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2015 Salsa Vaya with Sora

Old 10-25-15, 09:17 AM
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fat sam
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2015 Salsa Vaya with Sora

I am looking at this bike for gravel and a bike for mountains one week of the year. I will probably log 1000 miles a year on it. I have a Damone with Ultegra and have had road bikes with 105 and they both have shifted well. Had a road bike with a triple on it once not sure what kind but did not shift well at all. My question is not the longevity of Sora but the shifting reliability, shifting under a load. I am 200 pounds and encounter short steep hills on gravel rides. I want a triple for the mountains and some longer hills on gravel. Thank you in advance for letting me know your thoughts and experiences. (Not ever ridden steel before, I am very impressed with the test ride with the Vaya)
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Old 10-25-15, 05:28 PM
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AlexGS1
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Originally Posted by fat sam View Post
I am looking at this bike for gravel and a bike for mountains one week of the year. I will probably log 1000 miles a year on it. I have a Damone with Ultegra and have had road bikes with 105 and they both have shifted well. Had a road bike with a triple on it once not sure what kind but did not shift well at all. My question is not the longevity of Sora but the shifting reliability, shifting under a load. I am 200 pounds and encounter short steep hills on gravel rides. I want a triple for the mountains and some longer hills on gravel. Thank you in advance for letting me know your thoughts and experiences. (Not ever ridden steel before, I am very impressed with the test ride with the Vaya)
I have one that I use for commuting, long rides, gravel, etc. I love it!
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Old 10-26-15, 09:21 AM
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I bought one about a month ago - couldn't resist, a great deal with end of season sales.
Haven't had too much chance to ride it with the crappy weather we've been getting. A little disappointed that it's only 9 speed. Not really a big deal but starting out with an obsolete setup just seems wrong.
Really like the more upright position without having to use a stack of stem spacers. Very comfortable bike. I've found the shifting flawless. Modern triples are very reliable with the ramped and pinned cranks. I'm pleasantly surprised by the trim positions on the front shifter. Triple shifters didn't used to have trim.
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Old 10-26-15, 09:34 AM
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Sora works pretty well not as crisp as the higher dollar stuff but very usable.
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Old 10-26-15, 09:44 AM
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Salsa's Vaya is one of my all-time favorites. Foolishly sold my first one, but replaced it with another one. Great for gravel, dirt roads, and commuting.
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Old 10-26-15, 12:47 PM
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Sora stuff usually works pretty well, but feels more notchy and less smooth than the upper-level stuff. Sora and Tiagra also tend to accept larger cassettes than the upper-level product lines. Tiagra 4700 just came out (3 x 10 speed), so you could upgrade to that stuff down the line while keeping the triple crank.

The Vaya 3 looks like a pretty versatile bike; it has comfortable geometry and fits wide-ish tires.
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Old 10-26-15, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Slash5 View Post
I bought one about a month ago - couldn't resist, a great deal with end of season sales.
.
Congrats. I was not so fortunate in my search during the LBS's August sales. The bikes that were on sale were either not of interest to me, or not in the right size.

I did sign up though for the Salsa Demo Day in my area - there should be 2 Warbirds available for test rides, and the rest are MTBs.
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Old 10-27-15, 07:22 AM
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I have a 2014 Spec. Secteur with Sora. I believe I read it uses the Tiagra 9 Sp cassette and the brifters could be either rebranded Tiagra or very slight mods to Tiagra. I am 203 lbs. and do shift at ll the wrong times. It works for me very well. I have about 2700 miles on it and needed to swap a chain. I put on a SRAM PC-971 and it is even smoother and quieter than the original KMC X9 (at least to me it is). The KMc was very good but I think the SRAM is just even better. I would be happy using either but prefer, for now, the SRAM. I only have about 100 miles on the new chain so it is still early to be too sold on it but initial impressions are great.

Only gripe is the Sora Read derailleur seems to like to be clean to operate well. When it gets dirty, it doesn't perform well. Keep it clean and the cage grit free and it will serve you well. For me, it still works when dirty but works much better after regular cleaning.
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Old 10-27-15, 07:34 AM
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I've been running claris on one of my bikes. The stuff shifts fine. The vaya is a nice bike. A shimano road triple with 50-39-30 chainrings would not be my first choice for a bike for steep climbing.

The shimano deore trekking crank is I think a better choice; take a look at the gearing on the REI Novara Mazama, Novara Mazama Bike - 2016 - REI.com
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Old 10-27-15, 08:28 AM
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I'm a 200#er and I've gotten over 3,000 shift-perfect miles in one year on my 2014 Claris-equipped Defy. As one of the local LBS folk commented about this "Well its Shimano, of course it works...". Definitely not a smooth as my 105 bke, but definitely not bad at all. Sora is one step up from Claris, so I would expect you will be as well served as I have been.

Keith
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Old 10-27-15, 08:42 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
The Vaya 3 looks like a pretty versatile bike; it has comfortable geometry and fits wide-ish tires.
Hi Tim,
I'm not disputing your claim that it has comfortable geometry, but I was hoping you could point out to a noob like myself, what aspects of the geometry table for the Vaya 3 show this.

That way I'll have a better idea what to look for.

I presume one of the main factors is chainstay length, but what else in the geometry table points to this being a comfortable bike.

Cheers
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Old 10-27-15, 08:49 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
Hi Tim,
I'm not disputing your claim that it has comfortable geometry, but I was hoping you could point out to a noob like myself, what aspects of the geometry table for the Vaya 3 show this.

That way I'll have a better idea what to look for.

I presume one of the main factors is chainstay length, but what else in the geometry table points to this being a comfortable bike.

Cheers
I'm not Tim, but a reduced reach and greater stack height can (with spacers and stem length choice) contribute to a more upright position that is a bit more relaxed and for some, comfortable. The Vaya has a particularly tall stack height that sets it apart from a lot of other "gravel-capable" bikes.
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Old 10-27-15, 08:54 AM
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Chainstay length: the longer the chainstays, the more stable the bike will handle and the more comfortable the ride will be. Too long, and the bike becomes over-stable (reluctant to turn).

Angle: 71-72 degrees head and seat tubes usually makes a bike more stable and less aggressive/twitchy.

Stack/reach: You can see how steerer is high and close. High, close handlebars are usually more comfortable but less aero.

Compare these figures between the Vaya and the Warbird or Colossal. There aren't huge differences (a degree here, 20 mm there), but they add up.

The steel frame also makes a huge increase in comfort, compared to an aluminum alloy or carbon fiber frame.
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Old 10-27-15, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I'm not Tim, but a reduced reach and greater stack height can (with spacers and stem length choice) contribute to a more upright position that is a bit more relaxed and for some, comfortable. The Vaya has a particularly tall stack height that sets it apart from a lot of other "gravel-capable" bikes.
Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa View Post
Chainstay length: the longer the chainstays, the more stable the bike will handle and the more comfortable the ride will be. Too long, and the bike becomes over-stable (reluctant to turn).

Angle: 71-72 degrees head and seat tubes usually makes a bike more stable and less aggressive/twitchy.

Stack/reach: You can see how steerer is high and close. High, close handlebars are usually more comfortable but less aero.

Compare these figures between the Vaya and the Warbird or Colossal. There aren't huge differences (a degree here, 20 mm there), but they add up.

The steel frame also makes a huge increase in comfort, compared to an aluminum alloy or carbon fiber frame.
Thanks for the answers guys.
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Old 10-27-15, 09:28 AM
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fat sam
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Thanks everyone for putting me at ease on the Sora stuff. Now to convince my wife I need another bike and to get fall harvest over to make the two hour trip to the bike shop.
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Old 01-24-16, 09:26 PM
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Just a follow up on the Vaya. I made the purchase and have put about 1500 miles on the bike. I put nano 40's on it. The bike is very comfortable on gravel and asphalt. The shifting is very reliable, not as smooth as the higher end components but very capable. Thanks for everyone's responses and I would recommend this bike for gravel rides. I'm Kind of curious what a lighter wheel set and narrower tires would do for quicker asphalt ride?
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Old 01-25-16, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by fat sam View Post
Just a follow up on the Vaya. I made the purchase and have put about 1500 miles on the bike. I put nano 40's on it. The bike is very comfortable on gravel and asphalt. The shifting is very reliable, not as smooth as the higher end components but very capable. Thanks for everyone's responses and I would recommend this bike for gravel rides. I'm Kind of curious what a lighter wheel set and narrower tires would do for quicker asphalt ride?
Focus on lightweight, supple tires, too. The Nanos are capable but don't roll that fast. I love the speed of my 38 mm Bontrager CX0 tires on my gravel bike.
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