High Performance Canadian Bikes And Frames
“As a racer, I set goals for myself and sought to maximize my chances for success by considering every possible factor. I wanted to leave nothing to chance. Now, as CEO of Argon 18 and chief bike designer, I approach my task in a similar way. I want our bikes to be well-balanced and the design team and I do everything necessary to ensure this by controlling every variable in the manufacturing process.”
Gervais Rioux, 150 career wins in North America and Europe
In buying a Montreal bike shop at the close of his racing career, Gervais chose to put his vision of cycling to work in serving his customers. Thanks to this vision, the shop became an eastern Canadian authority in matters of road cycling and bike fit. More than 2000 bike fitting sessions took place in the store between 1990 and 1999. Alongside these developments, the house brand bike, the Argon 18, began attracting increasing attention everywhere in Canada, for its impeccable handling, quality fabrication and refined, detailed finish. Since then Argon 18 has acheived great success. In 2006 an Argon 18 E-80 won triple world champion honors thanks to the considerable athletic talents of Canadian Samantha McGlone (Ironman 70.3) as well as Torbjorn Sindballe and Bella Comerford (LD Triathlon World Championships). Argon 18 continue to race and win with the worlds top athletes to push developments and always be at the cutting edge of bicycle design. When Torbjorn Sindballe established a new record for the bike split at Kona, his average speed was just over 40kph. This is a realistic speedfor aerodynamic bike testing in a wind tunnel, so our data is based on this speed. From the fork to the seat stays, every aspect of our aero bikes are shaped to favour smooth airflow and reduce drag.
With such a wide range of materials and manufacturing processes available today, choosing the frameset that best meets your needs requires some thought. Oftentimes, what may seem like a sure thing at face value turns out to be a more complex matter.
For example, just in terms of the basic raw material, carbon fiber, a distinction must be made between a number of variants, including High Tensile, High Modulus, Very High Modulus fibers. These three broad categories, while each embodying their own specific properties, can be further broken down into 30 or so fiber sub-types. What’s more, other fibers enter into the frame building process; among these, the most useful are Kevlar aramid fiber, used to improve impact resistance, and fiberglass/polyester, which, when properly used, increases vibration absorption.
A frame decal bearing the words ‘‘High Modulus’’ doesn’t necessarily mean top quality, no more than a decal stating ‘‘High Tensile’’ means an inferior product. The most important point is to determine what kind of performance and road feel you want from a bike, and choosing the material and frameset model that will best fulfill your expectations. At Argon 18, we plan and control all phases of manufacturing, from raw carbon fiber filaments, through prepreg fiber sheet weaving, all the way to the final finish work. This lets us design a number of carbon formulations incorporating a variety of fiber types in different proportions that are then used to give the frame and fork models their distinct properties. Each formulation is designed to meet the diverse, specific needs of riders.