Argon GX Shows Off Just How the Germans Do Gravel Biking: They Create a "Panzerkraftwagen"

One of the fastest growing branches of cycling is currently gravel. With the ability to travel far, fast, and sometimes even camp out under the stars hundreds of kilometers away, it's really no wonder. Did I mention that they're fun if you're a fan of loose contact with the ground and adrenaline-filled straightaways?
Custom Argon GX 12 photos
Photo: Nikolai Bicycles
Frame and WeldsCustom Argon GXDrivetrainCustom Argon GXFrameCable RoutingSeat StayDrivetrainCockpitCable RoutingCockpit
With the above statement in mind, I want to introduce you to a machine built for just about any surface you can think of. From that lush, smooth asphalt paving the backstreets of your neighborhood to the rocky gravel-ridden roads of French or Californian vineyards, all are suitable for the Argon GX, the trinket before you today. As for the questions on your mind and why bring to light another gravel bike or what makes this one so special, that's precisely the point of this relatively one-sided discussion.

One thing you need to understand about the Argon GX is that it's built by a crew out of Germany, Nicolai Bicycles, and if you know how the Germans like to roll, you can bet your bottom dollar that this trinket is built like a Panzerkraftwagen. Considering that Nicolai builds bikes only to custom order, it should help to know why. Because this cycling crew yields bikes through CNC milling individual components and then welding them by hand, it simply isn't possible for them to build bikes for the masses, and that's just how Nikolai likes it.

Custom Argon GX
Photo: Nikolai Bicycles
As a result, each machine is also unique, considering that if a welder had too much coffee in the morning, you might receive a machine that tells this story by the way the welds look. Come to think of it, if it isn't perfect, the Germans wouldn't give it to you and simply delay the delivery time; in my opinion, perfection is always worth the wait.

Now, this 'perfection' is going to cost a pretty penny. For example, complete builds start from €3,900 ($3,900 at current exchange rates), and the custom model seen in the gallery is selling for €5,530 ($5,530). Yes, that seems to be the price of originality and capability these days.

To get a feel for what to expect, I want you to picture yourself riding the beauty you see in the gallery. While riding along, you'll feel the cushion of 700 x 40 mm Continental Terra Trail tires working their magic with amazing grip and response. The front fork is built out of carbon and features no suspension, but because Nicolai likes to allow cyclists to create their dream machine, this bugger can accommodate a suspension fork with up to 40 mm (1.5 in) of travel. I'd add flat bars to that suspension fork, but that's my preference.

Photo: Nikolai Bicycles
As you continue your journey, you notice that a hill is coming up and start to fiddle with your gears if you haven't already. Like magic, you tap your shifter paddle, and at the rear of the bike, a Sram Eagle AXS derailleur receives the wireless signal and works its wonders, shifting a PX X01 Eagle chain on an X01 Eagle cassette with 10-50T range. What more could you want?

Honestly, what more could you want? If you're the sort of rider that doesn't want to stop once the road runs out of asphalt and again when that gravel path turns into some forest trail, then this beauty is one bike to consider. If you've fallen in love with this wonder, all that's left to do is take it out for a spin. But you have to find one in some local dealership hanging on a wall. Otherwise, you'll have to travel to Germany to pick up this cyclocross or gravel dream. Please ride with a helmet.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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