The Nitrogen is built to uphold Argon 18's 'Optimal Balance' mantra of light weight, rigidity and comfort with the added benefit of enhanced aerodynamics. The company has been producing carbon frames since 2001 and this experience has led to a lay-up that's stiff where it's needed for power transfer while maintaining compliance to reduce road buzz. Argon 18 claims this balance means no sacrifices need to be made in the design.
Argon 18's BB drop design is also present here, with the stiff BB86 bottom bracket placed closer to the ground than is traditional, which Argon 18 says enhances stability and handling. Above the BB, the seat tube hugs the rear wheel while the seatstays are fixed low on the tube and meet horizontally at the top for better aerodynamics.
Claimed frame weight is an impressive 960g and though the down tube isn't a deep foil shape, Argon 18 says wind tunnel data, which will be published on its website, shows the Nitrogen boasts industry leading performance. The back of down tube is also flattened to allow the use of a regular round drinks bottle with less of a drag penalty.
Argon 18's 3D System – a series of screw in spacers to extend the head tube height without sacrificing stiffness – has been updated for the Nitrogen. The new Aero 3D system uses a press fit configuration to achieve the same goal, which Argon 18 says eliminates any creaking, and is covered by variously-sized aero caps following the aerodynamic lines of head tube.
The Aero 3D system uses press-fitted head tube extenders to maintain stiffness, with an aero-shaped cover
The brakes were co-developed between Argon 18 and TRP specifically for the Nitrogen and so fit within the bike's smooth aero profile. The front V-brake nuzzles the back of the fork, giving the bike an exceptionally smooth-looking head-on profile. As with Cervelo's new S5, Argon 18 has eschewed the positioning of an aero brake under the chainstays in favour of the traditional seatstay placement, which the company says is easier to maintain. Argon 18's setup is slightly integrated into the shape of the seatstays to keep drag to an absolute minimum.
The clever Aero SP5000 seat post is not only reversible, giving 72 or 76.5-degree effective seat angles; the clamp is also movable, bringing the seat angle to 78 degrees. This facilitates zero bottom bracket-to-saddle setback if desired – perfect for TT positioning – underlining the versatility Argon 18 has been striving for with the whole of the Nitrogen's design.
As well as the new Nitrogen, Argon 18's revamped 2015 range includes a redesigned Krypton road bike, which now uses more relaxed geometry and a 27.2mm seatpost and slots into the lineup alongside the company's Gallium pro racing bikes and the Nitrogen.
There's also the new Krypton Xroad, a gravel-racing inspired model similar to the GT Grade with a slightly longer wheelbase, chunkier rear triangle, clearance for 32mm rubber and disc brakes. The Xroad uses Argon 18's exclusive new 5750 HM carbon, which the company says keeps things comfy as well as stiff on the rough stuff.
The Xroad will take the rough with the smooth for gravel racing and everyday riding
The Nitrogen will be available as a frameset for £2,099.99 (US / AUS TBC), with Dura-Ace for £4,499.99 or Ultegra for £3,499.99.
The Krypton Xroad comes in at £1,399.99 or with Shimano 105 for £2,999.99.