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Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset



Beautifully crafted frameset that delivers an awesome ride feel along with the stunning looks
Beautiful frame in both aesthetics and ride quality
Attention to detail
Standard mudguard stays will require a bit of fettling to fit

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Condor Fratello Disc Thru-Axle frameset manages to keep hold of that traditional look and feel of a winter/fast audax/commuter/year-round mile-muncher bike while having been adapted to the demands of the modern roadie. The steel frame and carbon fork pairing give an exceptional ride quality and you get some impressive tyre clearances with mudguards. It's an absolute looker too.

The Fratello has been in Condor's catalogue for over a decade with rim brakes, and while that model is still available – as is the post-mount disc option – this latest thru-axle version brings everything bang up to date.

> Buy this online here

While many of the big manufacturers are equipping their gravel and adventure bikes with mounts to take mudguards and a rack, to create a 'jack-of-all-trades', if you don't really stray away from the tarmac or race then the Fratello is really all the bike you are going to need.


At its heart is a custom drawn Columbus Spirit triple-butted steel frame and the ride quality is excellent. You can pump your tyres up hard, have a firm saddle, a stiff, narrow handlebar, and whatever you want to throw in its way, the quality of the steel tubing will override it.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - riding 2.jpg

The frame is actually on the firm side, but the way it just seems to absorb the majority of road buzz without any feeling of harshness whatsoever means it is a very pleasant place to be.

Condor's designers seem to have nailed any compromises should you want to do a load of different styles of riding, too. It's stiff enough and fun if you want to get out for a spirited blast of an hour or so, but should you want to stay out much longer you get that comfort without the bike ever feeling soft or like you are sacrificing performance.

The geometry means the Fratello is no slouch either. The Condor has very similar measurements to an endurance style bike, with a stack to reach ratio of just under 1.55, which means your overall position isn't too aggressive. But the front end does have a 73.5-degree head angle paired to a fork offset of 45mm, which is sportier than most bikes of its ilk. This makes the Fratello fun in the bends; it's a sweet-handling machine.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - riding 3.jpg

It's probably still the way now, but back in the mid-noughties when I was racing, it was best to have your winter/training/commuting bike set up pretty much to the same position of your race bike. That way, when you climbed on your race machine everything felt totally normal, just a lot lighter.

That is exactly what the Condor allows you to do. It rides like a race bike, but it's a bit heavier, and can take full mudguards with 32mm tyres.

The added weight actually gives the Condor a very confident feel on the road – it doesn't skip about on broken tarmac and you can really chuck it down a technical descent. There is loads of feedback coming through from the tyres, and you can really let the bike go into the corners.

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Our test model came fitted with a set of Mavic Ksyrium wheels but I swapped them out for some Hunt 48 Limitless Aeros and slammed the stem for a couple of rides. That shed some weight and got me into a much lower position at the front, and to say it completely transformed the bike would be an understatement.

I was riding this thing like a loon, racing hard into bends and using as much of the road as possible before powering out the other side. The steering is on the fun side of neutral, which means it has the speed there to get you into and back out of trouble quickly without ever really becoming a handful.

This easy-to-live-with handling makes it well mannered when you aren't trying to smash every KOM going, and long-distance rides are a pleasure.

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The steering also means it's easy to control in poor weather. I ventured out a few times in the wet, once in the first rain we'd had in weeks, which had made the roads greasy and pretty treacherous. The Fratello was sliding about a bit in the bends but it never felt nervous or twitchy, which is exactly what you want if you are going to be pressing this bike into winter trainer, year-round commuter service.

The only slight downside to the weight is that it blunts the acceleration a touch and takes the edge off climbing. With the Hunt wheels fitted, the Fratello came in at around 9.3kg including pedals, so it's not exactly a heavyweight, and while it can be noticeable on really steep climbs it is still a responsive machine when the road starts to head skyward.

Frame and fork

As I mentioned earlier, the Fratello uses Columbus Spirit tubing which has been custom drawn to Condor's spec. Some are triple-butted, which means the tube walls have three different thicknesses along their length. This is a way of altering the ride feel by promoting flex in the middle of the tube for comfort while having more material at either end where strength is needed at the welding area.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset.jpg

Speaking of welds, the Fratello frames are handmade in Italy and the finish quality is absolutely stunning, really highlighted by the beautiful paint job. I'm a big fan of this Stone Blue but there are others available too, like Agate Grey and Black on Black.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - seat tube junction.jpg

Those white decals and the logos are all reflective, which is a neat little detail.

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Condor has kept a traditional look to the frame by keeping a straight-through 1 1/8in head tube, whereas most bikes these days, including steel ones, tend to go tapered to not only improve stiffness but also to increase the weld area for a large diameter down tube.

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Condor hasn't needed to do this as it has kept the majority of the tubes quite slender without sacrificing overall stiffness.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - head tube.jpg

The bottom bracket has remained 'old school' too, with a threaded setup for external bearing cups.

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When it comes to running cables and hoses around the frame, the Fratello has been future-proofed. The rear brake hose goes internally through the down tube until it reaches the bottom bracket, but the gear cables are run externally.

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They are positioned underneath the down tube, directed by an alloy cable guide which is bolted into the underside of the frame. If you were to use an electronic system and didn't need it, you can just remove it and you aren't left with any redundant bosses for a nice clean look.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - cable route.jpg

The carbon fork runs the brake hose internally and Condor has also thought to offer a port on the right leg for a dynamo light cable – clever thinking.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - fork.jpg

There are mounts for full length mudguards and Condor has left the seatstay and chainstay bridges in situ to allow for a standard fitment. A rear rack is also catered for.

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At the front, the positioning of the disc and calliper means Condor has sat the mudguard eyelets further up the inside of the fork legs. A lot of brands do this so it's not a big deal, but it means you will have to fettle the mudguard stays a bit to get them to fit – should you fit them yourself after you've bought the bike (Condor will fit them for you if you want).

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - front disc brake.jpg

Tyre clearance is pretty impressive for this style of bike, 32mm front and rear with full guards fitted.

2020 Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset - clearance.jpg

When it comes to weight, a painted 55cm frame tips the scales at 1,960g with the fork at 415g. Available sizes are 46cm through to 64cm.

Finishing kit

We have one of Condor's demo fleet bikes here on test, and it comes with a mechanical Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset with hydraulic discs, Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST wheels, Deda/Condor finishing kit and a Selle Italia saddle.

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Condor doesn't really do 'off the peg', so you can by the Fratello Disc as a frameset only and build it up yourself or use Condor's online bike builder to create the spec list of your dreams and/or budget.

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There's a massive selection of components to choose from and you can build your frame around a Shimano Sora groupset or go to the other end of the spectrum with one of SRAM's top-end eTap systems.

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Condor is also keen to get everything set up spot on for you, so a bike fitting is included with all new bike or frame purchases.


The Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset – which includes frame, fork, headset, seat clamp and headset spacers – will set you back £1,199.99; you can add a Condor Strada Carbon Seatpost for an extra £39.99.

That's competitive when you take into account the tubing used and the overall quality of the workmanship seen throughout the frameset.

> Buyer’s Guide: 23 of the best steel road bikes and frames

It's the same price as one of my favourite bikes of all time, the Fairlight Strael 2.0. It uses a mixture of 853/725/631 Reynolds steel tubing in the frame and comes with a full carbon fork. The Condor actually wins out on tyre clearance, as the Strael can take 28mm with guards and 30mm without but it's pretty close. The Strael 2.0 is a beautiful bike to ride and I'd say the Condor Fratello Disc is right up there with it.

Mason's Resolution steel frame is handmade in Italy and again I can see a lot of similarities in ride quality between it and the Condor. The Resolution is beautifully finished and shows a high level of attention to detail, although you do pay for it as a frameset costs £1,595.


I love the way Condor has achieved the style of what is a traditional looking all-year-round road bike while bringing it bang up to date to accept things like wider tyres and the inclusion of flat mounts and thru-axles.

More importantly, though, it has delivered a bike that is just so much fun to ride – it is truly a stunning machine at an affordable price.


Beautifully crafted frameset that delivers an awesome ride feel along with the stunning looks test report

Make and model: Condor Fratello Disc Thru Axle frameset

Size tested: 56cm


Tell us what the frameset is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Condor says, "A sporty all-rounder, the Fratello has been our number one frame for over a decade. Our new disc version features 12mm thru-axles at the front and rear, and flat mount disc brake mounts. In its creation, we focused on bringing a dynamic ride quality to the frame so you can get up to speed quickly through town as well as clocking new KOMs on long rides.

'The Fratello is the king of versatility, making it the go-to frame if you don't have space for a stable of bikes but want lightweight performance and the unique comfort of steel. Our new 12mm thru-axles stiffen the frame, creating a responsive feel when you accelerate or climb out of the saddle.

'We build the Fratello with lightweight, custom-shaped Columbus Spirit tubing. This responsive triple-butted steel is lively and exciting to ride, whatever the weather."

The Fratello Disc is a very versatile road machine that delivers a brilliant ride quality.

State the frame and fork material and method of construction

Frame: Custom Columbus Spirit triple-butted steel

Fork: Condor Pioggia Disc Thru-Axle full carbon monocoque

Overall rating for frameset

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

The overall finish of the frame and fork is exceptional, everything from the welds through to the paint and all of the other small details.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The Fratello's geometry is similar to that of a lot of endurance bikes, in terms of the length of the head and top tubes. The front end is a little more aggressive than most, though, which gives a fun, sporty ride feel to it.

Full geometry charts are available on Condor's website.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

This 55cm model has a reach of 381mm and a stack of 558mm, which is pretty typical for a bike of this type and size.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Very comfortable indeed. The steel tubing delivers a sublime ride feel.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Stiffness levels are exactly where they need to be for a bike of this style.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Steel frames aren't the lightest compared with aluminium or carbon fibre, which means the Fratello Disc isn't quite as lively off the line. Acceleration and therefore efficiency isn't really affected once you are moving, though.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?


How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? The lively side of neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

It handles very well. It's mostly neutral, which means you can ride it hard without the steering feeling twitchy in the bends, but there is enough speed in the steering that it'll tackle technical descents without too much hassle.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
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Rate the bike for high speed stability:
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Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
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How did the build components work with the frame? Was there anything you would have changed?

The Shimano Ultegra build and Mavic wheels works very well with the frameset. I didn't get on too well with the Selle Italia saddle, but that's a personal thing.

Your summary

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

The Fratello is well priced for the overall quality. It matches that of the Strael 2.0 and comes in around £350 cheaper than Mason's Resolution.

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Definitely

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
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Use this box to explain your overall score

An absolutely beautiful frameset both in the way it looks and the way it performs. Condor's attention to detail really ups the game too.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

Add new comment


fatmax | 3 years ago

What's the overall weight of the bike as tested? Sorry if I've missed that, just couldn't see it!
Many thanks, Fraser

Christopher TR1 | 3 years ago

"This 55cm model has a reach of 381mm and a stack of 558mm, which is pretty typical for a bike of this type and size."

According to their website, the stack is 588mm. A pity, I was getting excited about a quality steel road bike with clearance for larger tyres. But replicating my Spesh Allez Sprint fit with that geometry isn't going to happen.

Condorcycles replied to Christopher TR1 | 3 years ago
1 like

Hey Christopher,

Yep you are correct the stack of our Fratello is 30mm more than your Spesh Allez Sprint.Our Fratello has an endurance geometry. Based on the assumption you have your 56cm frame slammed with the minimum height bearing cover you are correct, you can't replicate the fit.

If do have spacers etc, check the bearing cover height and number of spacers beneath the stem and see what comes out, we'll give you a fitting in store or a provide a virtual fit.

The alternative is you could look at our Super Acciaio Disc model, this has a race geometry and is made from Columbus Spirit HSS. This sounds a better option for you as you want something race-orientated. 

The Super Acciaio Disc has a stack of 554mm. This frame has a much more agressive set up and agreesive ride quality you can put 32mm tyres in it but there are not mounts for guards (that said you can run PDW Fenders or Race Blades if you want rain coverage).

Happy riding

The Condor Team

philhubbard | 3 years ago
1 like

If it fits a guard with a 32mm tyre could you check what width it will fit without please? I'm thinking 34mm Byways, a 32mm Gravelking or a 35mm S-One?

Condorcycles replied to philhubbard | 3 years ago

Hey, the max tyre we recommend here at Condor is 32mm for the Fratello. 

If you want to go up to 34/35mm we would suggest the Bivio Gravel (similar tubset using Columbus HSS Spirit. Also has rack / guard mounts).

EddyBerckx | 3 years ago

meh. They've sold out of the popular sizes already!!

Condorcycles replied to EddyBerckx | 3 years ago

Hey, really sorry about that! Our staff in Italy are working on building more Fratello frames asap.

Some of our staff have split their time to build wheelchairs and hospital beds for the Italian government.

More popular sizes will be available in the next few weeks, you can pre-order (by emailing us customer.service [at] or you can register on the product page for an email notification when the frameset is back in stock. 

Thanks Condor Team

EddyBerckx replied to Condorcycles | 3 years ago

Thanks for the reply guys!

mdavidford | 3 years ago
1 like

I'm a big fan of this Stone Blue

Surely the pros list should have included:

✓ Matches kit

TheBillder | 3 years ago

Is it just me or would it look even nicer with lugged joints?

Secret_squirrel replied to TheBillder | 3 years ago

Its just you.  I dont wanna be part of lug-club.  3 

Dislike them intensely myself but each to their own.

Condorcycles replied to TheBillder | 3 years ago

Hey, without getting too into the detail the frame would be heavier with lugs.

A high quality Tig, like ours which is neat, minimal actually takes longer than building a frame with lugs. We wanted to keep this frameset light, fun and responsive, so that it is a comparable option to a carbon or aluminium bike with great ride feel of steel. We are not saying it is as light as carbon but we wanted to bring it closer to those types of frames.

We still make a lugged frame, its called the Classico, we also make a frame with bi-lams, its called Paris. 

Happy riding this autumn,

The Condor Team

matthewn5 replied to Condorcycles | 3 years ago

It's a beautiful frame, but my 56cm lugged 1980s Italian frame made from Columbus SL tubing weighs only 1850g - fully chromed under the paint - so that's not always true that lugs are heavier.

As for build time, well, you should see the attention to detail on a good frame from that period. You wouldn't see a single lumpy weld, that's for sure!

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