a Recreational Rider
from Lancaster, Pa
Date Reviewed: October 8, 2003
Strengths: Comfort, sability, corrosion resistance, unique good looks.
Traded my 1997 Aro 700 on a Victory frame but after a few rides found it to be too harsh. Re-ordered an Aro Svelte and the smile is back on my face. I've owned steel, aluminum, and titanium bikes over the last 17 years and this bike is hands down the most comfortable best handling bike I've had. Steel is real and so is rust, I sweat profusely and after 3 years my steel frame was shot. My Cannondale didn't fare much better, very stiff but after 4 years corrosion got the best of it. My second bike is a Litespeed Liege which is corrosion proof and perhaps a bit stiffer than the Aegis for hills and sprints but not as comfortable or as stable. Unless your an all out racer, you can't go wrong with this bike.
Favorite Ride: Any ride with smooth roads and light traffic.
Purchased At: Shirk's Bike Shop
Similar Products Used: Aegis Aro 700, Aegis Victory, Litespeed Liege, Cannondale Black Lightning, Italia,Nashbar,Nishiki steel bikes.
Bike Setup: Aegis Aro Svelte bionic weave, Dura Ave, FSA Carbon Pro crank, Easton carbon bars, Alpha Q Carbon Pro curved fork, Ksyrium SSC SL, Michelin Pro Race tires.
from Tulsa, OK
Date Reviewed: February 3, 2003
Strengths: Smooth, as advertised. Sufficiently stiff. Visually interesting seat tube.
Weaknesses: Paint durability. Pricey. A little porky.
Bought my Aro from Mr. Charles Davis, owner of Oklahoma Velo Sports and patriarch of the Rollin' Fools. (Yeah, Charlie, I'm callin' you a patriarch, again.)
The Aro is a fine bike. It does most things well and nothing poorly. The tail might be a little wiggly for high-wattage heavey-weight fellows like myself, but it's still far and away stiffer than anything I've put a leg over, except my old Cannondale R1000 and Trek's OCLV. An older 58cm shop bike that I borrowed was very stiff... the 60cm bike that I ordered was not so much, but I'm still riding the bike and not suffering for it.
The bike's main strength is its ride. It really is awfully smooth, and I wouldn't describe it as "woody", as I've heard carbon fiber frames described, before. I would, however, describe Trek's OCLV frame as woody.
Finish is nice, although paint durability is definitely going to be an issue. I've already garnered a couple of chips, here and there, that I don't remember putting on it.
I could do without the setback seat tube. It does allow taller folk like myself (6' 3") to ride smaller frames, as the web site copy claims. However, the resultant butt-back riding position (some call it "the slam"?) requires additional hip flexibility and a little getting used to. Aegis now makes the "Victory", which has a more traditional geometry.
The frames measure center-to-center, and thus are quite a bit bigger than their center-to-top counterparts in the rest of the bike world.
Sure, I'd buy another. Maybe the Victory, rather than the Aro Svelte, though. Aegis seems to be a well-intending company, erring heavy, rather than minimizing safety factors.
The company does, indeed, run sales from time to time, so if you can wait, time is on your side. Likewise, promised ship dates should be filed in the fiction section.
Similar Products Used: Cannondale CAAD 5, Trek OCLV
Bike Setup: Ultegra, Velocity Razor rims, Cinelli oversized bar and stem.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2002
Strengths: A lot of bike for the money.
The company will take care of its customers, although I haven't had a problem.
The bike does everything well.
Weaknesses: None with the frame.
The Spinergy wheels suck, though.
I spent a lot of time trying several different brands of bikes, and ultimately I chose the Aegis over all the others. I have not been disappointed in my decision. I have put more than 1,000 care-free miles on this bike, so far. This bike does absolutely everything I want it to- it is fast, comfortable, stable, isn't heavy, and it looks good. It is much more predictable than the Lemond Buenos Aires that it replaced. It might be attributable to the harsh Rolf Vector wheels that were on the Lemond (I'm not sure) but the Aegis is much more comfortable on rides of 25+ miles. I don't live near any hills, but the bike is plenty stiff, without any harshness, for my type of riding. Also, I like the fact that you don't see too many of them around. If you are in the market for a premium road bike built by a small company that stands 110% behind its product then you owe it to yourself to visit an Aegis dealer. George at Wheels in Delaware was a big help. Aegis will run sales every now and then- so don't pay too much for it.
Similar Products Used: Lemond, Litespeed, Trek, Jamis, Cannondale, and Merlin.
Bike Setup: Ouzo Pro, Ultegra, Spinergy, Michelin, ITM, Thomson, Trans Am.
a Recreational Rider
from Alexandria, Va USA
Date Reviewed: September 20, 2002
Strengths: Solid "steel" road feel, with light weight of carbon. Stable handler, yet nimble in the corners. Nice finish and great warranty.
Weaknesses: None that I can think of.
I'd been thinking about a road bike off and on for the ten years I've riden my Cannondale hybrid. Finally, when it became clear that I just couldn't keep up with my riding buddies (couldn't be my legs)I started shopping in earnest for my first road bike in a long time. I tried Lemond Zurich, Gunnar Roadie, Bianchi (various), Cervelo, Litespeed, Serotta, and others. I enjoyed the Gunnar, Cervelo, and the Lemond (all had good feel and were stable without being slugish). Finally, I decided to try carbon fiber--Trek OCV 5200 and Aegis Aro Svelte. I never really cared for the Trek--the frame gave a funny feel over minor road irregularities. The Aro Svelte, however, felt rock solid, combining what I liked about the Gunnar, Cervelo, and Lemond (lively, good road feel and damping), with the lightness of carbon. Best of both worlds, in my opinion. (After I tried the Aegis, I went back and tried the Trek 5200 again, thinking that if it was good enough for U.S. Postal it was certainly more than good enough for me. But I just didn't like how it felt. Purely subjective on my part. You may decide the other way. Ride 'em and decide). In addition to great frame "feel" the Aro Svelte handles well, especially for a recreational cyclist like me who can't claim lots of experience in road bike handling. I can ride "no hands" very easily, and--hands on--it corners very securely. I had lots of confidence in the bike's road manners, even when I first started riding it.
Fit and finish are first rate--seems like you can reach into the paint, which is a kind of clearcoat. I found no bubbles or irregularities in the finish. I chose a metallic blue color (I think Aegis calls it blueberry, a la Mac) with blue background, silver outline decals. (You have lots of decals to choose from). Other cyclists seem to like this combination, as I get questins about it all the time. You can also custom order various color patterns and frame construction options. The frame comes in three types--standard, like mine, BioWeave (or something like that) which shows the fiber "weave" rather than paint over it, and a lighter weight weave that saves some grams. I chose to use the extra money for a wheel upgrade.
Finally, Aegis has a great warranty. They not only have the usual lifetime warranty, but also have "crash protection." If you wreck your bike, Aegis promises to repair it (if possible) at a reas