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  1. #1
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Salsa Fans: Any Advantage to Vaya Ti?

    Looking at off-road touring alternatives I came across this interesting frame.


    http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya_ti/

    Wondering what if any are the advantages of a titanium frame in off road tourers? Doing a search on google yielded:

    On the pro side:
    1. rust resistance which extends life of frame
    2. seemingly indefinite resistance to flexing stresses
    3. light weight

    On the con side:
    1. cracks at welds due to inexperienced welders
    2. sometimes bikes flex too much because material is too thin to save $$ in tubing cost
    3. hardware used has to be carefully managed to avoid seizing of parts

    Any actual use reports would be greatly appreciated. I already have 3 older steel mtb frames (a 93 Jamis diablo and a 98 Raleigh mtb, soon an 89 Ritchey Ultra) kept more for collectable and fun purposes. This bike would be more for cross country short tours under 1 week. Mostly dirt roads and occasional use in the rainforest in Panama where I work. No extreme riding, bunny hopping or big drops planned for this bike.

    The main attraction to get this bike would be getting disk brakes which are very useful in places like Panama where deep mud is everywhere. As a reference point, I already own a rim-braked Surly Cross Check and love it.

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Looks like a great frame.

    I have a Lynskey Ti road bike and a Soma Double Cross DC (disc-brakes). This frame combines the best features of both. I find the steel-framed Soma has a little too much flex at the BB. This makes climbing less efficient. The Lynskey has just the right amount of flex and climbing is easier. The bike is faster and less tiring during a long hilly ride. I also like the paint-free titanium and I never worry about scratches or rust.

    I would not worry about flex or bad welds. This Salsa ti uses a bi-ovalized down tube like my Lynskey, this controls unwanted flex. Salsa will warrenty any bad frames, if that ever happens.

    I've been thinking of updating my Soma with something titanium, this looks ideal.

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-07-10 at 08:28 AM.

  3. #3
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Hi Michael,

    Good to hear you are happy with ti. It seems like most people online are either happy or vexed by their ti machines. Few people seem indifferent to it. When they work they seem perfect but when they crack or fail it appears to be for reasons unknown. One would think they'd be a known quantity by now since ti has been in widespread industrial use since the 1950's. The mtb crowd is headed towards ti once again, or at least the advertisements are.

    Most of us tourer types are conservative with new technology by nature and having paid tuition at the school of hard knocks. The idea of carrying my bike on my back down a slippery hill on a volcano in Panama is not appealing AT ALL.

  4. #4
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    The frame has many of the design features of a Lynskey and looks completely different from imported-from-Asia titanium frames. I have never heard any substantual complaints about a Lynskey.

    Modern Ti frames using 3/2.5 seamless Titanium and biaxial ovalized downtube are free of unwanted flex. I'm 210 lbs and can put down some power and frame flex is not a problem.

    I'm wondering if Lynskey builds this for Salsa? See: http://www.lynskeyperformance.com/a/...g/backroad.php & http://www.lynskeyperformance.com/a/.../cooper-cx.php
    They have done private label frames for Planet X and Performance bikes. These are great frames.
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-07-10 at 08:57 AM.

  5. #5
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    I don't see an advantage, just different. The weight differences are rendered moot by the amount of gear you carry. If you aren't already a lean rider carrying little gear the couple pounds is a very small percentage of total weight. Resiliance and shock absorption can be addressed in other ways through tires, fork construction and geometry. Issues of corrosion and fatigue are mostly theoretical benefit than practical. Anything that's causing corrosion problems with your frame will have long before screwed up the running gear.
    Ti makes sense if you can spend the money and you want it, then the reasons will appear.

  6. #6
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Steel vs Ti vs Carbon vs Aluminum vs Scandium vs (new material goes here) is a matter of taste, for sure. Assuming dollars are not an issue, and that one is open to experimentation, why not? It's not like this would be my only rig...

  7. #7
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    I don't see an advantage, just different. The weight differences are rendered moot by the amount of gear you carry. If you aren't already a lean rider carrying little gear the couple pounds is a very small percentage of total weight. Resiliance and shock absorption can be addressed in other ways through tires, fork construction and geometry. Issues of corrosion and fatigue are mostly theoretical benefit than practical. Anything that's causing corrosion problems with your frame will have long before screwed up the running gear.
    Ti makes sense if you can spend the money and you want it, then the reasons will appear.


    My touring/commuter/cyclocross & century ride bike needs to do more than just loaded touring. It needs to keep up with my fast friends during a 7 hour 200k ride and needs to go off-(paved) roads and even cover some easier single track. A versitile bike needs to be light-but-strong when used without racks or touring gear. It also needs to take a wide range of tires for either on-road or off-road use.

    If the bike is going to do more than touring, titanium is ideal.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Hard to guess on tire clearance .. looks like a hybrid not quite a 29er, not enough clearance for big tires, what tires are on that, looks like 38~40 at the most..

    Not a cross bike , sloping top tube is hard to carry,
    not any triple crank so its not a single track ride, either ..
    but for local riding and commuting it seems OK

    some Studded 32's for the ice, , fenders, a rear rack and lights..
    if QBP stands behind their sales and will fix any defects in materials and workmanship , then all is good.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-07-10 at 03:00 PM.

  9. #9
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    not any triple crank so its not a single track ride, either ..
    The frame is not sold as a complete bike. The owner could install a wide selection of drivetrains.

    The Sram Apex road compact double an 11-32 ten speed cassette is featured for those who need to look at a complete bike.

    A triple could easily be used also.

  10. #10
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    What options are available in 2x10 these days? I'd want at least under 25 gear inches on the low side. I tried the Sheldon calc but it has not been updated for the latest 10 speed hardware. With 44/29 front and 11-34 9-speed I get a low of 23 and a high of 108 with 700x32 with 175 cranks, which is pretty good. In the mtb world, a lot of folks are going 2x10...

    Is anyone riding any tires over 32 on their Vayas with fenders? Fenders are a game breaker for me. Size 32 tires are a ho-hum. Prefer wider. Check this thread at mtbr on tire widths. I'm sure Asana will chime in eventually...

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/gears/
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=579824
    http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/...he-works_92812
    Last edited by safariofthemind; 11-07-10 at 11:09 AM.

  11. #11
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
    What options are available in 2x10 these days? I'd want at least under 25 gear inches on the low side. I tried the Sheldon calc but it has not been updated for the latest 10 speed hardware. With 44/29 front and 11-34 9-speed I get a low of 22 and a high of 104, which is pretty good. In the mtb world, a lot of folks are going 2x10...

    Is anyone riding any tires over 32 on their Vayas with fenders? Fenders are a game breaker for me. Size 32 tires are a ho-hum. Prefer wider. Check this thread at mtbr on tire widths. I'm sure Asana will chime in eventually...

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/gears/
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=579824
    http://velonews.competitor.com/2009/...he-works_92812
    Sram is leading the way with 2x10 options. They offer the Sram Apex road bike groupset with a 11x32 ten speed cassette and a 50 & 34t road compact crankset and brifters. The $$$$ Sram XX MTB group offers a 11x32 or 11x36 ten speed cassette and a 45 & 30t mtb crankset. Smaller XXX crankset chainwheel combinations are also offered.

    I'm using a Sram Apex 11-32 ten speed cassette that works great with Ultegra. see: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-fear-no-hill
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-07-10 at 02:40 PM.

  12. #12
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    Sram is leading the way with 2x10 options. They offer the Sram Apex road bike groupset with a 11x32 ten speed cassette and a 50 & 34t road compact crankset and brifters. The $$$$ Sram XXX MTB group offers a 11x32 or 11x36 ten speed cassette and a 45 & 30t mtb crankset. Smaller XXX crankset chainwheel combinations are also offered.

    I'm using a Sram Apex 11-32 ten speed cassette that works great with Ultegra. see: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...r-fear-no-hill
    Cool. What is the SRAM brand equivalent to 105 shimano or XT on mtb's?

  13. #13
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
    Cool. What is the SRAM brand equivalent to 105 shimano or XT on mtb's?
    Sram Apex = Shimano 105 in cost & performance.

    I'm less well informed on MTB stuff.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post

    If the bike is going to do more than touring, titanium is ideal.
    op was speaking in terms of off-road touring. I would think that what would make an off-road tourer ideal is the ability to take 2.125 or 50mm tires and some kind of steerer tube front shock like the Cannondales.

  15. #15
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    op was speaking in terms of off-road touring. I would think that what would make an off-road tourer ideal is the ability to take 2.125 or 50mm tires and some kind of steerer tube front shock like the Cannondales.
    That would be ideal Lee, but alas, seems there's a market hole for this stuff. My Cross Check has 50mm Schwalbes and it rides like a dream, but I can't seem to be find fenders for it in that configuration or in a similar off-road machine. Plus the idea of getting 700c/29er wheels with discs (my CC has rim brakes) is appealing after the CrossCheck experience. On the other hand, something like a Pugsley is just too darn heavy for my blood.

  16. #16
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    op was speaking in terms of off-road touring. I would think that what would make an off-road tourer ideal is the ability to take 2.125 or 50mm tires and some kind of steerer tube front shock like the Cannondales.
    Quote Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
    Looking at off-road touring alternatives I came across this interesting frame.


    http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya_ti/

    Wondering what if any are the advantages of a titanium frame in off road tourers? Doing a search on google yielded:

    On the pro side:
    1. rust resistance which extends life of frame
    2. seemingly indefinite resistance to flexing stresses
    3. light weight

    On the con side:
    1. cracks at welds due to inexperienced welders
    2. sometimes bikes flex too much because material is too thin to save $$ in tubing cost
    3. hardware used has to be carefully managed to avoid seizing of parts

    Any actual use reports would be greatly appreciated. I already have 3 older steel mtb frames (a 93 Jamis diablo and a 98 Raleigh mtb, soon an 89 Ritchey Ultra) kept more for collectable and fun purposes. This bike would be more for cross country short tours under 1 week. Mostly dirt roads and occasional use in the rainforest in Panama where I work. No extreme riding, bunny hopping or big drops planned for this bike.
    The main attraction to get this bike would be getting disk brakes which are very useful in places like Panama where deep mud is everywhere. As a reference point, I already own a rim-braked Surly Cross Check and love it.
    Quote Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
    That would be ideal Lee, but alas, seems there's a market hole for this stuff. My Cross Check has 50mm Schwalbes and it rides like a dream, but I can't seem to be find fenders for it in that configuration or in a similar off-road machine. Plus the idea of getting 700c/29er wheels with discs (my CC has rim brakes) is appealing after the CrossCheck experience. On the other hand, something like a Pugsley is just too darn heavy for my blood.
    I too am looking for a bike that combines the qualities of a good CX bike & touring bike. Lee have you owned a CX bike or a TI bike?
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 11-07-10 at 02:03 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by safariofthemind View Post
    Cool. What is the SRAM brand equivalent to 105 shimano or XT on mtb's?
    SRAM first brought out their 2 x 10 MTB drivetrain in the super expensive XX group. Over the past year they've now brought their 2 x 10 options into their lower priced groups . I met a SRAM factory rep at a bike shop opening and he walked through a bunch of options with me -- they have a website dedicated to 2 x 10 now, and they have several options at lower prices. There are a bunch of good choices in here that I think would be perfect for a bike like the Vaya.

    http://sram2x10.com/?cat=66

    The SRAM rep also told me that all of the 2 x 10 groups are compatible with their road shifters.

    BTW, I think I also read somewhere (on the Salsa website, or in the Salsa blog) that the new Salsa Ti frames are made by Lynskey.

    I can't see any real downside to owning a Ti frame other than the cost. The "cons" of Ti (other than cost) are simply materials differences that can be compensated for by a good builder.

    The pros, in my mind, are:
    - not having to worry about corrosion
    - if you have an unpainted finish, you don't have to worry about paint chips

    The weight differences are so small it's not worth worrying about in a bike like this, but it's nice to shave a few ounces.

    I'd love to own a Vaya Ti, BTW, looks like a great bike.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 11-07-10 at 02:38 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    I too am looking for a bike that combines the qualities of a good CX bike & touring bike. Lee have you owned a CX bike or a TI bike?
    I own a Cross-Check and have ridden Ti bikes but never owned them. With money no object it would be cool to have a custom titanium frame but for off road touring I'd rather spend the money on the lightest gear and most secure method for attaching it(kevlar cordura?) when things go ballistic. Actually I'd probably spend the money on a personal trainer to lose 30lbs of fat.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    when clearance is scant, I cut the fender. it stops behind the fork , then the short piece is bolted to the front of the fork

    I stick a cork in the bottom of the steerer tube then to keep the dirt from going up.

  20. #20
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    when clearance is scant, I cut the fender. it stops behind the fork , then the short piece is bolted to the front of the fork

    I stick a cork in the bottom of the steerer tube then to keep the dirt from going up.
    That's an interesting solution but I am having trouble visualizing it. Any photos? It's been driving me nuts.
    Thanks.

  21. #21
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    Salsa also has a new Ti versionof the Fargo, which is more off-road focused then the Vaya. The new Fargo can also now use a suspenion fork.
    1965 Moulton Speed 4, 1974 Fuji 12 speed, 1987 DB Ascent EX, 2006 Dahon Speed TR, 2009 Salsa Fargo, 2011 Gravity 29.4, 2011 Salsa Casseroll, 2012 Surly Moonlander

  22. #22
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
    The new Fargo can also now use a suspenion fork.
    That's very interesting. I see a lot of folks running hard tails with suspended forks in the bikepacking forums. I know you lose efficiency but gain comfort and it is a trade off but I wonder about the suitability for a really long trip. The journals at crazyguy for great divide rides for example seem dominated by rigid bikes. On the other hand, I just started a thread in the mtb forum about looking for an FS bike, so maybe the 2 needs can be combined into a single bike.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ng-Rig-Choices

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    The Vaya is like my alloy Schwinn Super Sport DBX. That established an entirely new category of bike called adventure bikes, which are disc brake equipped bikes that can take larger tires with fenders and have front and rear rack mounts. Unlike road bikes, they can be taken off road as well as on asphalt. This makes them useful all-around bikes as well being good at commuting and touring, for which they are superbly designed.

  24. #24
    Life is a fun ride safariofthemind's Avatar
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    NormanF, spoken like a true fan boy

    Looks like Salsa folks are very happy with their rigs generally speaking...

    Personally, I think all bikes are a compromise one way or the other, hence why owning more than one makes sense ("Yes your honor, that's my story and I am sticking to it"). That's my excuse for collecting but don't tell my wife.

    In all seriousness, I wouldn't want to do an extended tour on roads without my more upright, road-component equipped bike so an off road rig can be more specialized, without having to make a lot of compromises for extended on-asphalt-road use.

  25. #25
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    I have a steel frame Vaya that I built up in April. It has 40mm Conti Avenue Semislick tires and plenty of room for fenders. I built it for touring, and have installed Tubus racks front and rear. It has a Coda 94/58 crank with 20-42-42 rings and 12-32 8 spd. rear. So far, so good.
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