I would have thought Prolly would have opted for a boutique aluminium frame…
Before he even began to sketch out his design, he met with the carbon engineers, who reverse-engineered some of his favorite steel tubesets, and improved upon their weaknesses. Ben wanted his bikes to have the same ride characteristics of his steel bikes, just more technologically advanced. He came to loosely call this “steel 2.0″ but you should take that with a grain of salt because let’s face it, carbon fiber is not steel.
This bike is however a by-product of domestic engineering and fabrication. The carbon weave is from the States. It’s cut to shape, moulded by a proprietary process, assembled and finished all within an hour drive from Portland. The process used produces very little waste. There’s no hodgepodge assemblage, no messy resin and it’s 100% custom. Basically, it’s a streamlined process that utilizes technologies that allow each frame to be engineered to a customer’s specific needs.
That’s what had me intrigued in Argonaut and so I agreed to come on board. Soon, I started to hear the echos of “steel is real” in the back of my head, however. I knew my Bishop is as perfect as a steel bike could be. The geometry is dialed and I’ve never ridden anything like it. So I approached Ben with the idea to make the exact same bicycle, just with his new carbon manufacturing process.
Dimensions, trail, geometry, were all the same, just the profile changed a bit to a racier silhouette. Even the tube’s proprietary layup were influenced by the same steel that my Bishop is built from. Bottom line is, I wanted to be able to subjectively compare the two materials.
At the risk of sound like a contrarian I don’t think Prolly’s writing is over the top, he’s just into it. Blogging by it’s very nature is masturbatory … not saying enough and nobody will read it, write with some enthusiasm and haters are all quick to dispel it as advertorial.
FWIW, I like the look of the bike, hard to see some of the overall build (well, it’s carbon) but it certainly looks tasty.