Argonaut Cycles
Builder Profile


Why Argonaut

A custom bicycle should help the rider meet and exceed their goals as a cyclist. In order to do that it needs to accomplish three primary objectives. First, it should fit properly allowing for the most efficient and comfortable transfer of energy between the body and the bike. Second, it should handle in a way that gives the rider the confidence to climb higher and descend faster. Third, it should look good. A custom bicycle should look clean and seamless with attention given to the aesthetic appearance of the bicycle as a whole. Every Argonaut is different because they reflect the distinct taste of the owner.

Argonaut bicycle frames are made of the finest materials available. All frames are made of Columbus or True Temper steel tubing allowing each frame to be designed specifically for the rider in terms of fit and handling.

So why buy an Argonaut custom bicycle instead of one of the many other custom bicycles on the market?

The Argonaut process ensures that you as a customer will be totally satisfied. Every buyer starts out by filling out a comprehensive questionnaire intended give me a general idea of what type of cyclist you are, and uncover any special needs or desires you might have. The questionnaire is then followed by a phone interview intended to open the lines of communication, and hash out the specific details of your bike.

Once the details of the bike are determined, Iíll work with you to find the best certified bicycle fitter in your area who will help me design a bike that fits both your body and riding style. I highly recommend fit technicians certified by the Serotta International Cycling Institute.

This process accompanied by painstaking attention to detail and world-class fabrication techniques guarantees that your Argonaut will be one of your most prized possessions.
Builder Statement:

I love making bicycles. Itís so much fun to select tubes, work with customers in figuring out their perfect ride, fabricate frames, and deliver a product that Iím proud of and makes people happy.

Seeing a customerís excitement upon first seeing their new bike is one of the most gratifying experiences Iíve ever had.

Ben Farver, Argonaut Cycles

Ben is interviewed on this video by roadbike review.com


Ben talks about his bikes on this Video
The Shop

I started out in my own shop in 2007, In the fall of 2009, I had an opportunity to move into the  Strawberry (Terra Nova Cycles) shop to share that facility with Andy Newlands. He's amassed a pretty impressive collection of tools over the 35+ years he's been building and we share the space pretty evenly. I have my own workbench and vice, and we each have our own Bridgeports (his is a little nicer), but Andy is nice enough to let me use his lathe, blast cabinet, Marchetti alignment table, cold saws, and mini EMCO mill. Our shop is basically a fantasy land of tools.

Andy spends most of his time making his LAN71 brand of tools and I'm mostly making frames, it ends up being a really good dynamic.

As far as the mechanization of my build process, my goal is to slowly have a fixture or tool for every operation, and I'm getting there.  I get a lot of satisfaction out of making little tools and fixtures. I'm kind of a perfectionist, and for me good machining operations really help in building a quality frame. It's pretty hard to get a perfect joint with good alignment without starting with a perfect miter.
Frame materials:

I build exclusively with steel. As the saying goes, "steel is real"


Fork blades are precision mitered to produce a perfect joint for fillet brazing

A perfect joint starts with a perfect miter.

As far as the mechanization of my build process, my goal is to slowly have a fixture or tool for every operation, and I'm getting there.  I get a lot of satisfaction out of making little tools and fixtures. I'm kind of a perfectionist, and for me good machining operations really help in building a quality frame. It's pretty hard to get a perfect joint with good alignment without starting with a perfect miter.

Unicrown forks present a lot of unique challenges. Itís a whole different animal than your standard lugged crown fork, but itís quite a bit lighter and I really like the minimal style aesthetic.
Construction Methods

I enjoy making both lugged and fillet brazed steel frames because each one offers a unique aesthetic and is an opportunity to show off my talent as a framebuilder. A fillet brazed frame has a more minimalist aesthetic, and gives the freedom to choose from a wider variety of tubing. A lugged frame carries a classic elegance that will never go out of style. I feel a lugged or fillet brazed steel frame is the best representation of the time, care, and expertise it takes to make a custom bicycle.

A frame starts to take shape in the frame jig.

Comparison between a fillet brazed and lugged joint

   
Fillet brazed joints shown as brazed, cleaned up by filing and sanding and painted

 
Lugged joints before and after painting       
 

Click for more photos of this bike
S and S Couplings

Here we have an S and S Coupled road bike.


Products and services available utilizing BTCs.

We sell frames and complete bicycles.

Standard frames

Custom frames

Retrofitting services

Construction methods

Frame materials

Purchase from


Contact Information:

Argonaut Cycles
Portland, Oregon

Phone: 503.701.4607
Fax: 503.224.1215
Email: ben@argonautcycles.com


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