Susan’s Winter Commuter

Susan Scarlet MacawSales and Operations

Susan Scarlet Macaw holds the record for fastest time on a single speed bicycle in the Furnace Creek 508 race. She’s raced in the prestigious Paris-Brest-Paris which might as well be the Super Bowl of Randoneuring. It’s safe to say that Susan knows a thing or two about bicycles, so when she finds one she likes, you can bet on it being the best tool for the job.

It only takes one ride on Utah roads during the winter to arrange a meeting with black ice, and hitting the deck in subzero temps is enough to discourage even the heartiest of winter commuters. Susan’s role as  Sales and Operations Manager is integral to Volagi’s continued success and she takes no chances with her cold weather transportation. She has opted for studded tires over slicks, an 11-32T cassette for climbing up slippery slopes, full fenders, and a flat bar for stability in the roughest of conditions.

Rugged functionality? No doubt. Beautifully designed bike? We think so. Take a look at the bike that gets Susan from point A to point B:

  • Planet Bike full coverage fenders with mud gaurds and Viaje-specific fork struts
  • Salsa flat handlebar with Ergon Evo grips
  • Shimano XT hydraulic brake/shifter levers, Sram Red front derailleur and chain spotter, FSA carbon compact crankset, 11-32T cassette, with a Shimano Shadow Plus XT derailleur
  • Suomi studded tires for extra traction on icy roads
  • Cygolite Expilion 800 headlight

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New E7 Ignite VL Wheelset – Ride Review

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. 

Cody’s Lucky Buddha Bike

Cody ShibukawaAccounting, Inventory, Shipping

Cody approaches his role as Volagi’s accounting, inventory, and shipping specialist with an unwavering attention to detail and reliability that’s indispensable to our daily operations. A closer look at his ride of choice reveals a bike that mirrors his work ethic and personality in every respect.

His riding style combines a fluid motion and fearless abandonment that’ll get you nervous watching but makes it impossible to look away. With roots running deep in the mountain bike culture of Northern California, Cody cut his teeth on the trails of Mount Tamalpais establishing himself as a top rider in local circles. His approach to riding demands a bike that not only handles the rigors of the trail, but also the brute force he dishes out while linking turns and bombing descents. Here’s a look at Cody’s one-of-a-kind “Lucky Buddha” Volagi Viaje:

  • Surly Knard 700×41 tires
  • Medley of Shimano 105 and Sram rival drivetrain parts with an X9 mountain bike rear derailleur
  • Sram 11-32 cassette
  • Salsa (“more”) Cowbell 2 handlebar, flared outward for a wider cockpit in the drops
  • “Lucky Buddha” bottle cap steer tube topper for good vibes and a little extra flair
  • Cygolite Mitycross handlebar mounted headlight
  • Volagi e7 Sync Saddle w/ Chromoly rails in one-off brown color scheme
  • Prototype straight blade Volagi carbon fork

 

 

Bicycling Australia Press

Volagi is interested in ‘the rest of us’, the silent majority of riders that don’t race crits or perhaps don’t have any inclination to follow racing at all. Riders that love riding and being fit, and riding all day long – See more at: http://bicyclingaustralia.com.au/2014/02/volagi-liscio#sthash.zU0b7AEM.dpuf

 

Omar’s Viaje Trail Commuter

Omar SisonLead Mechanic

Omar has owned many Volagi bikes in his time with the company, but no matter which saddle he’s in, every bike he rides is unique in a way only Omar could make it.  Mostly because every bike he owns has something hand made, hand rigged, or intricately fabricated from bits and pieces of random objects within reach.  Functional pieces of art exhibiting his mechanical ingenuity.  His most recent build is a 53cm Viaje that he is very proud of, and here’s a few reasons why:

  • Suomi Winter Studded “Tyres” (a non-negotiable on icy trails) or Challenge Almanzo 30mm when the weather is kinder
  • Wolf Tooth 42T chainring (narrow-wide)
  • Sram 11-32 cassette (shimmed for Campy 10spd, between gears 7 and 8)
  • Gutted left shifter
  • Homemade chain catcher (made out of an extra post mount adapter)
  • Civia fenders.  They don’t guard as well as traditional ones, but good enough for the snow and slush.
  • Shimano A-530 pedals

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Cycle Sports Japan Press

Translated from “’Crazy about Bikes’ This month’s bike”; Cycle Sports Japan, January 2014

Established brands are a safe choice, but finding that special bike from a little known brand is one of cycling’s attractions.

Volagi is a small brand established by former Specialized staff, their disc road bike turned some heads at Interbike in 2012. Often smaller brands like this can go relatively unnoticed, but ironically Volagi was thrown into the spotlight with a lawsuit from the owner’s former employer.

The bike that caused a stir is this, the Liscio 2. It’s main features are the long, gently curving seatstays. Thin, curved seatstays are not uncommon these days, but the fact that they bypass the seattube and attach to the toptube is where the Liscio’s originality lies. This “Logbow Flex Stay,” also used in the steel Viaje model, is the brand’s trademark design. The approach differs, but like the Trek Domane or Cannondale Synapse, the concept of allowing the seattube to move in order to increase comfort is the same. Aiming for the top with a bike designed for endurance is one of the brand’s concepts, born perhaps from the creators’ experience at Paris-Brest-Paris. With a disc brake only line-up, Volagi is unique in the market.

A few turns of the pedals reveals a neutral ride. The disc rotors catch a small amount of wind, but no surprises. This may sound like a negative impression, but it’s not. Many compliance-oriented bikes reveal a disconcerting gap in vibration transmission between front and rear end. (The Liscio) lets you feel the road at the front, then smooths out the bumps at the back. There’s no gap between what you see and what you feel, with excellent front-rear balance.

Even if you don’t notice over short distance, the reduced fatigue becomes noticeable over longer rides. The more you ride it, the more you will understand and appreciate it. It doesn’t have the acceleration of a top end race bike, nor is it especially light: looking down from a racing perspective, it may seem that there’s not much to praise. However, what the creators are aiming for is bike for riders looking to explore their full potential. They are aiming at an ideal road bike, without the limitations of UCi regulations. Road disc brakes still have a way to go, but the benefit of better function in the wet and when tired is for sure a good proposition.

Regardless of whether road disc brakes become widely accepted, this is definitely one for any bike enthusiast. I’ve ridden a number of disc road bikes, but this is the best buy so far. Pricier models are available, but they lose out on that easy-to-ride feeling. The brand’s potential and the balance of price and function make the Liscio 2 a very attractive proposition, especially for those interested in up-and-coming brands.

 

 

 

Liscio Custom Bike

Cyclist Magazine Press

There is an appreciable amount of give at the rear end of the Liscio, which absorbs a large amount of road buzz, although perhaps not quite as much as I had anticipated, especially when factoring the gangly seatpost into the equation. However, it was still a lot more comfortable than many other endurance bikes. This is certainly one for the long miles.

Full Article: Cyclist Magazine 2014 Liscio Review

Velo Magazine Press

Excerpt taken from Velo Magazine article, “Braking Point” by Caley Fretz, Volume 43/No. 3

“Disc brakes are better at being brakes. It seems an odd, obtuse statement, but it’s a highly relevant one. Good brakes are fast brakes. Good brakes are safe brakes. The notion that discs don’t belong on the road because they are too good—which some folks believe—flies in the face of both physics and logic.

Discs are more powerful, with better modulation, across more situations. They are so thoroughly predictable that it becomes possible to ride an increasingly fine line between traction and lockup, braking later and harder, cornering faster and with more control. In our testing, it was actually the best bike handlers who got the most out of them, as they could push the tiers to the ragged edge with confidence. They allow faster descents and quicker evasive maneuvers. They’re simply better than any rim brake, ever.”