By Paul Norman
Multiple Grand Tour winners Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso have launched their own bike brand. Called Aurum, they say they’ve been discussing the launch for many years, looking to design the bike of their dreams independent of the teams and sponsors who determined their equipment in their pro racing days. The goal was to build a bike that sets the gold standard for high-end racers.
The duo's first machine is the Aurum Magma, which they describe as the ultimate racing road bike, regardless of route profile and conditions. The pair have persued the superlative in terms of aerodynamics, stiffness, comfort, weight and handling.
“I’ve been eagerly awaiting this launch ever since Ivan and I began designing Magma. This very special frameset has been the focus of our efforts for such a long time. It’s something that we’re both truly personally invested in – we’ve spent so many hours riding it, fine-tuning it and thinking about how to make it better than all the sensational bikes we rode during our careers,” says Contador.
The Magma has been designed using CFD modelling and wind tunnel testing to optimise its aerodynamics. That includes cable routing from the bar into the front of the head tube, to reduce drag from the external cable runs, which Aurum calls the “head tunnel”.
Aurum says that the design is light and easy to maintain. It uses standard steel bearings rather than the more complex solutions often used to achieve internal cable routing.
The Magma frame has a claimed weight of 805g for an unpainted size 54, with Aurum saying that’s a result of its higher moulding pressures, squeezing more resin out of the carbon fibre matrix to reduce weight.
As is becoming the norm with high end bikes, the Magma is disc brake only. With rim-brake stalwarts often using pro objections to the braking technology as their underpinning argument, this will certainly rattle a few cages.
There’s a 1-⅛ inch to 1-¾ inch tapered headset for steering precision and an BB386Evo bottom bracket, to accept a wide range of cranksets. A plethora of brands - including Specialized and Trek - have moved to threaded BBs in recent months, setting the Magma against the current trend towards ease of home replacement.
The frame can be set up with either mechanical or electronic shifting. Somewhat surprisingly, the seatpost has a conventional 27.2mm round profile rather than an aero cross-section. This does make replacements much easier for owners, though.
The Aurum Magma can be purchased as a complete bike starting at €9799, with a menu of top spec components from Shimano and Enve, Shimano and Lightweight or SRAM and Zipp.
There’s a frameset-only option too, priced at €4099. It’s available in six frame sizes from 50cm to 61cm and in either blue or black, with distinct geometry and tube profiles for each size to achieve consistent handling between sizes.
You can buy the Magma direct from Aurum via its website, aurumbikes.com.
As you’d expect from former pros, the Aurum Magma frameset is UCI approved. “Magma is the foundation for the Aurum brand, and it’s a foundation we’re hoping to build upon with more models in the near future,” says Contador, who used the Magma for his latest Everesting challenge."
Before launch the Magma has also been test ridden a total of 500,000km by 50 riders from the Fundacion Alberto Contador development teams.
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