• Van,
    I’m pretty happy with the 54. Height isn’t the only variable for frame size. It also depends on your torso length and reach. I’m fairly compact all around so the 54 fit me better. I would defer to the bike shop, but if you can get a good fit on the smaller frame you get the added bonus of less weight and a little more agileness. Hope that helps!


    June 26, 2015
  • Rudy,
    When we wrote the review we were comparing it to our LHTs without disc brakes at the time. The canti version is still the best bang for buck. The disc brake version does even things out a bit.


    June 26, 2015
  • Mitch

    Late to the party here, but I’m also interested in hearing why you feel the Trek 520 isn’t comparable to the LHT or the Vaya.

    January 06, 2016
  • Kenny

    Anyone have thoughts on the Soma Saga? I like the paint job the best, it has a nice long head tube and seems a good balance between the Salsa and Surly.

    I for one love my new 520. It needed a stem extender to maximize my comfort, but when I rode a LHT, it just felt like too much a beast to me. The 520 rolled better. The springy frame also weighs less. Just seems less overbuilt for little reason to me.

    The only thing I liked better was its longer head tube (Trek also comes with a cut fork, I’d need to order an uncut one). Well, the extender seems good enough. Also the Surly accommodates extra wide tires if that’s desired. I really doubt I’ll ever need anything beyond 35 mm to maybe 38, so that’s not a deal breaker. The spec seemed fine on both, I liked the Deore crank on the 520, but the wheels are stronger on the Surly.

    But all if these bikes are great bikes.

    January 10, 2016
  • Kenny,
    Haven’t ridden the Saga, so I can’t comment on that. My experience with a 520 was when I bought one new in 2006 (which I no longer have) when we were first getting into touring. Back then, it felt like a parts bin bike. I believe it had a one inch threadless headset rather than the more common 11/8 headset which became a real pain when dialing in the cockpit. Some models of the 520 even came with a road triple, which seems silly for a supposed touring bike. Since bike touring is popular again, they may have re-invested in the 520 to bring it up to speed so I can’t comment on the newer ones.

    That said, like I write in the post, the Vaya isn’t a full on loaded tourer (and that hunch was confirmed when Salsa released the Marrakesh to be an expedition tourer). It’s more of an all-rounder more inline with something like the All-City Space Horse or Surly Straggler. The Vaya isn’t BETTER than the LHT, 520 or Saga but is different. For big loads, it is not the best. For light lighter loads and mixed-terrain riding it is a little snappier.



    January 11, 2016

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