Author Topic: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?  (Read 31396 times)

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Offline RayBag

Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« on: November 30, 2010, 08:16:34 am »
It's time for a new touring rig for my wife and so far the Salsa Vaya looks like the frontrunner. With some tweaking to gearing and shifters this looks like it could be a worthy machine. My wife is 5"1" so usually the smallest frame size is what she needs. We're also looking to stay with 26" wheels.

She has tried out a friends Long Haul Trucker and found it to be a tank with a capitol T. I know touring bikes need to be a little heavy to handle loads but jeez, c'mon. The 46cm LHT weighed more than my 57cm Waterford. (I know, I know apples/oranges etc)

So, anyone have any real touring experience on the Vaya?

Thanks,
Ray

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2010, 02:59:38 pm »
No personal experience here, but a few observations.  I assume you're going to switch out the (compact) double crank for a triple.  It really looks like Salsa's spec'd the Vaya as a cross bike, rather than a tourer.

I'd ordinarily dis the Vaya for 32-spoke wheels instead of 36, but given your wife's height, and making a favorable assumption about her weight, that may not matter.

It looks like the Vaya has eyelets for a rear rack, which is good.  There's nothing similar in the front mid-fork, which isn't so good, and I don't know how easy it would be to add a front rack to this disk-equipped fork.

Checking on the weight, the LHT is about 2 pounds heavier than the Vaya, assuming the Vaya weight includes the fork.  (Otherwise, it's a wash.)  That would indicate to me a 2 pound difference, maximum, if the equipment is similar.  My guess is that the rest of the components are heavier (for loads or price savings) than your Waterford.  Most loaded touring bikes seem to weigh about the same; 26 +/- 2 pounds without racks or fenders.  You either have to sacrifice durability or load-carrying capacity, or pay handsomely, to cut 4 pounds off the weight.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 05:06:08 pm »
Checking on the weight, the LHT is about 2 pounds heavier than the Vaya, assuming the Vaya weight includes the fork.  (Otherwise, it's a wash.)  That would indicate to me a 2 pound difference, maximum, if the equipment is similar.  My guess is that the rest of the components are heavier (for loads or price savings) than your Waterford.  Most loaded touring bikes seem to weigh about the same; 26 +/- 2 pounds without racks or fenders.  You either have to sacrifice durability or load-carrying capacity, or pay handsomely, to cut 4 pounds off the weight.

Most of that 2 pound difference is static weight.  The important weight is weight that rotates, so look at the crank and the wheels.  Cranks have a small diameter, so I would be surprised if resulting moment of inertia was that big.  I guess I could see where the moment of inertia from the wheels would equate to the tankiness of the LHT.  Lots of people love their LHTs.
Danno

Offline ducnut

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 10:40:22 am »
With some tweaking to gearing and shifters this looks like it could be a worthy machine.

The long cage RD will be able to swing a 36T low gear. I doubt you'll need anything lower.

I see they, now, offer a titanium version.....that'd be sweet.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2010, 10:17:13 pm »
Checking on the weight, the LHT is about 2 pounds heavier than the Vaya, assuming the Vaya weight includes the fork.  (Otherwise, it's a wash.)  That would indicate to me a 2 pound difference, maximum, if the equipment is similar.  My guess is that the rest of the components are heavier (for loads or price savings) than your Waterford.  Most loaded touring bikes seem to weigh about the same; 26 +/- 2 pounds without racks or fenders.  You either have to sacrifice durability or load-carrying capacity, or pay handsomely, to cut 4 pounds off the weight.

Most of that 2 pound difference is static weight.  The important weight is weight that rotates, so look at the crank and the wheels.  Cranks have a small diameter, so I would be surprised if resulting moment of inertia was that big.  I guess I could see where the moment of inertia from the wheels would equate to the tankiness of the LHT.  Lots of people love their LHTs.

Sorry if I wasn't clear.  I was comparing the weight of the frame and forks, so all of that 2 pound weight difference is what you're calling "static weight."

I think you're getting carried away with the distinction between static and rotating weight, though.  Some 20 pounds of the LHT is not frame and fork.  I'd be very surprised if the wheels averaged 10 pounds each.  The point I was trying to make, apparently with little success, is that all the other components (other than frame and fork) can be selected for weight, weight bearing and longevity, or cost.  The OP (and his Mrs.) will have to select two out of three.

re: Raybag, I don't know where the OP's family plans to tour, or their strength, so I can't state definitively whether a compact double with 11x36 cassette will be sufficient.  If they're going to ride in mountains, I doubt it.  I'd plan on replacing that double with a triple, with a 24 (prefered) or 26 (passable) small crank.

Offline gregg

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010, 01:22:33 am »
No I haven't ridden a Vaya, if your going to be changing a bunch of parts, you may wish to consider also the Soma Saga frame. That way you build it up exactly the way your wife wants it. The frame itself according to Soma, weighs 4.9 pounds in the 44 cm size, frame only. That is considerably less than the LHT (yes, it is still not a Waterford, but then it is about a grand or so cheaper at the current $479.00 sale price for the frame and fork).  The 54 and smaller run 26" tires like you desire.  I've been a fan of theirs since I bought one of their Groove MTB/adventure touring frames about 4 years ago.  I've used it for touring, commuting, and with a tire change, trails.  The welds and paint on the frame I bought are top notch, and it carries me (185 lbs.) and about 40 pounds of gear without a hitch.  It also doesn't feel like a pig unloaded. They didn't have the Saga at the time I purchased my frame, if they had, I would have gone in that direction.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2010, 01:15:59 pm »
Sorry if I wasn't clear.  I was comparing the weight of the frame and forks, so all of that 2 pound weight difference is what you're calling "static weight."

I think you're getting carried away with the distinction between static and rotating weight, though.  Some 20 pounds of the LHT is not frame and fork.  I'd be very surprised if the wheels averaged 10 pounds each.  The point I was trying to make, apparently with little success, is that all the other components (other than frame and fork) can be selected for weight, weight bearing and longevity, or cost.  The OP (and his Mrs.) will have to select two out of three.

There is an urban legend about people riding a racing bike that had been filled with  metal shot to make the bike heavier.  You were not allowed to lift the bike, only ride it.  As the legend goes, very few riders were able to pick up on the fact that the bike was artificially heavy.

When you have a budget, you focus on rotating weight.  A 200g difference between two frames is negligible.  A 200g difference between 2 wheelsets is a very big deal.  That is only 100 g per wheel, and yet you could pick up on the difference when you ride.  50g per pedal is a big deal.

Yes, building a bike is all about compromise.
Danno

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2010, 02:49:10 pm »
At the very great risk of confusing this perfectly good argument with facts, let me add some data.

I looked up the weight (mass) of Sun CR-18 rims, as I know these are available in both sizes.  26”, 440 g.  700C, 484 g.  Add to these the mass of some Schwalbe Marathon tires (available in many sizes, and popular with tourists):  559x40 (26x1.50”), 600 g; 622x32, 580 g; 622x40, 720.  I think the 700Cx40 is much wider than many road tourists, use, but it’s there if you want to get picky about equivalent widths.  Making a few simplifying assumptions (like massless hubs and spokes), I calculated the energy, in Joules, required to accelerate these components to 10 mph:  26”, 10.39 J; 622x32, 10.63 J; 622x40, 12.03 J.  So to accelerate these wheels to 10 mph, you’d need 2.3% more energy for the 32 width wheels, and 15.7% more for the 40 wheels, over the 26” wheels.

Of course, you’ll need to accelerate yourself, the bike, and the luggage if you don’t want to watch the wheels rolling off down the road.  If everything else weighs 250 pounds, that’s 1133 J.  Total energy to accelerate you and your loaded bike is remarkably similar across the wheel differences: 0.02% more for the 32 wheels, and 1.4% more for the 40 wheels, again compared to the 26” wheels.

I’d call that 0.02% negligible.

Pat

Offline JayH

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2010, 08:41:18 pm »
Salsa has also released their front lowrider fork for the straight bladed vaya, it's on their website.

With the disc placement, too I've found I can use my Thule fork mounted bike carriers w/o needing any disc-specific carrier, the head on the Thule doesn't interface with the pistons on the brakes... 


p.s. I have the stock compact double 50-32 with a standard MTB 12-32 cassette in the back, fine for commuting but I haven't toured on it yet.  Shifting is OK, I find that the chain sometimes get jammed on downshifts if in a certain position on the crank (perhaps on the ramps) so I try to remember to shift only on a certain leg position.  Maybe the wide teeth spacing on the lower gears might cause the chain not to get up all the way... I wonder what would happen with a 36-tooth low gear.....   I'd suggest the triple and I might go that route if I decide to tour on the Vaya. Right now it's a commuter bike.    Very comfortable I think, kind of the SUV of bikes..

Jay

« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 08:45:08 pm by JayH »

Offline Macbeth

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 04:30:56 am »
I work for a Salsa dealer here in Sydney, and while I have had no experience touring on one, I have a bunch of regular customers who have, and I have a lot of experience setting them up.

 The easiest way to get around the slightly higher gearing is to switch to one of the new SRAM 2x10 cranksets, such as an X7 or X9 crank with a 26/39 set up. This, combined with Shimano's 12-36 '29er?' cassette gives LOADS of low gears. Yes you lose your top end, but you don't need to change shifters or front derailleurs.

 All the Vaya's we recieved here is Australia came standard with a fork equipped with low-rider mounts. There are some racks that will, and some that won't work so easily with a disc set-up.... I am eagerly anticipating Salsa's own front rack that is designed specifically for disc lowrider touring.....

 Adam
 

Offline Tim D

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2011, 01:01:56 pm »
[The Forum software helpfully points out that this topic has been quiet for a while, but I thought I could   make a useful first post here.]

I rode my steel Vaya on the 2011 Cycle the (Columbia River) Gorge tour.  For those of you not familiar with it, this is a 6-day, 360-mile "intermediate" tour with O(20,000) of climbing.  The tour was supported, so the bike was unloaded, except for a small trunk.  Therefore, you may stop reading now if you seek a loaded touring opinion. :)  The tour was fantastic, but that's another topic...

The frame size is 60cm.  The drivetrain is 9-speed Shimano, 50/34x12/32.  A triple or a 12/36 would have been useful in spots, to allow an increased cadence at 6 MPH, but the D-A 9 left shifter I'm using is (I think) double-specific.  Wheels are Velocity Dyad, 36h, on M765 centerlock hubs.  Tires are Vittoria Randonneur Hyper @ 32mm, usually inflated to about 70 psi.  The stem is 120mm or 130mm, I forget which.  Bars are 46cm. I'm running a lot of stack height at the moment, at least 3 cm.  The seatpost is straight (no setback).  Brakes are Avid BB7 road.  Fenders, a basic rear rack, and 3 bottle cages were mounted for this tour.

This bike was very comfortable and extremely stable over a range of speeds up to 45 MPH.  Fairly technical descents out of Gifford Pinchot wilderness and various other spots were not a problem (of course had I not been paying fairly close attention the Forest Service probably would still be looking for my carcass!).  The disc brakes helped immensely, particularly during the one wet day we had. 

Climbing was what you might expect - while the bike was not loaded, bare weight has to be close to 30 lbs.  With me (6' 4", 190 lbs) mounted, it felt best to enjoy the scenery and not drop my under-trained teenage son rather than try to go "fast".

Three sets of cage bosses are nice, as are the numerous mounts for racks & fenders.  The seatpost clamp bolt needs to be quite tight; I had a bit of slip on the first day, but that may have been down to a reassembly error after shipping to Oregon.  The required (not measured) torque made me a bit nervous.

The "Upside Brown" (root beer) finish is quite nice but the paint is somewhat less durable than I'd like.  Last I checked Salsa were not making touch-up paint available.  I've found, but not yet purchased, a couple of nail polishes which are a decent, but not perfect, match.

Bottom line, I bought and built up this frame for running around town, pulling a trailer, and light touring, with the possibility of loading touring in the future (again, possibly using a trailer).  Final choice was made based on fit - long HT and large BB drop to accomodate my size and an upright riding position.  So far the Vaya has served me quite well.  The frame cost was very reasonable, even at list, which is currently about $550  (mine was purchased at a small discount).

Hope that helps -
Tim






Offline JayH

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 10:42:37 pm »
Thanks Tim, that's what I've been using my Salsa so far for, commuting and running errands around town.  I got the Salsa front fork for the Salsa as a xmas present but I haven't installed it yet.  I'm looking at doing a tour around VT or the ADKs, either the green mtn loop or the ADK loop myself soon or next year.. but I thought I'll see how the 27.3 gear inches are for the routes.  I thought about going the SRAM XX route but the price kind of put me off. I'm still young :-)

Jay

Offline JayH

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2011, 05:42:29 pm »
I took a tour this weekend on my Vaya, didn't have a lot of hills though, but found the compact double OK for the sections that I was on...  Never was in the lowest gear.  I am a very ultralight tourer though as being a backpacker, I already have the gear.  Found the Down Under rack fine for the loads I had in the front. Obviously works well with the Vaya as they are both made by Salsa Cycles.   

Jay

Offline Murph2112

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2011, 10:38:00 am »
I'm in the same stiuation with my Vaya.  I love the bike, but will suffer the gearing when fully loaded.

I'd like to stay with a Compact Double even for loaded touring (plus, I don't want to change out my derailleurs)

Please weigh in on this set up:

SRAM X7 1400 - 170 crank with 28/42 chain rings

The bike comes stock with a Shimano LX long cage derailleur which I think will accept a 34 cog

So 11-34 rear cassette

I could go with a the 26/39 up front as pointed out earlier in the thread , but I'm worried about losing too much on the high end.
I'm not a wimp when it comes to hills, but as a touring newbie, will this set up get me over Logan Pass in Glaicer Park with 50lbs of gear?

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Anyone been touring on the Salsa Vaya yet?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2011, 12:43:10 pm »
I'm in the same stiuation with my Vaya.  I love the bike, but will suffer the gearing when fully loaded.

I'd like to stay with a Compact Double even for loaded touring (plus, I don't want to change out my derailleurs)

Please weigh in on this set up:

SRAM X7 1400 - 170 crank with 28/42 chain rings

The bike comes stock with a Shimano LX long cage derailleur which I think will accept a 34 cog

So 11-34 rear cassette

I could go with a the 26/39 up front as pointed out earlier in the thread , but I'm worried about losing too much on the high end.
I'm not a wimp when it comes to hills, but as a touring newbie, will this set up get me over Logan Pass in Glaicer Park with 50lbs of gear?

I don't think any one can really evaluate that condition for you.  No one here knows how "strong of a rider" you are are.  So I don't see how anyone can make an apples to apples comparison for you.

Isn't there a test hill somewhere that you can use to evaluate things?
Danno