Bike test 03: RIDE 71 – Argon 18 Nitrogen
The third bike on test in RIDE Cycling Review #71 is from Argon 18. Jack Lynch wrote the test and did the mechanical work and he was impressed both on the road and in the workshop.
“The Argon 18 Nitrogen Pro is not a typically gauche aero bike that one sheepishly owns, for fear of being labelled a ‘try hard’ or accused of unnecessarily seeking out an (unsocial) advantage,” writes Lynch. “Yes, it is fast – but there is no sense of urgency about this bike. It is not for a skite, but someone who appreciates a bike that can handle fierce pace lines, Sunday cruises and lengthy climbs.”
This is a $10,999 bike that weighs in at 6.68kg.
The frame is 870g and it is built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 but has TRP V-brake style callipers.
To read the full review see p.196 of RIDE #71.
Click the photo below to begin the slideshow of 46 images of the Argon 18.
Click the Soundcloud file to listen to what Rob Arnold had to say about the Argon 18 and/or read the transcript below…
Rob Arnold on the Argon 18 Nitrogen
“Oh my god, what a nugget! What a stiff little nugget. This is a doozie of a bike.
“I didn’t know if I was in a time trial or in a crit or if I just had to get down into the drops and go as hard as I could. She really is a lovely bike to ride.
“It’s so different to the Cannondale that I just stepped off – the ride qualities really stood out. First of all, this has got a full on aero seatpost and there’s a lot of it showing and it’s got solid as hell chainstays and pretty rigid, tight little rear triangle and there’s plenty of feedback from the road – that’s one thing. But it’s sort of in the way that you want it to be.
“They’re obviously not even trying to be subtle with this, this is all about going fast and not losing any power.
“If there was lateral flex – the cliché that it is – I couldn’t feel it.
“And it urged me down into the drops.
“Even though it’s a low front end I just sort of wanted to ride down low.
“A couple of times, I actually almost went to put my arms down onto a bar extender aero bars style… only that they weren’t there… but it really does ride like a time trial bike only a little bit more nimble into corners than some I’ve ridden that are TT specific.
“It’s got integrated brakes and I don’t know if Jack had a great deal of pleasure putting them together when he was building this bike, but they perform really well. I like them, they’ve got a really nice feel and they match the Dura-Ace levers really well.
“The Di2 shifting is what we know and expect. It does the job adequately and efficiently. And, to be honest, it felt a little bit more agricultural than the shifting of the Cannondale which had mechanical Dura-Ace, only because it sort of has that little bit more lag – at least it felt like that for the front shifting, but I don’t want to get bogged down into the commentary.
“What I really want to talk about is that this is a nice cute little bike that is like a Staffordshire bull terrier she’s all grunt and really ready to go, she’s full of energy and it feels like something that you really want to pop in the big ring and set sail.
“I’m really interested to see what Jack has to say about it but I got a lot of positive feelings from it.
“Don’t get this if you want any compliance from your frame it’s not going to help you.
“I’m being interrupted from a jet overhead but that just reminds me to talk about the sound of these brakes from the Fulcrum Quattros. They really do sound like they’re coming in for landing – it’s a really neat feel and not a squeal.
“A lot of nice things to say about this bike but we’ll get to putting a little video together and gauging how others feel about it.”
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