT. Both of the guys to whom I've been quizzing have done respectable tours. Both built their bikes frame up. This will be my FIRST touring bike. I'm very excited BUT being just a tad OCD, am concerned about making the best, logical decision I can. I welcome any and all suggestions.
Some background info: 50 yo female, 5'4", good shape, minor low back issues, budget is enough to allow for a decent bike but not more than I need as a beginner.
I would hope to use this bike on some unpaved back roads and such.
Thanks ya'll. This is a "must do" on my bucket list. I'd like to be rolling come Spring.
Best Regards,
Tammy

Offline John Nelson

Re: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2012, 10:16:50 pm »
They are both fine bikes. For me, the scales would tip to the LHT because of the triple chainrings. You may, however, be drawn to the disk brakes on the Salsa.

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2012, 10:26:40 pm »
Fit is king. Since you have a significant background, I presume you have at least one bike that just fits and feels like it's part of you.  If so, which of the two matches the best?

Rick

Offline Gif4445

Re: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2012, 11:31:12 pm »
Would it be possible for you to test ride each first?  I may not have the experience of many on here, but my LHT has been a great bike for me.  I started years ago with a mountain bike, then an aluminum/carbon fork road bike.  When I decided to look at a touring specific bike, I was able to test ride some.  For me, I knew I wanted the LHT after a couple blocks.  The comfort improvement was day and night.  And later when I had some serious climbing to do, the lower gears were a big help.  I'm sure there are several good choices out there.  Personally, I would not buy a bike before first riding it.  Good luck!!

Offline DaveB

Re: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 09:00:02 am »
I think people agonize too much about the minute differences between very similar bikes.  If the frame fits,  the components are what you want and the maker/seller is reliable, the decision can be made as much on paint color as anything else. 

Offline staehpj1

Re: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 09:41:16 am »
Lots of reasons to go one way or the other, but it probably boils down to which one you like.  It could hinge on the disc brakes, or the STI shifters if you have a preference for or against either.  Best answer is to test ride them and see which you like best.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 10:43:01 am »
I'm with John on the gearing issue, at least if you're going stock.  The Vaya 2 has a low of 27 gear inches, and the Vaya 3 has a road triple that goes down to 24 gear inches.  The LHT, stock, goes down to 20 gear inches, also with a 26" wheel.  That's two more lower gears on the LHT.

Is 4" / 2 gears significant?  Only when the hill is steep, the ride long, and the load heavy.  If you commit to packing light (inn-to-motel makes this easy), keeping daily mileage low (stay where there are appropriate facilities spaced closely), and out of hills (like the Appalachians, Ozarks, Sierras, and Rockies, also known as the more scenic parts of the U.S.), then you can forget about needing lower gears.  Otherwise, either go with the stock LHT or plan to upgrade components on the Salsa.  Be aware that upgrades may ratchet the price up rather quickly.

Offline summerbee

Re: Well, here we go..my first touring bike is........?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012, 05:11:50 pm »
Excellent Advice, all.
I will be test riding both this weekend.
This has been a fantastic website for a beginner such as myself.
Thank you all very much.
Should you ever be peddling thru NW ARK, shoot me an email. I have hot water and cold beer!
Cheers.
T Graham