The Future is Soon: Argon 18’s Concept Bike

Words Andrew Major
Photos Fergs
Date Sep 22, 2016

Argon 18 Telemetry

I’ve seen the future of bicycle racing and today it’s a concept bike from Argon 18. Tomorrow it’s every aspect of the sport where reviewing your performance against the clock will result in improved results.

“Think of the telemetry you see from a MotoGP race”, says Johnny Halliday, an Argon 18 rep based in North Vancouver. The prototype bike gives them measurements like lean angle, temperature, and windspeed. Data that will be analysed to optimize fit and tactics to eliminate precious seconds.

Argon 18

A working prototype of Argon 18’s data collection unit.

Practical real world application? As Johnny notes – with a wry grin and a twinkle in his eye I’ll add – this bike can definitely tell you if it’s the optimum day to go for that Strava KOM or not.

I don’t think its much of a stretch to imagine this kind of technology having an impact on DH racing. Any World Cup mechanic will tell you that there is often a difference between what “feels faster” and what is faster and that’s why so much testing takes place. Throw away the stop watch as run after real run of a DH track the data line choice is quantified against an array of factors.

Argon 18

This Argon 18 concept bike takes the telemetry project and asks their bike designers what their bikes will look like in a few years. Not the probe for the data acquisition extending from the head tube, in-molded grips in the bar instead of tape, and the partially integrated disk brakes.

Integrated Disk Brakes

Argon 18 took their telemetry project and handed it to their bike designers to come up with a concept bike. Not a concept bike in the sense of some totally weird crap that will never see the light of day, but a real question of the direction the company is headed. The end result includes the use of integrated front and rear disk brakes.

Argon 18

This is a non-functional concept; however, the idea is sound. A hydraulic line is integrated through the frame and fork, as is one half of the caliper and piston. The other half of the caliper bolts on.

For Argon 18 this is largely an idea for reducing air resistance. On a mountain bike fork, particularly an XC race fork like Fox’s new 32 Step Chassis fork for example: by integrating half the caliper into the casting you could eliminate a substantial amount of material.

Orbea Fox 32 Step Chassis

It’s easy to imagine a brake caliper integrated into the lower of Fox’s Step Chassis forks, à la Argon 18.

Scott Spark Argon 18

Scott’s Spark frame weighs 1750 grams for a 27.5′ wheeled frame and 1779 grams for the 29″ version.  Imagine if half of the brake was integrated into the mount instead of a bolt on system. Every gram counts here.

In most sports the product being raced is not the same as what is being ridden. Racing is racing. Weight counts for a lot. As much as I like my bikes simple and as standard as possible (with or without gears) it is very cool to see where ideas can be pushed too.


Will the No Mount brake standard replace Flat Mount? Telemetry for the win?

Trending on NSMB

Comments

traildog
0
traildog  - Sept. 23, 2016, 10:09 p.m.

I think in the LBS every day now we find ourselves saying "this shit is designed for racers with a factory team backing…sorry it doesn't work for more than a month at a time" and custy's are like "this isn't what i would expect from a $6k bike" and i'm like, umm, not my fault? sorry?

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - Sept. 23, 2016, 9:52 a.m.

What if you want to change rotor sizes?

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 23, 2016, 10:07 a.m.

Don't ask hard questions!

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Sept. 23, 2016, 10:16 a.m.

Not really something that comes up with XC Racing or Road?

Don't worry JW, no one is trying to take your 20mm axles away (again!)

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - Sept. 23, 2016, 10:52 a.m.

"I'll give you my 20mm when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands"… FU 15mm.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Sept. 23, 2016, 7:10 p.m.

Ha! Jerry 20millows for the NAA (national axle association).

Reply

Jerry-Rig
0
Jerry Willows  - Sept. 23, 2016, 7:29 p.m.

"Making the bike industry great again!"

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - Sept. 23, 2016, 1:56 p.m.

New fork with a new hub/axle standard of course. Next question.

Reply

pedro
0
Pedro  - Sept. 23, 2016, 3:56 a.m.

Seems like it would be much harder to replace pads and, most importantly, that heat management is terrible….

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Sept. 23, 2016, 10:07 a.m.

Yes of course. But for XC racing is heat management a problem?

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - Sept. 22, 2016, 9:16 p.m.

This is a cool idea. This might be one of those times where the brake and fork manufacturers have a conversation about how to proceed in a way that doesn't make everyone else insane.

Reply

drewm
0
DrewM  - Sept. 22, 2016, 9:32 p.m.

Well… SRAM and Formula for example make brakes & forks… and Fox and Shimano are either secret lovers, or really close cousins, or both.

Reply

whatyouthink
0
whatyouthink  - Sept. 23, 2016, 12:12 p.m.

When do shimano and fox just merge. get it over with. and i mean shimano suspension? never have to service it again.

Reply

craw
0
Cr4w  - Sept. 23, 2016, 1:57 p.m.

My current run with their (usually amazing) cassettes and brakes is slowly eroding my confidence.

Reply

JBV2
0
james  - Sept. 22, 2016, 8:57 p.m.

looks fun.

Reply

Please log in to leave a comment.