Condor Frame or "off the peg"?

by swansfan   June 25, 2012  

Advice please!

Getting fitter now so looking to suppliment the Ribble winter trainer with a bike to join my local club with, but also to start doing 'sportives'. Been looking at Cube Agree and other similar bikes, but have an opportunity to have a custom build on a Condor frame which could work out very similar on the money side of things. Frames mentioned were the 'Italia', 'Squadra' and the more expensive 'baracchi'.Not intending to be a racer so comfort over the longer distances more of a priority.

Which way would you guys go?

Thanks! Smile

32 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Go for the condor. You might need to fettle with the geometry over time, changing stem length for example, but unless you're a really unusual shape yourself, this sounds awesome.

Mind if I ask what those frames are made of and how much they cost?

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
26th June 2012 - 9:19

5 Likes

Go for the Condor.

If you go the shop you can talk through requirements and get a build that suits you, not the predefined product niches of a larger manufacturer with their "sport" "elite" "pro" and "team" bikes. It'll minimise the chances of you swapping components out later too.

They'll set you up on their bike rig and check for frame size, stem length, handlebar width and shape, saddle type etc.

My other half bought a Fratello from them. The service was impeccable, and even as a relative novice they were attentive, thoughtful and not patronising in the slightest towards her.

posted by thereandbackagain [152 posts]
26th June 2012 - 10:15

5 Likes

Ooh, I just looked at the Squadra, it's gorgeous!

I want one. I fancy Shimano Ultegra, but I think a frame like that needs some Campag TLC perhaps.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
26th June 2012 - 11:21

5 Likes

Wow! Thanks guys, that's very positive for the Condor then! Smile

"Mind if I ask what those frames are made of and how much they cost?"

For your info, Mr Notfastenough,

Italia; £549.99 Dedacciai Force 7003 triple butted alloy with Deda Nero full carbon fork.

Squadra; £899.99 Carbon modular with Deda drive and Condor 1 1/2" o/size carbon fork.

Barrachi £1499.99 Condor RC11 Carbon with Deda black wave carbon fork

Also been advised elsewhere that for comfort they make a wicked steel frame called the Acciaio (also by Mr Murcuryone) which is £749.99. Don't have details of the superacciaio tho sorry Confused

I feel a shop visit coming on!!!!! Cool

old enough to know better!

posted by swansfan [17 posts]
26th June 2012 - 20:43

6 Likes

I'm a very happy Condor owner and I can only echo what thereandbackagain said. You won't be able to beat the likes of Canyon for the price of their kit but you will get an excellent fitting service, an honest opinion on finishing kit to match your budget and complete choice of components as well as a workshop that takes pride in keeping the bikes they have sold in perfect condition if you live close enough to make use of it. It's best to go at a time when they aren't busy to be sure that you don't have to wait around to use the jig or for one of their sales people to be available. So if you can avoid lunchtimes or weekends that would probably be best. You'll need a good couple of hours to talk through options and try out different bars, stems, cranks etc. Good Luck with it. Julian does a great job of the sales and fitting process.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [312 posts]
27th June 2012 - 15:09

5 Likes

Pretty obvious where my vote goes (see sig) and as Bedfordshire Clanger says the point is that you get something that fits and that meets your expectations.

Condor have been with me through 3 bikes and from complete road newbie (dumb questions and all) to road racer and wheel builder and have taken the time to help me as much as I've needed it when I have.

My advice, go with the Squadra, it's always been a great bike (although the Super Acciaio is my next frame). You will get something that fits because the stem, bars etc will be right and you'll benefit from it.

posted by racingcondor [113 posts]
27th June 2012 - 22:01

5 Likes

OK it's getting 100% for Condor from you fella's which makes the choice pretty easy! Smile So, next question;

I see that the nearest stockist to me is

County Cycles near Llanelli

fortunately not too far from me at all. So does anyone have any feedback on those guys please?

Thanks

old enough to know better!

posted by swansfan [17 posts]
28th June 2012 - 19:06

4 Likes

Is that the one at Cross Hands? Driven past there hundreds of times but never been in. That may have to change when I'm looking for a new bike later this year, now that I know they do Condor.

posted by nellybuck@msn.com [156 posts]
29th June 2012 - 8:39

5 Likes

I have an orange Fratello. I love it.

posted by pjay [226 posts]
29th June 2012 - 9:29

4 Likes

You have a Famous Blue Bike and didn't consider the Sportive Bianco, the Racing or the Stealth?

Just ordered myself a Stealth for what's left of the summer - should be with me in time for the Haywards Heath Howler or the Exmouth Exodus...

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [412 posts]
29th June 2012 - 14:38

4 Likes

To answer the comments in order....

not sure about which club to join. I live in Port Toilet....ooops, sorry Port Talbot Smile so PT Wheelers would be obvious choice, but they (and Bynea so I'm told) are quite heavily racing biased and I'm too old to start racing!

The shop is the one at Cross Hands, and like you I've passed it many times!

As for the famous blue bike, well the Gran Fondo was top of my list until the possibility of a custom fit came into the equation, but have no problem with Ribble, this one has been faultless!

old enough to know better!

posted by swansfan [17 posts]
29th June 2012 - 19:15

5 Likes

Frget the Condor! get yourself along to Tredz Cycles and Buy the Cube Agree GTC Pro or Race; I have the GTC Pro; and I love it! They are a really comfortable bike to ride, have eye-catching looks, and they fly along with ease.

I suggest you try a few bikes before deciding.

posted by Mostyn [407 posts]
30th June 2012 - 12:33

5 Likes

Hmmm, as I said at the start of this, I've fancied a Cube CTC for a long time, but I have to say I wouldn't buy a washer from Tredz, even if I was desperate! All they want is your cash, and they'll sell you anything, and tell you it's right for you, just to get the sale Thinking (in my humble opinion)

old enough to know better!

posted by swansfan [17 posts]
30th June 2012 - 17:19

5 Likes

Hi, well i'd say about 80% of those in Bynea don't race. There's a huge range of different abitlities, most won't race and enjoy the Sportives / club run side of things, nto to sure about PTW, check out the Bynea Facebook page is probable the best, it would give you a feel for waht goes on in the club.

Gareth

posted by gazer117 [26 posts]
3rd July 2012 - 17:17

5 Likes

I've got a Condor. 2009 Baracchi in blue (in the sale), built up with 2010 Centaur. It's very pretty indeed, but... and this is a huge but.....

It's not a good frame if you want responsiveness, stiffness, feel of the road. It's just a soggy beast really, hates descending fast, and is heavy enough that it doesn't exactly leap forward when you put the hammer down.

Now I know that you say you want it for relaxed sportives, but to be honest I never feel relaxed on it when I'm going fast downhill or into a corner. It just wallows too much.

Condor are a lovely shop to deal with but they are expensive. As other posters have noted, you don't get the best bang for your buck either. I'm going to hazard a guess that their top end frames are lovely, but for mid range I have my doubts.

posted by bashthebox [644 posts]
3rd July 2012 - 18:35

5 Likes

Thanks to Gazer117 for the info, I'll check it out, although travelling from PT to Bynea for the club runs may get old pretty quick maybe??? But if they're that good a club, well...... Smile

Thanks also bashthebox.... well balanced opinion I thought and your comments made sense, even if you are in the minority, here at least. As others have said, the best plan would be to try a few first, which shouldn't be a problem with Trek, Specialized etc, not so sure about the Condors tho? They are not so thick on the ground are they!

old enough to know better!

posted by swansfan [17 posts]
3rd July 2012 - 21:08

4 Likes

well, here's the thing - and with the greatest respect to others posting, it would seem i'm the only one here who's got a baracchi. It's just too soggy to be too much fun to ride. A mate of mine got the same fram around the same time as me - and he feels much the same. He now rides a Canyon and uses the Condor for commuting. Carbon commuter? orverkill? Naaaaah.
I've got no experience with any condor frame but this one, so perhaps the Italia, Squadra etc are lovely.

Anyway, as I said, i reckon you can spend your pennies more wisely.

posted by bashthebox [644 posts]
4th July 2012 - 19:09

5 Likes

OK here's the update!

Made the shop visit to County Cycles today and had a very enjoyable morning discussing Condor frames etc. The result is that the order has been placed......but not for me unfortunately! No, 'The Missus' has jumped in before me and ordered herself an 'Italia'! All this talk of a new bike has inspired her and she's taken the plunge, and I now have to wait for mine! (typical innit! Smile )

Top class service from the people at County Cycles I have to say, for those of you who expressed an interest - very knowledgable and helpful.

I will be getting myself a 'Squadra' in the not too distant future, sorted all that out while I was there today!

Many thanks for all the advice and opinions, it helped no end to come to the final decision Smile

old enough to know better!

posted by swansfan [17 posts]
7th July 2012 - 21:02

6 Likes

Congratulations. I suggest if you ever get the chance, visit the London shop, it is certainly worthwhile. In any case Port Talbot is certainly closer than where I live (Austria), and I still made it to Condor Cycles.

posted by 1860 [7 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 18:20

1 Like

I want a Condor - even if its just an Italia RC which is realistically all I can presently afford.

There's a bit of history behind the name, and I like that.

Enjoy your new bike.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
2nd January 2014 - 18:38

1 Like

posted by bendertherobot [286 posts]
3rd January 2014 - 0:13

3 Likes

That's a beauty! Nerd How is this condor bike to ride? I have been thinking of trying one out at condor. There isn't much talk on the good old interweb of these bikes just old reviews, what's your take on this bike? worth the £? A classic? Be good to hear what you have to say. Cheers.

posted by jammyminty [2 posts]
4th January 2014 - 1:26

3 Likes

It's divine. Super stiff but also springy. If that makes sense!

posted by bendertherobot [286 posts]
4th January 2014 - 10:34

2 Likes

Go Condor, you won't regret it. Excellent service too. I own a black and white Condor Acciaio and it's the best bike I've ever ridden by far. Great for UK sportives.

posted by consciousbadger [16 posts]
4th January 2014 - 11:11

2 Likes

The Condor Acciaio is THE nicest bike I've EVER ridden. I swapped full carbon for the feel of steel, and it's just plain lovely.

If money is important, don't buy a complete bike from Condor, as you'll be bankrupt. Buy frame and forks, then build yourself. If the money isn't a huge factor, the build is amazing, with IMMACULATE attention to detail.

posted by FatManonaBike [1 posts]
4th January 2014 - 12:21

2 Likes

Join the Rapha Condor cycle club which will give you a nice discount on some of the Condor bikes Nerd

posted by Old Cranky [276 posts]
4th January 2014 - 16:29

2 Likes

As a counterpoint, I test-rode an Acciaio and found it incredibly underwhelming. It was fitted with some really nice kit (Mavic R-Sys wheels, Campag Record) but the ride was totally flat. Not road-smoothing steel, but lumpen and unresponsive.

I ride steel, carbon, and alloy bikes and the ride quality wasn't anything special at all. Also, the actual finish wasn't great either.

Finally, Condor don't do any sort of discounts even if you buy the whole bike off them, pretty much all the parts will be at RRP, so it gets expensive.

You'd get a lot more value for money if you built something up yourself.

posted by thereandbackagain [152 posts]
4th January 2014 - 17:26

4 Likes

Most of the roadies in the Central London CTC club have at least one Condor bike. The commonest is the Fratello, a do-it-all clubman's (and woman's) steel bike. You have to be pretty good to actually need better. Several also have a Baracchi and are not complaining.

Condor is not by any means London's cheapest but it is knowledgeable and unfailingly helpful. It will build the right bike for you and set it up properly. In my opinion, and that of its many satisfied customers, that is worth paying for.

By all means specify and build your own bike, if you have the skill and tools...and be aware that final set-up, as ever, is subject to the Pareto principle!

harman_mogul's picture

posted by harman_mogul [132 posts]
4th January 2014 - 18:35

3 Likes

The Fratello is a great bike, a proper all rounder that covers you from light touring right through to club rides via commuting. I'd take that over the Acciaio any day of the week.

You can easily build one up that will be as light as the Acciaio, but has the added utility of being able to handle full mudguards and a rack if you want. Buy the frameset off them and source the rest of the parts yourself and you'll be able to spend the significant savings on upgrades, if that's what you want.

posted by thereandbackagain [152 posts]
4th January 2014 - 23:45

2 Likes

Hi, County Cycles are are a good bike shop, but they'll set you up properly on the bike if you wish. I've bought plenty of stuff from them before.

posted by gazer117 [26 posts]
6th January 2014 - 19:35

4 Likes