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Discussion Starter #1
I looked at the Vaya today and it's nice bike. I LOVE my El Mar 2 - it's an awesome bike! However, I have an interest in doing long-ish trips, 50+ miles, maybe bikepacking along rails-to-trail but not sure riding those distances on the El Mar will work. I want the El Mar for flowy single-track stuff and don't want to change bars or anything. Additionally, the El Mar on the pavement with Racing Ralph's doesn't have the least rolling resistance.

So, how does the Vaya compare to the Specialized AWOL?
 

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~ B A D A S S ~
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I have neither but you are describing the very purpose the vaya was created for so. I'm guessing the vaya will be the best and most evolved. Personally I would go with the vaya. They been making it for many years now, and specialized just tries to cash in on a "market" trying to make a buck, knowing nothing about it. fuk specialized.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, all. I rode a Fargo the other day and, dang, that's one nice bike! Seems a lot better than the Vaya.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I seem to recall NateHawk has/had a Vaya and didn't particularly like it.
Incorrect. I love mine. I hated its predecessor, an On-One Pompetamine.

I have no experience with the AWOL, so can't say anything there.

I debated between a Vaya and a Fargo, and went with the Vaya because I wanted a pavement bike that can handle some gravel. The Fargo is a mountain bike that can take street tires.
 

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If it werent for the revised on one pompino geometry id had bought a all city NB al ong time ago.
 

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I dream on two wheels
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I've got a Vaya also, and I love it. I've put about 22,000 miles on it in the last 4 years and I still love riding it. It would be a great gravel grinder.
 

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I think they're both great frames that are more alike than different. I'd say that the Vaya may be a better fit for heavily loaded road touring (four panniers & bar bag), as it feels a little stiffer from the head tube to the dropouts. It's also been in production for years, so there's less of a chance of unhappy surprises (though I did get a misaligned Vaya fork that had to be warrantied).

I'd give the nod to the AWOL for more "adventure" oriented mixed-surface riding with more modest loads (just two panniers or a bikepacking setup), as it feels a little more compliant and has clearance for larger tires. Mine's built up with Nano 2.1's, and it's a confident and super-fun fire road bomber. (It's fun on singletrack too.) Other salient differences from the Vaya include the long reach/short stem geo. and the belt-compatible--if somewhat fiddly--adjustable dropouts on the Comp model.

Here's my AWOL just after I built it up in May:
awol.jpg
 

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Ride Everything
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When I unboxed my demo AWOL Comp, I was immediately reminded of Spinal Tap.

There’s something about this that’s so black, it’s like how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black. – Nigel Tufnel

 

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Ride Everything
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Nice pics. Any seat-of-the-pants impressions yet?

Also weird that the fork isn't drilled for fender mounting...
Yeah, it's odd--especially when you consider that the seat/chainstay bridges are both drilled/tapped for fender mounts.

I haven't weighed the bike yet, but it feels somewhat heavy when you lift it. Riding it, however, it feels fine. In addition to weighing the complete bike, I plan on weighing the wheels, too (to see how they compare to my 29er's wheels).
 

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And here's some weight info for my size M Comp frameset:

Frame (w/ collar and bottle bolts): 5.2 lbs.
Fork (w/ crown race): 2.45 lbs. (300mm steerer)
Frameset (both above + included headset): 7.85 lbs.
Included 350mm seatpost: 311 grams
 

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I don't think the Vaya is going to take much more than a 42mm tire. Specialized says the AWOL will take a 55mm tire. That alone says something about the functional difference between the two. The AWOL looks a lot closer to the Fargo but a few hunderd dollars cheaper.
 
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