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Gary fisher Aquila bike buy or pass?

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Gary fisher Aquila bike buy or pass?

Old 07-25-19, 08:06 PM
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Cortland15b
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Gary fisher Aquila and Marlin pair

Hello, I’m new to the forum but have been lurking trying to find a good first bike. My coworker has a pair of Gary fisher Aquila’s that he wants to sell for 300$. He’s said they paid 800-900$ each back in the day. They’ve been rarely used and stored in his shop. Photos are bad and they are dusty but seem to be in good shape.

Is it worth buying this pair for the fiancé and I or should I pass and buy a more modern bike (thinking Raleigh talus 1 and EVA 2 or something from dicks sporting goods or Dunham’s sports). I figured for 150$ each bike it’s much better than anything new that is 150$.

We will be on pavement most of the time but they’re putting in a mountain bike park in town and it’d be nice to have something that is going to handle trying that.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Cortland15b; 07-29-19 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Title changed with updated bike models
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Old 07-25-19, 11:33 PM
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Are the bikes your size? They will probably need a tune up so factor that in. A photo would be helpful.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:53 AM
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We’re going to have to go try them out to see if the size is right. Unfortunately you need 10 posts to be allowed to post pictures
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Old 07-26-19, 04:54 AM
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What all does a tune up entail? What should I be looking for/at when I go take a look?
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Old 07-26-19, 06:33 AM
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It looks like the Aquila was last made in 2000. That suggests they are built using old-style geometry that I personally like to avoid. You will probably find short top tubes, long stems, and steep head angles.
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Old 07-26-19, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Are the bikes your size? They will probably need a tune up so factor that in. A photo would be helpful.
The Aquila was my first mountain bike and is probably about 20yrs old. It was a nice bike back then but a lot has changed. As another has asked, are either the right size and do you need two bikes? 20 yo 26r wheeled bikes of average build level aren't worth much now. What I liked about the Aquila was that it was made of True Temper steel.
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Old 07-26-19, 07:10 AM
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The 2nd bike is for my fiancé. It’s a husband and wife pair. I’ll post photos when I have posted enough though they are crappy photos.

How does the new geometry vs the old geometry effect the ride and handling?
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Old 07-26-19, 07:13 AM
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Compared to the two modern bikes I’m looking at (Raleigh talus 1 and EVA 2) how would the Aquila’s compare? For twice the price for the pair how much different will they be better or worse?
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Old 07-26-19, 07:54 AM
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How you going to ride them? Hard trails? Just tooling around? I'm sure they'll be better than what you can get at $150 from a big box store.
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Old 07-26-19, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Cortland15b View Post
How does the new geometry vs the old geometry effect the ride and handling?
Better stability going down hills. Less likelihood of going over the bars. More stable steering. Increased confidence in rough terrain. More standover clearance.
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Old 07-26-19, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Cortland15b View Post
What all does a tune up entail? What should I be looking for/at when I go take a look?
A basic tuneup is shifters, brakes, chain, tires, etc.... are all in working order. A more detailed tune up is taking the bike apart down to the bearings, greasing everything and putting it back together. If the bikes have suspension, that would be the biggest concern as most older suspension is not worth repairing. Consider them more like bikes that can ride on dirt, vs actual mountain bikes. The Raleighs you mentioned are in the same category.

At $150 each, you would be near full market value in my area, but you can do much worse. They may be a good option to see if you actually enjoying riding bikes, but not good on technical trails.

The most important factor is if they fit you. Research the size of bikes you two should be riding and you can have your friend measure the frames. Alternatively, if you are about the same height you may be OK.
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Old 07-27-19, 07:02 AM
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Should also probably factor in new tires if they have sat for almost 20 years.
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Old 07-28-19, 07:35 AM
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I ended up getting them for 100$ for the pair. One bike needs new tubes and they both need a tune up. I was mistaken though and one is an Aquila and one is a marlin. The tires aren’t dry rotted which is good.

I rode the marlin last night and it doesn’t shift very fast. Any good resources on how to take these things apart and clean and adjust everything?
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Old 07-28-19, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Cortland15b View Post
I ended up getting them for 100$ for the pair. One bike needs new tubes and they both need a tune up. I was mistaken though and one is an Aquila and one is a marlin. The tires aren’t dry rotted which is good.

I rode the marlin last night and it doesn’t shift very fast. Any good resources on how to take these things apart and clean and adjust everything?
Sheldon Brown. You could try squirting lubricant between the cable and housing for the derailleur and brakes. This should resolve that issue. IMO, if the bikes are the right size you scored big time. These are solid bikes and great for your first adventures.
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Old 07-28-19, 09:41 PM
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I cleaned up the marlin tonight, once the dust was off the nice sparkly aqua green frame looked real nice. Lubed the chain up and had to adjust both the front and rear derailleurs the shifting was bad. It took forever since this was the first time doing it. The front derailleur was harder than the back. I tried adjusting the brakes as best I could by tightening them up. Going to take it for a spin tomorrow. The marlin might be the fiancés bike. The bikes came with one of those workout stands so I was actually able to work on it.

Going to pick up a tube for the Aquila tomorrow and start working on that one.

One of the break pads on the marlin wasn’t parallel with the rim and I couldn’t figure out how to adjust it, any ideas? The brakes also seemed to lightly rub the rims so more adjustment is needed.
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Old 07-29-19, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Cortland15b View Post
I cleaned up the marlin tonight, once the dust was off the nice sparkly aqua green frame looked real nice. Lubed the chain up and had to adjust both the front and rear derailleurs the shifting was bad. It took forever since this was the first time doing it. The front derailleur was harder than the back. I tried adjusting the brakes as best I could by tightening them up. Going to take it for a spin tomorrow. The marlin might be the fiancés bike. The bikes came with one of those workout stands so I was actually able to work on it.

Going to pick up a tube for the Aquila tomorrow and start working on that one.

One of the break pads on the marlin wasn’t parallel with the rim and I couldn’t figure out how to adjust it, any ideas? The brakes also seemed to lightly rub the rims so more adjustment is needed.
Congrats, sounds like you got a good deal
post pics when you get a chance. Curious on which year they are.
Are both with rigid forks? Are either aluminum?
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Old 07-30-19, 06:56 AM
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I’ll post pics as soon as I can.

Here’s the info I know.

Marlin:

Shimano wheels, grip shift shifters, SLR brakes BR-CT90-M with Shimano pads, Shimano Alivio rear derailleur that says IG compatible, Shimano Acera X pedal, Shimano hyperdrive C front cassette. 18” frame. Made in Taiwan sticker. Aqua green sparkly frame with copper letters

Aquila:

Shimano STX front and rear derailleurs, grip shift shifters, power control dia-compe 7 hand brakes, Shimano M 65/T pads, System Components 6061 T6 treated aluminum handlebars 230 grams, true temper, Ox comp, Cro-mo tube, double butted, 15.5” frame. This one has an American flag on it and a BS# right below U.S.A. Forest green sparkly frame with copper letters
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Old 07-30-19, 06:57 AM
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Both are rigid forks yes.
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Old 07-30-19, 09:04 AM
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The brakes are either cantilever and usually you adjust the pads (which you might want to replace) by loosening the 10 mm nut and aligning them with the rim before tightening. If they're "V"-style, just use a 5 mm allen to loosen the pads. Did you look at the Sheldon Brown site for hints? Almost any conceivable repair or adjustment is explained.
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Old 07-30-19, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cortland15b View Post
I’ll post pics as soon as I can.

Here’s the info I know.

Marlin:

Shimano wheels, grip shift shifters, SLR brakes BR-CT90-M with Shimano pads, Shimano Alivio rear derailleur that says IG compatible, Shimano Acera X pedal, Shimano hyperdrive C front cassette. 18” frame. Made in Taiwan sticker. Aqua green sparkly frame with copper letters

Aquila:

Shimano STX front and rear derailleurs, grip shift shifters, power control dia-compe 7 hand brakes, Shimano M 65/T pads, System Components 6061 T6 treated aluminum handlebars 230 grams, true temper, Ox comp, Cro-mo tube, double butted, 15.5” frame. This one has an American flag on it and a BS# right below U.S.A. Forest green sparkly frame with copper letters
I have a 1997 Aquila, I suspect the green one you have is a 1995, see here for the retail guide for the Aquila
http://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...nualFisher.pdf
http://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...1995fisher.pdf

Marlin about the same era but a notch lower than the Aquila
Brakes are probably lower end cantilevers. They were the first to break on me as the calipers have many weak points made of plastic.
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Old 07-30-19, 08:25 PM
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So we just got back from our test trip and the Marlin had shifting issues on the front derailleur getting into the lowest gear (1). After inspecting it when we got back I think I found the problem. The shifter was slacking the cable but the derailleur is having trouble springing back into place. So I took off the derailleur and am soaking it. It doesn’t seem to be able to come off the chain in any way. Any other tips to cleaning this thing?
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Old 07-30-19, 08:33 PM
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Upgrade to V-brakes for safety. (I know cantis can work fine, but 20 yo neglected cantis will probably need pads at least, I'd get vbrakes)

Watch videos on how to "tune-up" your bikes yourself.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-30-19, 08:35 PM
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Old 07-30-19, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Cortland15b View Post
It doesn’t seem to be able to come off the chain in any way. Any other tips to cleaning this thing?
Sometimes there is a screw on the bottom back of the cage so you can get the chain out. Otherwise, you have to break the chain to remove it, which is easy if there is a quick link.

That issue could be just a limit screw adjustment.
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Old 07-31-19, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Sometimes there is a screw on the bottom back of the cage so you can get the chain out. Otherwise, you have to break the chain to remove it, which is easy if there is a quick link.

That issue could be just a limit screw adjustment.

Yes it was a limit screw that I was adjusting improperly! After cleaning it up and reinstalling I think I’ve gotten it adjusted properly this time around. We’ll have to take them out for a test ride tonight.

Does anyone have suggestions for cost effective brake pads? The brakes work nicely but the brake material is starting to crack in spots.
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