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Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso unveil the Aurum Magma

29 Sep 2020
Verdict:

Aurum is the former pros' new bike brand and the Magma is its first bike

The news that Alberto Contador has been sashaying about on a mysterious new bike has been circulating on social media for a few months now, the multiple Grand Tour winner sates the appetites by repeated glimpses of the unmarked frame.

The bike is the Magma, the brand is Aurum.

Aurum was born out of collaboration between Contador and two-time Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso. They say that a combined 30 years of professional experience gave them the desire to design the bikes they had always yearned to use during their sponsor-constrained racing days.

Aurum is Latin for gold: 'the material of winners, the most precious medal and spot on the podium, reflecting both Contador and Basso’s passionate desire for success whether in racing or in business.' 

The pair say they recruited a team of designers and engineers who could create and develop the designs and features Contador and Basso wanted from their product.

Apparently the former pros provided input on aspects like handling and geometry, tube shapes and ride characteristics. Then they were heavily involved with the testing and refinement process out on the road – thanks to their extensive experience the brand says they could give invaluable feedback.

Two years of development, one successful Everesting attempt and a claimed half a million kilometres ridden on various prototypes later, the pair say the Magma is the realisation of their ambition.

 

Lightweight and aero

'People say why? The market is full already, no? For sure it is hard, but so is the TdF,' says Contador. 'We will do the best thing we can, and work hard at this the way we did as racers.

'It’s still our passion. It’s a lifestyle. For me it’s a huge challenge but that motivates me. I feel like my experience means I have a lot to give a project like this. It is a personal motivation to give 100% like we did as bike racers.'

So named due to the thousands of metres of elevation climbed on Mt Teide during the frame's development, Contador says the Magma is not purely about light weight, but rather aims to balance that with aerodynamics, stiffness and comfort. For those following the fortunes of literally any modern race bike, those claims will come as no surprise.

 

Aurum says it has the stats to justify its claims though. The brand used high-end production methods to create a claimed frame weight of 850g for a size medium – it used latex-coated EPS mandrels during the fabrication process to aid carbon compaction and minimise excess materials inside the frame, for example.

The forks and front triangle in particular are formed with aerodynamic efficiency in mind, their truncated airfoil profiles the result of CFD modelling and time spent in the University of Milan's wind tunnel.

 

Practical touches

Aurum says an important aero feature on the Magma, and one of the bike's more distinctive areas visually, is the cavity underneath the stem at the top of the headtube. Aurum dubs this the 'Head Tunnel' and it exists to route cables inside the frame from the bars.

Apparently this is an efficient way to internally route cables while still allowing for a conventional cockpit setup.

 

The brand says stiffness is promoted though the use of a BB386Evo bottom bracket, which allows the tubes forming the bottom bracket junction to flare out and promote lateral stiffness while maintaining space for 30mm tyres.

What's more, the chainstays and seatstays are moulded as one piece, which Aurum says makes that frame portion stronger and lighter thanks to there being no overlapping material or bonds.

While the Magma's stated performance objectives are no different to its competitors, the Magma design diverges from the norm at the seatstays, which remain a part of the seat tube cluster and are not dropped.

 

Aurum says the seatstays' long spans of thin tubing promote comfort as they are able to flex. Contador suggests that even pro riders' benefit from a bit of cushion, and Aurum wanted the bike to appeal to more comfort-orientated riders as well as racers.

The Magma is the only offering from Aurum just now and is available in three high-spec builds, with prices starting at €9799 (approx £8885). The frameset can be had for €4099 (£3700). 

Cyclist has a test sample of the bike so be sure to check out the review feature in a future issue of the magazine.

Price: 
Bike from: €9799 ; Frameset: €4099

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