Strengths: High quality Spanish build, 105 group set, carbon forks, seat and chain stays, seat post, and bars.
Weaknesses: Weight, but its marginal when compared to higher spec carbon bikes
I purchased a perfectly preserved T57 Frame 2008 Orbea Aqua road bike, second hand in March 2013. It was one of the last Spanish built bikes and the previous owner had done less than 100ks on it. The tyres looked like new and still had the rubber manufacturing "tits" on them. No scratches, cracks or detectable wear of any sort on the frame, forks, stays, wheels or Shimano 105 gear change components. What really got my attention was the full carbon seat and chain stay rear end. This setup really makes the bike lighter and provides a lot of shock absorption on rough roads. The bike makes virtually no noise when being ridden, unlike a lot of carbon bikes that squeak or rattle under load.
I had a serious accident in the 80's and hadn't ridden for nearly 30 years, so getting back on any bike was a real challenge. After nearly 3 months I have found this bike to be a stiff, but comfortable ride in all circumstances even when doing 100+k rides and massive hill climbs. It's probably more than I will ever need but I'm enjoying every ride. I'd recommend this bike to anyone looking for an entry level road bike that is competitive with most of the current crop of carbon frame bikes. On good days I can average over 32kph on my own and much faster in groups. The bike is an absolute joy to ride.
My wife rides a 2013 Giant Avail full carbon and even though her bike is well over a kg lighter than mine, the bikes perform similarly.
The Orbea Aqua build is very solid (no loose components or frequently needed adjustments), easy to ride and maintain. I'm looking forward to many years and kms on my Orbea Aqua workhorse!
Similar Products Used: Giant Avail, ARGON, Mongoose MTB
Bike Setup: T57cm Orbea Alloy Frame, Shimano 105 groupset, Carbon forks, seat and chain stays, seat post, and ITM bars. Selle Italia saddle, 120mm ITM Stem, Shimano 700 alloy wheels, 105 Flight Deck brake levers and gear controls, Vittoria Kevlar 700/23C tyres.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2012
Strengths: Superb build quality, strength and flexibility, sportiness and responsiveness, feels brand new even after several years that it has been on the road
Weaknesses: None at all - it's a marvelous bike
I recently purchased one of these, and it is absolutely fantastic.
I had originally wanted to buy a brand new Orbea Aqua 105, but I was on a tight wife-set budget and could not afford a new one, so I went to the bike shop to look at a new T23 instead.
Luckily for me, the owner had a second hand Orbea Aqua Vuelta (as they were marketed here in Australia) equipped with Shimano 105, tucked away in the back of the shop and purchasing it was, as they say, a no-brainer. The carbon rear stays combined with the carbon forks, seat, and handlebar stems really help to soak up road bumps.
The whole bike feels super strong while being sporty, and it is really zippy and responsive.
I cannot believe what a bargain this bike represents, even at the original ticket price when new.
The build quality is superb, and as a result, the bike still feels like new even thought the previous owner used it well. This particular bike is at least three years old, but I cannot believe it from the way it rides today.
I have only been riding for two weeks after having being off bicycles for 20 years, and even though I was really unfit to start with, the way this Orbea zips along I have been cruising up steep hills that I did not think I would be able to ride up properly for months.
This is truly an amazing bike and I cannot adequately describe how wonderful and sophisticated it is.
If a mid-range alloy framed Orbea is this good three years after being delivered, I can only imagine what a super-bike the brand new, full carbon-framed Orbea is today.
All I can say is, go and buy one, and find out for yourself, how good they are!
Similar Products Used: 1976 Malvern Star - Steel Framed - five speed Shimano factory set up
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2012
Strengths: Overall Value
Weaknesses: Perhaps the wheel set
Since roadbikereview.com assisted me in my decision I thought the least I could do was contribute. I had been searching for a replacement for my six year old trek 1000 for a year or so. I was rather astonished at the resale value of bikes posted on CL. Five hundred dollars, for an eighties Bianchi, you gotta be kidding me? I searched everywhere to gauge prices and find a deal. I began riding in a local groups and relying on my trek for transportation. A numerous few in the group rode carbon and I started browsing through Nashbar which offers a great deal on a carbon bike with 105 for $1000. I found a bike outlet that also offered a screaming deal, a deal that was too good to be true. Anyhow to wrap it up I was fortunately was talked out of that and I began searching local bike shops within a 25 mile radius and found Arts. I knew I was no longer in the market for a carbon bike but I was always was concerned, due to how I treat my possesions, that carbon may not be the most suitable material for me anyhow. So I stuck with this awesome aluminum bike modeled after their higher end carbon fiber Orca frame with entry level race ready componentry. After a few weeks I am very grateful to have found this bike at a killer deal. Tryed and tested, this bike is a winner! You wont regret it!
Strengths: Build Quality, Looks, Feel, Handling, good long reach and Price
Weaknesses: None for the money I spent!
I love this bike. I have for a while been using a Carrera (Halfords Special) mountain bike and have steadily upgraded it to road race tyres etc. When I bought the Orbea Aqua I was expecting some improvement but not the huge improvement that there actually was. The frame is very reactive and handels very well on most surfaces. It feels more dynamic and well put together than some of the £1500 bikes I test rode. Very very pleased
This bike is great, it looks amazing has carbon fiber everything and is very low weight. I was not sure if i wanted campy componets at first but now i am so glad i got them,they shift extremly well and overall they just look great.also even though this bike has a low weight it still has a frame that is strong and smooth.I am extremely satisfied with this purchase ,even if it would have cost 2,000 I would have bought it.