Tag Archives: Volagi

Enjoying The New Ride on My Volagi

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This was the first weekend I had to give the Volagi a good test, so I decided to ride up Hicks and Mt. Umunhum on Saturday, and OLH and the chipsealed Skyline on Sunday.

I was actually quite worried about Hicks and Mt. Umunhum, because it is really steep (stupid steep) and before, I did this on a triple.  I’m riding a compact double on my Volagi.  On the low end, I’m losing 3 teeth, so it will be harder.

Riding a compact double, I almost had to re-learn how to ride, or how to shift.  I didn’t have the luxury of going into my middle chaining, so I guess it’s either all or nothing.  Getting to the base of the steep climb of Hicks, I was riding incredibly well, and I figured it’s just a matter of time before everyone starts passing me, but that didn’t happen.  I was in my lowest 34-28 gearing, and I seemed to be passing almost everyone in the group.  Wow, am I really that strong, or is the novelty of the new bike giving me extra adrenaline to go up the hill.

We re-grouped at the base of Mt. Umunhum, giving us a little time to catch our breath. That one stretch of Hicks was brutally tough and steep, and although the beginning of Umunhum looked tough, it wasn’t as bad as the tough part of Hicks. After the first few switchbacks, it seemed to either level off, or the legs just got used to the pain and torture.

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We all kept going up to the no trespassing sign. I had forgotten how tough the last part after the gate was, and I ended up having to tack it. I still think I would have done the same thing if I had my triple.

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Now the true test … the descent … the road is about as chopped up as you can possibly imagine. When we got to the bottom, we were all wincing from the jarring our hands, backs and legs felt. So this is what it’s like to ride cobbles? This Volagi performed well, and I could really appreciate the design after going through this ride. I’ve done this before on my Seven, but I think I felt better after riding this on my Volagi.

The next day, I took a ride up Old La Honda, and was able to put in a decent time, 28 minutes. I was impressed by that, since the last few times on it, I mustered 30 minutes. It still is 4 minutes off my PR, but it’s a time I feel good about. I then took this on Skyline, which has rough chipseal. Again, I didn’t feel as much suffrage on this, so I’ve gotta say kudos to the engineering and design of this bike. I think this will be less fatiguing for me on long rides.

My New Ride, and Upgrade, that’s Less Expensive

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.

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Getting a bike fit

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.

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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.