Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Custom Bicycle Build: Mark's Titanium Vaya


Last week we completed another gorgeous Salsa Cycles Vaya Ti for a customer.  Mark came to us looking for a fast gravel road bike with light touring potential.  He wanted something quicker, more nimble, lighter, and more comfortable than the Surly Long Haul Trucker he's been riding for gravel currently.  The LHT is a great take on a classic touring bike.  It's low, long, stable and stiff.  It's great for full out, long days in the saddle, loaded down touring.  Unloaded it's a bit sluggish and heavy for the use.  Nimble is not a word most would use to describe the bike, it's not what it's made for.  As his needs have changed, the venerable Trucker wasn't quite cutting it for him any more.

Salsa's Ti Vaya fit the bill exactly for what he was looking for.  It's a light, lively frame with a lower bottom bracket for stability and angles steep enough to keep the ride quick.  It has a full compliment of braze-ons that will accommodate any rack he could want.  Mark chose to build the bike with high quality components through out.  His goals here were much the same as our last Ti Vaya build.  The components for both of these bikes were selected with a mind towards longevity, performance, beauty, and sustainable US manufacturing processes.  


This build is almost identical to the other Mark's Vaya.  We chose to go with a full Chris King group on this bike, albeit in green this time. Combined with the ti frame and steel fork, the most expensive parts of this build should last almost indefinitely. 

Drivetrain components for this bike are Sram's awesome performance for the dollar X9 group.  Set up with a 42-28 front, and a 11-32t rear this bike is geared for real world use.  It has a high enough gear for road riding with 35c tires, and has a low enough gear for any hill locally. The green BB peaking through the chainrings is a nice touch I think.

Braking is handled once again by Avid's Road BB7's with Ashima rotors.  These are the new black rotors, which contrast nicely to the brushed ti frame.  Green Salsa Flip Lock skewers round out the green bits.

This bike really ahs some racy lines.  A vintage Selle Italia Flite Ti and non offset Thomson seatpost provide a comfortable position for Mark.  These paired with the sloping top tube add to the rakish lines.

Up front Salsa's fabulous Cowbell handlebars are set up with Sram's brake levers and their barend shifters.  The tires on this bike are Schwalbe Marathon Supreme touring tires.  The wheels are built with Chris King hubs laced to DT Swiss trekking rims with Sapim spokes.

The green with hints of red accents really make this bike pop, subtly of course.

This is a stunning bike.  It should provide our customer everything he was looking for.  It should be an out of the box performer, and should last as long as anything.  When it comes time to replace parts it'll just be a drivetrain and wheel relace and he'll be off and running for another decade.  Well chosen sir, this is a great bike!


James Fisher said...

Drool Drool Drool

Guitar Ted said...

Nicely done, Ben! One question: Why/how did the non-sotto voce' head set come about? NOS? Or does King still have some of those?

Ben said...

Thanks for the comments.

GT, King still had some in this color, I think they still offer them in most colors. I really like the Sotte Voce look, but I wish they would carry it through to their hubs and BB. With a subdued headset and white lettering hubs I think it actually stands out as different rather than blending in as they suggest.

Guitar Ted said...

Yeah, I actually thought that the skewers and headset kind of went together in the same way as the hubs as well. It all ties in, and you are right- A Sotte Voce' headset would have looked weird.

Again, nicely orchestrated!

Ben said...

Yeah, it really did have to be the normal logo. I really like the Sotte Voce stuff, I wish they'd carry it through the line. Different strokes though.

It's hard to argue the fact that the white logos really pop against the black of the components and the subdued finish of the frame. I do really like how it turned out. It's a heck of a bike.