First Impressions: Salsa Vaya

It was a beautiful, sunny July morning when I set off on my ride to work on a brand new Salsa Vaya test bike. The sun’s rays picked up tiny gold flecks of color of the rich "Upside Brown" painted frame. I felt like I could ride all day, and I wished that I could.

The Vaya is Salsa’s new adventure "road" touring bike, chock full of practical features for touring, commuting, and every day riding. Salsa calls it their "do-it-all road-riding bike." It’s got rack and fender mounts in front and back, three bottle cage mounts, disc brakes, a pump peg, and can fit up to 700c x 42mm tires. The Salsa Classico CroMoly frame, with a slightly sloping top tube, gives a comfortable ride and looks great with a light blue Salsa logo, silver accents, and brown saddle and bar tape. Yep, it sounds like it’s ready for a long ride.

Mine, unfortunately was not. I rode up a hill, legs feeling strong, nose and lungs breathing in the scents of the humid summer morning air. Pedaling up the shoulder-less winding narrow road, an unassuming stick plunged in-between my chain and rear derailleur. Seconds later, the derailleur cage was 180 degrees in the wrong direction, the hanger was twisted up and back into the cassette, and I was standing on the side of the road, wondering how I was going to get to work.

Fortunately I was able to get a ride to the office. Once there, our crack team of mechanics was able to get the Vaya up and running. I enjoyed an event-free and relaxing ride home.

Look for much more on the Vaya in a future issue of Bicycle Times. You can also find out more on the Vaya and Salsa’s other fine bikes at


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