Here’s the latest on the Vaya.
I know y’all love the garage poseur pics. (Perhaps I need to put a rustic backdrop on my garage door?)
Still rockin’ the Whisky fork, to good effect. I have a lot of confidence in it, and would spec it again on a future bike. Rides nice, has held up perfectly to some bomber abuse, and in my honest opinion, has a nicer ride quality than the stock steel fork.
SRAM Red compact crank (50-34) was a quality upgrade over the Rival cross crank (46/38) that I used to run. For my use, having both a higher and lower chainring has been great, and I don’t miss any old gears. I run a 11-32 cassette…which gives me a lot of range (50-11 down to 34/32). It doesn’t necessarily need Red, but it was a no-cost upgrade because of some bike part shuffling, and it looks blingtastic.
Crest Rims with CX-Ray Spokes and DT240 hubs, Bontrager CX0 38c tires, tubeless with Stan’s sealant, still rock my world. The single best upgrade to this bike. I’ve run as low as 34psi F/R, without any problems. I’ve singletrack’d, snow’d, ice’d, gravel’d, mud’d, leaf’d, pave’d, and otherwise subjected them to a wide array of conditions. They’re great. The weight reduction is huge, and hugely noticeable.
Ergon SM3 Pro Saddle is still earning its keep, as well. It’s been great. Running a Large on this bike makes sense–the extra width doesn’t impede getting around the saddle as it might on a mountain bike, but provides more comfort for long gravel bashes.
I’m experimenting with a 120mm stem, because I had one, and because I think I like the extra length over the 110 I used to run. The effect on handling is pretty negligible, but it lets me stretch out just a bit more on my 55cm frame. As I ride more and get used to a proper riding position, I think this is the right fit.
You may notice I’m not running a seatbag. The bike looks so much better without one. Yup. Hugely aesthetic. Between that and the blacked out wheels, the Vaya looks like an assassin. Truth be told, I got a new multitool that I wanted to use with all of my bikes, so I got a small jersey pocket pouch to carry CO2 and a multitool. I now have a tube strapped to the seat on the Vaya, which works well and allows me to just use 1 tool pouch with all bikes. I just grab a tube as appropriate. There’s a meh weight reduction, but I can’t really claim that dropping the seatbag is about weight. It’s about aesthetics, and I’m ok with admitting that…because it looks so much better.
Everything else is typical flawless. SRAM Rival drivetrain keeps ticking on. Eriksen Ti Sweetpost is sweet as ever. King Ti Cages are still royal. 3T carbon Ergo LTD bars are still the best on the market. Some day, I’ll get my drop-bar hydro brakes…but until then, it’s pretty hard to improve on perfection.
This continues to be the bike that rules the roost in my garage. If I could only have one bike for all purposes, this would be it.