Argon 18 Interview: Why the custom market is important

Mark Sutton
Argon 18 Interview: Why the custom market is important

With North American race legend Gervais Rioux having hand-raised the Argon 18 brand, you can be sure performance is second to none. But what’s in it for the stockist? Mark Sutton asks I-ride’s Tom Marchment who explains what support is in place to market the brand in the UK, how retailers can get some hands-on experience with the bikes and also touches on the many technical aspects of a typical build for which the brand is renowned…

What sets Argon 18’s bikes apart from the competition?
There are obvious features like the adjustable 3D head-tubes that allow headtube lengths to be altered and hence offer a much more customisable fit, while not compromising headtube stiffness or fork steerer warranty like standard headset spacers. Of course, normal headset spacers can be combined with the 3D system for even greater adjustability. The 3D headtubes also allow for rider position changes, especially as fitness and experience improve and allow for a lower, more aero position. Thanks to the 3D system’s adaptability dealers can simplify their range, no need for sportive and race specific frames. Argon 18 can outperform the competition in both areas.

A lot of tailored work goes into a carbon Argon 18 build – can you tell us a bit about how each frame is unique?
A very important part of the Argon 18 ethos is that geometry and tubing for each size should be optimised and this performance improvement not be restrained by cost. This ideal means geometry and tube alterations occur through the size ranges; this is known as the Argon Fit System (AFS). Using different shaped and sized tubes with altered wall thicknesses and re-enforcements across the size range are more expensive to produce, but it produces much improved ride qualities, handling and power transfer. So each frame size is suited to the weight and power of the rider.

Does the firm offer goods fitted to both men and women?
Argon 18 offers some very small and large sizing and thanks to the tailored tube shapes and 3D customisable headtube length their frames will fit almost any rider. Female or male, tall or short, each rider is different and so allowing customisation and building in tailored tubes and geometries provides for the best fit.

Argon 18 has its own YouTube channel – what content is uploaded here?
This channel is simply a great way to see how much Argon 18 and its athletes put into developing the frames. A great example is the video of multiple World Champion and long-time Argon 18 athlete Tjorbjorn Sindballe testing the E-114 in the wind tunnel. There are also loads of videos of how the frames are put to use in professional races and training.

What back-up support can I-ride offer the Argon 18 dealer?
We pride ourselves on our dealer support and thus we offer excellent POS, provide in-store staff training, are always willing to attend demo events. I-ride also has a full consumer marketing campaign, including important exhibitions, regular full page road and triathlon advertising and great product reviews and coverage. In fact, editorial product coverage is pretty easy to achieve as journalists are just riders and so they get excited about the benefits of Argon 18 just like ourselves, our dealers and the end consumers do.

Are there any criteria to be met to become an Argon 18 dealer?
Argon 18 products are fairly technical in nature and our end users require excellent support from their stockists, so we welcome any retailers to apply who feel the product fits with their portfolio and technical capabilities.

Where are service and warranty requests handled and by whom?
We handle all warranties in our technical service department here at I-ride and our turn-around is very quick. We also carry a wide inventory of Argon 18 spares and parts.

Are framesets available, as well as complete bikes? What price does each range begin at?
We offer two complete bikes: the world championship winning, but great value E-80 Aero bike at £1,635; and the full-carbon Krypton from only £1,999, which is actually a trickle down frame and so is almost identical to last year’s top of the range Gallium Pro.
There are several Road and Aero frames ranging from to £800 to £2,800. Argon 18’s expertise has also been applied to produce excellent cyclo-cross and track bikes, which we also stock here at I-ride.

Can a dealer request a custom build through I-ride?
We are distributors for Fulcrum, Campagnolo, Continental, and 3T, so can prepare complete bike orders using these parts for shops to custom build.

I-ride: 01444 243000

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Tags: fulcrum , argon18 , campagnolo , 3t , i-ride

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