Frame: Aquila Equipe EVO
Headset: FSA ACR
Evolution represents progression in the heritable characteristics that are passed along over successive generations. These characteristics represent the “genes” that are vital to the successor as Evolution occurs. When the evolutionary processes come to life through purposeful innovation, something special is born…
The Aquila Equipe EVO represents the evolution of a platform that is entering its third iteration. Passed down are the genes that we believe are the key ingredients to making a road bike that is unmatched. When we set out to develop this project, we had several goals that we strived to reach.
The previous generation Equipe was a prime example of a bike that is tremendously balanced. It is very light, predictably responsive, had deceiving torsional rigidity and exuded comfort. This combination made for a very purposeful race machine.
Over the past 5 years, bikes have changed at a rapid rate. The advancements that we see today amongst many of the bikes warranted a revision to the Equipe platform. However, we weren’t looking to reinvent the wheel. We were looking to make it better.
For everything that the previous Equipe brought to the road, it did lack in the aero department. With the understanding that improvements in aerodynamic efficiency can come at a price of increased weight, and increased vertical stiffness, we had to think out of the box in how we could improve in that area, without disrupting the cherished mannerisms of the previous Equipe. Through the use of CFD software, we needed to grasp an understanding as to where the breaking point for aerodynamics was throughout the different shapes of the frame. When its peak was met, we started to change the shape of the different tubes on the frame, rounding them off to reduce weight and encourage more vertical compliance.
The function and form of concealing the cables is undeniable. Not only because of its super clean appearance, but furthermore adds to the aerodynamic prowess of the bike. The Equipe EVO features the new ACR integration system from FSA, which allows all the cable to route through the bar, stem, headset and into the head tube, where the cables are distributed throughout the frame.
It’s no secret that larger tires on road bikes can untap some hidden efficiency. The days of narrow 23mm, cranked up to 120psi + are in the rear view. Wider tires present the ability to run lower pressures, which help to shorten the linear contact patch on the pavement, therefore allowing the wheels to turnover faster. The lower pressures also allow for the tire to take on a more efficient shape which creates greater adhesion while rolling, improved cornering, and increases comfort, without adding more rolling resistance.
The Equipe EVO allows for a best in class max tire width of 32mm.
Pulling out all the stops in the name of aerodynamics is something that we caution. Many aero focused bikes feature seat posts that are designed purely around being as aero as possible. The seat post is a critical contact point for the rider and this section of the frame is under the most vertical load. Shaping the seat post to be as aero as possible adds weight through more material being used to retain structural integrity, but more importantly stiffens up this area which translates to a less than forgiving ride. The Equipe EVO features a D shaped seat post, which is a blend between an aero shape, and cylindrical shape, which helps to balance out the efficiency of the seat post making it as light, aero and comfortable as possible.
We opted not offer the Equipe EVO with anything other than flat mount hydraulic disc brakes. While still a debate amongst many cyclists on whether or not disc brakes are warranted on road bikes, we believe that the pros of having them outweighs the cons. What goes fast, must equally stop as fast, and disc application is superior in that regard.