In collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Style, Argon 18 has produced a stunning road bike, with minimalist aesthetics belying maximum performance. It's called the Silver 47, named for the atomic number of the element silver (like "Argon 18" itself), as well as a specific shade of silver used historically on various Mercedes-Benz models. So what makes this machine different from all others?
The bike is based on Argon 18's "Krypton GF" platform. Made of carbon fiber, it's light and fast like a pro-tour bike, but with engineering changes to make it sit more comfortably and ride smoother over the road than most bikes. "GF" actually stands for "Gran Fondo," which is an Italian term for a long, beautiful ride.
If you like cars, think of it like this: If the grand tour race bikes are the equivalent of Mercedes-AMG GT R coupes, this bike is more like an S63 sedan – still fast and powerful when you want, but also able to slow down and enjoy the drive itself.
"At Argon 18, aerodynamics are important on all bikes, whether the design emphasis is on performance or comfort. Working with CFD software helps us understand and minimize drag on our frames early in the design phase. It enables us to design more aerodynamically efficient frames while minimizing time spent testing our bikes in the wind tunnel."
Pierre Legay Structural AND CFD Analyst Argon 18.
On any true performance bike, better aerodynamics help the rider save time and energy over longer distances. This becomes very important for any cyclist on an endurance bike who, after spending long hours riding, wants to get to the top of the last climb with aplomb.
Here again, our years of experience designing world class race, triathlon, and track bikes with serious aerodynamic credentials were put to good use.
The new fork uses a truncated foil design that optimizes airflow off the leading edge of the bike. This is balanced with the TCS (Topological Compliance System).
The starting point for the downtube shape was the nose of a foil. We refined the design to maximize airflow between the downtube and the bottle and made adjustments that ensured aerodynamic efficiency across the entire length.
For the new Kryptons we used an Asymmetric Hybrid Airfoil seat stay design or AHF profile shape. The design’s shape is compliant with our TCS and generates a low-pressure system on the inside of the seat stay blade that smooths rough air caused by the wheels motion.
To achieve the optimal balance of comfort and performance from our endurance line, we needed a great geometry. In conjunction with the best geometry, we also needed perfect frame topology and carbon lay-up.
Through extensive research and analysis of stiffness, resistance, and aerodynamics using FEA and CFD software, we set out to design frames and forks that offer exceptional vertical compliance and react positively to road-induced vibrations.
At the same time, they needed to remain impervious to lateral movement, thus ensuring maximum pedaling efficiency for optimal performance. Our concept Topological Compliance System, was validated by numerous iterations of frames and forks tested both on the road and in our research and development laboratory using proprietary vibration testing tools. All the development and testing lead to this level of comfort and performance.