Stuck between 2 awesome bikes- Trek CrossRip Ltd -vs- Salsa Vaya 2 - Anyone have input?


New Member
Apr 20, 2014
Good Evening- I will state first that I tend to over-analyze things a bit, so I am looking for some clear opinions.

Currently I own and ride a Salsa El Mariachi and Salsa Mukluk. Both are excellent bikes for what I need these for- I am a self-proclaimed Salsa supporter and enthusiast.

I just sold my carbon framed road bike, a Felt Z5- with upgraded Ultegra Wheelset. I used this primarily as my commuter along with weekend rides. I sold it because it really was only able to be used when the pavement was dry, and only on pavement. Great bike- no complaints, other than not being able to safely ride in all conditions.

I decided that I wanted to move to a touring/ cross/ commuter style bike with options for fenders, racks, wider tires, and disc brakes. I have tried out several bikes and have it narrowed down to the Salsa Vaya 2 or Trek CrossRip Ltd. Both are excellent bikes in their own right, but I have not been able to find anything that compares them side to side with varying opinions- so I thought I would ask here.

This bike is going to be used as a daily commuter (15 miles each way- 30 miles/ day) and would like to use in any weather condition- both will do well with that. Lots of available gravel and crushed limestone trails around, along with fireroads up by my cabin in the BWCA in northern MN.

The CrossRip Ltd has tubeles ready rims, carbon front fork, and 105 grouping (compact) It feels a but more zippy than the Vaya, but the Vaya's ride is like butter. The Vaya is heavier, but made with excellent steel- and the CrossRip is Alloy, which I am not the greatest fan of, but I hear that new Alloy can be a very nice ride, depending on manufacturer. Trek is known for frame build quality for allow, and Salsa for most anything else.

Ideally I would LOVE to have the Vaya in Titanium, but that is no longer available.

I am stuck because I really like the immediate feel and ride quality of the Vaya, but know that the Trek is an awesome bike with a better price of the Vaya. The Trek felt more rigid, but the bikes I was testing had different tires- the CrossRip has Bontrager 32s- and the Salsa was sporting 40s. That I know makes a huge ride difference.

I am in Minnesota- so the Mukluk is excellent for winter, and the El Mariachi is a great bike for single track that is easy to find. Would love one of thee to fulfill most all other riding needs. I would also like to do weekend bikepacking.

Anyone have experience with both of these, or thoughts to consider I might have missed?
Aluminum bikes no matter if it's "newer" aluminum is still aluminum and thus will have a finite life expectancy of about 5 years depending on use of course. So of the two bikes, I'm with you in regards to aluminum so go with the Salsa, plus it's a much more well rounded bike, and if you need a bit more zippy of a bike then get better lighter rims which you can find very reasonable rims for under $500 for a pair. Of course getting a Salsa means you don't have the Toyota of know what I mean, everyone has one...a Trek. Of course all of this just an opinion.

Read this by the way:

Of course if you want titanium you will need to spend more but Lynskey has the best deal in titanium called the Peloton (I own one, their fantastic), equipped with all 105 components from Lynskey is just $2,700 plus shipping, you can read the reviews which is where my review is too. See this for more info:
I made the move yesterday to purchase the Trek, mostly because it was lighter, internal cable routing, compact crank, and a little better brakes. My mind was telling me that I already have 2 salsas so why not diversify to a brand that does have great quality and lifetime guarantee. It does ride well, but every since putting it in my garage yesterday, I feel a bit of buyers remorse. I still am thinking about the Vaya, which fit me like a glove first test ride. Yes, it is a bit heavier, but my commute is only 15 miles each way- over fairly flat MN ground, with varied pavement, dirt, old roads, etc. would be able to take this to my can for more fire road and singletrack, while a long term goal would be longer touring. So strongly thinking about returning the CrossRip for the Vaya. Only had it a day.