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BOTW: Rhett's Argonaut

by Anthony Little |

We've only been working with Argonaut Cycles out of Bend Oregon for a few months now so we really haven't had much to show up to now seeing how build time is 8-10 weeks currently. But the frames are slowly starting to trickle in starting with this one. If you started cycling in the late 80's and 90's the fade paint scheme is nothing new to you, but it's been a while. Ben (Argonaut founder) talked us into an orange and white fade for our shop bike and this customer liked it enough to do one of his own. We liked it out of the box, but fully built it is even better. This bike was actually built to race in the Rouge Roubaix, which took place a few weeks ago in Louisiana.

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Argonaut did a great job with our shop bike, building it exactly how we wanted it built. For this bike the customer was looking for a smooth ride, but since he'd be racing it, it still had to have enough snap for the countless accelerations and enough stiffness for the 18 plus percent climbs he'd be throwing at it and then enough stiffness for the final sprint. We spoke to the customer after the race and he was honestly blown away by how good this bike was in all those areas, something we can confirm from the miles on our own Argonaut. You may think you are on a smooth riding bike now, but trying one of these may change your mind.

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We have not done too many integrated seat mast bikes in the past. They can look pretty nice for sure but unless you never plan on traveling (at least with a normal sized bike box) it can be a pain in the ass. This one was on the limit. Not a small bike for sure we did (Barely) fit it in a frame box, but we had to pull the crank to do so. Any bigger than this and it would get harder. BUT, if you don't plan to travel or you have a huge case this looks great and Argonaut can tune an ISP even more than a frame with a standard post.

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Strong titanium dropouts help keep the drivetrain running accurately.

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Argonaut has moved on from PF30 bottom brackets (thank you very much) and are now offering their frames with the BB86 standard. This is a running change and offers a much quieter ride.

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For the complete bike we did a SRAM 22 group with the Quarq power meter and new (and now sold out) Zipp 404 Fire Strike wheels. 3T Rotundo LTD bars, a Fizik Antares 00 saddle and EE brakes round off the build. Thanks to the external cable routing the bike was easy to build and shifts perfectly.

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This particular bike will be spending ample time in the mountains of Georgia so it needs to be able to descend as well as it climbs. Based on our bike at the shop and the first impressions from Rouge Roubaix, Argonaut has the front and rear balanced perfectly which makes descending steep and technical passes a stress free endeavor.

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We did use a Fizik stem but you'd never know because we painted over all the logos which makes it ok to use different parts. At least in our book it does! Problem is, we love the Rotundo bars but are not stoked with the looks of 3T's stems, and while we really do like Fizik Bars we wish they would make a classic short to medium drop bar that looked like these. So until Fizik makes that bar or 3T makes a better looking stem (our opinion) this'll have to do. Unless you like flat transitions to the levers on your bars, then you are good to go with the full Fizik set-up.

The Argonaut is one of the few custom carbon frame builders who spec their frames with a Chris King headset which we are grateful for…

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An 11X25 SRAM Red cassette…

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…paired with a 53X39 standard crank. Have fun in the mountains! :-) But really, he'll stick an 11X28 cassette on for that and if needed, there is always WiFly.

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EE Brakes. For those looking to shed a little weight but still have great braking, this is a great way to go. Plus, they look pretty sweet (and unique) on most bikes.

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Patriotic bumper

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A very clean bottom bracket junction.

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Thanks for taking the time to check out our latest Argonaut! For any questions on how to start your own project like this click here for our contact info!

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