frontrangegravel
Katie from 303Cycling.com was spotted on a Volagi Viaje at the Greenland Gravel Grinder on Saturday.

Anyone riding these? Does Volagi interest you - do you think it's a true "gravel bike"?

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sweetbabyjeebus
What makes a bike a "true" gravel bike?  Tires size?  Geo? 

I never had any problems riding my 700x25 road bike on hundreds of weekly gravel miles.  So I can call my road bike a gravel bike, right? [wink]
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crankymommys
When I first got wind of this ride, I immediately thought I'd ride my road bike with some appropriate tires.  Then I read the description a little more closely and thought, "Yeah, if it's bumpy for that many miles, perhaps my cross bike would be better."  I was lucky enough to make a great connection with the Volagi crew out at Interbike this year and a demo plan was born. 

I was so impressed with this bike.  Honestly.  Yes, I COULD have ridden my road bike, but I would have had to ride much slower for the first 12 miles or so.  There would have been no jumping lines and wash-outs.  Yes, I COULD have ridden my cross bike, but I ride an aluminum Cannondale.  It's heavy.  HEAVY.  It would have taken me a lot longer to complete the 50 miles.  I COULD have ridden a mtn bike...wait.  No, I don't believe I could have.  While I pined a bit for one on the single-track and sandy corners, I was thanking my lucky light-weight stars at every hill.  And there were so many hills.  I'm simply not fit enough to have done that ride on a mtn. bike.  It would have taken me weeks.

I think a lot comes down to your skill set and the course.  I had no idea the course would be that technical (particularly at the beginning)--when riding it fast, race pace with a pack. I used all my cross prowess that I had and my mtn. biking repertoire even though I was on a skinny bike.  If I was a straight up roadie and tried to get out there on a road bike or the Volagi I would've been obliterated.  Mtn. bikes are much more forgiving when it comes to bumps, sand, etc. 

All that being said, the endless miles of uphills on the smooth(ish) roads, the pavement, and even on the single-track made me so very thankful that I was riding what I was. 
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omspun

I gotta agree with crankymommys about a lot of it coming down to skillset and course.  Some riders, it doesn't matter they can roll it through anything.  And others, they can give you sympathetic arm cramps just watching them.   So thank your genetics (or the Lord, if credit is due) if you are able to ride anything on your road bike.  You're one of the lucky ones.

To add to crankymommys comment, I gotta say that tire size is one of the most important factors in what helps us hone a bikes "purpose" be it road, gravel, cross, mountain, dh.  What's beautiful about the Volagi is the geometry.  If you look at it closely, it's really a road bike.  And that is something unique in the constellation of gravel bikes hitting the market; most of them are just cyclocross bike geo with road tires.  But the true beauty of the Volagi is that you can put up to a 43mm Bruce Gordon tire on it and expand your ability to let loose on the rough stuff.  And that tire is one fun tire to ride!  More practical might be a 700x40. It's an experience you just can't replicate with 700x25-28s.  There is a certain degree of bumpiness where you can literally look over at the roadie and watch them drift back purely on rolling resistance, while your big tires just carry you forward. 

Though the phrase "gravel grinder" grates my eardrums, I love the fact that there are no real rules about how to gravel grind, because unlike road racing, winning isn't the ultimate aim.  It's more important how you roll, and it's nice to have a bike that let's you roll how you wanna.


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GRAVELBIKE
I'll snap some pics of my demo/loaner Viaje.
GRAVELBIKE.com - ride everything
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Guitar Ted
Here's my impressions on the Viaje I have on test for Gravel Grinder News: http://gravelgrindernews.com/volagi-bikes-viaje-first-impressions/
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omspun
@G-T, cool pics and review!

What tires and psi? 

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crankymommys
Guitar Ted wrote:
Here's my impressions on the Viaje I have on test for Gravel Grinder News: http://gravelgrindernews.com/volagi-bikes-viaje-first-impressions/

Nice review!!!  Very cool to read what you thought and felt.  I'm 150 pounds.  Hadn't given much thought to all the bike's nuances on someone with a different build. 
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GRAVELBIKE
[Volagi]


Smooth like buttah...
GRAVELBIKE.com - ride everything
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Guitar Ted
@omspun: Those are Kenda Happy Medium 700X40's. I like them.
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frontrangegravel
Seems like a pretty luke-warm review for a gravel rig: http://gravelgrindernews.com/volagi-bikes-viaje-final-review/
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jimmydot
frontrangegravel wrote:
Seems like a pretty luke-warm review for a gravel rig: http://gravelgrindernews.com/volagi-bikes-viaje-final-review/
But sounds like it would be a great bike for the Colorado gravel rides, found a LBS in Colorado Springs that carries them http://timberlinecycles.com/

Fast as a Turtle in Colorado
2012 Carver Ti | 2014 9:zero:7
http://www.dailymile.com/people/jimmydot
“Be like water… adjust… put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Be water, my friend.” ― Bruce Lee
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GRAVELBIKE
jimmydot wrote:
frontrangegravel wrote:
Seems like a pretty luke-warm review for a gravel rig: http://gravelgrindernews.com/volagi-bikes-viaje-final-review/
But sounds like it would be a great bike for the Colorado gravel rides, found a LBS in Colorado Springs that carries them http://timberlinecycles.com/



I'm running 32mm SOMA tires, and the bike feels very "planted" on dirt roads/trails. Hard to explain, but it feels different than my old Salsa Vaya and Black Mountain road model.
GRAVELBIKE.com - ride everything
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SlowSpeed
I've been in talk with the guys at Timberline Cycles in Colorado Springs about getting a Viaje or Liscio (all pending the wife's approval). I'm a racer at heart so want to go the way of the Liscio but the limited tire clearance is killing me. I'll probably go with the Viaje just so I have more options down the road.

Fyi, the guys at Timberline are amazing. They love to sit down and talk bikes at any time. They geek out on the details which makes them a perfect fit for me as that's what I love. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!
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GRAVELBIKE
Posted my review here:

http://www.gravelbike.com/?p=2773
GRAVELBIKE.com - ride everything
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