Marco at Bicycle Coffee Co, Oakland

Introducing Our Vision And Development Approach

By Marco Salvioli, Co-founder & CEO of Volata Cycles

Since we are getting closer to the launch, we thought this was the right time to start telling you something more specific about Volata’s long-term vision and development approach.

We’ve posted several pictures of our Alpha and Beta prototypes, but we haven’t shared yet what’s behind the main choices we made. We’ll share more with our next technical posts, but here you can start getting a sense of what we have in mind.

First, and most important: our plan

Let’s go through a little bit of background: our ultimate goal is to create bikes that will convince more and more people to ride every day. That biking can be more interactive. That a bike can be a tech-product. That it can be more convenient and easier for everyone to use. And that bikes can be far more beautiful than you could ever imagine. Yes: along with other revolutionary companies in different industries, Volata wants to help speed up the transition to sustainable means of transportation.

So at some point, we’ll be making affordable high-tech bicycles for everyone, but we’ll get there gradually. What is the first step in this long-term vision?

We’ve decided to start at the higher-end of the commuter and recreational bicycle market. We’ve looked in-depth into this market from the inside out, and we noticed something very interesting: no bicycles in today’s market fit the needs of the world’s most frequent riders. And this was easy to notice, since no frequent rider uses a bike as-is. And this happens in almost every US and European city. Not only do riders buy bicycles and they gear them up with accessories such as computers, lights, GPS trackers, and horns. They also buy a specific type of bike (e.g. a road bike), and need to convert it into something more versatile — adopting, for instance, wider tires, installing racks, fenders, and so on.

This basically means two things:

  1. Riders are looking for digital technology into bikes;
  2. Frequent riders want to ride a fast, AND versatile, AND robust bike.

And this makes perfect sense: riding is becoming more and more popular every year, and at the same time consumer expectations are getting higher.

The experience of riding a bike needs to improve, and we are committed to being at the forefront of this innovation. We’re proud to say that, with Volata’s first model, we are introducing a new category of bicycles on the market: bikes that merge most of the characteristics that frequent riders are looking at, into an all-in-one, ready-to-ride solution, packed full of features under a gorgeous Italian-designed uniform.

Volata Cycles Beta Prototype

How we’re doing this: our approach

The approach we’re following at Volata, is to create a product where user experience, performance, and design are all at their best. And we’re achieving this by focusing on three fundamentals:

  1. Bike-Tech: turning bikes into tech products, through built-in digital features;
  2. Just-Ride: making the act of riding a bike easier, for everybody. Less maintenance, more durability. And more fun;
  3. Design: consumers like beautiful products, and we are making Volata to be the most beautiful bicycle in the world.

We started focusing on the San Francisco-Bay Area, one of the world’s most bike-friendly regions, and also a leader in the production and consumption of technology. Here, we noticed that cyclist behaviors were really close to the bike concept we wanted to bring to the market. And it’s from here that we decided to start, establishing our first office in Marin County, one of the areas in the world where biking is more popular, and where a bike category we all know was invented few decades ago: the Mountain Bike.

We’ve also brought Volata to other countries and cities in the U.S. and Europe, talking with cyclists with different inhabits and bike use, and they were all able to see where we were going with our product. And actually love it. This makes us proud, and also substantiates our long-term plan of serving most of the world’s bike-cities with our products.

We cannot wait to fully unveil our product and share more about our process and development with you. Now, we can anticipate we’re gearing up to launch Volata to the market, giving you the chance to place a reservation on the first batch of production we’ll be delivering in 2017.

Volata’s first Italian event in Milan

This is the first of a long series of posts, which are intended to provide you with a breakdown of the main choices we made through the making of Volata. If you enjoyed reading this post please recommend it, and help us spreading the word about Volata!

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