Top 5 Interbike 2010: Part 2

there is not particular order of these 5 items

4. Volagi Venga SL

image from Volagi’s website

Sure there were some real fast and cool looking bikes, but they all were basically the same, not much advancement over last year.  More tri bikes with seamless integration of top tube to stem transition. The Trek Speed Concept 9.0 is the best one going at the moment. Kestler 4000 LTD has great aero shape but no top tube to stem integration which actually makes the bike quite a bit easier to break down when traveling.

The bike that stood out was were the Volgi Venga SL. It may look pretty typical at first glance then you will note it has disc brakes. Yep, real stopping power, no more worrying about heat build up on those carbon rims. The fame and rims are specifically designed to handle the added forces disc brakes can generate on the frame and fork. The bike was designed out of a desire for a true performance bike with out having teeth chattering ride for endurance riding, by cyclist for cyclist.

It’s LongBow Flex stays is a unique design feature that has functionality. It flexs to absorb road vibration rather than allowing the shock to  transmit thru the rider’s bones. This increases rider comfort and reduces fatigue. Volagi is the fist bike company to create a HIGH performance carbon bike with disc brakes. They integrate into the design perfectly, actually the bike may have been designed around the brakes. They are cable pull, which could be a bit finicky to adjust from my experince. I did not ask why hydraulic was not chosen. Could be the ease of maintenance if necessary, although I have not had any issues with my hydraulic brakes on my current mtb set up. 140mm disc up front and 160mm in the rear. Yeh, I am sure one will have to adjust to the breaking power. The carbon clincher wheels had to be specially designed to handle the braking power and unique torque characteristics. The bike is very aero and clean.

(On my ride home from a bike workout, it dawned on my, Why not hydraulic? Well there are NO road brake levers with a fluid reservoir (yet)! Pretty obvious why the disc brakes are cable pull!!)

 

Front disc brake, 140mm, with internal cable routing.

Volagi’s LongBow Flex stay suspension, the “floating” seatpost.

Clean front end.

Rear disc tucks in very nicely and aero enough.

Seat tube angles range from 75.5 to 72.75 depending on size. The bike is very well balanced and has a negative offset seatpost. I only wish they had a fast forward seat post option or a Ritchey style sliding clamp design to increase the seat tube angle for converting the bike into a triathlon riding position. One would have to swop out for a neg stem to get real aero up front also.

Since the bike is designed for the endurance rider it comes with compact cranks for all day climbing. It speces out at sub 16-lbs (not sure what size that is.)  I really wish they had some bikes at the Demo Days to ride.  I think the SL version sells for $4500 or so?? which is very well priced. The mods I would have to make before I took delivery would be to swop out the Ultegra and FSA components to Shimano’s Di2 and Rotor cranks for my dream road bike. It would end up weighing a bit more, but the riding experience would be even more enjoyable. Check out their website for complete info, Volagi bikes.

5.  Keo power

This one is not on the market yet, it could be available early spring of 2011 and will be highly anticipated. Keo Power is a partnership between Look and Polar. It’s a power meter that uses a pedal spindle strain guage. It is the alternative to Powertap, SRM and Quark. And in my opinion the best option. It offers direct measurement of left and right specific power output. It’s power measuring ability is very accurage, within 2 percent and may improve as product becomes available. It is not ANT+ compatible, Polar has their own protocol and training software data base. It is not Mac compatible at the moment. One big bummer.

Like current Polar WIND devices, it will have left and right power balance, and pedaling efficiency. These features are why I choose Polar WIND over PowerTap. There are no wires or specific permanent hardware so it can be easily transferred to any bike. The system works with Polar’s existing CS 500 and CX600x cyclometers. The “kit” will come with the pedals and the power transmitters that attach to the cranks. Not cheap, around $2,500, not including the cyclometer. Polar’s current WIND sells for about $1,200 complete and it’s power is based on chain tension. Keo Power is not on either web site yet.

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5 thoughts on “Top 5 Interbike 2010: Part 2

  1. I’m not sure I understand your attraction to hydraulic vs cable pull disc brakes. I’m a 50+ yr old Portland Oregon bike commuter and recreational cyclist (Seattle to Portland, etc.). I am eagerly anticipating the Volagi Venga because I wanted carbon fiber and disc brakes. I am riding a Trek Portland now with Avid disc brakes – I love them, great braking control in all conditions. The infrastructure for hydraulic is heaver than cable and for street riding i.e. not cyclocross, I don’t see any advantage to hydraulic brakes. I’m curious to find out what your opinion would be under my riding conditions.

    • Cable disc brakes are pain in ass…my experience on mountain bike, have to adjust quite often. Hydraulic are self centering and self adjusting…set up and go. Had Avid mechanical and disliked fiercely. Love the Avid Juicy Carbons

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