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TECH NEWS

Argon 18’s Nitrogen aero road bike boasts 960g frame

New aero road bike continues weight-saving trend

Argon 18’s new Nitrogen is one of the new breed of lightweight aero road bikes, the frame coming in at a claimed 960g.

We first showed you the Nitrogen last week but we didn’t have full details at that stage. Now we do.

Aero bikes have been getting lighter recently with several dipping under the 1kg mark. NeilPryde, for example, claim a weight of just 920g for their new Nazaré2, although direct comparison between different brands is difficult because they don’t all weigh the same size frame (and, let’s be honest, manufacturers’ weights aren’t necessarily accurate).

Anyway, Canadian brand Argon 18 put a figure of 960g on the Nitrogen, their first aero road frame.

Of course, weight is more of a side issue on an aero road bike. All other things being equal, you want a lightweight bike but aerodynamic efficiency is what the Nitrogen is all about.

With that in mind, Argon 18 use aero-section frame tubes throughout with a down tube that’s shaped to shield bottles from the wind and a cutaway seat tube to manage the airflow over the leading edge of the rear wheel.

The seatstays sit wide, coming out from the sides of the seat tube rather than the back, and the arms of the TRP linear pull brake sit neatly in line with them to minimise drag.

Argon 18 use their exclusive Aero 3D system for adjusting the height of the front end. Rather than fitting spacers between the upper headset bearing and the stem, this system moves the bearing up, effectively increasing the height of the head tube.

You can choose from three different heights: 0mm, 10mm and 20mm. The advantage over a conventional set up, according to Argon 18, is that the larger diameter means more rigidity. Plus, they can make the 3D system aero whereas a traditional spacer is, of course, simply round.

The legs of the monocoque carbon fork are slim and, like the chainstays, they shelter the arms of a TRP linear pull brake. The fork crown is integrated into a slightly dropped down tube to manage the airflow in that region.

The Aero SP5000 carbon seatpost is reversible, offering seat angles of 72° and 76.5° depending on which way around you set it. You can also move the position of the clamp on top of the post so that the nose of your saddle sits right above the bottom bracket. The idea is that you can either have a conventional setup or steepen it considerably for triathlon.

As is usually the case with aero road bikes, the Nitrogen has a wedge-type seatpost clamp that’s hidden away inside the frame and a bolt that sits flush with the top tube, and the cables run internally.

The new Bora-Argon 18 team will be riding the Nitrogen in World Tour races next year. 

Argon 18's UK distributor is i-RideThey expect the Argon 18 Nitrogen to be available from October. The frameset will be £2,099.99 and a complete bike built up with a Shimano Ultegra groupset will be priced at £3,499.99.

The Nitrogen with a Ultegra Di2 group will be £4,149.99, and a mechanical Dura-Ace model will be £4,499.99.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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