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Condor Italia RC Disc

8
£4,675.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Stiff aluminium bike with nimble handling and a fun ride – and a fully customisable spec
Nimble handling
Stiff
Balanced geometry
Light
Beautiful looks
Frameset price is higher than others
Weight: 
8,250g

The Condor Italia RC Disc is nimble, twitchy and exciting to ride fast. Aimed at racers, the frame is stiff and very well balanced, providing direct handling that makes the bike great in tight corners. The Campagnolo Chorus groupset impressed me with its braking and snappy shifting, but if you'd prefer something else, don't worry – you can choose whichever components you want.

> Buy this online here

The Italia RC Disc is available to buy as a frameset, for £1,199.99, or with a fully customisable spec, allowing you to build up the bike on Condor's website to your budget or component preferences. So if the components that we have on this build aren't for you, you can change things easily.

Ride

A few miles of riding left me in no doubt that this is an out-and-out race bike. The frame and fork are stiff, a rather tight wheelbase keeps things fun, while the 8.2kg overall weight is very respectable for an aluminium disc brake bike.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - riding 6.jpg

I'm not the biggest rider out there at just 62kg, but I still prefer a stiff frame for attacking climbs. The Italia RC Disc doesn't disappoint, responding quickly when you stamp on the pedals with no hint of flex at either the bottom bracket or the front end. It's a nice reminder that aluminium is far from inferior when it comes to frame construction.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - riding 3.jpg

I've been mainly heading towards the hills when I've ridden the Italia RC Disc. It's not that the bike doesn't ride well on the flat – it holds speed around the 30kph mark perfectly easily – it's just that it climbs so beautifully, with a flick that rewards out of the saddle efforts on the steep climbs that we have here in the Mendips.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - riding 4.jpg

The semi-compact (52/36-tooth) chainset, paired with a decently wide 11-32T 12-speed cassette, helps here. I had the gears I needed to maintain a good cadence on the steepest slopes, though you could always spec a compact chainset (50/34T) should you want to go lower.

If stability is what you're looking for then the Italia RC Disc might not be for you. It was designed to be lively and that is exactly what it is, suiting those who like tight corners and dynamic climbing.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - riding 5.jpg

The frame geometry is anything but slack, though you can still achieve a comfortable riding position thanks to the relatively tall 165mm head tube. It made for a position that was comfortable both in the drops and on the hoods, even though I had removed all the spacers from under the stem.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc.jpg

Condor is using the traditional method for sizing its frames so this 55cm frame comes with a 55cm seat tube. The top tube is marginally longer at 55.5cm. This translates into a stack of 56.6cm and a reach of 38.7cm. Pleasingly, for fans of symmetry at least, the head tube and seat tube angles are identical on this 55cm model at 73 degrees.

> Bike geometry 101: Why stack and reach are important

Condor keeps the chainstay length at 40.5cm for sizes 46 to 55, before lengthening them to 40.8cm and 41cm for sizes 58 and 61 respectively.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - riding 2.jpg

What does that all actually mean? Well it's got quite a comfortable reach and is slightly on the taller side, but keeps things fun with a tight wheelbase. It's best suited to riders who prefer a quick smash in the hills to those who want to tick off long miles.

Frame and fork

The frame, as you might already have noticed, is a proper double triangle that will please the haters of the trend for dropped seatstays. 'Handmade in Italy', the double-butted 7000-series high-performance aluminium frame is paired with a bladed carbon fork with a 1 1/8 to 1 1/2in tapered head tube.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - frame detail.jpg

Mechanical and electronic systems are both catered for – cable routing for the brakes (and electronic shifting, if you were to choose it) is internal, while mechanical shift cables run externally.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - cable route.jpg

While the exposed shift cables might not look quite as tidy as internal routing, it does make adjustments and maintenance so much easier.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - cable route 2.jpg

The flat mount discs are set up for 140mm rotors, though 160mm rotors can be used with adapters, and the frame is finished with a lovely imprinted Condor logo down by the rear brake. (For those who aren't fans of disc brakes, Condor still makes a rim-brake frameset.)

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - rear disc brake.jpg

The finish on the Italia RC Disc is very pleasing to the eye, with lovely touches that make it look very well made. The way the frame welds are smoothed at the head tube and seat tube give the frame a high-quality look.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - head tube.jpg

The Italia RC Disc uses what is now the unofficial road bike standard of 12x100mm and 12x142mm thru-axles along with a BSA threaded bottom bracket shell for simple maintenance. This might seem like a simple feature, but I'm a big fan of a threaded bottom bracket. I certainly couldn't feel any loss from a pressfit system.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - bottom bracket.jpg

Groupset

Our Campagnolo Chorus-equipped bike with Campagnolo's WTO 33mm carbon wheels is a very nice build, but as I said up top, if you want something different – and I have to say this wouldn't be my preferred build – you can spec what you want on Condor's 'Build a Bike' site. It's like those 'Build-A-Bear' stores, but you'll spend a lot more and come away with something far more useful.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - front hub.jpg

Campagnolo's Chorus 12-speed disc brake groupset is a beautiful collection of carbon, but I do have a few gripes with what is a £1,275 option on Condor's website.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - crank.jpg

The first is with the shifter where, although the hood ergonomics are generally very comfortable, there is a large bump where the shifter body meets the bar. I found it uncomfortable, sitting right against the heel of my palm.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - bars.jpg

The shifting, on the other hand, is great. It's the snappiest shifting that I've used and there are some neat multi-shift functions built in too. These allow you to flick through a huge five sprockets on the downshift and three on the upshift. How often you might wish to use this functionality might be limited, but I found it very useful when cresting a hill. The rapid dumping of the chain down five gears allows you to surge over the top of climbs.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - rear mech.jpg

The actual action of shifting using Campagnolo Chorus is pretty easy to get used to too. The finger and thumb paddles are quick to actuate a shift, so only a small press is needed. You also get a reassuring click. This is easily one of the most positive mechanical groupsets that I've used.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - front mech.jpg

It's not all roses. I'm really not a fan of the thumb paddle on the right hand when sprinting – with my hands in the drops, I found it very difficult to reach. This isn't ideal when racing for a (town sign) finish line, as I was often left focusing more on finding the shifter than getting the power down. It's personal preference, but I simply find the finger-operated paddles on Shimano and SRAM shifters easier to access.

While I know Campagnolo holds a dear place in many a rider's heart, this Chorus disc brake mechanical groupset wouldn't tear me away from my Shimano Ultegra R8070 Di2 disc group. Ultegra R8020, the disc brake with mechanical shifting, costs less at £925, a significant saving over the Chorus equivalent.

Wheels

If you want to highlight a race frameset then a top-end £1,749.50 set of wheels should do the trick. Campagnolo's WTO 33 Disc wheels are sublime, combining a fast ride with trouble-free handling, good support for wider tyres, and low weight that helps when accelerating out of corners and when heading uphill.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - rim.jpg

The rim features Campagnolo's 2-Way Fit technology. That is to say, the wheels are tubeless-ready and benefit from a 19mm internal width and no spoke holes in the rim bed. That means there's no need for rim tape, making tubeless tyre installation far easier.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - rim adn tyre.jpg

These are shod with Vittoria's Corsa Control G2.0 tyres in a 28mm width – the maximum width specified for the Italia RC Disc, and I'd suggest you use every millimetre. You can run them at lower pressures than narrower tyres, which helps to hide some of the harshness that such a stiff frame can produce.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - front clearance.jpg

Finishing kit

Our test bike is decked out in Fizik finishing kit, with an aluminium Cyrano R1 bar (bull shape) and R3 stem, along with a carbon Cyrano R1 seatpost, topped with Fizik's Antares R3 saddle.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - stem.jpg

The components at the front end are light and stiff and I especially liked the 'bull' shape of the Cyrano R1 bar. It provides a short reach and easily accessible drops for a comfortable position. The tape that it is wrapped in was a little hard for my preference – it's been chosen for the classic look but I'd prefer something cushier.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - bar tape.jpg

I've never been a fan of Fizik's Arione – I just don't get on with it – but it's a very popular saddle. I did like the seatpost, though, with its easily adjustable tilt and good vibration damping on rougher tarmac.

2020 Condor Italia RC Disc - saddle.jpg

Value

While the price of this build is very high for an aluminium disc brake bike, the only way to really judge the value fairly is by comparing it with other framesets.

At £1,199.99 it's more expensive than the Cannondale CAAD13 Disc, at £999, although the Condor's frame joints look far tidier (and personally I'm not a fan of the colour of the Cannondale).

> Buyer’s Guide: 25 of the best production framesets to build into your dream bike

Trek's Emonda ALR costs even less, at just £800. That's a big chunk of cash to save that could be spent on components, so if you're restricted by a tight budget then the Emonda would be worth considering.

Conclusion

Condor's Italia RC Disc is a very good aluminium frameset that, in this build, has been a joy to ride in the hills. The handling is sharp and it is genuinely fun to ride – and you don't have to spend nearly five grand to enjoy it: with a massive range of components to pick from, you can spec it to your heart's desire.

Verdict

Stiff aluminium bike with nimble handling and a fun ride – and a fully customisable spec

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Condor Italia RC Disc

Size tested: 55cm

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

Frame Condor double-butted 7000 series high performance aluminium

Fork Condor straight bladed full carbon monocoque

Frame weight 1480g

Fork weight 350g

Sizes 46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61cm

Colours Midnight Blue

KEY FEATURES

Internal cabling on top tube

Clearance for 30mm tyres

Tapered head tube

Race geometry

Mechanical and Di2/EPS compatible

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Bottom bracket: BSA

Seat tube (internal): 31.6mm

Seat tube (external): 34.9mm

Front derailleur attachment: band on

Headset: 1-1/8" to 1-1/2" integrated

O.L.D.: 142mm

Thru-axles: 12x100mm (front); 12x142mm (rear)

Disc brake mounts: flat mount

Groupset: Campagnolo Chorus 12-speed mechanical with hydraulic disc brakes

Wheels: Campagnolo Bora WTO 33mm Disc

Tyres: Vittoria Corsa Control G2.0 28mm

Saddle: Fizik Arione

Seatpost: Fizik Cyrano R1 Carbon

Bar: Fizik Cyrano R1 Bull

Stem: Fizik R3

Tell us what the bike 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, 'Handmade in Italy'

'Constructed from state-of-the-art 7000 series aluminium, our race-orientated frameset is stiff and superbly light. Remodelled with a tapered head tube and new smoother, lighter tubing, the Italia RC Disc will accelerate up to speed quickly and stop you even quicker. Race it, ride it, or climb with it: the Italia RC offers performance by the bucket load at a price to suit every budget.'

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

This depends entirely on how you spec the bike.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

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

I love it when aluminium frames are done well. This one is brilliant. It is stiff and beautifully put together.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

7000-series, double-butted aluminium frame with a full-carbon 1-1/8 to 1 1/2in tapered fork.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The geometry is race-focused, but it's still easy to get comfortable for general riding. A relatively short reach really helps here.

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

I found the head tube to be a touch on the tall side, though this didn't stop me from getting low on the flats. It results in a race position that isn't stupidly low.

Riding the bike

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

Yes. But I feel that the comfort is massively helped by some clever component choices, like the supple 28mm tyres.

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

All good here. Good power transfer without feeling harsh.

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

It really surprised me with how planted the frame felt when putting the power down. It resulted in the bike flying out of the corners and surging forward when I attacked a hill.

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

Yes, but I get that on nearly every bike because I run my cleats far back.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Very lively.

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

The bike is nimble with very direct handling. It might be a bit unstable for some, but I found it great fun.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The tyres, at 28mm, are a great choice for broken roads. Really comfortable.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The wheels are incredibly expensive, but they're so good. They hold speed on the flat well and spin up quickly on the climbs.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
3/10

You can certainly flick it around.

Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
9/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
4/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

The spacing between the 12-speed sprockets means you need to keep the rear mech perfectly indexed.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the wheels for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels for weight:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the wheels for value:
 
5/10

Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?

Oh they're lovely, but oh, that price. If you can afford them, they're excellent. They are light, stable, stiff and just lovely to ride.

Rate the tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the tyres for comfort:
 
10/10
Rate the tyres for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

I've ridden these tyres before and really liked them. They are supple and grip well in the wet.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
5/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

The bar is particularly nice in the 'bull' shape. The short reach and drop mean that the whole bar is easily accessible.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Loved it.

Would you consider buying the bike? In a different spec, yes.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

As a frameset, it's a little more expensive than Cannondale's much-loved CAAD13 (£999), and Trek's Emonda ALR is £800.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

Aluminium is still brilliant when done correctly and Condor gets it spot on with the Italia RC Disc.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 24  Height: 177cm  Weight: 62kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.

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