Australia’s top track riders were racing an all new Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike on the velodrome in Berlin a week ago for the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, with a Pursuit fork spacing narrower than we’ve ever seen on a bike. It’s actually quite hard to fathom with almost vertical fork legs and walls of the custom Zipp front wheel. And while Cycling Australia didn’t come away with any new rainbow stripes, their goals are set a little further for this summer, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro aero carbon Olympic track bike

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin
c. ​Cycling Australia, all racing photos by Casey Gibson, bike photos by Hikari Media (unless otherwise noted)

The summer Olympics are a huge driver in track bike development, and this latest iteration of Argon 18’s Electron Pro looks to up the ante with improved aerodynamics, more rider customization, and technology integration.

Interestingly, the last time we saw an update Electron Pro was four years ago with the Danish team on their path towards London 2016. While the Danes were still riding that same previous generation/ current production race bike, they managed to break the world record in the team pursuit three times during the racing in Berlin, ultimately winning the gold medal this year.

What’s new in the 2020 Electron Pro?

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

At first glance, the most obvious change to the new frame is a reinforced seat cluster, then maybe the slightly more robust main triangle and slightly more webbed bottom bracket, which all do apparently contribute increased bike stiffness.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

But it’s really only when you look at the bike from the front that you can appreciate the ultra narrow front end in the Pursuit configuration. Of note, the new Electron Pro has not only two handlebar options, but two different fork & front wheel combinations as well.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

In Pursuit mode, the bike uses a uniquely & insanely narrow front hub spacing of just 40mm wide, drastically cutting down the frontal area of the bike and making the sides of that front Zipp wheel almost parallel. The result is a claimed 30% drag reduction over the previous generation of the bike.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin
photo by Casey Gibson

Argon 18 & Cycling Australia didn’t go into too much detail on the deep development partnership with Zipp, other than to say that the bike is designed around a customized set of Zipp Super-9 carbon tubular disc wheels. But it is clear that some composites magic had to occur to create a carbon front wheel that maintains adequate stiffness when the fork blades are only 40mm apart at the dropout. Presumably the wheel is at widest 30mm wide, with almost straight sides up to the tire gluing surface.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

The Sprint mode front end requires more stiffness to handle more massive sprinting power output, so it gets a larger, wider set fork legs that still claims reduced drag at the front wheel, keeping conventional 100mm spacing.

Both forks also appear to feature flush-mounted axle ends, much like we see in modern thru-axles, rather than conventional externally nutted track axles.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

The bikes get an extra dose of modern integration, but what is there to integrate without shifters & brakes? At the non-driveside axle on the fork, a small electronic timing chip is integrated where it won’t add unnecessary drag. And apparently another internal data logger (perhaps under the stem cap?) collects the rider’s power meter data for post-race analysis.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

Cockpits are also integrated and custom molded, with the option for the one-piece Sprint dropbar & stem including molded grip shaping in the drops, or the three-piece Pursuit bar with upright extensions custom fit to each rider’s position and hands.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro – Pricing & availability

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

It being raced at the Track World Cup and bound for the Olympics, the new 2020 Electron Pro is officially available to the public as well (likely in very limited quantities).

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin
photo by Casey Gibson

All it will cost you is about $18,000 for a frameset with frame, fork & Zipp wheels.

2020 Argon 18 Electron Pro track bike, aero carbon Olympic track racing bike_Cycling Australia UCI World Berlin

c. ​Cycling Australia, all racing photos by Casey Gibson, bike photos by Hikari Media unless otherwise noted

Argon18.comAustralianCyclingTeam.com

9 COMMENTS

    • Its about beeing able to put out power in a reasonable aro position!

      – and if you have a starter (Lund) that can do 3 laps instead of 1 or 2 – and still have the power to do a 1-1,5 lap sprint at 1875m before dropping – and a finnisher that can do 4 (Rodenberg) laps instead of 2 or 3 (Gana) it helps too.

      im not seeing AUS, GB or Italy comming close. NZ is a different story.

      • Italy’s Time in the second round was faster than NZ second round or silver medal rides. Ialy was the only other team that rode in the 3:46s. The reason they didnt make it to the finals is that they were facing of Denmark in the second round. They were fourth. Italy right now have the second fastest time in the World. The pushed Denmark to the max. Remember Denmark got the draft effect from NZ in the final. (not taking anything away from their performance) Just important to put things into perspective.

  1. “What if we put the crank on the other side of the bike?”- The Yanks. Sure, the men’s team isn’t a contender, but their women’s squad is looking like the team to beat this year.

  2. Power in a reasoanble areo postition will win.

    The GB and AUS bikes has to be rediculous fast as the gap to the danes on their off the peg equipment is huge.

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