There are superbikes, then there are superbikes. The difference here is the former are mass produced, albeit in small quantities, in a stock size run. The latter, the true superbikes, are completely custom, one-off, purpose-built machines with no detail too small to be considered or too expensive to be left out. Argonaut's latest Disc Road bike claims to be "the best possible bike that could be built."
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Who is Argonaut?
Ben Farver is the man behind Argonaut. It wasn't always about carbon, he started building steel frames in Portland, Oregon, in 2007. In 2011, Farver jumped into custom carbon fiber frames made by hand in the USA.
Argonaut Disc Road bike specs
- Molded carbon dropouts with Mavic Speed Release rear thru-axle
- Direct mount rear derailleur hanger
- T47 bottom bracket and Chris King T47 24x or 30i threaded bottom bracket
- Clearance for 32mm wide tire
- ENVE Road Disc Fork, flat mount disc caliper and Mavic Speed Release front axle
- Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain and discs
- Full internal brake hose and Di2 wiring with internal handlebar Di2 junction box
- ENVE 3.4 disc wheels with Schwalbe Pro One 25c tubeless tires
- ENVE stem and seatpost
- PRO Carbon handlebar with Di2 wiring integration
- Claimed bike weight: 15.7lbs with pedals and bottle cages (size 54)
- Price: £11,667 / $15,300 / AU$ TBD
Why's it unique?
First off, each Argonaut road frame is completely unique. Every frame is built by hand in Bend, Oregon, from US-sourced carbon that's laid up specifically to address the individual rider's needs and wants.
Even the aluminum molds in which the carbon is laid are built by Argonaut.
Both the front and rear thru-axles use Mavic's Speed Release set-up to enable quick wheel changes. The system is composed of a standard threaded dropout on one side but an open dropout on the opposite side. This means that the thru-axle itself does not need to be removed entirely from the wheel and bike frame, rather once it's unscrewed, the wheel (with the axle still slipped through the hub) can slide out of the frame or fork.
Finally, there's the ride quality that Argonaut claims. Farver notes, “ride quality comes first, it is what Argonaut is all about. Providing our customers with a bike tailored perfectly for their needs is our goal for every bike that leaves the shop."
Along those same lines, instead of introducing new bikes each model year, Argonaut counters with saying "Every Argonaut produced is the best possible bike that could be built at that time."
Want to try one first?
Anyway you slice it, nearly $15,000/£12,000is an eye-watering amount of money. Argonaut knows this and plans on having a few 'Test Flights' where potential customers can get an in-person look and take one for a test ride. The first will be near San Francisco on November 12-13.
The Test Flights include a 45-minute ride, some individual time to talk about the ride, and of course, Argonaut will be happy to explain how it can make a bike tailored for you. Interested? Visit the Argonaut Flight Test page for a reservation.