The Canadian Bike Machine: Cervelo, Argon 18, Opus, Marinoni
Posted Jun 02 2008 5:03pm
In the world of triathlon bikes, one name has stood above the rest in the past decade. Year after year the official slowtwtich Kona bike count, which aims to count the bikes of pros and amateurs alike at the Ironman World Championships, has rewarded Cervelo with the number one ranking. They have also stormed the cycling world as team CSC has displayed the beautiful black, red, and white bikes to team victories and a few time trial records. All in all, the little company that Gerard Vroomen and Phil White built from scratch is now the number one triathlon bike company in the world. They have had superior marketing on many fronts (only company I see that has active blogs, plus videos, I love videos!) but have also had the luck of having some uber bikers aboard. None other than Chrissie Wellington rode brand-new-to-her P2C (the second best Cervelo tri bike) to victory at the IM World Champs in Hawaii last year.
Well enough about Cervelo, because the article below not only talks about Cervelo but also about some other Toronto based cycling companies that are making inroads across the world: Opus, Argon 18, and Marinoni.
*Yes I ride an older P3SL (cervancho!) . At this point if I had money for a new bike regardless of cost I’d probably look at a Cervelo P3C, the new Pinarello, and if I really wanted to go big probably a BMC. The Look’s really interest me, and while I love everything about the Felt DA, I’d rather not have the brand new thing everyone else has - which is probably why it took me till 2 months ago to get a Facebook account and I still don’t own an Ipod (just a shuffle).
Several quotes that stand out:
“They thought they could make bikes more aerodynamic. Few established manufacturers bought in to their radical designs, however. It meant hardship â€“ eating Ramen noodles in a cramped apartment in McGill’s ghetto, bikes piled high in Vroomen’s room, once falling all over him as he slept. The pair moved to Toronto and the company continued to grow. Cervelo’s big break came in 2003 when it managed to persuade, against all odds, a European pro team to adopt their bikes. Denmark-based Team CSC had, like most, no idea who or what Cervelo was. ”
“But with new materials such as carbon fibre now dominating design, Canadian brands have been able to stake out leadership positions. “There’s been no time lapse compared to European companies that have been working with steel for a century,” Knight says. ”
“It doesn’t hurt that some of the world’s most famous cyclists are riding Cervelos. Swiss rider and CSC-member Fabian Cancellara is the world time-trial champion. Chrissie Wellington, from Britain, is the Ironman World Champion. She won in Kona, Hawaii last year ahead of Canada’s Samantha McGlone, who rides Quebec’s Argon 18 bikes. The vast majority of bikes at Kona were Cervelo.”