Salsa Vaya 1000 Mile Review (or our thoughts on Salsa Vaya vs. Surly LHT) - Path Less Pedaled

We’ve been riding our Salsa Vayas for a little over two months and have managed to put over 1000 miles on them. In that time, we’ve ridden them around town, on the 25th Anniversary Cycle Oregon ride, on our first randonneur event (the Verboort Populaire), up Larch Mountain, on a few overnight bike tours and miles and miles of hills and gravel on road rides around Portland. The good folks at VeloCult built up our frames with components that we picked out that are a little different from the off the shelf Vayas and we had the bikes fitted at Crank PDX. We’ve ridden them enough to get a good sense of how it handles and its ride qualities and what its best uses would be. So what’s the verdict? How do they compare to the venerable Surly LHT? Read on.
Mountain Doubles
Perhaps the biggest difference from our builds compared to the pre-built models are our choice of drivetrain. I’m using Apex brifters (which come stock on the Vaya 2) and Laura is using Shimano bar end shifters on some Paul Thumbies. Both work as advertised. The Apex brifters take a little more oomph to shift than Shimano counterparts, but I appreciate the cleaner cable routing and smaller hoods. Check out the video tour below to take a closer look at our handlebar controls.