Volagi Ups The Game with a Hydraulic Disc Brake Equipped Road Bike

Not one to rest on the laurels of having the world’s first full production disc brake road bike, Volagi is already working up a hydraulic disc brake road bike. Even better, it’s not just a concept, it’s planned for production with the goal of having it available at retail by late spring/early summer 2012.

It’ll come with the TRP Parabox mechanical-to-hydraulic converter and carry a modest (TBD) price increase over their current mechanical version.

They’ve modified the frame slightly to provide a smoother housing run, and they’re considering making the same changes across the board so that they have one frame that’ll work perfectly for both mechanical and hydraulic brakes. If so, and supposing component manufacturers drag their feet on making hydraulic road levers, you could get the mechanical version and not worry about upgrade compatibility down the road.

We should have some pics of the new rig at Interbike soon -pic here is mechanical model- but more info after the break for now…

The plan is to stock it with the TRP brakes that come with the Parabox, which has dual action calipers that move the rotors pads in from both sides simultaneously. Volagi co-owner Barley Forsman says this reduces or eliminates any brake flutter versus the Avid mechanical brakes coming on their current bikes. He says it also comes out lighter even with the converter, lining it up to drop even more weight (and look cleaner) when SRAM, Shimano or Campagnolo come out with a hydraulic road bike shift lever.

On top of all that, they’re building up a frame without any cable stops that’s made specifically for Di2. Combine that with their internal brake cable routing and their swoopy frame and you’ll have one really sleek, swoopy bike. At present, the plan is to offer the Di2 frame as an additional option, but they’re testing a few prototypes to see if they can get their production down to a single frame design that would accommodate any combination of mechanical (disk, shifting), hydraulic or electronic.

For current (and future frames), they’ve redesigned their seatpost clamp to reduce any creaking. This was one of the small issues we had during our review, and Forsman says the new design eliminates the problem and that they’ll be sending them out to existing customers to replace the original ones.

Comments

Gillis - 09/12/11 - 12:02pm

That headline is a bit of a misnomer. Using one of the cable/hydro conversions is a stopgap and doesn’t make it a hydraulic disc bike. I read that expecting they made some kind of custom levers.

Either be happy with cables (because they work perfectly fine–i’ve never experience “brake flutter”– with minimal maintenance) or wait until the proper levers are produced. These converters are silly.

Lastly: “The plan is to stock it with the TRP brakes that come with the Parabox, which has dual action calipers that move the rotors in from both sides simultaneously.” I think you meant pads, not rotors.

craigsj - 09/12/11 - 12:44pm

Doesn’t make it a hydraulic disk bike? Of course it does. How ridiculous.

Hydraulics have a number of advantages over cabled brakes. They are engineered, matched systems that allow greater control over performance, they are lighter, and they are self-adjusting. All these characteristics can be present in a hydro adapter solution such as the one discussed.

Other than the goofy appearance, there is nothing wrong with an adapter. A hydro brifter will eliminate the short cable and ugly dongle plus it should be lighter, but until then there is nothing wrong with this.

norcom - 09/12/11 - 1:37pm

Sweet! Now all the roadies need is front and rear suspension and they’re set! ;)

Monkey - 09/12/11 - 6:35pm

I decided that I would own a road bike with disc brakes, hydro of course.
The hubs would be road width, the rotors would be about 80/90 mm in diameter, truly no need for anything larger. In other words, a road wheel is a road wheel. If I want to go and use rim brakes I can.

The hydro fluid would be held (somehow) inside the bars or stem or steerer and the shifting would be abby-normal.
Someone get right on this will you please.
No adapters under the stem.

Rob - 09/12/11 - 9:46pm

If it has cable and hydraulic then it is a hybrid. Neither exclusively cable nor exclusively disc. And there has been suspension for roadies. Just to name a few. Canyonsnail had their headshock on Silk models, Roxyasocks had the Ruby fork, Slingslut had kinda of rear sus and someone soft had a dumb beam thingy for triathletes (how many people have I offended so far?). Back ot the hybrid stuff, it sure has to be a better set up than full cable and top marks to the makers of these systems for doing what the big companies have stalled on.

Tyler (Editor) - 09/13/11 - 9:42am

Gillis, good eye, made the correction about the pads moving.

The point of the bike is that it’s fully hydro ready and in the future when someone comes up with the levers (which we hear will be out by at least one manufacturer next year…no guarantees, but word is someone big is showing it at closed door OEM meetings), the bike is completely ready to accept them. It’s a great first step from a small company that seems to be quickly gaining some fans. (Full disclosure: Volagi advertises on our site, but we tested their bike well before that ever came to pass and really, really liked it. One of the guys that helped us test it ended up buying one)

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