AQUILA CRONO TRI BIKE | TEST RIDE & REVIEW


Aquila is Canadian brand, based in Oakville and Toronto at the bike shop called Racer Sportif. They offer carbon road, triathlon and track bikes.
This carbon triathlon bike came with combination of Ultegra Di2 and Shimano 105 components. Aerobars, as well the handlebars underneath had electronic gear shifting, which moved the chain exactly where it needed to be through a programmed front and rear derailleur position.
Standart road wheels.


The best way to test such bike is definitely on the road. Right after the rain I went on a 111 km ride, following the same route I took previously on my old bike. I started at Angus Glen Community Center and headed up north, to the Lake Simcoe.

Pre meal:
Banana x2
Dried dates 5-6 pieces

During:
600 Calories: 82C/28F/11P

I forgot to bring my water bottle cages, but found a spartan solution:
I used the piece of rope I’ve found in my truck to tie one bottle of water to the frame.
Going into the ride already under fueled I didn’t feel particularly strong at any point. I felt thirsty and hungry throughout the ride and every time I wanted to get a sip of water I would have to come to a complete stop to untie my water bottle. After the half mark (55 km), on a way back I got really hungry, but had nothing left, neither fuel or water.
My performance was compromised right from the beginning and I didn’t ride hard.


RESULTS



TT Bike:
Avg speed 29.4 km/hr

VS

Old Bike:
Avg speed 27.3 km/hr


2 km/hr faster

I pushed harder during the first haft, just to see what my time would be at the 45 km mark. I looked at the timer and was pleased to see the number of 1 hr 13 min. This meant that if I was to race Ironman 70.3 with it’s 90 km bike ride, I could theoretically finish the bike course in about 2 hr 26 minutes. This simple calculation made me excited for two reasons:

  1. It was 37 minutes faster from my bike time at Ironman 70.3 Hawaii: 2 hr 50 min
  2. It was only 12 minutes slower from the age group winner and 4 minutes away from the 3rd place.

However, in comparison with the most recent Olympic TRI I did two weeks ago (BRACEBRIDGE OLYMPIC TRI | Muskoka) less than 2 km/hr improvement didn’t seem worth all the hipe and money. Especially considering that I felt like shit during that race and barely did spin the pedals.

BRACEBRIDGE Triathlon
2019-08-10 • Olympic Triathlon

Considering that I wasn’t pushing as hard as I would at the race, underfueling and poor hydration on my test ride today, I got excited to wonder what would my time splits look like if all those things would properly align and I came prepared. Not to mention, I was riding on the regular “training” wheels. Aquila bike shop representative promised that putting on the racing wheels will make me about 5 km/h avg faster.

I also didn’t sit comfortably on the seat and my butt will stay sore for a while. I had to move move forward and sit literally on the tip of the seat. Proper bike fit is another variable that can definitely improve my performance.


From design perspective, I am not a big fan of the way bike looks. But again, do I want to be pretty or I want to be fast?
Fast!

… Blake doesn’t seem to approve…


THE UGLY


The only trouble I had with the bike today was caused by my carelessness, when I put few scratches on the bike. The photo below costed me two nasty scratches on the frame. The wind blew and the bike felt to the side.

Those are pretty big scratches and I was blaming myself all the way back to where I began the ride. I was feeling really bad for being so …. careless I guess is the right word and worried about the charges I’ll have to pay to the owner when I return it back.
I didn’t know what is the best way to handle this situation. I put myself in the owner’s shoes and asked, how would I feel in his place? What would I do?
Instead of trying to come up with solutions I’ve decided that I will act the way I would like to be acted on, if I were him.
I brought the bike back in and I didn’t wait until the owner discovered the damage on his own. I went ahead and showed all the scratches… I explained how it happened and said that I appreciate the opportunity to test ride the bike and will cover all the repair costs in full. It was a lot of money for me.
I lost the money, BUT I saved my face and acted as a gentleman. More importantly I saved relationship with Dennis – the owner.

Repair Costs: $450


Overall I am grateful for the opportunity to test pure TT bike and get a sense of it. I’ve also enjoyed this long ride and got the experience of riding in different (aero) position.


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