Join Date: Dec 2008
Bikes: 83' Centurion Accordo Mixte, 87' Bertoni Italamerica, 92' Trek 930 Singletrack, 92' Cannondale M1000, 06' Cannondale Rush, 10' Salsa Vaya
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Just got one and so far I love it!!
It's difficult to say how it would be for someone else though - I enjoy the slightly taller head tube - and the chain stay and wheelbase lengths are in between a full touring rig and roadie, so for me it's much more comfortable without feeling "bulky" and heavy.
I mostly appreciate that it comes in a small enough size for me - so many bike frames that are "small" either have too long of a top tube, or are "women-specific" and (although I am a woman) feel too crowded and compact for me.
Because of my size and desire for steel, I really was limited to the Vaya, the Jamis Aurora or Bossanova, the Bianchi Volpe, or keeping my Bianchi Castro Valley (same geo as the Volpe). I've also looked at Surly and Soma (really like Soma) but the TT were too long in their smallest sizes.
As already mentioned the Vaya fits many sizes of tires (up to 42?), has great rack mounts and can easily accommodate fenders. Another thing I like is that you can purchase the frame and then customize the rest.
If you have a Salsa dealer near you... ride one!! I drove 1.5hrs to test ride one - and it was a "no brainer" for me - bought it on the spot. Had a few things changed out and picked it up a week later. When I got home with the bike, in my mailbox was the latest issue of Bicycle Times Magazine - and in it
there was a review of the Vaya! ....must have been a sign.....
I would ride several to many bikes to compare - unless you are in need of an "extreme" size, there should be many to choose from especially with the bike season just starting.
And just see if there is something that feels so good, you have to have it!