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.

 

TRP HYRD caliper close up

Volagi and the TRP Hy RD Disc Brake

TRP Hy RD Disc Brake


 

The TRP HyRd is a cable actuated, hydraulic powered disc brake. The use of cables allows for cross compatibility with any shifter that uses a cable brake, allowing us to keep the price down with little sacrifice in braking power compared to a full hydro set up. TRPs HyRd brake uses a cable pull system to activate a lever on the caliper that in turn pushes a piston into the hydraulic reservoir and activates the brake. Don’t be fooled – this approach has plenty of power despite its diminutive size. That, coupled with compressionless brake housing gives you a rock solid, nearly full hydraulic feel as the pads lock onto the rotor.

You might also notice the unique appearance of the T25 Center-Lock rotor. This steel rotor with aluminum carrier and center lock only option sheds weight and heat over its predecessor. The grooves you see along the rotor help pump in cool air to prevent heat build up, as well as help remove contaminates from the rotor and pad surface. The channels are treated with an ED (Electro-deposition) coating, much like anodizing, which bonds the coating to the surface of the rotor on a molecular level so that the coating will never wear off.

A staff favorite for its predictability, low noise, and larger pad-to-rotor contact area, the HyRd wont leave you wishing for anything more than longer rides and steeper descents.

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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

Marianne Wyllie

I took delivery of my brand-new red Viaje today at the Bicycle Trip in Santa Cruz. It was love at first sight. No wonder. All the employees in the shop had been lusting over this bike since it had shown up. But NO, it’s mine all mine!

So my husband and I took off for a ride along West Cliff Drive, then the bike path north to Wilder State Park, where we ventured onto some dirt on the bluff trails. My Viaje handled both paved and dirt surfaces with ease. Then onto paved again, to reach a very steep uphill that heads up from Hiway 1. I am not a very strong climber, but I really noticed how effortless it seemed (I have been a mt bike rider for eons). Oh, what a delight.

I have to commend you for creating such a beautifully stylish frame, the outstanding workmanship on it, all put together for a wonderful experience for the rider.

You shipped my husband’s blue Viaje today. Thank you for doing that. Now he won’t be so jealous.

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Weather the conditions this Winter with Volagi

There’s no denying the benefits of riding a bike over other forms of transportation. When traveling long distances or simply commuting to and from work on your Volagi, your bike needs to be as resilient as you are.

Both the Viaje and the Liscio incorporate front and rear fender mounts to keep Mother Nature from ruin­ing your clean duds. The Viaje has wide enough clearance for 42c tires without fenders or 35c tires with fenders. The Liscio will accept up to 28c tires comfortably with fenders mounted (with a little bit of filing to the front fender slot) and 30c tires without fenders. Never again will you have an excuse not to ride all through the winter months. Many brands carry fenders that will fit on our bicycles however here is the short list of fenders we’ve found to work quite well:

Viaje:

1. SKS Longboard 45mm

2. Planet Bike Cascadia

Liscio

1. SKS Longboard 35mm