The Argon 18 E-118 Next is a great bike. After spending quite a bit of time with it at Interbike last year while talking with the engineers who built it, we came away impressed. But far too often we see consumers in the US just pass Argon 18 by. We aren’t sure if it’s due to a lack of dealer presence here, lack of marketing, or something else. But with the launch of their new E-117 and E-119 bikes, this won’t be a problem for long.
The new E-117 and E-119 frames check all the boxes we have when it comes to new triathlon \ TT frames (yes, there is UCI legality here with the E-117). Hidden brakes and cabling? Check! Travel friendly? Check! Onboard nutrition? Check! And then Argon 18 kicked it up a notch with their new Tri+ concept.
The Tri+ concept is a holistic approach that provides a complete racing solution for athletes. Argon 18 Tri+ bikes are equipped with integrated storage solutions for hydration, nutrition, and survivability. These accessories were designed with aerodynamics in mind to complement the existing aero shapes found on the new frames.
The Argon 18 E-119 and E-119+
The E-119 is the successor to the aforementioned E-118 Next and is Argon 18’s definition of a triathlon super bike (no UCI-legal sticker here).
The E-119 boasts an aerodynamic gain of 14.89% over the already speedy E-118 Next. To obtain those gains the E-119 has a fully integrated front end. The front brake is hidden behind a cover, while the rear brake is tucked into the top of the seat stays (making it both aero and easy to adjust). The brakes themselves feature 25mm of additional tire clearance to make on-the-go tire swaps a breeze.
The E-119 features triathlon-specific geometry with a 78º seat tube and adjustable saddle position from +28mm to -28mm.
With the E-119+ you get a lighter high modulus carbon frame. Attached to that you get a BTA bottle, bento box (that matches the frame shapes), and rear saddle mount.
The Argon 18 E-117 and E-117+
Where the E-119 is the next generation superbike, the E-117 is the bike built for everyone. That includes those who may just want to master a single sport instead of attempting to master three. Yes, this frame is UCI legal.
Like the E-119, the E-117 boasts a travel friendly design and aerodynamic frame. The E-117 uses Argon 18’s “traditional” 3D stem system which offers three head tube heights for every frame size by using fitted spacers that also increase rigidity by 5% at 15mm and 11% at 25mm (when compared to traditional spacers). The front brake is located behind the fork and, like the E-119 the E-117, has the rear located at the top of the seat tubes. However, it’s exposed rather than hidden.
With the Tri+ build, the E-117+ gets you the same benefits as the E-119+. You get a lighter carbon layup as compared to the E-117 as well as the attached nutrition and storage features fount on the E-119+.
As first looks go, we think this is a pretty exciting one. At a glance, both the E-117 and E-119 check off all the boxes we look for when we start considering a new bike. We especially like how much thought went into the onboard nutrition and storage needs of the athlete and how to minimize the aero impacts. These are bikes that truly deserve a second look at your local bike shop. And as always, stay tuned for a closer look at Argon 18’s aero data, plus some hands-on time at Interbike (just a few weeks away now!).