The Penultimate Vaytanium

The Vaytanium just got an upgrade.

I’ll have full weights and details in the next few days.  I’m still (very happily) running my 38c Bontrager CX0 team issue tires.  As per my normal practice, these are DT240 hubs and Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes, with ENVE nipples, built by Chad at North Central Cyclery.

I threw them on the Vaya Wednesday afternoon, in anticipation of the group ride that night.  27 miles Wednesday, and 50 miles yesterday lead me to some preliminary conclusions:

1.  On pavement, I cannot tell a difference between the Stans Crest and the ENVEs, in terms of ride quality.

2.  On gravel, I am pretty solidly convinced that if you blindfolded me and had me ride them back to back, I could discern between the Crests and the ENVEs–partly from the noise, and partly from the ride quality differences.  The difference is subtle, but palpable.  It certanly isn’t anything like the huge jump from my old wheelset (Chris King hubs, stainless spokes, Velocity A23s, tubed) to the Crests.

3.  I can’t tell if this is real or not, but I feel like there’s a bit of a change in the aerodynamics of the wheels  These are not really an aero profile, but they feel faster at higher speeds, as compared to the Crests.  Truth be told, some of that may be attributable to the feeling of spending a lot more time on the Vaya of late, after a winter of fat biking…but I made a transition directly from Crest to ENVE, and I feel a difference above 20mph.

4.  I’ll have full weights and such later, but of note, there’s not really a weight advantage on the ENVE 29XC clinchers, compared to the Crests.  Both are stupid-light.

5.  Why the Penultimate Vaya?  Because it’s still waiting on hydraulic disc brakes.  The Ultimate Vaytanium will be this bike, plus SRAM Red 22 with full hydros.  Oh please oh please oh please.


12 thoughts on “The Penultimate Vaytanium

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  5. Recently started a warranty claim with Salsa to replace a broken La Cruz frame. Would love to ask some questions about possible replacements with you. Really wish they offered the Titanium one still. Any feedback on the stainless one? As a bigger rider, I am curious how the ride quality compares with the Stainless, OX Platinum, “Classico,” and even the titanium versions. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


    • I haven’t spent enough time on the Vaya Travel to be able to intelligently comment on the ride quality of the stainless frame. The Ti Vaya has an appreciably more comfortable ride than the regular, ‘steel’ Vaya…it’s both more taut and more forgiving over chop. Sounds conflicting, but you’ve gotta ride one to experience it. If I were you, I’d be looking at a Ti Warbird.

      • Downfall to that is I recently acquired a Cannondale SuperX disc, and most shops don’t stock a 60cm bike. I know I can ride something smaller and get a good idea, but there is no replacement for riding the right size frame to get the proper feel of how a bike will be.

        Had I not just gotten the SuperX, I’d definitely be interested in either the Ti Warbird or a Ti Colossal.

        I definitely don’t feel that the OX Platinum La Cruz and the regular steel Vaya are equivalent. They may be similar, but definitely not direct-swap replacements..

        Thanks for the response. It’s tough to make a decision like this without having ridden the bikes first, especially in the winter.

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