Tech: Inside the Argon 18 Dark Matter Gravel Bike

Recently, we featured Argon 18’s new Dark Matter gravel bike, first released to the public at the recent Sea Otter show. Do yourself a favor and check out our extensive photo gallery of the bike.

Coming in Fall of 2018 – Argon 18 Dark Matter

argon 18 dark matter review and weight

“A true GRAVEL RACER: The dark matter is a FAST dirt ROAD BIKE with a GEOMETRY ADAPTED FROM OUR CELEBRATED ROAD frames*. ITs LONGER FRONT center adds STABILITY AND prevents TOE OVERLAP. The dropped chainstay makes for an EXCEPTIONALly short rear while allowing bigger tire clearance.”

* “the dark matter was designed as a Gravel racer. True to our design ethos and road race background, it was intended to be used with 700c wheels although 650c wheels will work depending on tire width.”

argon 18 dark matter review and weight

40C once fenders are installed or if bike is built with SRAM eTap front derailleur.

Other features of the Argon 18 Dark Matter:

  • Gravel specific monocoque carbon frame designed as a performance gravel racer.
  • Modular cable routing system – clean, smart and efficient, compatible with all modern transmissions (mechanical, Di2, eTap and EPS).
  • Removeable aluminium front derailleur hanger for clean looking installation of a 1x crankset. The frame is compatible with 46/30 up to 52/36 or 1x 46T at maximum.
  • Optional direct-mount replaceable rear derailleur hanger for optimal installation of Shimano’s rear derailleurs.
  • Flat-mount disc brakes for 140mm or 160mm rotors.

Argon 18 Dark Matter Geometry

argon 18 dark matter review and weight

Build Options (click to enlarge)

argon 18 dark matter review and weight

If the build options don’t appeal, the Argon 18 Dark Matter is also available as a frameset.


  • Shimano 105 build, $US 3,200.00.
  • SRAM Force 1x, $US 4,200.00.
  • Frameset, $US 2,200.00.

argon 18 dark matter review and weight

Argon 18

6 comments on “Tech: Inside the Argon 18 Dark Matter Gravel Bike

  1. In geometry table: the reach grows even as the stack is raised up. It seems to measure reach at each height from the same reference point(lowest stack position) . Wouldn’t raising the stack height (+15mm, +30mm) result in a shorter reach at each higher setting?

    1. Littlewood, i agree. The higher the stack the shorter the reach.
      No way around that fact 😉

    2. Yes, the reach should go down approximately 4 or 5 mm for every 15mm the stack increases.

    3. And the stacks go up too much. The head tubes correctly get longer by 15 or 30 mm, but the stack can’t go up by more than this and they go up by 29 or 59 mm. Drawing is poor also, stack/reach is to center top of the head tube.

      There is also the question: Is this raising the top headset bearing? If not this is just like adding spacers and most carbon steerer forks limit the amount of spacers above the headset top bearing.

      1. Yes, all Argon 18 bikes (with the 3D headtube) raise the top headset bearing.

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