By: Omar Sison
A first look at the new E7 Ignite VL Wheelset from Volagi:
1. I like they way they look. Barley changed the graphics up a little bit so it looks real classy, simple, but tidy. The word “Ignite” in metallic looks good next to the “VL” in red. There’s no italics so sometimes different is just better.
2. At first glance it looks a lot like our XL wheels but when you take a caliper to it and measure it up, it’s about 1.5mm wider. Wiiiider! That’s a good thing. Theoretically this allow you to run slightly lower pressure and get better traction. I like both. Also by today’s standards, the VL boasts one of the shallowest rim depths I’ve measured at about 17.8mm. If you’re an Ambrosio fan or nostalgic about Paris-Roubaix pre-carbon-wheels, you might dig that.
3. I’m a really big fan of running 700×28 tires or more recently 700×30. At 150lbs, that just seems to be the sweet-spot for me. I don’t ride with a heart rate monitor or a power meter, I don’t time myself up hills anymore. I pulled a pretty long wheelie the other day, and I guess it was bout 8 seconds. While I don’t know how much time I’m losing or gaining by riding this tire size, I do know that I enjoy the experience more than anything, and it keeps me wanting to come back for more riding. Every time I jump on my Viaje, I just plain dig it. 700×25-30 tires and the VL wheels are a heavenly match, both being just a little bit wider than normal.
5. Ok, of course, a word on weight. The VL’s are extremely light. I weighed some of these rims on the gram scale. One rim was 404 grams the heaviest I weighed was a 412g. The variance in weight can be partially attributed to the fact that rear wheel has 32 holes, while the front has 28. I’m a product of the 90s, I like grunge bands, Miguel Indurain, and Onza bar-ends. I’m also a fan of Mavic Open Pro rims. It’s makes me feel pretty good to know that this VL we’re making is close to 30 grams lighter than those almighty hoops. In the end, the total weight of the wheelset is 1660g.
6. I suppose you could build this up suuuuper light, alloy nipples, DT Revolution spokes, and air up the tubes with helium and try to beat the 1500g sound barrier. But I…WE don’t want you to have to true the wheel up all the time, and WE know you’re going to be training for double centuries, and there’s not a whole lot of spare time for playing bike mechanic, so we opted to spec it with DT double-butted Competion spokes with smoky-black BRASS nipples (double butted spokes + brass nipples = strong). Besides, it’s the rotational weight of your rim that you’ll be whippin’ around, and that’s the light part.
7. This wheel is an excellent lightweight option for the road. For those of you who plan to hit up the gravel race circuit, you’ll be pleased with the low profile, wide rim design. If you are a larger rider who tends to dish out punishment on your wheels, it may be best to consider our Ignite XL wheelset as a more stout clydesdale option. You can purchase the new E7 Ignite VL wheels in our shop: http://www.volagi.com/shop/ignite-vl-wheelset-new/ or configure them on your next complete bike in our bike builder: http://www.volagi.com/product-category/bikes/
*Omar is the world’s leading authority in tinkering around with random bicycle related parts after hours. He knows nothing about beer. Cameo appearances made by Abigail, the shop dog.