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noob roadie :)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a chance of getting an used Aquila carbon bike for a pretty good price. However, this frame has lugs and it has been raced for a year. From the pictures, the bike looks to be in really good shape.

How does the aluminum lugs affect the overall ride of the bike? How does the Aquila project carbon frame compare to the Giant TCR composite frame??

Thanks,

Ming
 

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gastarbeiter
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1,513 Posts
don't know the aquila, but going by what you wrote there's one big difference.

the aquila is lugged and the tcr comp is monocoque


macming said:
Hello,

I have a chance of getting an used Aquila carbon bike for a pretty good price. However, this frame has lugs and it has been raced for a year. From the pictures, the bike looks to be in really good shape.

How does the aluminum lugs affect the overall ride of the bike? How does the Aquila project carbon frame compare to the Giant TCR composite frame??

Thanks,

Ming
 

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noob roadie :)
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264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
botto said:
don't know the aquila, but going by what you wrote there's one big difference.

the aquila is lugged and the tcr comp is monocoque
Yep. What are the difference riding characteristics for a lugged frame compared to a monocoque???

I realize a monocoque is probably going to be stiffer and more reliable, but how much??

Thanks,

Ming
 

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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts
Maybe stiffer, but it really depends on the design. More reliable again depends on design and the care of construction. The use of lugs does not mean a frame is less reliable. It does mean a builder can offer many of the benefits of carbon at a lower price point. Look uses lugs on several of their frames, mostly carbon, and they are highly regarded. That said, I can't say anything about Aquila as their frames are unknown to me. I would be somewhat hesitant buying a used carbon frame from an unfamiliar company. They look to be based in Canada and all their dealers are Canadian. Since you're from Canada why not visit a dealer and ask some questions? They'd probably be able to put you in touch with some owners.
 

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noob roadie :)
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264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mel Erickson said:
Maybe stiffer, but it really depends on the design. More reliable again depends on design and the care of construction. The use of lugs does not mean a frame is less reliable. It does mean a builder can offer many of the benefits of carbon at a lower price point. Look uses lugs on several of their frames, mostly carbon, and they are highly regarded. That said, I can't say anything about Aquila as their frames are unknown to me. I would be somewhat hesitant buying a used carbon frame from an unfamiliar company. They look to be based in Canada and all their dealers are Canadian. Since you're from Canada why not visit a dealer and ask some questions? They'd probably be able to put you in touch with some owners.
I found out the frame is made in the same factory as the Cervelo, which is a little more assuring. The seller is actually a team rider for Aquila, and he works at their biggest store as well. For now, he is just trying to cover his costs of his new team bike. I doubt the dealer will tell me anything bad about their product, but I'll try that anyways tonight.

The bike is supposingly in perfect cosmetic and mechanic shape, and it has been raced in the O-Cups for a year. Since the Ocups are on the road, it should put less wear and tear on the bike itself. I may need to get new cable/cassette/chain for the bike, but that is normal maintaince anyways.

So now the dillema is down to, I can either get a brand new Giant TCR3 loaded w/ 105s and a crappy wheelset or this Aquila fully loaded with DA and a pretty good wheelset.

Ming
 

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Racer Sportif will tell you more BS than any bike store I have come across.

They will tell you that the fit is fine if that is the size that they want to sell. Personally, I would not beleive a word that they say. The frame is built in the same factory as Cervelo? Did they actually back this up in any way?

By the way if it was used by one of their riders for a full O-Cup season count on it having 15-20,000 km of both racing and training km on it.
 

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n00bsauce
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Being made in the same factory as Cervelo dosen't tell you much. These factorys make lots of frames for lots of brands. They don't design them, they just make them. You would expect quality control to be similar but that's even determined by the price point the bike brand is trying to match. These factorys will make you anything you want at any price point/quality you want. That's really determined by Aquila, not the factory. Is the Giant TCR new or used? I'd also want to give the Aquila frame a close inspection. One season of hard riding can take it's toll depending on the quality of construction. Parts are another matter. Cassette and chain replacement are probably a given if they haven't been done recently. Cables/housing if needed but if they're working smooth theres no reason. Other parts could also need some attention (chainrings and derailleurs). Without inspecting the bike I wouldn't rely on anyone elses opinion if it's been ridden and raced for a year (that said by someone who's bought many bikes sight unseen so take it with a grain of salt) Personally I'd feel more comfortable with a new Giant TCR3 with warranty than a used Aquila.
 

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noob roadie :)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ewitz said:
Racer Sportif will tell you more BS than any bike store I have come across.

They will tell you that the fit is fine if that is the size that they want to sell. Personally, I would not beleive a word that they say. The frame is built in the same factory as Cervelo? Did they actually back this up in any way?

By the way if it was used by one of their riders for a full O-Cup season count on it having 15-20,000 km of both racing and training km on it.
So what is the toll on the frame after 15-20,000 km on it?? I'm not overly concerned about the parts on the bike. I tend to replace them as needed anyways.

The wheelset should still be fine after that kind of mileage, and it is the frame that I am most cornered about.

Ming
 

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noob roadie :)
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264 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mel Erickson said:
Being made in the same factory as Cervelo dosen't tell you much. These factorys make lots of frames for lots of brands. They don't design them, they just make them. You would expect quality control to be similar but that's even determined by the price point the bike brand is trying to match. These factorys will make you anything you want at any price point/quality you want. That's really determined by Aquila, not the factory. Is the Giant TCR new or used? I'd also want to give the Aquila frame a close inspection. One season of hard riding can take it's toll depending on the quality of construction. Parts are another matter. Cassette and chain replacement are probably a given if they haven't been done recently. Cables/housing if needed but if they're working smooth theres no reason. Other parts could also need some attention (chainrings and derailleurs). Without inspecting the bike I wouldn't rely on anyone elses opinion if it's been ridden and raced for a year (that said by someone who's bought many bikes sight unseen so take it with a grain of salt) Personally I'd feel more comfortable with a new Giant TCR3 with warranty than a used Aquila.
The Giant would be brand new. I really don't need the DA parts, but they are nice to have. I also have a very good Ritchy wheelset from my Cervelo One that I could use, so the wheelset really isn't a major concern.

The seller lives about 70KM away from me, so I could easily go and physically examine the bike. If the frame structurelly checks out, would it be a sound purchase??

Also, I'm assuming the manufacturer will NOT provide any warranty on a pro deal bike.




 

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noob roadie :)
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just spoke to the seller, I get life time warranty from Aquila. My friend has an Aquila frame from 1980s, and it's still holding up :D
 

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macming said:
I found out the frame is made in the same factory as the Cervelo, which is a little more assuring.
It shouldn't be. Cervelo makes their frames in their own factory and don't make frames for anyone else. See, for example, http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=BRAND&BRAND.ID=415

"Cervelo soon came to the conclusion that they had to take absolute control over their production process. They made a substantial investment in a new testing facility in order to evaluate the effect of materials changes, carbon lay-up changes, and manufacturing process changes. They then built their own factory to produce new frames according to the lessons they learned in testing. It gave them newfound oversight over production and quality control and made it so everyone who wanted to buy a Cervelo could get one in their hands with little delay."
 

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n00bsauce
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Speak to Aquila, not your friend. I don't know of any bike manufacturer that will warrant their bikes to anyone but the original buyer. Aquila may be the exception but I'd want to hear it from them. You sound like you really want the Aquila and it looks nice from the pictures. I'd still prefer the new Giant over the used Aquila, even with the lower groupo, assuming they both fit. You do know the three most important words when purchasing a bike, don't you?
 

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noob roadie :)
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mel Erickson said:
Speak to Aquila, not your friend. I don't know of any bike manufacturer that will warrant their bikes to anyone but the original buyer. Aquila may be the exception but I'd want to hear it from them. You sound like you really want the Aquila and it looks nice from the pictures. I'd still prefer the new Giant over the used Aquila, even with the lower groupo, assuming they both fit. You do know the three most important words when purchasing a bike, don't you?
Fit, fit and fit?? ;)

I don't know why, it maybe the colour of the bike and the groupo, but I just like the Aquila so much more than the Giant. In my opinion, the dark red colour scheme just doesn't work on the Giant.

I found out a little more history on the bike. It was used in 6 Ocup races, and the owner does have a beater and a TT bike that he occassionally trains on. He is the exactly same height as me, with similar inseams. After owning a Cervelo TT bike for a while, I do know what to look for when fitting a bike. I think I'm going to bring another racer friend of mine to look at it if possible.

Also, the chain and cassette has been replaced towards the end of the season. The big ring on the crankset however does show signs of wear.

I will call Aquila and find out what their warranty process is, and hopefully I could get the origional bill of sale.

I got a few more pictures of the bike, and I will post them in a bit. Hopefully someone can spot any major warning signs.

Ming
 

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gastarbeiter
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well it does look to be in good nick, if this is what the bike looks like NOW.

i'd probably go for that instead of the new tcr, if nothing else, then for the DA and wheels.

you can always get a basic frame later :)
 

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n00bsauce
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If you get the warranty and like the bike, go for it.
 

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noob roadie :)
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I will never buy anything from Racer Sportif

Update:

I went to Racer Sportif to meet with the owner today.

The bike looks NOTHING like the pictures he sent me. The clear coat were all worn off, and he changed his story about the age of the bike.

Before hand, he said the bike had been only used for 6 races and he was using his other bikes a lot more. But today he slipped that he started using it in April, which is a FULL racing season.

The worst of the story is the seatpost lug, where the carbon top tube is glued to the lug, there is a very clear stress mark (white mark you get when you bend plastic) all the way around the top half of the lug. Both him and the shop owner of Racer Sportif tried to tell me it was nothing. I told them I am in University for Engineering, and the owner said if I was in Engineering, I would know there is no stress be placed on that spot of the bike.

Needless to say, I walked out of the deal and placed a deposit on a Cannondale at my LBS, but I'll start a different thread for that.

I was thinking about the bike later on during the day, and remembered the seat post was way up, as in 20mm above the min insert length. So the stress mark on the frame was probably caused by that. The shop was willing to offer me a warranty on the frame, but when and if the frame breaks, I can see them easily say the problem was caused by abuse. For me, when I spend $2500 on a bike, new or used, it has to be close to perfect.

This is a hard lesson learned about buying a bike on ebay. Don't ever buy one sight unseen because there are a lot of fishy sellers out there!!!!

It is a shame because I was so hyped up about the bike. :(

Ming
 

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gastarbeiter
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macming said:
Update:Needless to say, I walked out of the deal and placed a deposit on a Cannondale at my LBS, but I'll start a different thread for that.
what happened with your interest in tcr comps?
 

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noob roadie :)
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
botto said:
what happened with your interest in tcr comps?
My friend already has one, and I made a website for my LBS, so they are giving me one of the Cannondales at their cost. Can't say no to that :D

Ming
 
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