This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Canadian brand Argon 18 is looking to take on Cervélo with the launch of four new TT bikes across two new platforms – the UCI-legal E117 Tri and the totally illegal E119 Tri – the latter of which is claimed to be faster than a Cervélo P5 in real-world conditions. Argon 18 is the second sponsor and bike supplier of the Bora-Argon 18 Professional Continental team that rode the Tour de France.
Both bikes have been designed to offer practicality as well as speed and come in regular and ‘plus' versions, which come with a bevy of accessories to store ride essentials, nutrition and hydration.
The E119 isn't a development of Argon 18's range-topping E118 Next TT bike. Rather, the brand's engineers created a whole new platform from scratch in a bid to beat the genre-leading bike of that other Canadian company – the Cervélo P5.
Argon 18 used CFD to design the new frame, making a conscious decision to forego some 0-degree speed in exchange for better performance than the P5 at real-world five to 20-degree angles. Argon 18 is measuring its aero performance in terms of CDA (and will publish its wind tunnel data in this format). By this standard, the E119 Tri is 14.89 percent more aerodynamic than the E118 Next, which is, and will continue to be, ridden by the Bora-Argon 18 professional team.
The frame features deep tubing, lowered seat stays and a clean, integrated front end. Argon 18 says frame weight is 1,200g, 300g lighter than the E118 Next, which was launched at Eurobike last year – impressive for a superbike with a lot of frame on show.
Practical elements include a simple centre-pull brake at the front, which is covered by a fairing that doubles up as a cable guide to keep the caliper true. Cabling for this routes down the bayonet head tube section. It's lighter than a Dura-Ace caliper too.
The tailwind is a modular storage system that can actually make you faster
In its native setup, two bottles are nestled into the sides of a large plastic storage container. It might look like a lot of junk in the trunk, but Argon 18 says that using it helps fill the area of low pressure that pools behind a rider, giving a tiny 0.8 per cent aero advantage, but also allowing storage of most of your essentials.
The Cookie Jar is a simple plastic food container that bolts to the top tube, giving easy access to nutrition via a rubber-lipped lid. The Tri+ also comes with Torhans' AeroZ between the arms aero system, giving riders the option of whether or not to implement a reservoir here – unlike the Scott Plasma 5 or the new Canyon Speedmax prototype.
Spec and prices may vary worldwide, but in North America, the E119 Tri+ starts at $6,500 for the frameset, though you'd have to be a bit crazy not to spend an extra $100 to have it built up with Ultegra Di2 ($6,600). The top-end model comes with Dura-Ace Di2 and Vision Metron Disc / Trispoke wheel combo for a cool $13,000.
The ‘regular' E119 Tri uses a slightly different carbon layup, conceding a bit of weight and featuring a seatpost with a slimmer mount. Argon 18 says it'll be possible to buy the Cookie Jar and Tailwind separately if riders want to upgrade at a later date.
The frameset is $4,700 and runs up to $10,400 for the top DA Di2 spec. The Ultegra Di2 version is $8000.