Volae 'bents are said to be great climbers. And I finally got the chance to put a Volae Tour to the test to see if it's true.
It is. In short, the climbing ability is no exaggeration. If anything, it's an understatement. Those stiff frames and comfy, aero, rigid seats are fantastic.
Last Sat., on a beautiful but cold New York Jan. day, a Volae Century-riding friend of mine and I did the following route from the archives of the NY Cycle Club. If you know the route, then you know it was written by a hill climbing diamond frame maniac (in the best sense). And you know the hills.
58 miles and 3,200 vertical feet. (We climbed two of the steepest hills twice, making it 62 mi. and about 3,600 vertical feet.)
If you don't know the route, in summary, it's a constantly hilly and beautiful route with many steep inclines. If you look at the route map, which includes elevations, you'll get a good idea of the climbing involved. Total distance from our meeting point at the Soldiers/Sailors Monument was 62 miles, plus the additional 22 miles round trip for me to ride to the meeting spot and back home. So, 84 miles and none of it flat.
And we did it WITHOUT fancy pedals. For the trip I was using MKS' inexpensive $40 Touring/Cyclocross platform pedals and $22 powergrips. And sneakers. You can buy the pedals and powergrips at Rivendell Bike Works. Point is, with a good bike, you don't need expensive pedals to climb steep hills.
The entry-level Volae Tour is a great bike, and not merely good. Positively great. More people should ride them.
New York City Recumbent Supply (TM)
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2010 Robert Matson