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Argon 18 KRYPTON Ultegra - XRD (2011)

Editor's Review


Comfort and reliability


Heavy saddle and seat combo, ugly head tube configuration.


Argon 18 is a cycle manufacturer from Canada. It started its beginnings in 1989 by Gervais Rioux in Montreal, Quebec. Ex-Olympian Gervais Rioux designs the frames using aluminium and a blend of carbon monocoque. The name is derived from the element, which is number 18 on the periodic table of elements; it's also one of six natural noble gases. The company's bikes use names derived from other elements. The bikes are now distributed in 31 countries.

My experience with the last model of the Krypton wasn’t a particularly positive one. Being an XL frame it had way to much flex to the point where it felt unsafe. Seated climbing you could feel the frame twisting and moving under every pedal stroke. So it was with apprehension that we tested the new model.

Made up of their own blend of monocoque carbon the complete bike comes in at 8.1 kg without pedals. That is for the large frame in their line up. The paint work is finished of nicely but like a car crash I couldn’t help but stare at the bulky mass that was under the stem.

The 3D adjustable head tube design is an eye sore. I kind of understand the idea behind it where as you can adjust the height of the head tube but after spending 11 years bike fitting customers I have never thought I wish I could just increase the size of the head tube. I would go to the geometry and choose a bike that had the correct geometry to suit the rider I was sizing up.

It seems like an additional weight addition with the oversized headset bearings, spacers and locking collar to achieve what you can normally with a standard spacer arrangement.

The ride was stiffer and more solid than the predecessor which was comforting. The last time I tested the Krypton without hands I nearly ended up on the ground so it was a little nerve wracking when I removed my hands to complete the test. Thankfully Argon has fixed the problem much to my relief.

Sluggish would be a word that kept coming to mind while riding the Krypton and with a change of tyres only making a slight improvement this frame will be more suited to long road rides as opposed to a tight Criterium circuit.

Rav X rounds out the cockpit and saddle arrangement. Not up there in Café credibility but were quality components none the less.

Overall a well spec bike with top level drivetrain, this will be one for the weekend warrior wanting second level groupset without forking out the big bucks that generally comes with it.


After years, the Krypton Ultegra has been revamped to create a much better ride than before. Parts and components have been upgraded to ensure that it lives up to its potential. The bike now carries a whole dash of efficiency while also offering extra rigidity right where it’s needed. It also has a newly designed fork that was made to match the new frame’s design and capabilities. It is a unique machine that deserves more than a glance.

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Name:KRYPTON Ultegra - XRD
Brand: Argon 18
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