What makes Volae Recumbents so fast? It's a combination of optimal aerodynamics and optimal rider position for muscle group recruitment.
On an upright bike, an aerodynamic tuck is achieved by leaning forward on drop bars or on aero bars. Most people find these aero positions uncomfortable and difficult to maintain for any length of time. On a Volae Recumbent, an extremely aerodynamic (and supremely comfortable) rider position is built into the bike. The Volae rider is in this superior riding position 100% of the time - and the resulting energy savings on long rides is enormous.
The riding position on a Volae with our Comfort Carbon seat positions the rider for optimal muscle group recruitment. Not only do you utilize a stronger muscle group but you use these muscles in the middle of their operating range where they are more efficient.
It is easy to see, in the picture above, the incredible advantage that the Volae rider has in frontal area alone*. This small frontal profile lets the Volae punch through the air extremely efficiently without the aid of fairings or aerodynamic add-ons. Of course, the added bonus is that you're in this supremely comfortable laid-back position for your whole ride. Try doing 60 miles in an aero tuck on your upright! Also note that the overall height is not much different from an upright on the drops.
Aside from aerodynamics, drive train efficiency is paramount on recumbents. Moving the drive chain out of a straight line introduces friction into the drive train. At Volae, we have taken a great deal of care to keep vertical and horizontal chain line displacement to a minimum by using a single large-diameter idler on the drive-side. The drive-side idler is a lightweight, state-of-the-art slotted/sprocket hybrid. It's supremely efficient. The return-side idler, with very little load on it, utilizes a proven design that maximizes longevity, provides clearance for the fork and front brake, and adds very little weight.
Volae recumbents were designed with efficiency and aerodynamics as key design goals. With Volae, it's now possible to have an incredibly comfortable bike with no compromises in comfort, speed, quality, usability or style.