2018 Argon 18 Nitrogen Ultegra M
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The newest hot rod in the Argon 18 family is the Canadian company’s first aero road bike. The Nitrogen—designed as the primary weapon for the sprinters of the BORA-Argon 18 Continental pro team—is built for speed, obviously, but it also upholds the brand’s “Optimal Balance” philosophy: equal emphasis on light weight, rigidity and comfort.
Like all aero road frames, the shaping of the Nitrogen’s tubes speaks to this bike’s purpose: cutting a clean line through the wind and minimizing drag. It’s aimed at sprinters, breakaway artists, and anyone who spends time riding solo including shorter distance triathletes.
The aero engineering starts up front with a modified version of Argon 18’s 3D head tube system. This technology allows you to structurally adjust the head tube height so that you can raise or lower the handlebar position without the usual crutch of traditional headset spacers.
According to Argon 18 test results, raising the bar 15mm with the 3D system results in 5 percent more rigidity compared to standard setups. And raising it 25mm saves you 11 percent more rigidity. The 3D adjuster pieces on the Nitrogen have a special aero shape that integrates with the frame, complementing the narrow profile of the head tube’s hourglass shape.
Beneath the head tube, the Nitrogen’s monocoque carbon fiber fork was designed using extensive CFD modeling to pair up with the frame and provide maximum aero advantage without sacrificing weight or rigidity. The front brake, co-developed by Argon 18 and TRP specifically for the Nitrogen, is tucked neatly behind the fork, away from the wind. The control cables route cleanly into the top tube, just behind the stem, to further enhance the clean look of the cockpit area. And the trailing side of the downtube has a flattened profile, a design aimed at using standard round water bottles with minimal drag.
The Nitrogen also features Argon 18’s Horizontal Dual System, which balances stiffness and compliance for a comfortable ride. Imagine a diagonal line running from the head tube down to the rear dropouts. Everything below the line represents the “Power Zone,” where rigidity matters most. In the case of the Nitrogen, that means a stiff, aero-shaped head tube up front to ensure crisp, precise handling while cornering or sprinting, combined with a massive bottom bracket area and asymmetrical chainstays to maximize every bit of energy you put into the pedals. The threadless BB86 bottom bracket further boosts stiffness with no added weight.
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