Updated: Conspicuity: Being Safe and Seen Out on the Road

Sometimes as cyclists, we conveniently push the thought of just how dangerous road cycling really is out of our heads on a regular basis. If we were to truly fathom the inherent danger it would probably force us all to cower inside only to become couch jockeys with a tub of Cheetos and gallon of Coke. Fortunately though, we’re able to look past the worst case scenarios and get out and enjoy the ride.

The danger though, is frighteningly real.

The remains of the wheel above belong to a friend of mine, who was recently rear ended by an inattentive driver doing an estimated 70 MPH! Unfortunately, Todd was doing everything right by wearing a U.S. Army issued reflective vest, he had reflective ankle bands and had two flashing taillights on his bike, and still got hit (Todd is mostly ok FYI, he has a sore back and some other issues, but incredibly lucky to be alive). Incredibly, even though the police noted that the crash was due to driver inattention, they still did not cite the driver (just another example of cyclist’s safety and lives meaning nothing to law enforcement). The point of the story isn’t to scare you, but to point out that the only people looking out for cyclists are ourselves.

While it may not guarantee your safety, taking the effort to make yourself as conspicuous as possible certainly can’t hurt. To help with that a friend of Volagi, Jack Holmgren, created a  PowerPoint on conspicuity. Check it out, deck yourself out with lights, reflectors, and other bits and be safe out there. There will probably always be idiot drivers in Todd’s case that we can’t do anything about, but for the majority of motorists following these steps should keep you safe. And alive.

Update:

As this is an issue we all face as cyclists, people have reached out and offered improved versions of the original PowerPoint presentation. Both Rod Smith of KLA-Tencor and theNapa Bike have produced versions of the original PowerPoint with more pictures and a slightly more streamlined appearance. Feel free to use either presentation to help get the word out, who knows, you might just save someone’s life! (Give the Napa Bike presentation a bit of time to load, it’s a big file)

Also make sure to check out the Napa County Bike Coalition for more info on the great work they are doing to promote safe cycling in Napa County!

 

The Volagi Disc Brake Chronicles: 4 Short Videos About Your Brakes

Disc brakes have been around for quite some time now on mountain bikes, tourers, tandems, even hybrids, though for road bikes we’re just starting to see the coming wave. While there are a lot of folks who have plenty of experience with discs from working with other types of bikes, there are still those who are essentially forced to learn an entirely new braking system now that discs are being found on wheels boasting skinny tires. As it turns out, there are a lotof questions out there from people across the board about set up, adjustment, and trouble shooting that we hope to at least partially address with this video series. Obviously, these videos are tailored to the Avid BB7 mechanical, though most information should pertain to most mechanical disc brakes, and a little of it like keeping the pads and rotors clean will pertain to hydraulic brakes as well. It should come as no surprise, but hydraulic discs will eliminate many of the steps needed to make mechanical discs work and feel good, but we’ll get into that later.

Keep in mind, this is no replacement for proper disc brake set up and adjustment – without that, these videos are pretty much useless. If you’re facing any of the issues described in the videos and haven’t checked out our initial setup and adjustment videos, we highly suggest you do so, before proceeding with any of these. One of the things we didn’t cover in a video is checking the trueness of the rotor itself. Honestly, it’s very unlikely that you will run into a rotor that is warped enough to need to address it, and if you do it’s best to leave that to someone who’s done it a few times to avoid ruining the rotor. If you take the time to properly set up your disc brakes, they will reward you with great long term performance and reliability.

In order to properly see the videos, simply watch it full screen. I apologize for the size of the video, as it wasn’t until after filming and editing for hours that I realized youTube really does not like portrait videos. Lesson learned, thanks for the understanding. Also please realize that it is nearly impossible to fit every bit of knowledge of disc brakes into a series of videos, no matter how long. If you’ve gone through the videos and are still having issues feel free to ask a question, or take it to your local bike shop.

With that, check out parts 2-4 after the break to dial in your brakes!

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How To: Mounting Civia Flat Aluminum Fenders to your Volagi Liscio

Initially, when we were picking fenders to test on the Liscio, I had chosen the Civia Flat Aluminum fenders as a bit of a wild card. I loved the way they look, though I wasn’t sure if they would fit or really be that useful for spray coverage as they lack sides like a traditional fender. After messing around with a few more common fenders, it turns out that the Civia fenders happen to be my personal favorite by a long shot. Why? Well, their spray coverage is great, they never rub on the tires thanks to their lack of sides which also contributes to their great looks, and they fit the biggest tires of any fenders we’ve tried.

What’s not to love? Well, one thing in particular – they do need substantial modification to fit on the Liscio. However, it is only in one spot and anyone who is a bit handy should be able to manage it. To help you out, we’ve got a full tutorial after the break.

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Fender 101

If you’re like me, Fenders are an interesting thing and a bit of a love/hate relationship. Once the fenders are mounted I love the fact that they keep you clean and dry (unlike the photos above), but it’s the mounting part that usually gets me. In over 10 years of wrenching on bikes at a shop, I can count on one hand the number of times a fender install was truly easy. More often than not the bike required different or special hardware, the fenders needed modification, or they just plain didn’t fit. It would be easy to blame the fender manufacturers, but think about what they’re up against: trying to sell a “universal fit” fender for all of the bikes currently on the market. Not the easiest thing to do.

However, we’ve done everything we can to make it as easy as possible to mount up fenders to your new Liscio. What sort of things you ask? Find out after the break.

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Travel With Your Bike? Volagi Has You Covered With Our Included Shipping Case!

This one just went out to a popular shop in Wisconsin so they could check out the Liscio!

Have bike, will travel. That’s how that saying goes, right? Riding in exotic locales can be one of a cyclists greatest pleasures, but in order to do so, you have to get your bike there first. So that means either purchasing a hard sided travel case, or one of the newer soft or inflatable cases, or at least having to track down a bike box from your local bike shop, right?

What if you could just reuse all of the packaging and the box that your bike came in, in the first place? That’s exactly what we thought, which is why our complete first shipment of bikes all come in a reusable travel case.

Check out the details of our travel case after the break!

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