The Bikes /// 01.

CHPT3 x Aquila

Aquila is a Canadian brand, founded and owned by the Mizerski family, Dennis and his two sons, Frank and James.  They own Racer Sportif, the pioneering Canadian bike shop, regarded as an institution in the Canadian road cycling scene since 1978. 

They are legit as it comes, and are the home of CHPT3 in Canada, we share the same values and love of cycling and have together created the Ka.dre team, CHPT3’s very own group of like-minded riders.  We worked with Frank to create a CHPT3 livery for their top of the line road bike, the Aquila Equipe Evo.  

The Patriarch of Canadian Cycling

I met the Mizerskis in person for the first time when visiting Toronto in October, 2022. While there I got to spend some time with Dennis Mizerski, the patriarch, not only of the family but it seems of Canadian road cycling. Dennis migrated to Canada from Poland in 1967, and brought with him his love of road racing, he raced at an elite level and has been coaching for decades. 

They had my bike waiting, but before receiving it I was put through a full refit, Frank is a master fitter who uses the Retul 3D motion capture process, this is something every Aquila customer goes through before ordering their bike. 

I hadn’t been fitted in 15yrs since doing a Retul in Boulder in 2007, when it was still in its early days, and in truth I don’t think my position had any semblance to what had been prescribed back then as I was a bit old school and was fairly stuck in my ways. 

So much has changed since then, the capture is so much more advanced, and the amount of data they have to analyse is vastly bigger.  Add to that the fact I’m much more receptive and I ended up with a position that actually fitted me.  Turns out I’d been sitting 1.5cm too low and my front end was too low, so I’ve been riding bikes too small for me forever, oops.  I perhaps respected the “never sacrifice style for speed” adage too far. 

To be fair this was mostly due to my pedantic love of aesthetics, I’d rather my bike looked good than be comfortable, which says so much about me and in hindsight is completely ridiculous, fortunately this old dog is open to learning new tricks, especially ones that make me a better cyclist when I need all the help I can get in my more mature years.

Turns out I’d been sitting 1.5cm too low and my front end was too low, so I’ve been riding bikes too small for me forever, oops.

Be light. Be fast. Be Strong.

It turns out that Dennis was friends with Edward Borysewicz, aka Eddie B, the legendary Polish racer and coach.  Back in 1992 it was his book, “Bicycle Road Racing: The Complete Program for Training and Racing” that taught me how to race.  My Mum had bought me the book to help me, I read it cover to cover and won my next road race applying all the tactics, it was revelatory, and began my journey into the racer I became.  So it was magical to talk to Dennis about his time with Eddie and hear stories about their racing and coaching camaraderie. 

It also affirmed to me that the Mizerskis know what they’re doing, and their Aquila Equipe Evo exemplifies that.  It’s a proper road bike, no messing around, designed to perform in all training and racing situations. 

It’s become my “fast” bike, which is what road riding is for me.  Each bike I have falls into a style of riding for me, I dress and ride differently according to the bike I choose to ride.  The Aquila is all about Aero Jersey and GT Shorts, elegant and aero, minimalist effectiveness.  Which is what riding on the road is to me, be light, be fast, be strong.

Leaning away from discretion

The bike is way better than any road bike I had as a racer, the technology has advanced so much since my final year racing in 2014, and the Aquila would have been a dream to race on. 

It’s an aero bike that can climb, it’s agile out the saddle and feels fast in a straight line, it’s a no-compromise all-rounder. 

They’ve done extensive testing on carbon layouts using Japanese Toray carbon, blending medium and high tensile strength fibres, combining T1000g and T1100G carbon in a strategic layup process, resulting in an 890g frame that’s suited to any road ride I do, and I mix it up a fair bit at the moment, it feels at home everywhere.

This nature of ride suits the Ka.dre team that we support, and represents so much about what we’re doing at CHPT3. 

Ka.dre is an eclectic group for whom cycling has become a key part of their identity without losing their individuality.  We wanted the visuals of the bike to capture that sentiment, we didn’t want it to be discreet, we wanted it to be loud, proud and different. 

People comment on it all the time, which is what we wanted, it makes a statement that is often missing in modern bike design where more often than not we lean towards discretion.

The CHPT3 Aquila is not discreet, and we like it like that.