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Anybody commuting on a Volagi?

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Anybody commuting on a Volagi?

Old 03-09-15, 02:35 PM
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RubeRad
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Anybody commuting on a Volagi?

Hey all,

Poking around online today, I saw that the price of the Volagi Viaje (steel) has dropped considerably! Originally available via a kickstarter for $1900 (Apex), complete bikes can now be had for as low as $1495 (2x10 Tiagra) and even $1395 for a 1x10 (with a single bar-end shifter).

So Viaje has now shifted from being my 'dream' bike, to my N+1 (in a few years, when my son goes to college and takes my CrossCheck with him).

Anybody else out there commuting on a Volagi already? Gimme some pics, tell me about it.

PS, whatever happened to the Viaje SL? Their kickstarter also sold this "SL" version with Columbus Spirit tubing. I might have considered paying more for this if it was available, but it looks like they decided to only offer the options of 4130 and Ti, which is a huge price jump (cheapest full bike about $4500)
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Old 03-09-15, 03:36 PM
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CliffordK
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Made in Taiwan????

You could still ask them if they are flexible with the tubing they build with. It is possible that the chromo works well with their "suspension" design.
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Old 03-10-15, 08:46 AM
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I'm ok with made in taiwan, since it gets me a price lower than a Surly Straggler, which is what I thought was going to be my next bike, because I couldn't afford a Volagi. I know at that price I'm not paying for custom handbuilt.
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Old 03-10-15, 02:10 PM
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My LBS carries Volagi and I know at least one very satisfied customer who uses the Volagi as their primary bike.
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Old 03-10-15, 04:36 PM
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That's great! You should get them to sign up for BF and post some pictures and tell me all about it!

Or if you've got time, and thoughts on how a viaje would stack up against a crosscheck, I'd love to hear them!
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Old 03-19-15, 04:33 PM
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Just got a Volagi Viaje over this Winter, and just now starting to commute as the snow melts off.

I got the Shimano 105 hydraulic group set. I do love this group set. The shifting occurs as if by mind-reading, and the stopping is instant. I had no idea I could stop a bike so fast and still stay on it. The awesome braking does give me an extra sense of security commuting.

I also got the somewhat heavier, 32 spoke, bomb-proof wheels. These are the least expensive Volagi wheels and I am totally happy with them so far.

I love the fit of this bike. It's the first road bike where I've been able to tolerate the saddle in a nose-up position; upshot is that I am no longer constantly re-perching myself but just get into the saddle and stay put. It's also the first road bike I've had that I can happily ride in the drops for extended time.

Beyond the standard Volagi gear, I added: 1) selle italia qbik saddle, 2) fizik bar tape and bar gels, 3) 3T carbon bar (very similar to the FSA carbon bar Volagi uses, but the 3T comes in a 46 cm), 4) shimano pedals that are SPD cleats on one side and platforms with power grip straps on the other - this way I can wear bike shoes or regular shoes depending, 5) a cheap Duracell flashlight for forward lighting, 6) hand-me-down panniers that my mom and Dad used for a bike tour of Austria in the 90s.

The only negative thing I've ever read in a review of this bike was harsh road feel through the bars (supposedly due to the mega-strong fork required for disc brakes). I got a soft cushy bar, plus bar gels, plus cushy tape, and suffice to say I have not experienced any unpleasant road feel on any surface. Maybe with alloy bars and cork tape you'd notice.

I like the Vittoria 32 cm tires on this bike but it can accommodate much larger.

I had planned on this being my fair-weather commuter and all purpose bike, but intended to keep my Cannondale Synapse for triathlons. But despite all the comfort features on the Volagi and added weight of some of my options, I don't think the Cannondale is a lick faster and I'm thinking I will probably sell it.

The thing I noticed riding the Viaje which is probably very different than most cross bikes - the frame is designed for ride comfort and you can really tell. It is very quiet and very pleasant on all surfaces. I've been riding with a friend on his tri bike, and he will be bouncing all over the place on a rough surface that I literally do not notice at all. It's a totally noiseless ride - not just audible noise, but also the kind of vibrational "noise" that you get from gravel or chip and seal. Very pleasant to ride.

Re; made in Taiwan: the frames are made in Taiwan, the bikes are assembled in Utah. It's the best build quality bike I've ever owned, but probably owners of high end bikes would find nitpicky things to fuss about. Works great for me so far.

Despite this, it's also the most comfortable bike I've ever had to stand up and sprint. I am not crazy fast and there are probably hard core sprinters out there who would say the bike is too soft, but I sure cannot tell.

Two random pics from my cell phone that I took on my ride to work on Monday (sorry for the painfully low res; I will try to do better later)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
bike at work.jpg (87.4 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg
dawn commute.jpg (91.1 KB, 53 views)

Last edited by alathIN; 03-19-15 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 03-19-15, 05:09 PM
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Thx for details alathIN! From the pic, I wouldn't have guessed the tires are 32, they don't look unduly wide at all. It would be interesting if you did some personal time trials to test speed on the Viaje vs the Cannondale. I bet aerobars would make a bigger difference than anything else. Maybe some clip-ons?

You say "able to tolerate the saddle in a nose-up position" -- your pics look to me like the saddle is pretty level. It's an interesting point though, I just got a new (to me) saddle yesterday (selle anatomica titanico X), and while searching for the right setup I'm very self-conscious about how it's feeling, and I did notice that when I get into the drops or even the hoods (vs up top), I get a little bit more nose pressure. Maybe that just means I still need to tweak.

So how about sizing? What size Viaje did you get that fits you so perfectly, and what size is your Cannondale? Did you choose a size by test-riding, or did you purchase blind? How tall are you? I'm 6' and riding a 60cm crosscheck right now.
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Old 03-19-15, 06:42 PM
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alathIN
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I'm 6' 0.5"
My Cannondale is 58 cm (professionally fitted)

Volagi is sold in some LBS where you can get them fitted, but if you order online there is a fitting process. You take a number of measurements of yourself (Youtube videos to guide this) and send them in.
Robert Choi, the engineer who designed the Volagis, looks at your measurements and figures out the frame size, crank arms, stem, etc.
You do have the option where they will send you a "test bike" to ride and send back to them.
Robert will also look at movies of you riding or pedalling on a trainer.

Mine is a 57 cm and it was a pretty close fit out of the box but I did need the wider bars to get really comfortable. I am actually still fooling around with minor +/- adjustments to the stem length. I have a 100mm/6deg now which is pretty darn close and the best fit bike I have ever had, but there is a 90mm/6deg coming in the mail that I think will totally nail it.

Re, nose up / nose down: we're talking very minor tweaks that need a level, but on my Cannondale it is just about exactly flat. On my Viaje it is slightly nose up; perhaps 3/32" over the entire length of the saddle. This is all the difference in the world, though: it's the first bike I've ever owned where I do not tend to slide gradually forward and have to shift my perch back every so often. Instead, my bottom stays planted until I stand up.
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Old 03-20-15, 08:12 AM
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That's pretty cool. After a couple years when my son takes my crosscheck to college, I look forward to it!
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