Is Salsa Vaya GRX 600 A Good Bike? [Salsa Vaya GRX 600 Review]

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Salsa Vaya GRX 600

  • Price: $2749
  • Category: Gravel Bikes
  • Tire: 700x38c
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Gears: 2 x 11

What do we like about it: Superb value for money gravel bikes with rugged Teravail Cannonball vacuum tires and a rich and diverse 2×11 speed drivetrain so you can enjoy the ride wholeheartedly.

What we don’t like about it: The choice of body colors is too small and not extensive enough.



The Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is a bike that will suit your every need.

The Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is built on durable Teravail Cannonball vacuum tires, and the wider 700c x 38 mm tires ensure a smooth ride over potholes and gravel roads littered with small stones.

A Salsa classic, the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is as much a Salsa fat bike as ever.

In addition to this, the Salsa Vaya GRX retains Salsa’s aggressive and challenging spirit. As a result, the Salsa Vaya GRX’s optional 2 x 11 drivetrain offers a wide range of speed gears to give you an extremely versatile riding experience that is adaptable to the various shifts needed on the road and to meet the need to adjust speed on all kinds of trails.

Gravel Riding

Salsa Vaya GRX 600 Gravel Riding

In light of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600’s high-end components, I couldn’t wait to put it on a suburban road at the weekend.

As soon as I pulled onto a bumpy gravel road, the Teravail Cannonball, 700c x 38 mm vacuum tires made their first foray onto the gravel-laden road I had chosen, I felt the crushing sensation from the Vaya GRX’s traditional fat tires, smooth and powerful.

As the ride progressed, I encountered my first challenge of ascending terrain, but I was very much looking forward to it and was pleasantly surprised that the Salsa Vaya GRX’s drivetrain, although rich and cumbersome, was extremely smooth in shifting gears frequently on the uphill, and I fell in love for a while with the sense of change that came from the abundance of gearing options. In addition, the chain doesn’t jar when shifting gears.

The wide tires on the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 also gave me the confidence to switch between gears while riding uphill, as the wide tires gave me full grip and traction.

In addition, the tires are wide enough to ride smoothly over gravel without creating uncomfortable bumps, giving me a comfortable and secure ride on the Salsa Vaya GRX.

The Waxwing carbon fork provided excellent damping on the gravel roads and my arms were not sore from the bumps and vibrations during the hour-long ride.

Hydration is essential on long rides, and the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 does this well, with a water bottle holder on the top tube so that the rider can carry a water cup at all times during the ride.

City Riding

For the road test, I chose a city road with a lot of traffic. This time, the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 did not disappoint.

As I navigated the streets and pavements, the TRP Spyre-C brakes were a guarantee that I would enjoy my ride, making me feel more at ease and fully engaged.

Throughout the review, the aforementioned gravel, tire filtering had already wowed me, but on this urban tour, with the Waxwing, carbon forks for damping, just the right amount of Teravail Cannonball, 700c x 38 mm vacuum tires, and the WTB Volt Steel SL seat made me feel once again that the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 had taken comfort to the extreme.

This also greatly reduced the fatigue I felt during the ride. These components aside, I believe that the 73° seat tube angle also deserves absolute credit here, as the steeper seat tube angle makes it easier for me to pedal and save effort during the ride.


Passing through a section of the park’s inner path, I noticed a clear downward trend on this section. Here the wider tires of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 once again did their job, with the rougher tread showing off their strong grip and great friction on the descending sections, so that I didn’t suffer from drifting.

Unfortunately, I was a little worried when it suddenly rained a little while passing through a section of rocky USA road, as this patchwork of stone paths can become extremely slick when exposed to water and can easily become slippery if you are not careful. To my relief, this was not the case throughout the ride.

As well as the tires, which have great friction, the TRP Spyre-C brakes gave me plenty of confidence. The combination of quality tires and brakes, which increase friction and keep the bike smooth, and the extremely standard 274mm low five-way height, which enhances stability, all ensure a safe ride and give me more room for manoeuvre.

Despite the fact that bumps were most likely to occur on this patchwork of roads, the combination of the Waxwing, and a carbon fork, reduced discomfort on this uneven stretch of road and increased my control on the harsh terrain. Overall, the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is the ultimate experience for the price point.

Main Features

Salsa Vaya Frameset

Salsa Vaya Frameset

The frame of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is made of Vaya Triple-butted CroMoly Steel, which is very strong and durable, and is particularly resistant to friction outdoors. In addition, the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is covered in glossy black paint throughout, with a simple gold pattern and logo motif on the center tube and downtube, giving it a simple, calm yet textured quality that is a rallying point for most people’s aesthetics.

The Salsa Vaya GRX has complete drivetrain cable housing, which not only facilitates maintenance but also protects the cables from easy damage or contamination.

In terms of assembly, the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 gives the rider a great deal of freedom to choose whether or not to install a rear rack and mudguards, depending on your needs.

The rear rack can be fitted to take the pressure off the rider to carry the essentials for trips and rides. As for the mudguards, they are absolutely necessary if you occasionally ride on muddy roads after rain.


The 73° seat tube angle with the saddle presents a near-comfortable riding angle, which minimizes fatigue during the ride and at the same time greatly enhances the rider’s riding efficiency. The steep 71.5° head tube angle allows for easy directional rotation and increases the agility of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600.

As a gravel road bike, the Vaya GRX 600 has a longer reach than an enduro road bike. With the Salsa Vaya GRX in a standard size, a Reach of 364mm can be achieved, which also makes it easier for the rider to lower his or her riding position during the ride, which is a great help to cycling efficiency.

Components and Specifications

Shimano GRX 600, 2×11 Speed Drivetrain

Salsa Vaya GRX 600 Drivetrain

The Shimano GRX 600 drivetrain is complete enough to support a wide range of gears. Compared to the 1x drivetrain, the 2x drivetrain obviously offers more gears and is more complex than the 1x drivetrain, which is enough to satisfy most riders’ shifting needs and to give them the maximum, almost perfect, riding experience.

The choice of Shimano RX600, 46/30t cranks are suitable for most body configurations and ensure a more comfortable ride.

TRP Spyre-C mechanical Disc Brake

The brakes are mechanical disc brakes. Some people may not find the traditional mechanical discs technical enough, but if you really experience them you may change your mind and even fall in love with them.

One of the first things I noticed when measuring the brakes was the moderate stiffness of the grip, which was not too soft and not too hard. At the same time, the smoothness of the brakes in use gave me a sense of Salsa, the Mechanical Disc’s charm in terms of attention to detail: as little blockage as possible, maximum braking power.

Compared to the heavier and more difficult to maintain hydraulic disc brakes, mechanical disc brakes are not only more than adequate for those who need them, but they are also simpler to maintain and lighter on the rider in terms of weight, which is more than enough for everyday use.

Teravail Cannonball vacuum Tires

Teravail Cannonball vacuum Tires

The 700c x 38 mm tire is a wide enough tire to cope with all kinds of urban and suburban road surfaces, with a tread pattern to enhance friction and grip.

In addition, the Salsa Vaya GRX uses the Teravail Cannonball, a vacuum tire that is durable and strong enough to ride over gravel with no risk of punctures.

The 700c x 38 mm tire is also a taller size and is excellent at absorbing vibrations and playing an essential role in shock absorption.

Other Versions of Salsa Vaya

In this review, we have described in detail the performance issues of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600. But for your better choice, here we have prepared other versions of the Salsa Vaya.

2019 Salsa Vaya 105

2019 Salsa Vaya 105
2019 Salsa Vaya 105

In terms of price, the Salsa Vaya 105 is clearly superior. But again, the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 has upgraded components that are not available on the 105.

The 105 is also available in a bright purple color and has a line pattern on the tires, making it a little more youthful than the Vaya GRX and perhaps more in tune with young people’s preferences.

Compared to the standard width 700x38c tires on the Salsa Vaya GRX, the 105 has a slightly slimmer 700x37c tire, which obviously generates less drag on the bike and saves more effort.

Overall, the Salsa Vaya GRX is a step up from the 105, but perhaps the 105 is also a good choice if you are starting with different needs.

Salsa Vaya GRX 600

2020 Salsa Vaya GRX 600
Salsa Vaya GRX 600

The Salsa Vaya GRX 600 and the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 are basically the same in terms of basic components. They share the same tires: Teravail Cannonball 700c x 38mm durable, vacuum tires, identical mechanical disc brakes, and a carbon fiber damping fork. There are only major differences in the appearance of the bike, with the Vaya GRX being painted in a bolder and brighter paint job, while the Vaya GRX is much more subdued and restrained in comparison.

Nevertheless, in terms of price, the Vaya GRX is slightly more expensive than the Vaya GRX. If like me, you are not overly fussy about the appearance of the bodywork, then the Vaya GRX is clearly a better value for money.

What do we like about it?

  • The sturdy Vaya Triple-butted CroMoly Steel frame protects your ride.
  • Extensive 2×11 shifting system for easy handling of all kinds of complex terrain.
  • Traditional classic mechanical disc brakes for easy maintenance and excellent price.
  • Teravail Cannonball, vacuum tires for durability and a guaranteed riding experience.
  • A cargo rack can be fitted for easy access to essentials when out on the trail.

What don’t we like about it?

  • The choice of body colors is not extensive.
  • The 2 x 11 speed drivetrain is not friendly enough for some novices.


  • What is the tire size of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600?

The tire size of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is 700 x 38c

  • What is the drivetrain of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600?

The drivetrain of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is 2 x 11-Speed

  • What are the brakes on the Salsa Vaya GRX 600?

The brake on the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 is a TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brake

  • How do I choose the size of the Salsa Vaya GRX 600?
SizeRider height
49.5cm147– 159cm
52cm157 – 166cm
54cm164 – 173cm
55cm170 – 178cm
57cm175– 185cm

Salsa Vaya GRX 600 Specs

 Salsa Vaya GRX 600  Salsa Vaya 105    Salsa Vaya GRX 600  
FrameVaya Triple-butted CroMoly Steel BB Standard: BSA, 68mm, Threaded Tire Clearance: 45c Color: BlackVaya Triple Butted CroMoly BB Standard: BSA, 68mm, Threaded Color: Teal or PurpleVaya Triple Butted CroMoly BB Standard: BSA, 68mm, Threaded Color: Orange
Rear ShockN/AN/AN/A
Bottom Bracket68mm BSA, threaded68mm BSA, threaded68mm BSA, threaded
HeadsetCane Creek 40Cane Creek 10Cane Creek 40
StemSalsa GuideSalsa GuideSalsa Guide
HandlebarSalsa CowbellSalsa CowbellSalsa Cowbell
SaddleWTB Volt Steel SL MediumWTB VoltWTB Volt Comp
SeatpostSalsa GuideSalsa Guide27.2 x 350mm
GripsSalsa Gel Bar TapeSalsa Gel Bar TapeSalsa Gel Bar Tape
Rear DerailleurShimano RX810Shimano 105 R7000Shimano RX810
Front DerailleurShimano RX810Shimano 105 R7000Shimano RX810
CrankShimano RX600, 46/30tFSA Omega Adventure 48/32tShimano RX600-11, 46/30t
ShiftersShimano 105Shimano 105 R7000Shimano 105 R7000
CassetteShimano HG700, 11–34t, 11-speedShimano HG70011 11-speed, 11-34tShimano HG700-11 11-34t
ChainShimano HG601Shimano HG601-11Shimano HG601-11
BrakesTRP Spyre-C (160 mm rotors)TRP Spyre-C, 160mm rotorsTRP Spyre-C, 160mm
RimsWTB Serra 12 x 100 mm hub, WTB ST i19 TCS 2.0 32h 700c rimNovatec 32h, 12 x 100mm, WTB ST i19 TCS 2.0 700cWTB Serra Hub 12 x 100mm, WTB ST i19 TCS 2.0 700c 32h
TiresTeravail Cannonball 700c x 38 mm, Durable, Tubeless-ReadyWTB Riddler 700 x 37c TCS Light/Fast Rolling, tan sidewallTeravail Cannonball 700c x 38mm Durable, Tubeless-Ready
Disk RotorsTRP Spyre-C (160 mm rotors)51mm standard, (140–160mm)51mm standard, (140–160mm)


Comparison Table

Diamondback Haanjo 7C Carbon$30002×11700×37cShimano GRX600 Hydraulic disc brakeClick View
Scott Speedster Gravel 20  $2,6992×11700x45c
Shimano BR-RX400 Hydraulic disc brake
Click View
GT Grade Carbon Elite  $30252×10700x40cShimano GRX 400 Hydraulic disc brakeClick View
Giant Revolt Advanced 2  $30002×11700x38cShimano GRX RX-600 Hydraulic disc brakeClick View

Diamondback Haanjo 7C Carbon VS Salsa Vaya GRX 600

2022 Diamondback Haanjo 7C Carbon

After a careful comparison, we found that the Diamondback Haanjo and the Salsa Vaya do have some differences in terms of components, based on a partial price increase. Although they both have the same 2 x 11 speed transmission system and the same choice of tires, which are both tougher and more durable vacuum tires, there are some differences in more ways than one.

The Diamondback Haanjo 700 x 37c tires are a little thinner than the more standard tires on the Salsa Vaya. This is despite the fact that thin tires have always had an advantage in terms of acceleration. But in more difficult terrain and conditions, when the more grip is needed, the thicker tires are clearly better able to cope.

The Salsa Vaya’s TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc braking system is clearly weight-saving compared to the Diamondback Haanjo. All things considered, I prefer the Salsa Vaya GRX 600 which gives me a greater sense of security.

learn more: Diamondback Haanjo 2 Review – Low Cost, High Quality Gravel Bikes

Scott Speedster Gravel 20 vs Salsa Vaya GRX 600

2022 Scott Speedster Gravel 20

The first thing I noticed at the start of the comparison was how wide and thick the Scott Speedster 700 x 45c tires were. Although the grip from a wider tread will be stronger when climbing, the corresponding weight from the more massive tires is something that is hard to avoid. Too heavy tires can sometimes be a burden. Therefore, finding the right center value is what we need to do.

In contrast, the Salsa Vaya’s more standard and not too wide tires are clearly superior in terms of overall performance. The right tire minimizes discomfort and strain on the rider when climbing downhill and is an important factor in the feel of the ride. With this in mind, I think the design of the Salsa Vaya model is more to my liking.

In terms of gearing, both the Scott Speedster and the Salsa Vaya also feature a more extensive 2×11 speed, which shows that more gearing options are clearly on the minds of more consumers.

The only downside is that the Salsa Vaya doesn’t have the same perfect internal alignment as the Scott Speedster, which I feel a bit sorry for.

GT Grade Carbon Elite vs Salsa Vaya GRX 600

2022 GT Grade Carbon Elite

I noticed at this point in the drivetrain that the GT Grade only has 2 x 10 speeds. Compared to the Salsa Vaya’s 2 x 11 speed, although the difference doesn’t seem to be that big intuitively, if you actually try it you’ll see that there’s more than a little difference.

Perhaps for the less experienced novice, a simpler shifting system would be more friendly. But for veterans, enough riding and shifting experience is enough to react quickly on the sections where shifting is required. Switching to a less experienced drivetrain might cause some regret on somewhat challenging rides.

As a rider with plenty of riding experience, I’m sure many cyclists like me would prefer a drivetrain with more shifting.

In terms of tires, both the GT Grade and the Salsa Vaya opted for the more durable vacuum tires, a necessary choice when riding in rough conditions, as no one wants to be faced with a sudden tire puncture in the middle of a ride.

In terms of riding experience, I personally prefer the Salsa Vaya’s soft and firm WTB Volt Steel SL seat, which will ease the tiredness of my leg muscles during long rides. If like me, you don’t like a seat that is too soft, then the Salsa Vaya is also more suitable for you!

GT Grade Elite Review – Focusing On Fun Rides

Giant Revolt Advanced 2 vs Salsa Vaya GRX 600

2022 Giant Revolt Advanced 2

Also as a gravel bike, I don’t think the Giant Revolt is overly innovative in terms of design. On the contrary, the Giant Revolt is more expensive compared to the Salsa Vaya. The Giant Revolt’s hydraulic disc brakes are also more difficult to maintain than the Salsa Vaya’s mechanical disc brakes and add unnecessary weight.

After careful comparison, my personal feeling is that the Giant Revolt is comparable to the Salsa Vaya in many areas, but the Salsa Vaya’s better price is clearly a better value for money.

If you want a gravel bike that performs perfectly and offers better value for money, then the Salsa Vaya is definitely the bike for you!

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learn more: Giant Revolt Advanced 3 Review – The Best Carbon Gravel Bike For The Money

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