Road disc brakes are coming to the road scene in the very near future, but one company has had them spec'd on their bikes for over 2 years. Northern California's Volagi, a young company, founded by industry veterans Robert Choi and Barley Forsman, has led the charge from the start. The pair set out with a basic premise when they started Volagi, to create the best possible performance bicycle for the endurance cyclist. They contend, reality shows most riders don't fit into the "racer" category that many bikes are designed for, but rather into the "endurance" cyclist category. With that in mind, the company set out to develop the most comfortable, safest bike, all while not compromising on performance. They came out with Liscio, the company's flagship bike, which aims to be all those things.
The Liscio has two main features that set it apart from traditional road bikes. First is their LongBow Flex™ stay, a unique design that places the seat stay/top tube junction a few inches in front of the seat tube to help smoothen the ride. By bypassing the seat tube, the top tube and seat stay become one "longbow", effectively allowing the frame to flex and pivot independent of the seat tube. The second obvious feature is the use of disc brakes, which have always been a key element of the Liscio design. Volagi came to the conclusion after rigorously testing every brake setup imaginable, that disc brakes were the best possible brakes regardless of price or legacy.
"It's safe, predictable, and given the high level of control and modulation, you can in fact ride faster with controlled braking through corners." commented Brian Bonham of Volagi Cycles. "We firmly believe that disc brakes will be the future of road cycling-in the very near future most bikes will be disc equipped."
Video: Co-Founder Robert Choi on the Liscio
[youtube width="600" height="361"]httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=offEtC1cHF8
We've just received a 2013 Volagi Liscio2 in for testing. Our test bike is setup with Shimano's Dura Ace Di2 groupset, running TRP's latest HyRd disc brake setup. The HyRd is a hybrid hydraulic setup that houses the reservoir at the caliper level, doing away with a lot of the issues that plague the Paradox conversion setup, like the steerer tube stack height and brake bleeding install. Not much information has been published on these yet, but we're excited to give them a go. The Liscio2 frameset has been refined slightly as well, now featuring internal cable housing and a wider 135mm spacing in the rear to accomodate a wider array of existing wheel options. There are a ton of 29er wheelsets that will now work with the Volagi, though our bike is setup with Volagi's own E7 Ignite EL wheels. The bike currently weighs in at 17.9lbs without pedals, but we'll see where it lands after maybe a different choice in saddle and lighter tires.
Stay tuned for a full review in the coming weeks.