Sunday, February 03, 2013

Vaya: The Full Reveal

Salsa Cycles Vaya in G-Ted Team colors. (HA!)
The Vaya is completed. Yep. And here it is, in all it's "mutt-build" glory. I'll get to all the details here in a minute, but I have a couple of "thank yous" to get on with here first off.

The first "thank you" goes out to Mike, who sold me the frame and fork. He has been gracious in dealing with the sale of his frame/fork and I appreciate this very much. I also appreciate the fact that he has become a friend as well over the last years.

The second "thanks" goes out to Dean from Illinois, who contacted me and let me know about a fork he had laying around that he wanted me to use for this project. He sent it to me at no charge, and that means a lot. Thanks Dean!

Okay, so here's the details on the bike. I can not say for certain, but this probably is a 2011 Vaya. (Mike would know for sure), and I do have the original fork, which I will talk about here in a bit. Dean's fork is a Winwood Muddy Cross which has carbon blades bonded to an aluminum steer tube. These were made at a time when "disc only" wasn't an option, so this fork does have the provisions for canti brake mounts.

The wheels are the old Edge Composites hoops laced to American Classic Disc hubs with DT Swiss Aerolite spokes. These wheels have been through the mill, but are still kicking along just fine. We'll see how long they last! I do know that the hubs are so free and smooth that they rotate for a long, long time in the stand when you spin them. Of course, they are quite light for disc brake wheels at sub 1500 grams for the pair.

Mounted to those with standard tubes are a set of Vee Rubber X-C-X 1.75" wide tires. These have a folding bead, dual compound tread, and are pretty beefy feeling. I'll have a lot more to say about those tires later on GGN. The disc rotors are from a set of Quad hydraulic disc brakes, 180mm front, 160mm rear. Brake calipers are Avid Mtn BB-7's. Levers are Tektro RL520's. Those levers are mounted to an On One Midge Bar. Wrapped in Bontrager gel tape. Stem is a Salsa CroMoto stem. Headset is Cane Creek. A 40 series, I think.

Moving back and down we find one of the more interesting, (or maybe stupid),  things I did here. I am running a TruVativ Elita crank, (heavy), with a GXP bottom bracket. The Elita is a triple, but I mounted an old Shimano BioPace 42T ring to the middle position in such a way as to mimic the popular and outrageously expensive alternative from a certain Spanish outfit. I've heard a lot about this being an advantage, so I figured what the heck. I'll experiment. If I do not like it, I have a FSA 42T ring waiting in the wings to swap out to. The inner ring is the Elita's standard 30T granny. Yes- I am running a 10 speed chain which seems to be just fine with this set up. That's a Shimano 105 10 speed chain, by the way.The front derailleur is a SRAM X-Gen unit. Dual pull, high mount.

That spins a 10 speed SRAM cassette, which is an 11-36T range. This is shifted by a 9speed X-9 rear derailleur. (Seems to be okay so far, but I do have a X-9 10speed sitting around if I need to swap to it.)

A closer look at that old BioPace ring
This is all shifted by a SRAM 10 speed bar end shifter for the rear and a Shimano bar end shifter for the front. (I like the Shimano ratcheting feel on the front shifter better.) Cables are standard stainless steel, and housings are Jagwire's standard black issue stuff, nothing fancy.

The seat post, well, that's a vintage oldy. It is a Tamer carbon post with no offset. The saddle is something that closely mimics the WTB Pure V which I love and use on the Black Mountain Cycles rig. It is a Velo model of some sort that came stock on a SE Racing mountain bike. It's comfy, that's all that matters right now. The seat collar is a standard Salsa Cycles LipLoc.

Okay, I think that is it. Did I leave anything out? I don't think so. Pedals will come soon in the form of my standard choice of Shimano SPD's of some sort. I haven't gotten those yet. (Okay- so technically it isn't done yet. Bother....)

The bike had a goal- be lightweight. I think there is room to improve on weight. Certainly the saddle, seat post, (just because it is carbon doesn't mean "light"), and certainly the stem and crank set. Plenty of grams to be shaved safely and wisely here. So the weight, as you look at it here, is 23lbs on the nose. I'm not impressed, but I am not disappointed either. 

You could also take a hard look at the tires here. Yes, they are tubed, so going tubeless might save me something, but the tires are 620 grams each. That's a bit porky for 47mm tires here. Clement MSO's, (about 7-8mm narrower) weigh 100 grams less each, and WTB Nanoraptors weigh about 40 grams less each, as a comparison. However; you also have to weigh in cut resistance and durability into the discussion, and I think the Vee Rubber tires will shine there. We'll see. For example, the WTB Nanos feel like they are made paper thin compared to the Vee Rubber X-C-X's.

The fork, which is lighter than stock, isn't lighter by a lot, like you might think. I saved about 60 grams over the stock steel Vaya fork. I will be looking at getting a different crank set in the long run, and that is a place where I can save some significant grammage. I also will be looking at getting an Ergon saddle, swapping out disc rotors, and at some point, a different seat post as well. If I deem the cassette range to be too wide, I may also be able to swap out to a tighter, lighter range there, and get a shorter caged derailleur.

In the end, I figure that with pedals installed and two water bottle cages I should end up at 22lbs or so. That isn't bad for a steel gravel rig. It's pretty good, I think. But I needed to spend very little post frame/fork purchase on getting this up and running, so the choices here reflect that. (Almost all stuff I had already.) Down the road, if the bike warrants it, the suggested changes may be pursued.

Stay tuned, I will be back with my thoughts on the Vaya's ride later.....


Roasta said...

Looks very tidy GT. The black with orange is a good look. Interested to hear how she rides. How is the friction shift with the x9 rear?

Guitar Ted said...

@Roasta: It is actually an indexed 10 speed TT shifter in the bar end. The 9 speed rear derailleur seems okay with this on the stand. We'll see if it is a different story in practice! it often is. That's why I have the 10 speed rear der in the reserves.

So, a fair question: "Why not use the 10spd in the first place?" Well, I wanted to see if I could make this work, and I couldn't find the 10 speed one at first. I was actually surprised when I did find it, while looking for something else, and by that time had already mounted the 9 speed one. I could have swapped them out, but figured what the heck.....

Mike Johnson said...

Yep that's a 2011 Vaya and it looks bad ass, way better looking that when I had it. Picked it up from Ben @ Milltown Cycles for my attempt at TI7. The bike did well that year taking me to my first TI finish. Glad the frame went to a good home. I know your going to like this bike.