Sorting through the Interbike 2010 coverage (and post coverage), one can pull a few different threads together to weave a more complete vision of the Bliggity Blog ROAD BIKE OF THE FUTURE. In any event, a couple of interesting “proof of concept” type things popped up…as well as the first, full-fledged, market-ready framesets it would seem.
Let’s start with the disc-ready framesets, because that is probably the most exciting – or certainly the most important in terms of reasonable disc-ready bikes getting to market. There are now two bikes out by the Volagi company, which it appears was started by two engineer types who left Specialized. I assume they are in Northern CA as the pictures on their site are straight out of Sonoma County – Geysers and Pine Flat would be my best guess. Volagi seems to be aiming for the high-end endurance/Gran Fondo market opened by Specialized’s Roubaix and Cannondale’s Synapse lines a few years back. Here is the Venga SL model, shown at Interbike:
There are many great things about these bikes even apart from the disc brakes; the quick rundown would be:
– full carbon construction
– taller headtubes for comfort and position, without having to resort to crazy high post or a riser stem
– BB30 bottom bracket
– cool looking cantilevered seat mast design that probably offers a supple ride
– integrated fender mounts
– ability to run most any size tires without worrying about clearance
In short, you’ve got all of the features that are becoming standard for high-end carbon frames (and presumably this could quickly include a tapered steerer setup as well).
Then, of course, you’ve got the disc brakes:
That fork in particular seems really nice. Would love to know about how it works in practice, as the road disc skeptics usually argue that standard forks can’t handle the torque from braking down at the tips. More on this to follow…
So, what else do you need?
- hydraulic discs
- shifting options that work with hydraulic
- fork (and frame) redesign that can take advantage of the options opened by hydraulic discs
I’ll take each in turn in the posts to come!