New for 2013: Introducing Vaya Travel

The journey to bring the Vaya Travel to life started way back at the origins of the Vaya itself. The Vaya originated as our all-surface road and touring bike. It came out of our quest for durability, versatility, and great ride quality. The Vaya quickly became my go-to bike for the majority of my non-trail riding.

My job involves handling Salsa product from concept to first delivery, and with this I travel the world visiting suppliers and customers, seeing some amazing places, and logging around 75,000 miles a year on an airplane. With all of these great places, I longed to have my Vaya with me to ride.

My typical view as a business traveler...

The first prototype of this idea came to creation about three years ago when I had a Vaya prototype frame cut and coupled by a local Minneapolis framebuilder. This bike went with me on three trips to Asia, one round-the-world flight, a three-day credit-card style tour through the Black Forest of Germany, a few trips to California, and lots of riding around Minnesota. I loved being able to take my Vaya with me everywhere, and especially loved being able to ride a bike when I was travelling for work, rather than sit in a hotel. What I found is that taking the parts on and off this bike took a lot of time to pack and unpack, and the paint job was getting beaten down from the thousands of miles of travel in the case, and the ever-so-gentle care of airline luggage handlers.

Andrew and I found some great hop fields in southern Germany on our travels...

From what we learned with the first version, I went on to create a better travel bike, hoping to make packing and unpacking easier, and make it more versatile for setting up in different ways. For this model, we put on our proven Alternator dropouts, and switched the fork to IS disc mounting. We used IS mounting because it allowed removal of the caliper from the fork for easier packing than the post mount, and allowed re-installation of the caliper without re-adjustment. The Alternator dropouts were added for the same reason: so that we could remove the brake, derailleur and dropouts from the bike for packing, remove them from possible damage, and allow complete re-installation without re-adjustment. The Alternators also allow us to have alternate setups such as internally geared hubs or singlespeeds for various travel experiences. This bike went with me to Eurobike as a singlespeed where I rode a really unique day tour, riding through Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland all in one day. Andrew joined me on this trip, and did this ride on another prototype of a standard Vaya with couplers, and he rode with a 1x10 setup. We also used them to commute our daily eight miles to the expo venue, and talked a lot about the travel experience with these bikes. We were still noticing that the bikes’ paint was getting roughed up in the boxes, and spend quite a few miles pondering solutions.

2nd generation prototype by the Bodensee in Austria...

Introducing the Vaya Travel – the solution to all we have learned through travelling the world with a bicycle. The Vaya Travel is based on our Vaya, and shares the same excellent tire clearance, wide size range and geometry. From there, we add S&S Machine stainless steel couplers to allow it to fit into an airline-legal case, we add Alternator dropouts for the versatility and ease of packing mentioned above, and we build it using quadruple butted stainless steel. We chose stainless as a result of discussions about durability both inside the case, and in use in the varying environments of planet Earth. Stainless is very strong, reasonably light, non-corrosive, and you can easily buff out any scratches as a result of case travel. The fork was also changed to have an IS disc brake mount for ease of caliper removal and re-installation, and we chose a simple decal for the graphics, so that it can also be simply replaced if it is damaged during transport. A 56cm frame weighs 5lbs, 3oz including seat collar, dropout parts and couplers, so it can be sturdy enough to be a touring bike, or light enough to be your road bike, wherever your destination may be.

2013 Vaya Travel complete bike...MSRP $3950

The Vaya Travel will be available as a complete bike with Ultegra 30-speed and as a frameset. Both will include spare decals in five different colors so you can replace them, or customize the color accent that you want. Availability is late December 2012.


Also available as a frameset...MSRP $2199

Key frameset specs are as follows:

• Fork: Vaya Travel, IS disc mount, fender mounts, low-rider rack mounts, 1-1/8” steer tube
• Headtube: Standard 34mm for external headset, 1-1/8” fork (SHIS: EC34/28.6 upper, EC34/30 lower)
• Seatpost: 27.2mm
• Seat Collar, Salsa Lip-Lock, 32.0mm, included
• Rear Spacing: 135mm
• Bottom Bracket: English, 68mm
• Front Rack Recommendation: Salsa Down Under rack
• Rear Rack Recommendation: Salsa Alternator rack for 135mm spacing (available soon!)

Accessories for travel made by S&S are also available through QBP. These include items such as coupler wrenches, hard and soft travel cases, packing material, and packing straps.

We hope the Vaya Travel enables and inspires you to take a bike with you next time you travel somewhere, to use a bike to see the rich and beautiful places of the world, and to experience them fully with all your senses aboard a bicycle.

Salsa art director Kelly MacWilliams rides past someones future breakfast, lunch, or dinner while touring the Noto Peninsula of Japan onboard a pre-production Vaya Travel...

This post filed under topics: New Product Road Tim Krueger Touring Travel Vaya Vaya Travel

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Tim Krueger

Tim Krueger

I come from the land of trees, lakes and cheese. I like beef jerky, singletrack and pale ale. I believe derailleurs were invented for a very good reason. Long rides with good friends and campfires is really what its all about. Oh, and if its not anodized, its worthless.


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Nick Larson | July 26th, 2012

Can you tell me if the other Vaya models will get the alternator dropouts as well?  Thanks!

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rory | July 26th, 2012

you almost had me. the s&s couplings. the alternator dropouts. but. you forgot to put a way to make it handle a belt drive. with the alternator dropouts, i would totally run it with an IGH, and then with a belt drive, mmm, no messy chain to deal with.

too bad.

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Scriv | July 26th, 2012

I have several bicycles including one from a top shelf builder.  I purchased a Vaya this year and have found it to be my “go to” ride. I love it’s versatility the most.  Very clever of you guys to offer this variation.  Well done.

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alex | July 26th, 2012

Cripes, man, you can’t have everything! To me a Gates drive is the most impractical drivetrain you could ask for with a travel bike.

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alex | July 26th, 2012

One thing I gotta add, that’s a lot of disassembly, but for a long-wheelbase bike like the Vaya I guess there’s no getting around it.

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Rob | July 26th, 2012

Can I have your job please? :-)

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Rodney | July 26th, 2012

How about a stainless steel El Mariachi for us singletrack devotees?

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chris white | July 26th, 2012

What about the rest of the Vaya line?

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HugoFar | July 26th, 2012

Loving the use of Stainless Steel but that’s a rather costly bike/frame for a ‘Travel Bike’,as you usually want to disguise a bikes value when touring. Especially in poorer countries where your bike might cost a whole years income for the locals. Not an issue for a Business Traveler though. Maybe this is a new niche bicycle sector! David Byrne from Talking Heads certainly fits the label.
Aside from that,does it come with a travel case like the Ritchey Break-Away frames?

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scott schwartz | July 26th, 2012

Is this going to be a U.S. made like my Titanium Vaya (Lynskey is awesome!) is or is this Chinese made like the CrMo Vaya’s are?

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Dennis | July 26th, 2012

is the 450mm chainstay length measured at the beginning of the alternator travel?

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TV's Pete | July 27th, 2012

Can I have a pony? Preferably with S&S couplers, alternator dropouts, belt drive capability, and red in color with flaming swords and snakes and skulls. And I want it all for under $2k.

I know Salsa always fulfills the requests of those who whine about new products in the comments boxes, so I thought I’d ask.

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R | July 27th, 2012

Great idea! An El Mariachi with couplers would be even better.

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cmherron | July 27th, 2012

I want the Alternator on my Vaya!!!!  My ghetto rigged SS setup isn’t as solid as I would like.

Love this iteration of the Vaya!
I love you guys, let’s go for a ride sometime…

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Mark G | July 27th, 2012

Minor quibble on a metallurgy point: “Stainless is very strong, reasonably light…”. This is not quite true. Stainless is less strong than 4130, and all steels have the same density. With thicker walls, a frame can be stronger than 4130, at the cost of increased weight.


Tim | July 27th, 2012

Dennis - yes, that chainstay length is at the beginning of the travel, so your range is 440-457 on the 700c frames.

Mark - yes that may be true for a standard grade 304, however we are using an alloy specifically developed for bicycle use that has tensile and fatigue properties that are greater than standard 4130, and as a result we are using a slightly lighter guage tube than our standard 4130 Vaya. 

Rob - you cannot have my job.  I like it.  But I could always use an unpaid minion that can subsist on breadcrumbs to haul my gear up the steep hills.

Pete - we don’t make ponies, sorry.

The rest of you asking for other things - always stay tuned to the blog, we are always developing something new.


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John Savona | July 28th, 2012

Will there be a lower cost option with similar pricing to the standard Vaya?

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John Savona | July 28th, 2012

So the biggest thing I hear about international touring is to have a 26 in wheel because the other sizes are hard to come by outside the western world (south america, asia). I would assume that other salsa riders have been through this. I want either a Fargo or a Vaya so bad but I want to take it internationally with the ease of finding replacement tubes/parts.

Has anyone found any work arounds with the standard vaya and fargo??

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Jerk Face | July 28th, 2012

Rory, I am sure Salsa will be hurting because you will not buy one. The belt drive market is pointed at lazy people and amateurs who commute and tell people they tour. If you are touring over seas how many places are you going to find a spare gates carbon drive belt? None, that’s how many.

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Singletrackm1nd | July 28th, 2012

I heart you.  I love this bike.

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Rob | July 28th, 2012

I’m loving this new Vaya, though I have to say, it’s nearly impossible for a well-painted, well-greased cromo travel bike with S&S couples to get any corrosion.  For example, a Surly Traveler’s Check.  And if it does get corrosion, you’ll probably be dead by the time it becomes a serious problem.  For me personally, I can’t justify dropping a couple grand more just to have stainless steel.  Cromo is perfectly fine, and the weight difference on the frame is not meaningful for someone who is doing touring and traveling (not racing), in my opinion.  I think the cromo Vayas offer better value.  That said, perhaps Salsa should consider using stainless steel on its road bikes.  I think stainless would be a great frame material for gran fondos/sportives.

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Guido | July 31st, 2012

Faboulous bike. I’m currently touring croatia and islandhopping on the Vaya and all the reasons mentioned for creating this version are pretty valid. Combined with a rohloff hub the travel Vaya would be my dreambike…too bad I don’t have the 5 grand. Can I get some Salsa sponsoring for a grand tour??

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Mark G | July 31st, 2012

Tim - thanks for the info on high-strength stainless steel. I should have known; after all Reynolds 953 is a stainless steel.


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Gavin M | August 9th, 2012

Can I PLEASE have a Fargo with alternators and ss couplers.

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Maik | August 16th, 2012

Yes, a Fargo in stainless steel with alternators and ss couplers would be great. I would buy one for my next big tour.
Greetings from germany.

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Cyclebound | September 2nd, 2012

I have a limited familiarity with the couplers.  Is there any reason that a bike with couplers couldn’t be used as an everyday abusable bike (in addition to throwing on the airplane for travel)? Thanks!

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Ken | September 17th, 2012

Hey, Great bike.
At the risk of sparking a drivetrain tangent…
Do you know of any external bearing (GXP, BB30, etc.) 110/74bcd triple cranks? I would like to run a 26/36/46 or 48 triple like the Vaya Ti had. I’m aware of the Sugino and VeloOrange square taper BB offerings.
Thanks, Ken

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Uncle Robin | September 19th, 2012

No objection to stainless steel, but curious why stainless and not Ti?  I have a S&S coupled Ti bike I have been traveling with, riding, and abusing for about 12 years and it still looks and performs great. 

Definitely have my eye on this bike.

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Drew Carlson | September 22nd, 2012

Looks like just the bike I’m looking for!  I’ll hold off making any bike/frameset purchase until I have a chance for this to come on to the market.

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peter | September 23rd, 2012

So when will this be available?  I have one ordered from Freewheel in Minneapolis?

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Brian Coop | October 11th, 2012

Aaargh! I just built up a Surly Trucker Deluxe 26” over the summer with my only beef being that I couldn’t get it with discs and now this! Since the 26” wheels were pretty important to me I guess this is still missing one vital ingredient. Well I guess my wife’s going to get lucky since both of the smaller sizes are 26”. And stainless is perfect because I can’t quite justify the cost of Ti on a travel/touring bike. Nice job guys - love it!

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Ed from VT | October 25th, 2012

Looks like an awesome setup - but no belt drive option? For those of us who live in the land of salted roads this would make for an awesome addition.

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Ryan C | February 12th, 2013

Any update on delivery?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | February 13th, 2013

Ryan C - Vaya Travels have been delivering and more are on the way. I don’t know the particulars of your situation but the way it works is that dealers put them on their order for different ship windows. Your dealer should be able to give you a good insight into when you will receive yours.

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peter | February 13th, 2013

Freewheel in Minneapolis can’t seem to get information from you to me.  Starting to think I should pick out another bike.

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | February 13th, 2013

peter - Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I will tell them to expect an email from you regarding to Vaya Travel availability, etc. Sorry I can’t be of direct help.

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Rod March | February 15th, 2013

Just read an article about a new stainless steel alloy developed by Reynolds, called 953, developed specifically for bikes that has a superior strength to weight ratio compared with titanium 6Al/4V, almost twice as strong. Wondering if this is what is being used in the Vaya Travel.

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Travis | June 6th, 2013

I bought my 58cm Vaya Travel in April and finished a 650 mile Skyline Dr and Blue Ridge Parkway loaded tour in May. Awesome bike for my first loaded touring trip.

Now I want to get a box (or bag) to take the bike with me on flights. Can you please recommend some good products for my large Vaya? I would like to avoid airline fees if possible.


Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | June 10th, 2013

Travis - You probably want to look into getting an S&S travel case. Please note that you’ll want to check the box dimensions carefully to be sure whatever case you purchase will avoid the airline fee. Also important, when asked by the ticket agent what is inside the case, I suggest saying something other than “Bicycle”. The reason being that they could still stick you with the fee at that point even though the bag may not be oversized. Try ‘tradeshow equipment’ or ‘excercise equipment’...anything but ‘bicycle’. Kind of sad that I have to suggest that…but it is the reality we live with as cyclists.

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Doug Glodek | December 21st, 2013

Just received my new Vaya Travel and wondering if there are any instructions or online videos providing the instructions for packing in one of the SXS cases.  Seems doable, but would likely simplify the first attempt if detailed instructions were available.

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Mark | January 10th, 2014

Kid, this video might be helpful:

There’s also lots of links out there for S&S packing tips. That being said, I would love to see any specific tips or at least evidence that someone has traveled with this bike successfully.

I’m curious if the wide 700c tires are problematic. From what I’ve read it sounds like the tires may have to be removed, especially if you don’t want to risk having TSA re-pack it incorrectly. Many suggest using the travel net so that the whole glob of parts can be removed from the case easily by TSA (assuming US travel).

From what I understand the the Vaya travel does NOT come with cable disconnects? I’m pretty sure that you will need to install those assuming that is correct.

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Doug Glodek | January 10th, 2014

Thanks, Mark.  I think I looked at that one as well as the numerous diagrams and videos available on the SXS site.  Just thought that Salsa might be aware of any Vaya specific videos.  Have to say it it one gorgeous bike, but could have used a little more thought around the actual preparation for packing…  I have installed the disconnects, master link in the chain, etc. but have had to kluge the disconnect on the top tube as Salsa has installed open guides here vs. having cable stops that would allow the installation of the disconnect.  I have installed the clamp type cable stops until I can find a reputable frame builder that can do the proper braze ons…  On the 58cm model I have, the fork length is about 27.5 inches , so the fork needs to go in diagonally in a 26” box and cannot be attached to the front triangle after splitting.  At this point, I am still confident that it is doable, but was just looking for the easy route.  I guess I will just need to make my own video when complete so that I might save others some frustration :).

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Travis Davidson | January 10th, 2014


Please do make your video packing a Salsa Vaya.  I promise to watch it and learn.


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