Volagi's Viaje Ti, made for comfort. © Cyclocross Magazine
Editor's Note: This article is from our mud-loving friends at Cyclocross Magazine and originally appeared on cxmagazine.com. It was written by passionate cyclocross racer Molly Hurford. Visit them for your daily cyclocross fix.
We can't resist a prototype, so when we saw the Volagi Viaje Ti gravel/adventure/cyclocross bike at Interbike 2013, we had to find out more. Previous iterations of the Viaje were made with steel, but the titanium version is new and set to release in Spring of 2014, with an MSRP targeted at around $3000.
"First of all, we were the first company to have disc brakes on a road bike. We adopted it onto a couple of our bikes, and this is the most recent prototype, which we're planning to release in the spring," their representative at Interbike told us.
The most innovative part of the frame on the Viaje Ti is the seatstays and the way that they bend up into the toptube, rather than end in right at the end of the rear triangle. "We call this longbow flex stay, you can see that the seatstays surpass the seat tube," he explained. "One of the things that limits flex in seat stays is that you can only make them so long and let them come out so far, so having them surpass that normal length, it flexes more."
"It all comes together to make for a really comfortable ride."
Longer seatstays absorb vibration on the Viaje Ti. © Cyclocross Magazine
So who is this bike for? Not for serious cyclocrossers, according to the company, but rather "the Average Joe, the people doing long distance racing and riding." That said, as with many gravel bikes, you'd be hard pressed to find significant geometry differences between it and a modern cyclocross bike.
Volagi targets a different rider though, saying, "The Volagi owner is really into endurance racing and riding. They wanted to design a bike so you're comfortable until the last mile. They were tired of riding race-specific bikes where they were getting beat up. This, the frame takes a lot of the vibration." The funny thing is, we think that description fits many of us exactly, especially in spring and summer months.
Titanium Viaje, Volagi's show piece. © Cyclocross Magazine
For those who are just getting into cyclocross, or love gravel grinding and monster crossing, you'll be able to fit a really wide tire-up to 43c, and run fenders in bad weather.
The target is about $3000 for frame and fork, and will most likely be made in Taiwan where the steel Viajes are made. It can also be run singlespeed if you prefer. It's one of several shiny polished metal bikes coming to market for 2014, joined by the stainless steel Soma Triple Cross we're currently reviewing and the new John Tomac titanium gravel bike.
For more information visit volagi.com/bikes.