Argon 18, established in 1989, may not have 50 years of history behind them but the passion, technology, and cutting edge design the company puts forth keeps them at the forefront of the cycling industry. Argon 18 was founded by Gervais Rioux in Montreal, Quebec Canada. He named the brand after the element Argon, which is number 18 on the periodic table of elements.
Fast forward to 2011, Argon 18 has launched a new model of the E-80 bike that can be used for time trial and triathlon racing. Once upon a time, the E-80 was known as the Mercury. Argon 18 changed the name to fit its sister bikes, the e114 and e112.
The 2011 Argon 18 E-80 we tested came equipped with SRAM S80 carbon clinchers, TT900 shift levers, SRAM Force braze-on front derailleur, Force 53×39 172.5 crank, Force rear derailleur, PC 1071 chain, Force 11×16 cassette, FSA OS 150/110 stem, Profile T2 base bar (with Profile T1 clip-on extensions), Michelin Pro Race 3 tires, and an Argon saddle. To say the least, the build that came with the E-80 was aggressive.
By just looking at the Argon 18 2011 E-80, it’s apparent that speed is what it was built for. One factor is its aerodynamic design that cuts the wind like a hot knife to butter. Drag was reduced by the Teardrop down tube, a feeling noted on the trails.
In addition to its light, aero-design, the E-80 proved itself responsive on winding roads—even at high-speeds, its handling was superb, hugging the road tight on each turn.
The components on the 2011 E-80 were light, but the overall lightness came from the frame and fork. The frame weighs in at 1650 grams, and the fork is 495 grams, both constructed of 3005 T3 triple butted aluminum.
While the E-80 performed like a champ on the road, the bike is also aesthetically appealing, themed white, red and black in color with a smooth, fast-looking frame design.
If you are just starting out or in the intermediate class in time trial or triathlon cycling, the Argon 18 2011 E-80 is a great buy, as you can purchase frame, fork, and seat post for around $1,200.
For additional info on the E-80, visit Argon 18. To learn about purchasing the bike, visit Sinclair Imports.