2014 Salsa Vaya Build and Basement Workshop

I mentioned in my last post that I recently moved. My new place has a basement that makes for a perfect gear storage and bike workshop. I took advantage of that space to do a frame swap for my commuter. Bye-bye On-One Pompetamine. Your rear dropouts and disc caliper mount were a pain in my ass and it was time to replace you with something that just worked.

Welcome, Salsa Vaya. You sure are a sexy commute bike.

2014 Salsa Vaya 2 Frameset

I brought you home during a bad time. I just didn’t have the space to build you up the way it needed. Unfortunately, you had to sit around for awhile before I could get to the build. Once I got my workshop cleared up enough, though, I got started.

2014 Salsa Vaya Build

Here it was when I first got it assembled. Basically just transferred over the parts from the Pompetamine, with new Midge bars, Retroshift CX1v levers and a 1×10 geared drivetrain. The retroshift levers are basically just the same Tektro brake levers I’ve been using, except with a Microshift indexed thumbshifter mounted on the front. The only part Retroshift actually MAKES is the little red ano cable stop seen here.

2014 Salsa Vaya Build

So far, I like the levers. The shifter just works, and was a helluva lot cheaper than SRAM or Shimano integrated shifters. And, I didn’t have to buy a left-side lever with shifty bits I wasn’t going to use so I could get the same lever feel in both hands. These levers are designed to work with long pull brakes, but Retroshift sells a version for short pull, too.

To further flesh out details of the drivetrain, I used the same crankset and chainring I was using on the Pompetamine. I’ve got some Kona Wah-Wah pedals on now that I won in the Brown County Breakdown raffle.

2014 Salsa Vaya Build

I’ve gone with a 1×10 drivetrain here to give me some gearing options, but still keeping it simple.

2014 Salsa Vaya Build

I’m using a 9spd SLX rear derailleur, a 10spd 11-36 Shimano XT cassette, and a 10spd XT chain. Yes, a 9spd mtn derailleur works with 10spd road shifters and a 10spd cassette. The available gearing here is pretty darned close to what you’d get from a road compact double. I don’t care much about the high end of the range at all, since this bike runs fatter tires and weighs more than most bikes that would get a compact double. At the low end, the gearing works fine now. If I ever wanted to ride to Brown County, I’d probably put a smaller chainring so I could have more low end gearing for the hills.


Here’s a shot on the Pennsy Trail on its maiden test ride. It rode well, but I had to make some adjustments to the handlebars.

After that ride, I managed to drop the handlebars, and rotate them some to make the drops more useable by moving the levers some. I also managed to get my old fenders to install, and get some 700×38 Specialized Crossroads tires to fit inside there with some tweaks.

I think the bike looks better with bigger tires. It should ride better, too.

The workshop is coming together. I still need to work on it…I need more storage for gear (namely, a rack to hang packs and sleeping bags), and I need a pegboard and maybe more workbench space.

Basement Workshop

Basement Workshop

The bike storage works well.

Basement Workshop

It could probably take up less space, though. I’d rather not drill a bunch of holes in the concrete block walls, though. I had to put holes in the block walls in the garage for the canoe rack, and I dulled up a couple expensive masonry bits in the process.