Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Stainless Steel & Rubber

2013 Vaya Travel
Hey folks out there in the inner-web-o-sphere! It's been awhile, but we've been busy here at the shop. We have received a pretty cool specimen that is now on display.

Last year Salsa decided to drop the titanium Vaya. However; they replaced it with what is arguably a far better rig- the stainless steel Vaya Travel.

Stainless steel? Yes! Stainless steel has some similar properties to titanium.  It is somewhat lighter than traditional steel alloys, and it doesn't corrode, so it doesn't have to be painted. However; it is somewhat stiffer than titanium, which can be a great idea for a touring bike.

The "travel" in the name of this model refers to the S&S couplers which are brazed in between sections of the top tube and down tube. These are collets which can be unscrewed to break down the Vaya Travel into two halves. A customer can purchase a separate case which then can be filled with this bicycle and transported via air or by truck to any point in the world for far less money than it would be to ship a traditional bike case or box. Travel bikes like this can be checked as baggage with most airlines as well, saving hundreds of dollars on shipping a bike to have with you on vacations, or for a big tour.

Alternator Drop Outs
In a first for the Vaya models, the Vaya Travel also features a swinging drop out Salsa calls the "Alternator". This allows the owner of the Vaya to simplify the drivetrain down to a single speed, increasing the ease of taking the bike on trips, since there would be less re-tuning involved without a traditional derailleur drivetrain. Or maybe you just do not like gears!

Another neat thing about this would be the option to roll on in single speed mode should a rider get into trouble by shearing off a rear derailleur. Or looking at it another way, one could fine tune the handling of the Vaya Travel by adjusting the wheel base. Options. We like those in our bikes!

Even the decals are special!
Salsa even thought about the future and the Vaya Travel owner. Lets say that you take advantage of the "travel" part of the Vaya Travel's name and you break down the bike, ship it all over for rides, and get yourself into several adventures replete with bumps, bangs, and various scrapes. (We highly encourage this sort of behavior, by the way!)

Well, an ordinary painted bike frame might get scratched, dull, and biffed. With the Vaya Travel, and its no-paint finish, you can simply buff out those biffs and scratches with a bit of Scotchbrite or steel wool. But what about scratched up decals? Well, Salsa Cycles thought about that too.

Along with the bike, Salsa sends along a stack of frame decals in a couple different colors so you can restore the look of those decals, or simply change the look of your bike by changing decal colors. The stock decals are not under any clear coat, so you can even run the Vaya Travel sans decals at all, if you so choose.

29 Plus!
Rubbery Goodness:

Surly Bikes shook up the mtb world late last summer when they sprung the latest creation from their twisted minds onto the world, the Krampus. It is a bike that has as its main focus  the tires and wheels.  

These wheels and tires are dubbed "29+" by Surly. We just think they are loads of fun with tons of possibilities. We got a set of the tires, called Knard, in at the shop and would love to set you up with one or both of them.

What would one do with Knard 29 x 3.0" tires? Well, you can set these up on wider 29"er rims as is, but optimally, these would work best with Velocity's 35mm Blunts, or with the rims they were designed for, the Surly Rabbit Hole rims. (Don't even try to figure out where the names come from- It will make your brain explode.)

Yes- 3 inches wide.
You'll probably only shoe horn these in up front on most 29"ers, and that only on rigid forks without mods. (Sus forks are a no-no for now without voiding warranties and what not.)

You folks with Mukluks equipped with Alternator drop outs are in luck though. Lace a set of Rabbit Holes up to some fat bike hubs and Knard 29 X 3.0 tires will fit front and rear.

Knard 29 X 3.0 tires measure out at 30 + inches in diameter when aired up, and they make your rig, (or a Krampus), ride amazingly smoother with great traction. Here is a great review on the Krampus from some German riders, and here is my own take on the bike after a short demo ride at Interbike last year. These should give you a great idea about how the Knard 29+ tires can revolutionize your ride.

Vaya Travel or Knard tires- come and check both of these great new cycling products out now at the shop. Plus- we have a ton of new and used bikes now to check out with more arriving daily. Stop in and say hey soon. And don't be shy about hitting up the mechanics with a sixer!

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