So I’ve been encouraged … No nagged, on when I’m going to get an upgrade. I kept seeing all my friends with various upgrades, Specialized SL3, Felt, etc … But I couldn’t find one that knocked my socks off. The only one possibly would be Volagi, designed by Robert Choi and Barley Forsman, two former Specialized Engineers, who designed this from the ground up, based on their double century, FCC 508 experiences. The problem … I love my Seven.
Finally, I decided to take one out for a test ride at Crank 2. They normally sell tandems, but the only single bike they sell is Volagi. I went in with my bike, so they can take measurements on the bike I currently ride, and make adjustments on the bike I’m test riding. This was a 53 cm frame, but nowadays, it’s difficult to determine size of frame, since a lot of vendors are using sloping top tubes. I have no idea what size my Seven is, as it is a custom frame.
Ramon came along with me for the test ride (with him riding, of course, a Volagi). We rode along Calaveras down to Felter and back. This would give us a nice combination of rolling hills, switchbacks, and some pretty rough sections of road. The end result … I loved it. I don’t know if it’s the aggressiveness due to being on the new bike, or the fact that I wanted to push it to see what the bike could do, but it just fit like a glove.
It was hard to compare this ride with my normal Seven, for several reasons …. First it’s Carbon vs. Titanium, then compact double vs. triple. First thing I noticed was the ride seemed a little more upright, and possibly due to the larger frame, or the frame design, but I also read some reviews saying the same thing. I’m still trying to get used to that. My body doesn’t feel the road impact as much as my Seven, and hence a smoother ride. I still like my Seven, but this is sweet. Then the climbing … It is responsive, and the transition of power seems seamless. I didn’t find myself trying to work the bike, I just had to get up and go. Descending was nice, but I’m still getting used to the disc brakes, so I wasn’t too aggressive on switchbacks.
Since this is a little more upright, I didn’t feel I was getting too aero when I was trying my time trial position. Maybe I’ll just have to power it through.
The experience with Crank 2 was great. They were really helpful, and I also got a bunch discounts on accessories. Every time I go there, they always offer coffee in the store … Really nice. They also had a lot of feedback to Volagi, and every time, Volagi responded by making a change to the design, based on their suggestions. Wow, they do listen to their partners, unlike some other bike manufacturers. They really did this right, all the way down to the customer experiences. Crank 2 also had a Volagi day ride … They had 50 riders, and they eventually sold about 20 new Volagi’s.
After this successful test ride, I was in trouble. I want this bike, but I didn’t want to sound too eager. However, I’ve been told when others hesitate, and inquire a little later, they found the bike sold. Now the Liscio 1 it’s being sold at 20% off. So I had to put a deposit down, just so if I decide I wanted it, it wouldn’t be gone. As soon as I did that and tweeted it, all my friends congratulate me, and ask when I’m picking it up. When I tell them I haven’t fully decided yet, it’s like “why not. It’s got your name written all over it”. I guess my hesitation was I still love my Seven.
It only took 2 days for me to decide I’m going to buy it. Went on Wednesday to pick it up (one good reason to take half a day off). Simply put, the bike sold itself without any big sales push (20% off didn’t hurt either).
It’s amazing to hear all the comments from everyone once I tell them about my new ride. Lots of kudos, congrats, and “ooh so sexy,” … I just love it. Just another way to love riding the bike.
My first significant ride on my Volagi will be a meetup ride, up Hicks and Mt. Umunhum. With the current gearing, this will be an interesting challenge. We’ll see how I hold up.