Argon 18

by: Guri Randhawa @The_PRW
June 13th, 2017

Let’s flashback to the year 2000. Picture PRW as a start up 800 square foot shop, on the 2nd floor of an old house in the vibrant community of Garneau, Edmonton, Alberta. It was a time when mountain bikes were the norm, and high-end road bikes were dropped in a mere corner in most shops. I was a young racer who had the enthusiasm of a new business owner but without any of the jadedness that hits bike shop owners through the years (that part came later…). I started the shop with some key road brands: Giant, Lemond, Olmo and Pinarello. I had a bit of everything, the mainstream with Giant, and older brands such as Pinarello and Olmo. One thing that was missing was a strong Canadian brand with some good racing heritage. I was too small for some of the other Canadian brands to take a risk on, so no dice there. A rep came in from a smaller Canadian brand at the time called Argon 18. They were fairly new but very tech driven and had strong ties to racing. I was interested but being new and small I could not support the brand properly and felt, at the time, it deserved a small race oriented shop truly devoted to it. I was disappointed but I knew there would come a time when I could take it on my terms. That time has come and I am super excited to add Argon 18 to our portfolio of race proven brands.

So, a few things on Argon 18. No, it’s not just a Tri brand. Yes, they make amazing Road and Track bikes.

Over the years I felt that Argon 18 was viewed as a Tri only company. Not true. They do make some amazing Tri/TT bikes, but I feel their strength is in road bikes and the way they fit. Argon 18 was established in Montreal in 1989 by Gervais Rioux. Rioux represented Canada in major races such as the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Gervais also started his own shop during that time, which is still running in Montreal. Being a former Pro racer and Bike shop owner gives Gervais a unique perspective on the bicycle industry. He understands the current climate in retail and all the challenges the bike industry faces, and he also sees this from the angles of a manufacturer and an IBD.

“I’m very pleased to announce that my friend Guri Randhawa from Pedalhead Road Works has become our newest Argon Dealer in Western Canada. I am are very excited to be working with him knowing his passion for cycling and his dedication and support in the bike industry - Gervais Rioux”

So, as I always like to answer when we add something, why? Why Argon and why now? Without rambling a novel, as I have the habit of doing, let’s get to the point. They get it. They understand fit with the 3D Headtube. They understand the importance of sponsorship of Pro Teams to get R&D and valuable testing. They are the current sponsors of the Astana Men’s and Women’s Pro Teams, Danish National Track Team, and, one of my personal favorite and longest running teams, Team Jelly Belly. They create relationships with dealers and they understand the importance of a strong dealer network. They are a Canadian company, which may not be important to everyone, but it’s important to me. I love supporting a Canadian brand that is fighting with the big guys on the world tour!

I can go on and on, but long story short, I am really happy that Argon 18 is excited that I am on board. I’ve always kept in touch with them over the years and my good friend Johnny at Argon has always given me the soft sell over a proper glass of Gin and I have always answered “its not ‘no,’ its just ‘not yet’.” Timing is everything in our industry and I felt the timing was perfect. I always like to have a 3-5 year plan and Argon 18 is along the same path. There are some amazing things coming down the line that I can’t talk about yet, but will make sense in a month, I promise. Did I mention how great Gervais is? Yah, maybe it’s a man crush, or maybe its pure respect. He’s a super genuine guy who I can’t say enough kind words about. He came by the shop a couple years back to show a new prototype of what became the Nitrogen Pro. I wasn’t even a dealer and he was proud to show off the latest his company came out with for the riders on Bora-Argon. How many owners of bike companies still go into dealers? Cancel that, how many owners of bike brands go into prospective dealers? I will answer that for you, not many. When I decided to add Argon I received a call at home from Gervais himself. He was in Europe with Astana going over the new bikes but he wanted to thank me for getting on board and was genuinely excited about our partnership. I was simply blown away that he personally took the time to call me, again reflecting his personal involvement in the company that he started and his belief in PRW.

I know you trust me when we add a brand that it will meet our strict criteria, and Argon 18 is no different. I know it will add greater depth to our already amazing selection of Road Bikes, but even more importantly, the relationship that it has started will create some pretty cool things. Argon 18 bikes are in stock now. More big news coming soon :)

tagged:

new bikes, Argon

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