Congrats to Robert Choi on his 27th Everest Summit!

 

We wanted to give our co-founder Robert Choi a shout out and share this image with all of you of him atop Everest with our lightest bike model, the Liscio II (which is definitely and clearly NOT photoshopped in any way). Robert climbed over 800,000 vertical feet last year, which is the same as hiking from sea-level to the top of Everest TWENTY-SEVEN times! Not to mention he logged this in just under 11,000 miles on his Liscio II and Viaje Ti (original prototype frame). When asked about his mileage, Robert remarks “If life hadn’t got in the way I would have probably got 1,000,000 vertical feet…”

How much did you ride in 2015? More importantly, were the miles memorable?

robert pursuit

Photos From the Hoodoo 500

Longbow carbon view from below

Volagi and the Ground-Breaking Longbow Flex Stays

 

When Barley Forsman and Robert Choi set out to design our first frames, they knew they would be swimming against the current trends of the cycling industry of the time. The industry seemed to think that everyone desired bikes based off their race models. Bikes with steep angles and aggressive geometry. Bikes with so much stiffness built into the frames it became overkill and unpleasant to ride. Not only were these bikes detrimental to every day riders, but these bikes were also held back by rules the UCI (the bicycle racing worlds governing body) wouldn’t budge on: no disc brakes, and frames could not vary from “traditional” construction designs.

” When developing Volagi’s original bicycle frames, my co-inventor and I set out to design a bike best suited for “endurance” road cyclists. Endurance road cyclists, or riders, are cyclists who prefer to ride for longer distances, 100 km or more rather than compete in organized sanctioned races against other riders. Endurance riders are looking for a bike that still performs like a racing bike but, more importantly, that is comfortable and forgiving to bumps and road vibrations since they are on their bicycles for a long time” says Robert.

Previously, in order to isolate the rider, bicycle companies relied on one or a combination of existing options:
1.) Use thinner tubing at the rear of the bike to create more flex – which worked well for compliance but would deflect and steal energy from the rider when pedaling, as well as affect handling.
2.) Use elastomers or other energy absorbing materials – which absorb high frequency vibrations well enough but add undesired weight to the bike and do nearly nothing for large impacts.
Or
3.) Use a suspension linkage, like mountain bikes – which isolates the rider completely, but affects the geometry and handling of the bike, pedaling efficiency,  as well as adding too much weight to be desirable on a road bike.

To accomplish our goals, Robert and Barley created our patented Longbow Flex Stays, a design that completely isolates the rider from harsh road vibrations and impacts and provides ~6mm of movement at the saddle, while only allowing a fraction of that movement at the bottom bracket. What this does is isolates the rider in a seated position without affecting drivetrain performance, allowing for the snappy acceleration of a race bike without the harsh ride associated with it. Our Longbow Flex Stays also allow for energy absorption when standing, something that just adding an elastomer or suspension to the seat post will not do, and because of our oversized bottom bracket and tapered chainstays, the rider loses no power to the pedals.

We also took the time to engineer our LongBow Flexstays to work best with each material we use – Hi-Modulus Carbon Fiber, Titanium Alloy, and Cromoly Steel. Because each of these materials each have different characteristics and capabilities, a cookie cutter approach was not only impossible, but impractical. Our carbon frame, with its slightly shorter headtube, has the joint moved slightly back towards the seat tube. The Ti, slightly further forward. Our steel? We designed it to accommodate wider tires and changed the joint location completely vs. the other two frames.

We believe what we have accomplished with our line of bikes is a complete set of options that, no matter which you choose, will totally surpass you previous notions of how comfortable a bike can ride, while still maintaining the snappy, responsive feel you desire from a high end bicycle. Try a Volagi today, and discover your Will to Go, blaze new paths, and challenge preconceived notions of how and where you can ride a road bike.

 

hoodoo award

HooDoo 500 Victory for Volagi

We would like to congratulate our Co-Founder Robert Choi for his excellent performance at the HooDoo 500, for taking the Mens over 50 field win, setting a new course record, and surviving 500 miles on a bicycle in the desert! When asked for once piece of advice to surviving such a feat, Robert says “Pain last only a short time, but Glory lasts forever!” (and also “Be sure to test new shorts out on a nice long ride before trying a new pair during an ultra-endurance event”). Always a smile on his face, no matter how exhausted he may be.

hoodoo award

robert hoodoo finish

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Rider of the Month

Phil’s 1200k Liscio

Some riders love going the distance, and Phil is no exception. Wanting to tackle his first 1200k Randonnee, Phil was looking for a bike that would have a high level of comfort and still be able to perform under long distances. He completed the 2014 California Central Coast Randonnee in 82 hours and still had some go in his legs. He equipped his Liscio with a DuraAce Di2 group, TRP Hy/Rd calipers, and our E7 Ignite SL carbon wheels. For this awesome accomplishment, he’s our rider of the month.

Santa Rosa Cycling Club 600k Brevet

Brevet Smiling: Santa Rosa Cycling Club 600k

“Tina Forsman rides about 200 miles a week, she is Barley’s mom and rides her Volagi Liscio often. This weekend I rode with her and attempted to finish the SRCC 600K. We started really well, the heat took a toll on us on Saturday but we continued riding as if there was not time limit. We took 30 minute brakes at the rest stops, even a one hour break at Pope Valley, maybe it was too long. We had fun, we rode for hours, we arrive at Willis, California, the turn-around point at 1am in the morning. We continued riding and arrived at Pope Valley for a quick 40 minute nap and breakfast.

As we continued on, somewhere on our way to Clearlake, we had to abandon the ride since we weren’t going to make the time control in time. The best part of the ride was riding with Tina and enjoying her always bright smile, even with the aches and pains, and the mechanicals, and the heat, and the long climbs and the endless rollers. She always had a smile in her face… we all should ride like Tina, just enjoying the ride.”

Words & Pictures – Susan Scarlet-Macaw

Donner’s Pass Bike Route

“I think even among the beautiful rides in California, the ride over Donner Pass to Donner Lake at 7,200 ft is one of most picturesque. Everyone going by route 80 from Reno to San Francisco should stop by and take a ride.

The climb is easy with only 6% grade and only 1,200 ft from the lake but one everyone should do. This is the pass that the Donner party in 1846 resorted to cannibalism in order to survive and found a pass through the Sierras that lead ultimately to San Francisco.”

Words & Pictures – Robert Choi

Sunny Sunday

There were good times to be had over the weekend. Once the sun turns in our favor, it becomes difficult to not abide. And ultimately the dude abides.

It’s amazing the speed that is carried with wider tires and and the assurance of consistent braking due in part to the disc brakes. After descending at 50+ mph in gusty crosswinds, it’s hard not to be impressed with those innovations.

Riding the American Countryside

Weekend Ride: Countryside U.S.A.Elevation: Varies, Flat Grade

Even though, for many of us, work is located inside city walls, escaping to the rural areas of America can provide the sweetest of treats – open stretches of solitude, growth, and fresher air.

In the Spring and early Summer, alfalfa begins to green and for vast stretches of tarmac, the green steals the show. Another favorite is the incredibly vibrant sunset that follow the end of stronger storms. The pink jersey of the Giro doesn’t quite compare to the hues of salmon that rise before dark.

 

Achievement

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

– Maya Angelou

Achievement is at the heart of long distance cycling. Volagi riders, in order to achieve their goals will go through many changes and evolutions not only during training, but many times, during that ride.

We create bikes for that rider – the rider that seeks challenges, achievements, and ultimately personal evolution.

Keep finding new achievements, and we’ll engineer bikes that rise to the challenge.