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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-09-11, 08:42 PM   #1
Goatman
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Anyone ride a Salsa Vaya ?

I'm going to be getting a new bike soon. My 15 year old Trek 930 is too slow. I'm looking at a Vaya. I ride paved roads and some gravel. Anyone have experience with a Vaya or Salsa bike in general?
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Old 03-10-11, 08:59 AM   #2
inthewoods
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I have a 2007 La Cruz which was Salsa's progenitor to the Vaya. I've been happy with it, but I do find that its relatively aggressive cyclocross geometry causes it to be somewhat fatiguing to ride on trails. It also has a pretty stiff ride due to the relatively large gauge Platinum OX tubing, straight blade fork, and steepish geometry. The Vaya was designed to be a more trail and touring focused bike than the La Cruz and has more tire clearance, longer chainstays and better rack mounting options. I think the Vaya would be a great choice for someone who wants a speedy drop-bar bike and is going to ride dirt roads and gravel paths ~50% of the time with the other time split between pavement and trails. Here is a biased review of the Vaya from a Salsa Sponsored rider: http://www.thecyclistsite.com/review...st-review.html

(I have no relationship with Salsa other than buying the La Cruz in 2007.)

-Tony
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Old 03-10-11, 11:05 AM   #3
zoste
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Sorry, no experience with the Vaya, but I ride a 2008 Casseroll.

My experience with Salsa is good: I called them for information on the wheelset that came stock on my bike and actually spoke to a human being first time out.

The frames are welded together in (I think) Taiwan and the components are put on in Minnesota.

They've had to recall a couple of different stems, but I had absolutely no problems getting mine replaced for free.

Salsa is sold through QBP, so you can order one from virtually any LBS.
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Old 03-10-11, 11:32 AM   #4
lucienrau
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I have a vaya and I love it. I haven't ridden it on trails yet, but it's done very well over a nasty New England winter. I love it as my daily bike. It's done great over ice, potholes, and pretty bad roads. As far as it being stiff, it's much more flexible than my old Trek hybrid and is pretty comparable to the other bikes that I was looking at (Jamis Aurora Elite and Surly CrossCheck.) I haven't ridden a road bike regularly in about 15 years or so so take that for what it's worth. It clears 700X42 tires with fenders and probably 700X45 without. I've got Schwable Marathon XRs, 700x40 on it. I like the fatter tires and the geometry work well for me.

I built it from scratch last year with the Apex groupset last fall, year's ones were announced and it ended up very similar to this year's build. I find it extremely comfortable and it flies. I don't really have an issue with the compact double and it hauls me (270 or so) my daughter 30lbs, our stuff and a load of groceries in a trailer without an issue. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well it handles hills loaded or unloaded. I bought it as an allrounder. There aren't any salsa dealers near me so I worked with a LBS that carries Jamis bikes on the fitting then bought it online.

(I've got no relationship with Salsa either other than owing the Vaya.)

There's another review on Roadcc and here's one as well: http://bikechimp.wordpress.com/2010/...-cycling-life/
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Old 03-10-11, 06:30 PM   #5
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I can't tell you how good the bike is for clydes/ athenas specifically, but I test rode one and it was a very fun bike. The geometry is pretty upright, more like an mtb than a road bike, so you really should find one to test ride if you can to see if it's your cup of tea. As someone with long legs compared to my torso I thought it fit me very well out of the box.
It begs to be ridden on dirt or gravel paths so it should be perfect for what you want, but with its stock tires it's not exactly fast compared to something like a cross bike or sport tourer. The thing I really like about it was that it can be toured on without having clunky "touring" handling. It steers a bit more like an mtb.
I love my Salsa Casseroll, and I wish I could have a Vaya too.
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Old 03-10-11, 09:58 PM   #6
ecovelo
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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!
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Old 04-12-11, 12:24 PM   #7
BostonRoadee
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I test-road a used one this weekend for 2.5 hours on paved roads, dirt roads, gravel and single-track, and fell deeply, madly in love. I've never ridden a bike quite like it. Needless to say, I'm buying it (from the guy who offered the test-ride.)

Check out my review, here:

http://velophoria.blogspot.com/2011/...l-of-wild.html

There are also a few VERY thorough reviews out on the Web; go to the Vaya page on the Salsa Web site and find the tab for "Reviews" -- the links are all there.

Enjoy!!
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