The Riding Gravel Forum
Register Calendar Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #1 
I was hoping I could get some feedback. I'm looking for one do-it-all bike. 

I race mtb and want gravel an 2nd bike for training and gravel, dirt, events that I do, typically not races.  I may race the bike once or twice a year, for example hilly billy roubaix.

Here is what I'm looking for in order:
1. Comfort (upright, forgiving, stable, able to take large volume tires)
2. A bike that is a good/decent climbing bike and can hold its own a bit on roads.  Most of the event I do have a 1000ft of vert gain for every 10 miles)
3.  Can take on a little bit of single track.

I would consider having to set of wheels for the bike.  One with a larger tire and the other with a 32 ish tire for when I'll be doing a good deal of road.

Here is is where I am now:
1. Cutthroat - fairly light for it's setup, seat stays make it look comfy, seems extremely versatile, great gearing, could rip single track gravel, and rough terrain, would cruise on a good set of wheels and 32s.
2. Warbird - geometry is fairly upright, reach is shorter and stack is higher than a lot of , comparable bikes, would be a great climbing, great climber, more traditional gearing (-), great one the road, not sure once terrain gets rough, not sure it would be as comfortable as the Cutthroat.
3. Vaya - price point, steel, great review, gearing, most practical, concerned  it may be sluggish heavies of the 3, heavy, mechanical brakes.

Can anyone provide me with guidance?  Thanks.



0
pawnee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 43
Reply with quote  #2 
Can you test ride any of them? For me, that makes all the difference. I'm definitely a Salsa fan. I own a Salsa Fargo and if I were rich, I would own five or six different Salsa bikes, but I'll admit I haven't ridden any of these bikes... 

My 2 cents.

The Cutthroat leans toward the bikepacking realm, but will hold its own on gravel, etc.

The Warbird is a gravel machine, popular with gravel racers and avid gravel explorers. (#2 Climbing, roads, hills) Speedy.

The Vaya is the "adventure", exporation, touring, more comfortable bike. (#1 Comfort) But can also handle climbing, roads, and hills.

And all these bikes can handle (#3 a little single track). Once I got used to it, I was surprised at how well cross bikes and drop bars can do on smooth single track. If you can test ride a Warbird and you find it to be comfy, then that may be your bike. I Personally have a hard time wrapping my head around aluminum bikes on bumpy roads, but I've heard good things about the Warbird. The Vaya may be heavier but if you buy a new set of wheels for it, that will make a big difference in weight. If you love the feel of steel bikes and you're not really looking for a racing bike, try the Vaya, it's a beautiful bike. Hope that helps.


0
Smale Rider

Member
Registered:
Posts: 65
Reply with quote  #3 
All the bikes are on a spectrum, what you might like depends on where you want to be riding on the spectrum. All three bikes are capable of gravel biking. Their capabilites are varried by the type of gearing available, wheels available, and riding position.

Road Bikes

Warbird
Vaya
Cutthroat

Mountain Bikes

You come from a mountain biking background, so I'm going to assume comfort comes from the upright riding position that you're used to, rather than being beat up.

Warbird
You will find this bike to be uncomfortable due to its ride position. It is very much an endurance road bike in this regard, but not like a road race bike. With the lean forward hunched position saddle higher than bars associated with road riding. If you feel good in a road position, then its frame properties and tires make it a comfortable bike. With the tire swap idea you have, keeping up with road riders is completely viable.

Vaya
This bike will be a bit more comfortable. This is a touring style road bike. This bike will be ridden more like a flat bar road bike or maybe a hybrid bike. Saddle position even with bars, not as an aggressive aero position as the Warbird. You're going to struggle to keep up with road riders, it simply doesn't have the geometry to get aggressive like that.

Cuttrhoat
This is a drop bar mountain bike. Think like a hard-tail with drop bars and no suspension (but you can put suspension on it). The bars have nothing to with getting aero like a road bike, this is more for hand positioning. This bike is purposed for bike packing mountain biking. This most definitely can do singletrack. This can do gravel griding. This will not move fast on road, regardless of tires. This bike has the same frame properties as the warbird (but can even do bigger tires) that makes it a comfortable bike.
0
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #4 
You don't think I could get the Cutthroat to mimic the Warbird with a change in positioning and throwing a lighter wheel set with gravel tires on it?  It seems like the Cutthroat would offers me a lot of versatility.  A more upright position is a pretty big deal for me.

Unfortunately I am not able to test a warbird.  The other two I can.  I think the Vaya is out, down to the  Warbird and Cutthroat.
0
pawnee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 43
Reply with quote  #5 
The Cutthroat is most commonly used as a bikepack racing bike, like for the Tour Divide and similar races. From what I understand, it's a creation based off the Salsa Fargo, which also does fine on gravel but I definitely wouldn't buy it as a gravel bike. The Cutthroat is faster and more versatile but I still wouldn't buy it for mostly gravel riding (which seems to be the surface you'll be riding the most?). I would test ride the Cutthroat. Try to get it on some straight-away gravel, see how it feels. Otherwise, if you're spending most of your time on gravel, may want to go Warbird.
0
Smale Rider

Member
Registered:
Posts: 65
Reply with quote  #6 
A Cutthroat will never feel like a Warbird. The only same features they have is drop bars and the rear seat stay flex.

I suggest that you test ride and endurance or sportive class road bike. Look for one that has pretty close to the geometry of the Warbird. That should give you the same riding position of a Warbird.

There is nothing wrong with a Cutthroat, but its design descends from mountain bikes. The limitations are its physically unable to run road crank-set, and you simply will never be as fast as a road bike.
0
midwestrider

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 17
Reply with quote  #7 
I wanted a bike that was good on gravel, but that I could load up for bikepacking as well.  I started out looking at the Cutthroat, and its a great bike.  Ultimately it was just too redundant with my 29" hardtail MTB, and I went for the Vaya.  Really happy with it, by the way.  

I love mountain biking, and although I don't race, I love aggressive trails and rampaging around on good single track.  After testing out a Cutthroat, it was clear that I'm NEVER going to do that type of riding on a drop bar bike.  I'll ride those trails on one if they go where I'm going, but not like I would on a flatbar MTB (if you can huck on a drop bar bike, your the man!).   I really wanted something fast and efficient for forest roads, gravel, and the occasional 20 mile paved section that seems inevitable on a long bikepack.  It doesn't sound like you intend to bikepack, so I guess the questions I'd be considering are: how aggressive do you want to be on the single track that you ride with this bike, vs. how efficient and fast do you want to be on the gravel and pavement that you will ride, and finally, how much of each are you planning for it?

The Warbird and the Cutthroat are both great bikes, and the price for both (base models) are similar.  You could do gravel with the Cutthroat, but you might run out of gears often.  You probably won't be doing much singletrack on the Warbird, but I would guess you'll be very, very fast on everything else.  Both bikes are built to be comfortable for long days in the saddle.  

That's my uneducated and uninformed opinion.  Good luck with your decision!   
0
FarleyBob

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #8 
Don't underestimate the Cutthroat on gravel. Take it for a test ride and form your own opinion. With my stock gearing on the 2x I spin out around 33 mph. I don't think I will run out of gears for most gravel riding I do. It can be a fast bike!
0
moe53

Member
Registered:
Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #9 
I have had a Vaya for 7 years (2010 first year) and a 2015 Ti Warbird, no longer in production, Salsa's sister company Foundry makes one now called the "Overland". The Vaya is a workhorse, spirited riding is not it's strongpoint, not designed for that. I have used it for some limited singletrack. Steel, takes a lot of abuse and comes back for more. Fenders, racks, very versatile, does it all.

The Ti Warbird is a race day spirited riding bike, much lighter and livelier. I have also taken it on limited singletrack, not a problem with the right tires. I generally use 38mm tires for gravel. the frame will take 42's. With lighter, narrower tires it makes a fine road bike. Has a big inner frame triangle and low bottle mounts{3] for frame packs.

I have not ridden the Cutthroat but as others have mentioned it is designed for multiday bikepacking adventures, can take bigger tires, doesn't mean it wouldn't do well elsewhere. I believe you could get comfortable on any of these bikes with the correct size and setup.

__________________
Enlightenment begins where the pavement ends. [idea]
0
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #10 
I wish test riding would be easier.  The only bike I'm able to test ride is the vaya.  The nearest Cutthroat from me is 2.5 hrs. Interesting write up on the Cutthroat: http://www.bikepacking.com/bikes/salsa-cutthroat-review-jay-petervary/
0
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarleyBob
Don't underestimate the Cutthroat on gravel. Take it for a test ride and form your own opinion. With my stock gearing on the 2x I spin out around 33 mph. I don't think I will run out of gears for most gravel riding I do. It can be a fast bike!


Is that with the 36/24?  Where do you find the bike's biggest limitations?  Do you use it for more than bikepacking?
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 136
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dropfootdaddy
I wish test riding would be easier.  The only bike I'm able to test ride is the vaya.  The nearest Cutthroat from me is 2.5 hrs. Interesting write up on the Cutthroat: http://www.bikepacking.com/bikes/salsa-cutthroat-review-jay-petervary/


here is some interesting reading for ya and the warbird vs vaya discussion:
http://pathlesspedaled.com/2015/08/long-term-review-2016-salsa-warbird/


And a bit on the warbird (compared to Lynskey's gravel bike):
http://ridinggravel.com/reviews-2/lynskey-gr250-getting-rolling/


0
FarleyBob

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dropfootdaddy


Is that with the 36/24?  Where do you find the bike's biggest limitations?  Do you use it for more than bikepacking?



I am still trying to find it's limitations! I have WTB Nano 40's on it now and ride it on pavement and gravel rides. I rode it on my commute today with more of a bikepacking setup and it is solid as a rock but still lively! I have a friend who put studs on his and rode it in a 100k winter race which covered everything from single-track to snowmobile trail to gravel. I'm going to put some bigger tires on and try that setup for awhile to see how that feels.

I've got the X9 with the 28-42t crankset.
0
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarleyBob



I am still trying to find it's limitations! I have WTB Nano 40's on it now and ride it on pavement and gravel rides. I rode it on my commute today with more of a bikepacking setup and it is solid as a rock but still lively! I have a friend who put studs on his and rode it in a 100k winter race which covered everything from single-track to snowmobile trail to gravel. I'm going to put some bigger tires on and try that setup for awhile to see how that feels.

I've got the X9 with the 28-42t crankset.


That gearing is perfect!  28-42.  Did you have to swap out the cranks.  What cranks and rings? The bike I'm looking at comes with GPX 2x.  36/22 or 38/24 were my options.
0
sgtrobo

Member
Registered:
Posts: 93
Reply with quote  #15 
i own a Cutthroat, and like you, I need an upright rig.  I have had a collection of surgeries on my shoulder and neck, and I require both an upright riding position as well as a comfortable ride.

I have used my Cutthroat in the following situations:

1. Pure singletrack - i29 wheelset with 2.4" knobbies. Handled great, climbs like mad.  It is limited without suspension, but if you can ride it on a hardtail MTB, you can ride it on the Cutthroat

2. Gravel race - 25-miles/lap "Stinky Spoke" - massive massive hill (see pics) plus 5 other hills almost as good as this one, per lap.  Mostly gravel, a bit of singletrack, and some pavement.  i29 wheelset with 2.3" Specialized Renegade tires

3. Cyclocross - raced using standard CX tires


basically, you can do almost anything you want with this bike.  Even with 2.3" Renegades, I was able to maintain 20+MPH on flats.  Bike is an absolutely lightweight rocket, and so fun to ride. So versatile. A quick wheel change and you're in business with anything.  The only real limit is the gearing in reference to pavement rides.  Even with a wheelswitch and slicks, you still won't be able to really do a full-on road ride with folks who are using true road bikes.  However, riding on gravel?  Basically there are no limitations

Is it a downhill MTB?  No.  But it's definitely a XC-capable MTB racer
Is it officially a CX race bike?  No, but with skinny CX tires, you can absolutely race it and do well as mine is sub-20 lbs with pedals and no bottle cages
Is it a road bike?  No, you'd have to make some serious adjustments to the gearing, but as I mentioned, even with 2.3" MTB tires, I was able to maintain 20+ MPH on the flats

I suppose the best way to describe it is as follows:

It provides comfort (upright, forgiving, stable, able to take large volume tires)
It is a bike that is a great climbing bike and can hold its own a bit on roads especially on rides that are offroad/gravel with 1000ft of vert gain for every 10 miles
It can take on a little bit of single track.

[smile]

I guess you have to ask yourself, what capability do you want?  If you want to be able to hit full-on singletrack with tires > 1.75" in a MTB-like riding position, then the Cutthroat is your choice.  If you want to be able to have a road ride in addition to your gravel ride with a bit more of a pronounced "aero" position, then the Warbird is your choice.
good luck with your purchase.  I"ve heard nothing but great things about the Warbird, and I've experienced nothing but great things on the Cutthroat, so you are definitely on the right track.

Attached Images
jpeg stinky top.jpg (86.02 KB, 29 views)
jpeg stinky bottom.jpg (74.73 KB, 31 views)

0
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrobo
i own a Cutthroat, and like you, I need an upright rig.  I have had a collection of surgeries on my shoulder and neck, and I require both an upright riding position as well as a comfortable ride.

I have used my Cutthroat in the following situations:

1. Pure singletrack - i29 wheelset with 2.4" knobbies. Handled great, climbs like mad.  It is limited without suspension, but if you can ride it on a hardtail MTB, you can ride it on the Cutthroat

2. Gravel race - 25-miles/lap "Stinky Spoke" - massive massive hill (see pics) plus 5 other hills almost as good as this one, per lap.  Mostly gravel, a bit of singletrack, and some pavement.  i29 wheelset with 2.3" Specialized Renegade tires

3. Cyclocross - raced using standard CX tires


basically, you can do almost anything you want with this bike.  Even with 2.3" Renegades, I was able to maintain 20+MPH on flats.  Bike is an absolutely lightweight rocket, and so fun to ride. So versatile. A quick wheel change and you're in business with anything.  The only real limit is the gearing in reference to pavement rides.  Even with a wheelswitch and slicks, you still won't be able to really do a full-on road ride with folks who are using true road bikes.  However, riding on gravel?  Basically there are no limitations

Is it a downhill MTB?  No.  But it's definitely a XC-capable MTB racer
Is it officially a CX race bike?  No, but with skinny CX tires, you can absolutely race it and do well as mine is sub-20 lbs with pedals and no bottle cages
Is it a road bike?  No, you'd have to make some serious adjustments to the gearing, but as I mentioned, even with 2.3" MTB tires, I was able to maintain 20+ MPH on the flats

I suppose the best way to describe it is as follows:

It provides comfort (upright, forgiving, stable, able to take large volume tires)
It is a bike that is a great climbing bike and can hold its own a bit on roads especially on rides that are offroad/gravel with 1000ft of vert gain for every 10 miles
It can take on a little bit of single track.

[smile]

I guess you have to ask yourself, what capability do you want?  If you want to be able to hit full-on singletrack with tires > 1.75" in a MTB-like riding position, then the Cutthroat is your choice.  If you want to be able to have a road ride in addition to your gravel ride with a bit more of a pronounced "aero" position, then the Warbird is your choice.
good luck with your purchase.  I"ve heard nothing but great things about the Warbird, and I've experienced nothing but great things on the Cutthroat, so you are definitely on the right track.


That is awesome. Thanks for the input.  Sounds like you are having a blast and getting a lot out of the Cutthroat.  

Are you able to get a much more comfortable upright feel on your Cutthroat vs. other bikes? Also, do you find it to be noticeable more comfortable in terms of absorbing little impacts and vibrations?  Comfort reigns supreme for me.

thanks again for your comments,really appreciated.
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 136
Reply with quote  #17 
Nice input!

ONe of the first things I look at is the tire capacity of a bike, and that is a big deciding factor.  The warbird can take 42mm tires.  Is that big enough for ya?

Interestingly they quit making the warbird TI, claiming that their newer aluminum warbird was more compliant.  That is hard for me to imagine.

Per Salsa: 
Salsa realized a 9% better compliance with the new carbon Warbird versus the current titanium bike. What might be even more surprising though, is that the new, hydroformed aluminum chassis is 6% more compliant than the current titanium bike. What is more, both the new frame materials came out lighter than the current titanium bike.
0
FarleyBob

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dropfootdaddy


That gearing is perfect!  28-42.  Did you have to swap out the cranks.  What cranks and rings? The bike I'm looking at comes with GPX 2x.  36/22 or 38/24 were my options.


The 2016 Came with 28-42 cranks and 11-36 cassette.
0
bobknh

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 564
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chas


here is some interesting reading for ya and the warbird vs vaya discussion:
http://pathlesspedaled.com/2015/08/long-term-review-2016-salsa-warbird/


And a bit on the warbird (compared to Lynskey's gravel bike):
http://ridinggravel.com/reviews-2/lynskey-gr250-getting-rolling/



Hey - thanks for the post and the links to older reviews. I've been looking at the Carbon Warbird and Linsky Ti GG's as a possible upgrade to my Ritchey Swiss Cross Canti., into the world of high end disc bikes for dirt and gravel + paved road group rides. So far, the Warbird is number one on my list. Right now, I'm lovin' my steel Ritchie; but you know how it goes. Too much new tech around to stay pat. Might even go for the Ritchie Swiss Cross Disc. I know the frame and love it's fit and feel. A lot less expensive than either the Warbird or Linsky.
0
chunkylover53

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #20 
To the OP: I am in pretty much the same boat as you.  Race MTB, gravel for training, miles, couple of races a year.   I was considering the same bikes as you, decided on Cutthroat.  The geometry is similar for all three, but Cutthroat has a slightly longer wheelbase, slightly slacker and a bit more stack.  For me, those three add up to increased comfort for banging out the miles.   The only concern for me was gearing - I was concerned that a 42T big ring might leave me spinning out on some gravel races if there was a decent tailwind.  Maybe, maybe not.  But I felt I could live with that once or twice a year.   Although all of these bikes would suit you just fine and be an excellent choice, I'm thinking the Cutthroat is what you're looking for.
0
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkylover53
To the OP: I am in pretty much the same boat as you.  Race MTB, gravel for training, miles, couple of races a year.   I was considering the same bikes as you, decided on Cutthroat.  The geometry is similar for all three, but Cutthroat has a slightly longer wheelbase, slightly slacker and a bit more stack.  For me, those three add up to increased comfort for banging out the miles.   The only concern for me was gearing - I was concerned that a 42T big ring might leave me spinning out on some gravel races if there was a decent tailwind.  Maybe, maybe not.  But I felt I could live with that once or twice a year.   Although all of these bikes would suit you just fine and be an excellent choice, I'm thinking the Cutthroat is what you're looking for.


Thanks.  Have you had your Cutthroat long?  Have you been in a situation where the 42T caused you to spin out?  I can't imagine on gravel that would happen much.   The only thing is that the 2017 comes with a 32/24 ring. I'm wondering if you can mount a 42T on the cranks.
0
chas

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 136
Reply with quote  #22 
Never thought about spinning out on a 42t.  On my single speed bikes, I run 42tx16.  Even hammering hard I tend to be fine with 90 gear inches or less -that is 42 x 13...
0
chunkylover53

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #23 
No, just built it up.  I suspect I won't know how well the 42 works until that first gravel race on a long straight stretch of road.   There are other options to increase the high gear - if you are running Sram, then you could get a 10 tooth on the smallest cog.  Or with an e13 cassette you can get a 9 tooth.   I know some folks are running something like the e13 with a single ring up front - really does help with range.  But I'm a Shimano guy.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by dropfootdaddy


Thanks.  Have you had your Cutthroat long?  Have you been in a situation where the 42T caused you to spin out?  I can't imagine on gravel that would happen much.   The only thing is that the 2017 comes with a 32/24 ring. I'm wondering if you can mount a 42T on the cranks.
0
NoCoGreg

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #24 
Regarding comfort, unless your fit is at the extreme for the chosen frame size, then one can adjust how upright the position will be by changing stem height (ie. number of spacers) and/or stem angle for handlebar rise/drop.

IMO, unless one is racing, then weight of the bike frame is overblown.  My experience has been that faster is most attributed to wheel and tire weight.  For comfort on gravel I prefer CF fork, bars and seatpost. I had long been a skeptic on how much difference this could make, but wow, it was night and day.  The weight difference is minimal between a good aluminum and CF seatpost bars - its all about the high frequency vibration damping.  

OTOH, the weight difference between a steel and CF fork can be a pound or more.  Again, IMO the weight difference is significant only if one is racing.  For me the big difference between a CF and steel fork is in the ride.  More comfort means less fatigue. The randonneur mag's and forums have long argued that reduced fatigue results in faster times for long randonneur events.
0
dropfootdaddy

Starter
Registered:
Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #25 
Wanted to thank all of you for your feedback.  Funny enough, I went in a different direction and ordered a Otso Warakin.  The were many things about the bike that appealed to me - stainless steel, geo, ability to shorten chainstay with a tuning chip, it can fit 2.1 tires, and the guys from wolf tooth engineered.  It really fit more what I was looking for than than than the other bikes.  A nice balance between teh warbird and cutthroat.  It certainly is heavy, frame comes in over 2100g. But I'm ding my best to lighten up the rotational weight.  I don't mind the weight  so much as I really was drawn to steel.

I'm pretty excited about the build.  The frame is in, and it's gorgeous.  The other parts are slowly trickling in.

I'm going with 
Industry Nine AR25 wheels (I ordered Schwalbe 2.1 TB and 700 x 35 G ones)
Ultgegra front and rear der.
Shimano Hydro Shifter and brakes
Specialzied Hover Handelbar
Praxis Zayante Crank 48/32 with 4iiii power 

For now I'll be using saddle, stem and seatpost I have lying around unit I get fitted. 
Will send pics


0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.