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.
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.