I’ve learned a lot in the past two years and so has Ben at Argonaut Cycles. He looks at his made in the USA, fully custom carbon road bikes as a project that’s ever-evolving. With each frame, he learns more not only about his customers, but his own process. My Argonaut was perfection in my eyes and while I loved it, some things about it made it less than ideal for my lifestyle and by that I mean, I travel. A lot. At the time, Ben didn’t offer a traditional seat post, only an ISP…
Garrett Chow is an exceptional designer and I’m very fond of his work. In today’s industry, so many cycling-related projects rely on paint design, meaning it’s the ultimate crux in a project’s success.
It’s easy to draw some chevrons, or paint a logo a pantone and call it a day, but to really dive into data, something that’s typically not visually stimulating and pull a compelling paint job from a series of numbers and historical markers takes talent.
With the recent Mavic 125ans project bikes, I took a liking to Argonaut‘s design. There was information there and it required you to stop and really examine every aspect of the bike. There were a lot of immaculate paint jobs in the 125ans bikes, but this one was more than that…
See more below!
The Mavic 125ans Project came about to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the company. After the release of the Ksyrium 125 wheel in France earlier this spring, Chad Moore of Mavic USA reached out to a select group of frame builders who they felt were standouts in the industry.
Argonaut Cycles – working with designer Garrett Chow, Lynskey Performance, Mosaic Cycles – working with designer Zach Lee on their paint design, Ritte Cycles and Seven Cycles were contacted directly by Mavic.
Each builder was given a timeline and other than that, full artistic reign over their project bike. Looking to the Ksyrium 125 wheel for inspiration, each builder approached this unique collaboration in a way that represented what Mavic means to them and their brands.
These bikes will be released at Mavic’s brand communications center and Service Course in Los Angeles on 10 July, but I got a special sneak peek at the bikes yesterday, as I shot each in detail within the Mavic mechanics area. Both the Ritte and the Seven 125ans bikes will be auctioned off at the Pros Closet later this fall.
See this project in its entirety in the Gallery and there will be more to come, including interviews from some of the builders and an extensive look at Garrett Chow’s inspiration for the Argonaut Cycles road.
I love seeing two friends come together from opposite ends of the cycling industry to make something rad. Ben from Argonaut and Garret from Strawfoot designed a waxed canvas saddle bag together. It’s a limited run, with only 50 available. Each bag is made by hand in Santa Cruz and stamped with the Argonaut “A” logo on the strap. It’s meant to carry a spare tube, tire levers, a multi-tool and a patch kit.
Pick one up now at the Argonaut Web Shop for $48.
This is the video Brian Vernor made, documenting both the Argonaut disc gravel racer and the Rouge Roubaix. We were in St. Francisville for three days, where Brian and I did our best to document the bikes in action, before and during the race. His interviews offer insight into what makes the Rouge Roubaix tick, while opening up the personalities of the race officials and local vernacular.
Let’s just say he captured it all perfectly and it was an honor to work next to him that weekend!
The Rouge Roubaix exceeded mine and Ben from Argonaut‘s expectations. I don’t think anyone involved with that trip knew how that race would unfold. Backtrack to a few months prior, team Argonaut had the idea to pull Brian Vernor in to do a video and bring me down to shoot the race and document the new Disc Racers.
We spent the two days prior to the race testing out the bikes and looking for key vantage points to photograph the event. While Vernor got his video footage, I took some photos of the bikes and (part of the) team River City / Rapha. These photos are to be used on the Argonaut website…
Check them out in the Gallery and see the bike in person at the Aether NYC event this Friday!
This Friday, Argonaut Cycles would like to invite you to an evening of Space Bikes in NYC. Head over to the Aether Apparel NYC Store from 6-9 PM for free drinks, a presentation from frame builder Ben Farver and the video premier of Brian Vernor‘s Argonaut Deep South Odyssey.
Ben will also have his NAHBS Best in Show bike on display for you to squeeze the brakes and pinch the tires!
I can’t help myself. No matter where I go, I always take my Mamiya 7ii and at least the 80mm lens. As I was packing for the Rouge Roubaix, I grabbed it, along with two rolls of 220 film, tossed it in my bag and took off for Louisiana. Most of the photos I shot were of landscapes, the vernacular, with a few Argonaut ‘lifestyle’ photos mixed in from the race.
Personally, I can never get enough of that Southern architecture and live oak trees…
Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm
Kodak Portra 400
When Ben from Argonaut Cycles designed and developed his first road frame, he was content, but that didn’t mean his desire to create the best made in the USA carbon fiber road frame was sated. Ben knew the market was changing and wanted to have even more options for his customers to select when purchasing a custom bike.
With the popularity of gravel / dirt rides and races, he knew that his current racing geometry would need some finessing and with the increasing demand for disc brakes, the opportunity arose to adapt.
A bike suited for off-road riding has a few tweaks to the geometry. The rear end will be slightly longer, the bottom bracket, just slightly lower and the head tube loses around half a degree. This enables the bike to still handle fast on sealed roads, but really be at home on dirt. Tire clearances are important as well. These bikes fit a 28mm tubeless road tire with ease, which is all you need for gravel. Remember, this isn’t a cross bike.
The Argonaut Disc Road bikes that the Rapha / River City Bicycles team rode during the Rouge Roubaix were developed for off-road conditions, while staying true to their race machine pedigree.
For those familiar with the Di2 hydro system, you’ll note the front plate of the shifters were painted black. Other than that, it’s pretty straight forward. 140mm disc rotors, Argonaut Made in the USA frameset, ENVE bars, ENVE stem, ENVE wheels with custom decals and dripping with Chris King’s precision components.
Tim from the team has the first production model. After an afternoon of shooting photos and video of the bike in action, I took it out for some portrait photos.
This bike ripped apart the dirt and stood out from the pack at the Rouge Roubaix. See more in the Gallery!