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When your nickname is Superman you definitely want a super bike that is going to stand out from the peloton

There’s nothing we like more than a custom painted pro bike here at road.cc It’s a chance for designers to let their hair down and get creative, and we’ve seen some bonkers and beautiful designs over the years, and this latest one by Argon 18 for Astana rider Miguel “Superman” Ángel López is definitely one of the nicest ones we’ve seen in a while.

The young Colombian pro cyclist has earned the nickname ‘superman’ not on account of his climbing prowess, but because when he was just 16-years-old he was confronted by knife-wielding thieves who tried to steal his race bike whilst he was out training and in the tussle stabbed him in his leg.

- 2018 WorldTour race bikes - The complete list of this year's race bikes

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on account of his climbing prowess, a talent which has won him two stages of the Vuelta a Espana last year. Inspired by his talents, Argon 18 wanted to celebrate his nickname and also his Colombian roots by creating a special one-off paint job for his race bike.

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According to the Canadian company, the SupermanLopez design is “expressing the transition from earth to space” with the use of speckle paint to simulate the stars and a base colour that changes depending on the angle of light.

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As well as the unique paint finish there are little quotes to inspire him, including a Spanish quote referencing the Superman movie “is it a plane, is it a bird, no, it’s Superman Lopez.”

“This project is the perfect opportunity to adapt my designs to highlight the personality of the rider. I can forget all the requirements to produce a design that can be easily replicated. It’s the only condition to really attain the uniqueness that Miguel Angel deserves” explained art director Alexandre Saint-Jalm.

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Gervais Rioux, CEO and Founder of Argon 18, added: “Lopez is a proven world-class cyclist and is also the embodiment of our product philosophy of passion and dedication to racing. We are happy to surprise Lopez with the final design of his Gallium Pro SupermanLopez – ParticuleR.”

The paintwork is actually part of Argon 18’s new ParticuleR program that allows the company to push “the creative limits” with more unique projects planned for the future.

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“It was important for Argon 18 to work with the best in all steps of this process, as in the paint artist. We collaborated with Rob Nicholas of ColourBurn Studio to test possibilities. With Rob’s know-how on techniques, special effects and process, it was possible to put the ideas and vision into real life. The result and quality would have been impossible to attain with traditional production. More projects from this collaboration on ParticuleR are coming in the next month” added Saint-Jalm.

“It is crucial that we explore the extremes of colours and graphic design for our bikes. With the ParticuleR  Program we will be able to develop ways to express our creativity and evaluate what can later enter the marketplace with Argon 18,” explained Argon 18 CEO said Gervais Rioux.

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argon_18_custom_bike29.jpg

And no you can’t buy this SupermanLopez paint job, but you can pick up the standard Gallium Pro bike in a choice of three colours.

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Aside from the new paint finish, it’s business as usual with all the equipment bolted to the frame. So that means a Shimano Dura-Ace Di1 groupset with an FSA K-Force Light chainset with a Power2Max power meter, Corima carbon wheels and FSA contact points.

Let’s hope he can live up to his nickname and new paint job this season.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.