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GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
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Looks good, what suspension is that? Is the Vault a cyclocross bike or one fo those aero gravel bikes?
MRP Baxter fork

The Vault is marketed as a do-it-all cyclocross, gravel, adventure bike. This generation was definitely more cyclocross oriented, the new one I just build is more gravel focused.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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It was a pretty tough call, but given that I essentially designed it and work for MRP....

:)
Given your background with this fork, you're probably the best person to ask about this.

I've been thinking about making my old Salsa Vaya a little more capable on the profusion of gravel roads in my area. Lots of big climbs/descents. They're not terribly gnarly, but they're gnarly enough that the stock steel fork on my 2014 Vaya is terrifying.


IMG_20160803_193728 by Nate, on Flickr

Given that the Baxter can be purchased with a straight steerer, are you aware of any cases where anyone has put one on this, or a similar bike? I tried some Google-fu to track down any reports of anyone putting gravel suspension on a Vaya, and I'm coming up empty.

Of course, putting a suspension fork on this bike would be part of a bunch more changes I've had floating around in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How similar is the Vaya's geo to the Fargo or Cutthroat? I know those models can take a suspension.

What is the tire clearance on the Baxter like? I kind of want to try a suspension fork on my Wolverine.
 

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Hey, speaking of the Fargo. I'm not sure if I'd call it a gravel bike, more of a drop bar mountain/bikepacking bike.
Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Tire Wheel Bicycle wheel rim

This is a second gen Fargo that was designed for an 80mm fork.

I had bought it aspirationally after reading too much CrazyGuyOnABike, then realizing that I probably want to wait until the kids are out of the house before doing any bikepacking. But since I couldn't get rid of it, I started upgrading it. First 2x10 hydraulics, then swapping in an 11 speed shifter, dropper, and then the fork.

There's not many straight steerer suspension forks available nowadays. I'd seen the Manitou Markhor but people kept saying how the ABS+ damper was so much better, so I found this Machete Pro on eBay. It didn't come with the proper spacer to convert it from 100mm to 80mm, so I made my own. Some of the internal part numbers also didn't match up with the manuals, but the internal parts that I could get to seemed to be the right lengths, so I figure it's a case of, "specifications subject to change without notice."

Problem was the remote levers for both the dropper and fork were designed for mountain bike bars at 7/8", so, inspired by Shimano's gravel dropper levers, I made some custom ones that fit in the drops.
Bicycle accessory Bicycle part Bicycle handlebar Carbon Black
Bicycle part Bicycle accessory Bicycle handlebar Black Carbon

They work great from the hoods, but slightly crowd my hands in the drops. I mean, I can still reach the levers, but my thumb knuckles are rubbing up against them. So I dropped the bars a bit more- flipped the stem and slammed it, but it's still not as low as my road bike's- and now when I grab for the drops, I barely graze the levers. I guess I could make the dropper remote smaller, but the fork lockout needs to be big to take up enough cable.

I'm rationalizing that I'm barely in the drops, so having the remote levers there isn't to big of a problem. We'll see when I need to take more challenging descents where I really do want to be in the drops.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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34,568 Posts
How similar is the Vaya's geo to the Fargo or Cutthroat? I know those models can take a suspension.

What is the tire clearance on the Baxter like? I kind of want to try a suspension fork on my Wolverine.
It's definitely not a suspension corrected frame geo like a Fargo/Cutthroat. But gravel forks don't necessarily require a suspension corrected frame geo.

According to the Salsa archives, my fork axle-crown is 405mm, and the Baxter is 424mm. The Baxter will slack the bike a little bit, but that's not necessarily a bad thing considering what I'm looking for. Of course, what I'm looking for is a little outside of what Salsa was really intending when they built this bike. But in all honesty, I don't think that what I'm wanting to do with it is too extreme, either. Given what I'm wanting to do with the bike now, a Fargo probably would have been a better choice (I was trying to decide between a Fargo and Vaya when I bought this), but when I bought the bike, my riding on it was almost 100% pavement, so the Fargo made less sense then.

According to the MRP website, the Baxter's tire clearance is 700x40c or 27.5 x 2.5" which keeps fairly consistent with what my frame permits (a touch bigger at 27.5" though).
 
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