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  5. Buyer’s Guide 2017: Argon 18 Krypton

Buyer’s Guide 2017: Argon 18 Krypton

#14 in Endurance

  • SCORE 85/100
  • SIZE M
  • WEIGHT 17.55 pounds
  • MSRP $4,000.00
SCORE 85/100
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LAB 16.6/20(.76mm BB deflection; .58mm head tube deflection)
BUILD 13.7/15
COMFORT 12.2/15
VALUE 12.9/15
HANDLING 13.1/15
PEDALING RESPONSE 13.6/15
AESTHETICS 2.9/5

Subtlety is one of the Krypton’s strengths. With this matte black bike, Argon 18 found a happy balance between traditional touches, like rim brakes and predictable road geometry, and less-ordinary features, like variable head tube length.

The frame is sleek and modern with red accents and seat stays that rise to the seat tube, just below the top tube junction. The BB86 bottom bracket gives the Krypton a stout look, but surprisingly, this frame didn’t perform as well as the majority of bikes in our Buyer’s Guide tests.

Things get interesting when you arrive at the head tube. Here, Argon 18 features its 3D system, which has three press-fit options (0, 15, and 25 millimeters) to alter the bike’s head tube height. The Canadian company claims this preserves the frame’s stiffness. That may be true, but the Krypton was solidly mid-pack when we tested its head tube deflection.

With a 72.7-degree head tube angle and a 989mm wheelbase, the Krypton’s handling felt steady and familiar.

However, our medium-size tester was outfitted with a curiously short 90-millimeter stem. Paired with a 55.6-millimeter top tube, this helped the Krypton fit some riders, but if you have a long torso or arms, you may need to swap that FSA stem for a longer option.

Beyond the core frameset, Argon 18 picked a sensible combination of parts, between Ultegra Di2 shifting and no-nonsense alloy Vision wheels. The Canadian brand did splurge a bit with Vittoria Open Corsa CX tires, which gave the Krypton a lively feel that belied its slightly heavy 17.55 pounds.

If you’re trying to make up your mind about the Krypton, it really comes down to fit and geometry (as it should for most bikes). The head tube system is novel, although perhaps not essential for every rider to get the fit they want. The short stem and compact FSA bars also make the cockpit feel a bit less traditional, moving your center of gravity back. But if it does suit your measurements and preferences, the Krypton is a nice all-rounder with a trouble-free medley of parts.

Component highlights: Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, Vision Team 30 wheels, FSA Omega handlebars.

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