HDS : one of the pillars of optimal balance

HDS-short for Horizontal Dual System- is the primary principle behind the optimal balance of ride characteristics in Argon 18 bicycles. For more than a decade, the HDS concept has remained the central, unchanging tenet behind all the development work at Argon 18. HDS is why those who try an Argon 18 usually point out the bike’s remarkable road manners and brilliant performance. Our tests confirm that our bikes are at least as rigid as the majority of products on the market but also more comfortable. How do we manage to combine these often mutually exclusive qualities?

The basic idea is simple: different frame tubes carry different loadings and stresses and one way to differentiate between the two primary types of loading is to divide the frame in upper and lower sections along a diagonal line spanning the frame from the upper headtube to the rear dropouts.

  • Below this line, the priority is to fully transfer the cyclist’s power to the rear wheel for maximum forward motion; this requires lateral rigidity in the downtube, bottom bracket area and chainstays.
  • The upper section primarily bears the rider’s weight and must be compliant, in order to absorb and dissipate road shock and vibration.

A number of elements are involved in achieving this:

  • The materials used: each grade of carbon fiber has its specific properties, as do the various aluminum alloys.
  • The carbon fiber layup configuration: number of plies, fiber orientation.
  • Tube size and shape: all else being equal, for a given material, larger tubes yield greater stiffness.

Achieving optimal balance is a balancing act, a delicate tweaking of many factors and details. The real value of all this is something you can readily feel on the road.

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