Condor Fratello

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Steve236
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Condor Fratello

Postby Steve236 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:44 am

I'm thinking about a Fratello and I've read around the many threads on here regarding them. Clearly its not an out and out racing bike but I'm 38 with not a great deal of spare time to train or race (and coming from an old mountain bike with slicks riding pedigree) so unlikely to need a dedicated racer. I'm much more likely to do longer rides, maybe a sportive or two a year.

Judging from the comments, the Fratello can be a lively ride - and the thing is, when I get on a bike I tend to want to ride it fast. Just wondering if Fratello riders consider them a lively ride that feels like it wants to be ridden fast.

Also, I love the look of steel and this bike in particular in case anyone is wondering why I'm not thinking about other aluminium or carbon sportive bikes.

Thanks a lot.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Steve236 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:04 pm

Apologies - I just read through that post and its a bit crap (I'm on here whilst trying to keep a 3 year old amused on a miserable day).

Essentially, this will be my only bike and it needs to be a bit of an all rounder (from a comfort/sporty point of view as well as all year round). I'm just trying to get an impression of the Fratello as a "weekend best" bike in terms of fun/excitement as a ride as well a ability to keep up with riders on racier bikes (ok the, specifically, my pal on his two and a half grand carbon Focus) on longer, faster rides.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby mroli » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:44 pm

My missus rides her Fratello as her "only" bike. It isn't the most sporty bike in the world - but it'll be your legs rather than the bike that means you can't keep up with your mate. I would say that the Acciaio is more the "sporty" steel bike that Condor does, the Fratello is a bit more of their "light tourer" - for example the missus chucked on 28 Gatorskins and a rack and rode it to Bristol on the canalpath quite happily. The Acciaio doesn't have mudguard racks, but for example you would be able to put fatter tyres on and take your 3 year old on the back!

Weekend best though - Acciaio I reckon. Bike that'll do anything for you - Fratello.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby speshsteve » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:54 pm

I looked at these and in the end thought they were quite heavy and expensive for what they are. I bought a genesys in the end, higher spec bike and you can sill run full guards and 25c tyres..its my bad weather/winter trainer.
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Steve236
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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Steve236 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 14:07 pm

Thanks for the replies and suggestions.

I have thought about the Acciaio too for a sportier bike. Thing is, as its going to be an all in one bike for anything, I'll probably want to stick guards on in the winter. Also good point about child capabilities. Might well want to put one of those extension rigs (or whatever you call them) on the back to drag (literally) the daughter along when she's big enough to hold on. The Acciaio seems to be less well regarding than the Fratello though looking at the reviews - I'd like to try both though when I eventually get to the shop.

The Equilibrium is the alternative I've been looking at - seems like a great bike too but looks-wise I like the Fratello which is what's edging that for me at the moment.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby giant man » Sun Nov 04, 2012 15:45 pm

speshsteve wrote:I looked at these and in the end thought they were quite heavy and expensive for what they are. I bought a genesys in the end, higher spec bike and you can sill run full guards and 25c tyres..its my bad weather/winter trainer.

What, and genesis aren't?
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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby speshsteve » Sun Nov 04, 2012 18:17 pm

my frameset was less then 280 quid.......reynolds 725 with carbon fork.....and what was your point again?
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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby mroli » Sun Nov 04, 2012 18:34 pm

Steve236 - I wouldn't worry about the reviews to be honest. Coming from a MTB with slicks, anything you get in this kind of price range is likely to be a quantum leap up for you.

As Speshsteve says - there are a number of other options for you (even discounting buying framesets only and building up yourself!) A bike from Evans is always going to be cheaper than a bike from Condor - economies of scale and buying power do that for you. I have not ridden a Genesis, so can't comment on that bike, but the Fratello is a nice bike to ride - it will take mudguards, 28 tyres, a rack. Condor's have a decent 2nd hand price if you ever decide to sell on again. They will sell with a carbon front fork (with mudguard eyelights), and you get fitted so it fits you perfect. Also you can usually (if you ask nicely) get a test ride on a bike as well. I'm a Condor fan - some people are not, but I think they make great bikes.

If you look, there are a number of other options at that price range, but really, the most important thing for you is to get a bike that suits the needs you have of it - whether it is an "all=rounder" accepting you might lose a bit of top end speed or a race bike or a sportive bike or whatever. I wouldn't under-estimate the "looks" thing as well. You want a bike that you look at and think "I love that that bike is mine". Speaking of which, Condor do custom paint jobs for £100......!

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby ptlk66 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 21:15 pm

Hi

I have a Fratello which I run as my winter bike, my summer bike is Bianchi Via Nirone which is clearly not up there with some of the carbon bikes guys on this forum will be riding.

However, my honest opinion is the Fratello is like cycling a gate compared to the Bianchi and would certainly not classify it as lively - heavy and unresponsive if I had to choose adjectives. After riding the Fratello I am clean and dry, due to the mudguards, after cycling the Bianchi I have a smile on my face. The Fratello is fine as a second bike for training/winter but I would certainly look for something else if it were going to be my only bike - if you are aiming to cycle all year round you need a bike that can take mudguards, apparently titanium frames should be considered.

I know it is probably not what you wanted to hear, but I would continue searching if I were you.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Pigeons in flight » Sun Nov 04, 2012 21:40 pm

I have had 2 Condor bikes...a Squadra and an Agio. I am also, like mroli, a fan...they are like a bike building equivalent of Rapha (separate legal entities as far as I am aware...but now closely linked)..a quality, niche, product...that you will pay over the odds for. In my experience, I found their customer service excellent..I was fitted up on a jig...they spent a lot of time talking about what I wanted from the bike....and the resulting rides fitted like gloves. But, without doubt, a bike of the same spec would have cost me a few hundred less from Ribble et al. Are they worth the extra?! I haven't ridden a Ribble..etc, so couldn't comparatively comment. I am best suited to a 55cm frame...which they do...and hardly anywhere else (apart from Bianchi) do...unless you go bespoke. So for me...it was money well spent...rather than putting up with a shorter stem on a 56 off the shelf. Also..if you buy from them, they will look after you.

Sorry...a bit tangential...I've never ridden a Fratello. But I did look at one built up in their shop last time I was down in the Smoke. And it was a bit of a tank...:$
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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby marcusjb » Mon Nov 05, 2012 07:17 am

I will put my head above the parapet and say I love my fratello!

Condor are fabulous to deal with (I bought it as frame and forks only, but still got lots of attention and time on the fitting rig) and really good if things are going wrong (my first frame had a small manufacturing defect on the seatpost shim meaning that the post would slip down - swapped out and all the gear swapped over for me with no issues). Their fitting and advice is well worth any premium you might pay for their frames.

As for the fratello, it is a superb frame. So comfortable.

Most of my riding is not hard charging racing (but whip the guards off and change the wheels and it would be more than suitable for a sportive), so my views do come from a mile-eating perspective (riding 250 miles a day on a bike gives you a good idea as to whether it is comfortable). I find it very comfortable and stable, climbs well and can handle pretty much everything you throw at it. I have never had to put a rack on it, but it wouldn't worry me to do so and do some light touring).

It isn't the lightest frame out there, but equally not the heaviest. If such things matter to you, then look elsewhere.

As for keeping up with carbon bling - that's not about the bike! I was in a group on this weekend's ride with steel, carbon and ti bikes - we were all tearing along together.

I bought mine as a temporary fix (I was in the process of falling out with my custom builder who was pushing my build back further and further - I intended to ride this frame until I either got the new frame from him or gave up with hm and find a new builder). I ended up cancelling my build with him and started looking for a new builder, but once I had ridden the fratello on a few lng rides, I decided that it was more than capable of being the frame I needed.

At some point, I want a tempo frame (same as fratello, just for fixed wheel) to match the fratello (especially as they have it in orange this year) as it really is the perfect frame for my needs.

It comes down to what you want to do with it. It can do everything very well, but a more specialised frame will do some things better (if you are wanting to race a lot, it is not the frame for you). Certainly for long days in the saddle, it is very silky smooth (especially with some nice 28mm tyres) and can carry a decent weight with full mudguards.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby pete54 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 09:29 am

Love my Fratello and it sounds ideal for what you want. Mine's set up for commuting and touring with 28 mm Gatorskins, mudguards and a rack. It doesn't feel heavy for what it is and I'm sure it would feel a fair bit livelier with lighter wheels and tyres.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby giant man » Mon Nov 05, 2012 09:54 am

my frameset was less then 280 quid.......reynolds 725 with carbon fork.....and what was your point again?

yeah, and bloody heavy, thats's what you're paying for
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Steve236
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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Steve236 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 14:44 pm

Lots of very useful (mixed) comments - thanks.

Sounds like it won't be the bike that would prevent me from keeping up with a group ride with others on lighter, racier bikes - that's good to know; I haven't done group riding for a long time. Also, nice to hear about the all day comfort and other positive comments about Condor which confirm what I'd read.

That it can feel like riding a gate / heavy & unresponsive; I suppose if you get off a carbon bike and onto this, it will feel a lot heavier. As mroli says. its true that I'll be coming from riding a heavy (20 year old Raleigh) mountain bike with slicks and Boris bikes. I'm thinking the Fratello will feel pretty nippy compared to those. And I expect, whatever bike you have will become the "norm" and others will feel heavier or lighter by comparison.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Alibran » Mon Nov 05, 2012 15:12 pm

Steve236 wrote:That it can feel like riding a gate / heavy & unresponsive; I suppose if you get off a carbon bike and onto this, it will feel a lot heavier. As mroli says. its true that I'll be coming from riding a heavy (20 year old Raleigh) mountain bike with slicks and Boris bikes. I'm thinking the Fratello will feel pretty nippy compared to those. And I expect, whatever bike you have will become the "norm" and others will feel heavier or lighter by comparison.


A Fratello will feel very nippy compared to your mountain bike.

I went through a similar process earlier this year (after my Trek was wrecked by an idiot in a van), and came very close to buying a Fratello. I looked at it for the same reasons as you - I wanted an all-rounder that had the flexibility to take rack/mudguards and do some light touring as well as every day riding. Condor were going to sell me the frameset (with steel forks instead of carbon because that was what I wanted) and a set of handbuilt wheels for about £1000.

It seemed like a good deal until I discovered I could buy an alternative steel frameset, build myself a better set of wheels (wheelbuilding was new to me, but easier than I expected), and then build up the rest of the bike ... for about £1000.

I spent the next few months riding a £200 hard tail while I got the money together and built my new bike, and my first ride, when I'd finally built it, was terrifying. It felt so fast and lively compared to the mountain bike, and I thought I'd never get used to it. Of course, I did, and my average speeds increased by between 1-2mph over what they had been on my old aluminium Trek with carbon forks, even though the new bike was 700g heavier overall. I've since put my winter cyclocross wheels and wider tyres on, and I immediately noticed how sluggish the bike feels by comparison.

The point of all this is that, yes, a Fratello will feel very lively after your mountain bike. But also, the thing that will make most difference to how it feels to ride is the wheels you put on it.

Steve236
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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Steve236 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 16:51 pm

Alibran - what steel frameset did you get in the end then?

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Alibran » Mon Nov 05, 2012 20:46 pm

A Surly Crosscheck.

I was already wavering between the two, and the Surly offers a bit more flexibility, mainly in the sense of taking wider tyres and heavier loads. I wanted a bike that could handle being my only transport now (so shopping loads) and camping tours in the future, and that seemed to be a bit much to ask of the Fratello. (I also got the frameset from Wiggle for half the price of the Fratello frameset with free shipping to Spain, which made the decision a lot easier.)

I haven't got anything negative to say about Condor or the Fratello, though. Their communication was excellent, and I know most people who have them are very happy with them. The Surly just turned out to be cheaper and better suited to my needs, so it was a no brainer really.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby TheStone » Mon Nov 05, 2012 22:23 pm

I have a Fratello and really like it. Commute everyday and various length touring.
It's fine for normal riding. I have a faster bike, but the Fratello is not far off.

My one complaint is the finishing kit. Seatclamp and barrel adjusters lasted weeks (cheap rubbish) and the seat post isn't the right size, eventually managed to get odd sized seatpost to get round this.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby samsbike » Tue Nov 06, 2012 08:56 am

I have a genesis equilibrium and have ridden a Fratello.

I preferred the slightly more upright position on the fratello, but there really isnt much in it. However, the genesis only has 725 main tubes the chain stays etc are some other steel. I think the Fratello in that respect edges it, as I am lead to believe that all the tubes includes stays are higher quality.

Also, don't underestimate the value of the fitting process which is lengthy and detailed at Condor.

If you are into your speed, maybe a carbon is more suited to you. There are other steels out there, a quick search may help as will looking at mosquito bikes who do other manufacturers.

Note that the other steel rides from Condor may also be better suited.

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Re: Condor Fratello

Postby Cal_Stewart » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:53 am

sportie with guard mounts what about a Trek Domane
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