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Cervelo p2c v's Argon 18 E112

Looking for advice,i've narrowed it down to either one of these bikes i'm going to buy,well frameset anyway as i want to build it up myself,any feedback on what i should go for,looking at a sram force groupset,profile t2 carbon bars,and as for wheels i'm lost what to go for!Any help would be great!


  • For a good independent review of the P2 see below.

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Tri_ ... _1296.html

    I can't find a review for the E112 the closest is the next bike up

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... stem-39991

    Personally I have been looking through posts on slowtwitch for thye past few months, and Argon being a canadian brand on a predominantly American dominated forum does throw up a lot more debate than over here.

    I would suggest you register with slowtwitch and look at a posts which are numerous. My gut feeling is that there is not a lot of love for the Argon line up on the forum. General concensus from a bunch of self proclained techno geeks is that they are not very aero in respect to tube profiles, pretty heavy but are very stiff bikes which are better suited to flat courses similar to Fuji bikes. Just my opinion. The P2 has been arond for a long time and I would reade Dan Empfields review in respect to fit. It may be the case that you have had a very good bike fit analysis and that someone has pointed you in the direction of these two framesets based on that data.

    Hope this helps a little rather than bleating on about my own prefared choices of brands.
  • Hi Flah37
    I had same 2 bikes choices in November and went with the argon, there's not many reviews on them, Matt fishers blog has a personal review on it but most are like lancs says on American sites. There's is alot of mixed views suggesting its not that aero but there's alot of views that claim it's better in crosswinds and has better yaw angles because of the tube shaping, (I'll stick some close up pics later for you) personally I'm don't know much about airflow but looks pretty aero to me. I went with the argon because it fitted me better being vertically challenged
    There's also soo many cervelos around the argon looks cooler( it's all about the looks surely)
    Also any reviews that you do find the owners love them and all say how solid they are.
    Not been on the road on mine yet just turbo and rollers, 1st tt bike I've owned so wanted to get used to the position before hitting the road, I'm going out this weekend so will let ya know.
    One more thing it's not heavy about the same as my carbon road bike.
  • MrGreedy makes a key point here regarding fit. In making a general point to the post for other readers I think it is important to try and understand the genetics of a frameset when making a choice. The designer will have their own brief when laying down the frames geometries on a drawing board or computer.

    We should understand that we are only really entering the realms of mass market tri design in the last couple of years. Before that time there were very few tri brands QuintanaRoo being one of them who designed for triathletes first. A lot of brands were producing an out and out time trail bike aimed lets face it at the professional road racing peleton in many instance. At these price points you have two scenarios playing out.

    The first is that it is a previous top line model filtered down the product line to utilise mould lifespans in economic terms. You are riding a frameset design to support a very flat position which should be achievable by a pro team rider.

    The second position is one where a company has expanded its product line and at the lower price points introduces introduction TT bikes which are UCI legal but in a more relaxed geometry. You are riding a frameset designed for intermediate riding styles in the sports of time trialing and triathlon.

    My understanding is that your two choices lie in the first scenario. Fit is important as idealy you want to achieve at least 90% of it through the geometry of the frameset. To get 70% near to a fit as a frameset starting point and then make up the difference with saddle positions, spacers, playing about with handlebar set up is affecting handling characteristics on what will be a very stiff and unforgiving frame. This might be acceptable on a flat out and back TT course, but is it on an undulating twisting triathlon course on a windy day on less than perfect roads? If you are not fully confident how can you ever ride really fast?
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    The Argon is an awesome bike. Don't knock it - they have featured with several top notch elites.

    Torborjn Sindeballe rode the E114 before having to retire and the only main difference between the E114 and the E112 is the integrated front end.

    I'm sure also that Sam McGlone used to or still does ride an E112.

    I have no experience with the Cervelo so can't comment, I do however have an Argon Road bike - to which it is quite frankly an awesome piece of kit. Hussler - who posts on here sometimes could comment as he used to own an E112 - and he is proper quick.

    In terms of aero benefit - the whole aero benefit will be shot to pieces if the thing doesn't fit. So make sure you get sized properly.
  • I am not knocking the Argon at all thats why I went to the trouble and posted a pretty good review of the model up which has the different front end. A lot of people come on here pass subjective comment often biased and fail to back it up.

    What i am trying to point out with both bikes is that they are out and out time trial bikes and have been designed as such. If you can get in a low position and generate the power on a time trial type course then there is a very good chance that you could be well matched to either product.

    In my second post I was trying to explain how the heritige of the bike influences firstly how it will fit and secondly the type of rider it will work best for in respect to ability. A very able time trialist will get a lot of potential out of any bike and that includes lower end triathlon bikes around the £1500 price range. What I do not believe, and I do not know the ability level of the initial poster, is that placing an individual with modest ability in terms of power output, flexibility, bike skills etc ..is a good match on some of these type of machines which were two or three years ago designed to be out and out speed machines for the elite in two different sports and as such compromise even the best triathletes.

    The other option is not to comment but only come on when a post is about something you own and sing its praises or say i made a massive mistake. I of course I would welcome any comments as a poster from owners who have first hand experience positive or negative.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    As has been said - FIT - you may be advised to get a bike fitter to size you up.

    P2s sell cos they do the business, a certain Chrissie Wellington did rather OK on one. I have a Cervélo P2C and love it. It greatly exceeds my ability, handles nicely, very confident on it and my times have tumbled (well for me). Have it set up with PX R50s and together soak up the road buzz nicely. I will keep her for quite some time to come.

    I would say that the E112 has tidier cable arrangements and looks smoother with the merging of the seat stay and seat tube, The Chain stays and forks also look substantial and a quick search on reviews seem to attest to being a solid bike, comfy and confidence inspiring.

    IMHO for someone like me providing the fit is right I probably wouldn't notice any difference between the P2C and the E112.The only bike that may tempt me away from ????? (my bike's name - Shakti) would be a Speed Concept 9.9 with Zipp or Reynolds wheels - now that would be overkill for me, but hey it would great in the photos (providing my belly was airbrushed out) and isn't that what tri is about?
  • Without wanting to dominate the thread, honest, and as no one has addressed the second part of the post here goes.

    I would say SRAM force is a good choice as I would argue that the Red R2C shifters as an upgrade are better than the Dura Ace option and Campags new offering is very expensive and this improves options as Ultegra Di2 is not dual bar set up and negates one of the advantages of an electronic set up.

    I would be careful about making asumptions regarding bars without a good fit profile based on the frameset of your choice. From the review for example on the P2 I posted for a lot of people this is a low front end set up. I have not spent the detailed time looking at the geometry of the E112 to compare. From this you might be able to/want to go with a very low bar set up, or you might not be able to/find this suitable. Once you know what sort of height you want from the arm rests some bar set ups will be better than others. What you do not want to do is have a frame and bar set up which are not ideal to your fit and then try and interface thye two together through stem angle/length, turning the bars upward and the use of a lot of spacers both above the headset and on the bars. If this is the way it ends up I would argue that the fit is completly misplaced in respect to key products.

    I will leave wheelsets to someone else as this is a massive can of worms which will divide opinions.
  • Here are the pics showing tube shape, the 3rd pic shows the diamond shaped downtube that causes much debate on the slowtwitch forums.

    http://s1070.photobucket.com/albums/u48 ... 20Uploads/

    I would definately get a fit done, i was pretty set on the Argon before the fit but was realistic enough to know if it wasnt going to fit i wasnt having it, end of. Another good point in having the fit done is that you'll have the measurements so as you build your bike you can set it up to the fit measurements, admittedly you may tweak this to get comfy, took me 1\2 a dozen or so turbo/roller sessions to feel what i think is best, i'll see when i hit the road if i still feel the same

    Both are good bikes and the fact you see cervelos everywhere speaks volumes, although if you go to the U.S/canada im sure you could say the same with argon.

    Good luck

  • Just to throw a spanner in the works

    Why have you decided on those 2 bikes ?

    Where do you live? Area wise I mean
  • flah37flah37 Posts: 7
    Hey guys,thanks so much for your reply's,really appreciate it. I'm from Ireland,currently serving a tour oversea's with the army,so have a few bob to invest in tt bike when i get back,last year was my first year in Tri,have a Px nano-light road bike which i raced on. Learned how to swim at the start of 2011,i come from a sporting back-round but injury took it's tole, competed in a few sprint distances and did 70.3 ironman in galway,5hr 21 min. These 2 models just seem to have good reviews so thats why i put the post up bout them, i have been fiited for my road bike,i presume for a tt bike i would need to get fitted again before i invest. I have a view to do an ironman distance in aug,back home please god in may,would there be enough time spent on the tt bike before the race in aug,or would the nano be a saver option,cycle route of the race is the famous ring of kerry in Killarney,Co. kerry,Ireland. Thanks for your help in your replys!
  • Yes I would get another bike fit based around establishing a TT position. I would try and find somewhere independent or who have a wide choice of framesets they can direct you to. My personal concern is that if you only have one or two framset options which you retail there is to much incentive for the fitter to make one of the items they retail fit you rather than optimaly the other way around.

    I guess the next big question is what are your ambitions in respect to a finishing time for an Ironman event? Your 70.3 is a solid foundation though I do not know how much training you did for it hence what potential you have to go quicker, was it achieve off a general endurance base or a lot of specific training. If so how strong was the bike leg? If you have long term ambitions I would say what is the rush, even if you do have money in the bank.

    I think if you go for what I would call a 'more relaxed' TT bike set up then a couple of months adjustment might be ok. On the other hand if you want to push your potential and strive for aerodynamic advantages hence a more aggresive position this may take some time in the saddle to come to terms with. One thing to hold it for just over the hour in an Olympic another thing through an IM.

    Having ridden the Ring of Kerry its not as if you are going to have a significant disadvantage on a good road bike especially if you are not completely at one with a TT set up.

    From a personal perspective I am training and waiting to see what IM potential I have before commiting to a TT bike, can I be competitive or not in my age group. I am not however in the financial position to justify treating myself to a new bike. If you want to do that fine but I would look at matching your potential, against a bike fit, against ambitions and try and make a one off purchase rather than having to change things a year or so down the line, just a personal opinion.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    LancsRider wrote
    I think if you go for what I would call a 'more relaxed' TT bike set up then a couple of months adjustment might be ok. On the other hand if you want to push your potential and strive for aerodynamic advantages hence a more aggresive position this may take some time in the saddle to come to terms with. One thing to hold it for just over the hour in an Olympic another thing through an IM.
    Quite right, my fit was based on: a back/neck problem (that is improving in terms of strength and mobility) and intent to do the Outlaw hence more relaxed. Back has eased up, flexibility increased and have been able to drop the bars without adversely affecting hip angle, comfort, handling.
  • flah37flah37 Posts: 7
    Thanks for your reply lansrider,makes alot of sense,i competed in the 70.3 realy off a base endurance,my bike leg was respectable enough, 2hr 49,weather was shocking,i could of pushed harder but was worried about the run phase. I'm very competitive and am hooked on triathlon,i love training and with my job i can train alot which helps, maybe i might be rushing into getting a tt bike, and might take up on your advice. Problem over here is choice when it comes to stores,they might only stock one or two brands,a trip across the water might be a good idea and get the fit done there,any ideas on stores?
  • First thing is I come from a background of having owned a bike shop in my past specialising in triathlon which included bespoke design and build services, bikes I have co-designed and built have been ridden to podium finishes at world championship level.

    In my day due to materials used, steel tubing predominantly, I was confident that any shop such as ours would find the perfect fit if they knew ho based on abilities and build a frameset to match. I am also too aware being in a similar position to yourself that this is not the case these days.

    Firstly I am not, nor ever will recomend one particular business as that is not fair on a lot of other businesses out there who may be equally as good if not better. I am and have been the worst nightmare for any current shops when I ring up asking about their services as I do not let on about my background but would rather wait for them to eventually shoot themselves in the foot, which many have, I kindly say thank you for their time and say I will think through the advice they have given me.

    My advice would be go to slowtwitch.com and read through all the reviews of tri bikes by Dan Empfield and his fellow reviwers. Dan founded Quintana Roo and sold it on, he is totally in the know and unbiased. What this knowledge will give you is an understanding that there are very big differences in framesets and what works well for me might be totally unsuitable for you 'if you are looking for a good fit and performance matters'. We can both sit on anything an soft pedal on a social ride, this is the point. If you are looking at being competitive at Ironman, I guess you have the potential, then 3% matters, not so if you are happy with a 12 hr finish time.

    If you feel confident with this knowledge base then take it out into the retail market and test the waters so to say. I would always be more interested in a retailer explaining to me why a bike they sell 'is not suitable' for me than telling my why one is the perfect match.

  • Personally if I go for a TT bike this year or next it will be because I will justify it in respect to gaining a competitive time for an Ironman event.

    I feel at this point I will eventualy for peace of mind going to pay for a bike fit from someone with no retail interests simply based on a rig. I will then narrow which framesets fall within my fit co-ordinates, and will then run by bullshit filter to decide where to go for the purchase. It might be the case that this is a small retailer who only stocks this one brand. I know a neutral bike fit will cost me a few hundred quid when I could get the price of a fit discounted off the price of a new bike. But I also know I will be a pretty demanding individual when it comes to seeing a specialist fitter and will get more from the session than simply a frame size judgement.

    If you decide to go for one of the larger retailers I would ask them over the telephone what brand lines do they stock for people of various builds and abilities. If they can't answer this question then ask yourself why do they have five or six brands? Is it because some peoples favorite colour is white and for others it is black or pink?

    The whole process might sound like a lot of effort, especially if it leads to one of the two framesets in the title of the post, but racing an IM is a lot of effort and I suspect in an event such as this you would like to be able to save a bit of energy by using less force to turn the pedals through a good aerodynamic set up. The other advantage is that you might be on the course for a bit less time and get the chance of a free sponsors beer before they start to get a bit warm, just a couple of reasons for investing the time and effort now in finding the perfect match to take you around the bike leg.

    Just a few thoughts others of course welcome as we are all trying to learn something.
  • As a sideline I would love to see 220 send out three people of mixed builds and sexes proclaiming different abilities to go around the country go through a bike fit. Then bring back the data a corelate it. And see who are on similar lines and who fall outside reasonable boundaries.

    I suspect that some people may have to change their mind as to the quality of the bike fit they have recieved in the past from some providers. It is not difficult to get a better fit for someone who hasn't a real clue about how to set up their own bike. Any bike club rider with any reasonable experience in road racing or time trialling could help you with this. What I am talking about is a professional fit which should be at a better level than that.

  • jn46jn46 Posts: 7
    hi there. I had a p2 for 2 years and have just traded it in for the new e 116. Worth the extra dosh over the e112 as it's a new frame design with integrated v brakes, so is more futureproof I suppose. Plus weight is nearer to the p2. The p2 was a great bike but not the stiffest. Very comfy though. Haven't raced on the e116 yet but initial impressions are it's loads stiffer. The beauty of the argons is the 3d headtube.I fell between a 51 & 54 in the p2, but went with the 54 for the higher stack height and had to run a short stem. I just seem to find low profile aerobars more comfy, as the base bar is higher and allows me to sit up more when I need to. With a small argon 18 I got the reach of a 51 p2 with the stack of a 54. The argons basically provide you with more fit options and choice of aerobars without having to run loads of headset spacers. Get your fit done and go from there. As for frame aerodynamics the majority of us aren't fighting for seconds in a tour time trial so learning to ride powerfully in an aero position is of more importance than the frame underneath. Still nice to have a flash bike, but pet hate of mine is when you see people on p4s riding a position that's less aero than if they were on a road bike. As for weight, from experience save it on the parts that you have to rotate, namely wheels, pedals and shoes. The extra stiffness from a heavier frame together with light wheels will probably make you climb quicker than a flexy lightweight, especially seated in the arrivals. Whichever you choose, provided the fits good you'll fly on either.
  • jn46jn46 Posts: 7
    that was supposed to say seated in the aerobars, not arrivals! New "smart" phone....
  • just building up a 2011 e112.....

    also have gone for sram rival, R2C shifters, + old clip cobra t2 bars from the road bike.

    Gonna get some cheap second hand wheels for this year then buy some proper wheels next year....

    As a novice bike mechanic, all the cable routing has been a dream... I was a bit worried about that.....
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