Following in the footsteps of the 1x12 conversion of my Nordest Albarda, the Volagi Viaje naturally has to be taken there, too. Volagi brought this bike to market in a Kickstarter campaign in August 2012. It was designed for the bike components of that time. Whenever new stuff comes out, message boards and comment sections fill up with cyclists moaning and groaning about the bike industry, forcing new standards upon us. I’m not one of them. I love seeing bike technology advance. I don’t adopt everything. In fact, a lot that’s supposedly “forced” on us isn’t my cup of tea. I’ll never buy a bike with fully internally-routed cables, for instance. I just won’t. But I love options. And options we have. Besides, when you can take an 11-year-old Volagi Viaje and throw the very newest components on it, where’s the reason to moan and groan? Standards haven’t changed all that much. You just need to be smart about the bikes and components you’re choosing.
I had a very clear idea of how I was going to convert the Nordest Albarda to 1x12. Things were a bit fuzzy with the Viaje. Initially, I thought about using the same setup as on the Marin Gestalt X12, SRAM Rival AXS XPLR. Then, I noticed that I could get the recently released Force AXS XPLR for only a little bit more money. But I’m using neither of the two. I stumbled upon Garbaruk’s cage kit for SRAM AXS road derailleurs. And I removed just such a derailleur from my Nordest. The most cost-effective way to bring the Viaje into the 1x12 era is to use the SRAM Red AXS derailleur I already have, replace its cage, and buy a pair of Rival AXS shift/brake levers. They’re inexpensive, and their stealth black finish looks cool, too. The Garbaruk cage is black with red pulleys to match the bike’s color scheme.
Here’s the detailed list of changes:
- Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3 pedals
- Garbaruk 44T oval chainring
- Garbaruk rear derailleur cage kit for large cassettes
- Industry 9 Torch XDR freehub
- Prologo Scratch M5 Nack saddle
- Rotor Aldhu 5-bolt 110BCD spider
- SRAM Force FlatTop chain
- SRAM Rival AXS shift/brake levers
- SRAM Red AXS rear derailleur (from Nordest Albarda)
- SRAM XPLR XG-1251 10-44T cassette
- Wolf Tooth 6mm chainring bolts