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If you spend any time in online cycling circles you may have noticed a mysterious bike being ridden this year by grand tour winners and former teammates Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso. Perhaps most notably, during the period earlier in the year when everyone was vying for the Everesting world record, Contador briefly held the title, an achievement accomplished on a mysterious black bike crisscrossed with white geometric lines akin to dazzle camouflage used on ships in World War I. The headtube gave the only hint of branding: a capital “A.” After months of teaser posts, we now know what that stands for: Aurum.
Having collectively spent over three decades in the pro peloton riding some of the best equipment available, it’s safe to say Contador and Basso know what they want in a bike. The first model from the new brand, Magma, taps into that experience to create an all-around race bike made to excel everywhere—a bike that is super stiff and aero, but is still light and handles well.
Aurum says that the two star riders have had their hands in the design process from the start, providing their input at every stage and personally testing the prototypes to ensure the final bike has the feel they want. They’re not here to attach their name to a bike just to make a dollar. The brand stems from their personal love of riding and desire to make better bikes.
CFD computer modeling and wind tunnel testing played an important part in the development of this new bike. As an all-around bike, it doesn’t feature the big airfoil tube shapes of full-blown aero bikes, but it does feature truncated airfoil shapes on the fork and down tube, the latter of which shields water bottles from the wind. Continuing the aero look is internal cable routing, including a specially designed Head Tunnel that channels the brake cables directly from the handlebars through the head tube for a clean design that is aero while working with traditional cockpits.
Built for Stiffness
As climbers, Contador and Basso like a stiff, reactive bike for launching attacks in the mountains. To that end, the Magma has a large BB386 bottom bracket and tall chain stays for turning as much power from the pedals into forward momentum as possible. But there is also some comfort built in through slender seat stays and thin fork legs, to make it an enjoyable for all types of courses.
No bike brand is complete without a special name for its carbon layup process. Aurum calls its process—the mix of carbon fiber materials and specific layups it uses—ECT: Experience Carbon Technology. Each frame size gets a specific carbon layup to adjust the ride quality as needed. The brand also claims its steel bike-molds add more pressure to the molding process, allowing it to squeeze more resin out of the fiber. And foam inserts covered in latex remove crumpling from the interior of the frames. The resulting frames weigh 805 grams in a size 54. There are six frame sizes available: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 61.
Magma Framesets will go for 4,099 Euros. There are three complete builds options: Dura-Ace Di2 with ENVE wheels and components for 9,799 Euros; SRAM Red eTap AXS and Zipp wheels and components for 9,999 Euros; and Dura-Ace Di2 with Lightweight wheels and components for 11,999 Euros.
More info: aurumbikes.com