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Cycling Australia and Argon 18 reveal new track bike for Tokyo Olympics

Joe Robinson
26 Feb 2020

The new Argon 18 Electron promises 30% less drag as it searches for Olympic gold

Cycling Australia and Argon 18 have unveiled the new track bikes they hope will lead to Olympic success in Tokyo later this summer and rival the recent collaboration of Hope, Louts and Team GB.

Released ahead of the UCI Track World Championships in Berlin later this week, the Canadian bike brand has worked in collaboration with Cycling Australia, Zipp wheels, Monsah University and Adelaide University to develop the new Electron Pro.

The approach has been to make the frontal portion of the bike as aerodynamic as possible and, interestingly, the collaboration has settled on the complete opposite approach to their British cousins. 

While Hope and Louts developed a bike with exceedingly wide forks, Argon 18 has designed a bike that sees the fork legs squeezed as close to the disc wheel as possible, an approach that it claims reduces drag by as much as 30%.

In this narrowing process, the front axle has shrunk to just 40mm, a third of the usual width you would find on your standard bike. This short axle has also seen Zipp develop its new Super-9 Tubular track wheel to accommodate.

The frame has been refined following computational fluid dynamics analysis and wind tunnel testing and balance between stiffness, weight and aero was decided upon after finite element analysis.

The devil has also been at work with the detail of the bike, too. The frame can feature either drop sprint handlebars or a custom pursuit cockpit.

The sprint handlebars now even feature moulded grips that guide the rider's elbows and shoulders into the most aerodynamic position.

The bike is available to purchase, in line with UCI rules, although at a price of US$18,000 (approx £14,000). Not that price really matters, especially to VP of product at Argon 18, Martin Faubert, who is ultimately striving solely for success.

'This project brought together a team committed to innovation, optimisation and performance,' said Faubert. 'By combining resources to develop the best possible equipment, we now have a bike that pushes the boundaries in every way, giving riders every possible advantage in the quest for gold.'

The collaboration between Argon 18 and Cycling Austalia is the second high-profile partnership ahead of the Tokyo Olympics later this summer after British Cycling's work with Lotus and Hope.

However, unlike the thinking-outside-the-box approach of the British setup, the Argon 18 Electron is a much more conventionally styled bike and quite the beautiful frame, too.

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