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Summer Adventurer: Surly Ogre VS Salsa Vaya

Summer Adventurer: Surly Ogre VS Salsa Vaya

Summer Adventurer: Surly Ogre VS Salsa Vaya

Sunshine, warm(-ish) weather and good vibes – the summer is for adventures, right? Well, we’d argue that the best way to do that is on two wheels, but what’s the best bike to do it on? Surly and Salsa are synonymous with all things all-road: each has a well-earned reputation for building functional, robust and instantly recognisable bikes, catering to all riders of all abilities. So, picking from their range feels like the natural choice. 

When it comes to adventures, there are no rules! With that in mind, we’ve pitted the Surly Ogre and Salsa Vaya for the title of the ultimate summer adventurer, each with their own unique approach to the same common goal. Let the battle commence!



The Bikes

Surly Ogre
Salsa Vaya
Surly’s steel frames are never one to disappoint. Dubbed as their ‘All-Season Commuter’, we’d argue that the Ogre is much more capable than this title suggests. This all-road adventurer is capable on any surface, a jack of all trades, a mixed-surface machine! Any day, any conditions, taking the long way home is never out of the question – forget about the destination, it’s all about the journey! 
The steel really is real with the Vaya – it’s a classic touring bike with a twist, a go-anywhere drop bar bike that actually means it. This mile-munching, mixed-terrain tourer is made for adventures, whether it’s a weekend away or a trundle through the country lanes it all comes down to having fun! Whether it’s gravel, road, touring or commuting, the amount of hats that this bike possesses is almost endless.



Handlebar Setup

Flat Bar (Ogre)
Drop Bar (Vaya)
Cool, calm and collected, the flat bar suits off-road epics or cruisy rides alike. The upright position takes the pressure off, and the wider bar makes way for mounting more stuff. Short of the kitchen sink, you can pretty much fit what you want on there!
Keep out of the wind and make headway on your big adventure. When the road buzz gets the better of you, switch it up! With hand positions a-plenty, the drop bar allows you to chop and change on long rides before fatigue sets in.




1x (Ogre)
2x (Vaya)
Sometimes less is more. By eliminating the front derailleur, panic shifting into the small chainring at the bottom of a steep climb is a thing of the past. With all the gears you need made simple, why spend time thinking about gear changes when you could be admiring the view?  
Covering distance is what the Vaya does best. Slightly larger gears give you the option to go faster, with an equally wide range thanks to the 2x setup. Whether it’s crawling up the climbs or cruising on the flat, you can settle into a comfortable rhythm.



Tyre Clearance

Wide (Ogre)
Narrow (Vaya)
Big adventures call for big tyres, and the Ogre does just that. With clearance for up to 29”x2.5” or 27.5”x2.8 (plus mudguards!), it isn’t just all-season, but all surfaces too. Space for tyres an MTB would be envious of means mud spikes for winter and comfy balloon slicks in the summer.
700x45mm is nothing to sniff at, compared to any other touring bike it’s relatively gargantuan! Naturally, narrower and slicker tyres will be faster on smoother surfaces, but you have the freedom of choice. From the tarmac to the trails, the Vaya is more than capable of accommodating.



Our Verdict

Both of these bikes are built for adventures, so ultimately it comes down to where you’re planning on going and what style of riding. For the spontaneous rider that wants to just roll out, have some fun and see where the wind takes them, the Surly Ogre is prepared for all eventualities – truly the embodiment of all-terrain. Flat bars, big tyres, the Ogre will get you from A to B without a hitch, but it’s all about the journey! The Salsa Vaya is slightly more calculated in its approach, leaning towards the touring format with a big dose of do-it-all. The drop bar format is fast, efficient and versatile, while bigger gears and slicker tyres let you carry speed and cover ground regardless of the road surface. In an ideal world, we’d have both, but we’ll let you be the judge!

Want to explore our range of adventure bikes? Check them out here.



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