There’s a quantum difference between carbon and steel frames, and while you’ll always see more of the latter on Cycle EXIF, it takes a builder like Ben Farver to include the former. Ben’s carbon fibre Argonaut Cycles are completely custom, entirely made in the USA, and are now included in the roster of offerings at California’s premier bicycle boutique: Above Category in Sausalito.
For perspective, check out the first Argonaut featured on Cycle EXIF, a Columbus MAX-flavoured model. Afterwards, Ben’s focus turned to offering the same custom service for his Spacebike 2.0 carbon frames. Argonaut will create a personalised layup for your riding style, weight, height and geometry, and this is the end result — built for Chad Norwell, proprietor of Above Category.
The store is positioned as the gateway to your steel or titanium dream bike from builders such as Baum, Pegoretti and Mosaic. Pinarello and Focus are also represented, and specific build kits are provided for each, with Argonaut completing the lineup as a bespoke carbon option.
Chad opted for a 2015 Campagnolo Record gruppo and a Bora 50 tubular wheelset, Chris King I8 headset and Fi’zi:k Cyrano cockpit. It was interesting to read of Ben’s considerations when designing Chad’s frame: the roads around Marin County aren’t all plain sailing — spectacular, yes, but some of them are just plain crappy. The frame needed to be able to absorb unexpected bumps.
Most Argonaut customers prefer to keep their frame unpainted, revealing the weave of the material, but this is the store’s flagship model, and Chad wanted his to stand out. It’s possibly the brightest Argonaut ever seen, still decidedly distinctive and very Californian.
To announce the new partnership, one of our favourite photographers and film makers, Brian Vernor, was contracted to compose a visual introduction to Ben and his work with Above Category, shot in the glorious Californian light and on the Marin County roads:
Head to the Above Category website for more information. Special thanks to Matt White at AC.