The E-118 Pro at the Tour de France

2019-07-19

The Tour de France is here and so is the new E-118 Pro.

Our World Tour partnership with Astana Pro Team is a perfect opportunity to push ourselves tirelessly in order to provide athletes with state-of-the-art products designed to exceed their needs and expectations. Because every possible performance gain will make a difference in the toughest races, we made it our top priority from the very start of our collaboration to supply them with faster, more aero and reactive bikes. 

A little over a year ago, Astana Pro Team came to us with a request to refine our TT bike. The objective was clear, shave seconds on the TT stages in Grand Tours. Our new E-118 platform is partly the result of long discussions with them regarding specific time trial needs. They wanted the bike to be lighter, faster, with more aggressive riding positioning options.

THE TESTS

In the design phase, we used computer simulations to benchmark ideas, help us define a new pro-level carbon lay-up and integrate disc brakes without penalizing aero performance. We also made it our top priority to listen to both staff and riders so that we could gather product feedback at every opportunity we had and take them into account in our design process.

Once we settled on a final design and carbon lay-up, we supplied Astana Pro Team with prototypes to be tested and validated by team members in the velodrome and on the road. In October 2018, Hugo Houle was the first rider of the team to test a E-118 Pro prototype in the velodrome in Canada. In December, Gorka Izagirre tested in the velodrome and on the roads of Spain. 

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“After going to the velodrome to test the new TT bike and going out on the road in real conditions, I could feel a clear advantage using the new bike. The course we used on the road was not totally flat, because we wanted to test cornering, accelerations, handling among other things. I like the E-118 Pro a lot. I am more stable, have better accelerations and cornering, and feel faster overall” – Gorka Izagirre, Astana Pro Team.

We then corroborated the gains that we were seeing in simulations, riders were gaining an average of 8 to 10 watts at 50 km/h compared to their previous bike, the E-118 Next. It became clear that our new disc equipped TT bike was faster than the previous generation.

THE BIKE

Our no-compromise Time Trial bike developed with and for Astana Pro Team allows superior handling and exceptional responsiveness, corners better and climbs like no other bike in its category. 

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“The new E118 Pro is the result of the optimal collaboration between a bike manufacturer and a pro cycling team. There have been numerous exchanges between the riders and technical staff of Astana Pro Team and our R&D team in order to design the next level of Time Trial bike. Our partnership allowed us to challenge ourselves to reach new levels and now, with this new bike, we look forward to many more victories.” – Gervais Rioux, Founder Argon 18.

The frontal area of the bike as been completely reviewed starting with the new version of our full-carbon handlebar and stem combo. While maintaining its stiffness, it allows a lower fit window, making it easier for riders to get into aero position and reduce the drag of the handlebar. Combined with new Armrest cups and pads locking down the forearms at the extension bars for better front-end control.

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THE RACE

The TT version of the E-118 platform is now ready to tackle the biggest races cycling offers. The Triathlon version of the very same bike, the E-118 Tri+ will become available for purchase in 2020.

 

Photos by Zuperdehlie

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