The new Argon 18 Krypton is going long as their new endurance road bike. Tire clearance is ample, fit is adjustable, and it builds in features to make any ride more pleasant. Two models are available, the Krypton CS with a standard carbon fiber construction, and the higher end GF with a lighter layup and electronic drivetrain options.
Thus far, Argon 18 has focused on high performance road and triathlon bikes. That’s changed with what they’re calling their “most engineered bike to date.”
Starting at the front, they’ve made their 3D caps shaped to more closely align with the overall shape of the bike. The stock option is a 15mm height, but 0mm and 30mm (shown) will also be offered, letting riders customize the frame to their flexibility and comfort level. Even at the starting height, they get a stack height taller than their race bikes.
Head angle is a little slacker, combined with a lower BB height to improve stability at speed, which reduces fatigue on long straights and keeps handling safe and predictable on the descents. That lower BB also let them slope the top tube more without creating weird aesthetics, so standover is improved, particularly for smaller riders. The fork legs kick forward to create a flex point (see below for video).
Combine those features with slightly longer chainstays and you get a bike with a longer wheelbase for all-day comfort. Both the head tube and bottom bracket areas borrow from their Gallium Pro race bike’s design to maximize stiffness for solid power transfer and handling.
Inside the fork legs are hidden fender mounts with a matching set on the back. Those, and the bento box mounts on the top tube, get rubber plugs for a smooth look when not in use. That other plug showing on the back of the driveside chainstay is the exit port for Di2/EPS groups.
Despite those massive gaps, tire clearance is pegged at 32mm, meaning this really is aimed at the gran fondo rider rather than gravel.
Seatstays are dropped to improve compliance and smooth the bumps better than if the tubes were directing those forces directly into the seatpost. The entire frame, fork and complete build with different wheels were analyzed for vibrations. They tested various layups and combinations before finalizing a design the minimized lateral flex but maximized comfort.
This video shows how the top- and seat tubes are designed to flex such that the saddle moves with bumps in the road to help isolate the rider. Also notice the fork’s fore/aft flex.
Aerodynamics are also part of the story. The fork legs are a truncated foil shape, which lead into a downtube that’s designed to optimize air flow with a water bottle mounted on it. Then, the seatstays are shaped asymmetrically to create a low pressure system that diffuses the turbulent air created by a moving wheel.
Shown above, the Krypton CS comes in red with Vision 30 wheels and either Ultegra ($3,400) or 105 ($2,750).
The higher end Krypton GF comes with DT Swiss C1800 wheels and Ultegra Di2 ($5,500) or mechanical Ultegra ($4,000). Or get the frameset for $2,500.
The GF frame is a couple hundred grams lighter than the CS thanks to a revised layup. It also shows off their modular cable entry point. The main cover is available as normal or with an integrated Di2 junction control box mount, letting you see battery status and access the setup button. The plug where cables enter has four options, too – wired, wireless, 1x and 2x. No matter what your setup, it’ll look clean.
Other features include an optional direct mount rear derailleur hanger, integrated chain catcher with two lengths to fit any chainring combo, flat mount disc brakes, and DT Swiss 12mm thru axles.
The bikes will be available by the end of the year in some markets, early 2018 for all.
2018 ARGON 18 GALLIUM PRO
For the pure road racer, their Tour de France stage-winning Gallium Pro gets major updates, making it the lightest frame they’ve ever made. Coming in at a claimed 794g for size medium, painted with hardware. To accomplish this, they reshaped the tubes and refined the layups. They also upgraded the front derailleur mount and attached it with four rivets to ensure crisp, strong shifting. Tire clearance is bumped to 28mm, keeping with trends. The same Team Edition that’s being race by Astana is available to consumers.