Condor Classico Road£1,650.00

Handbuilt, lugged steel creation

BikeRadar score4/5

This great looking retro styled bike has turned the heads of discerning bike fanciers everywhere we’ve ridden it. With a classy dark green paint finish, matching steel fork, artfully detailed decals, Brooks tan leather saddle and matching bar tape in front of a polished quill stem, the bike is period perfection on the style front.

Ride & handling: This could be the retro ride you’ve been looking for

The carbon fibre brake levers give the game away that behind the period looks is modern performance, and the Classico fulfils this promise on the road. It’s certainly no lightweight, but stiff enough in the right places to reward sprinting or climbing efforts with a decent turn of speed.

No one interested in buying this bike will be under any delusions that this is some wannabe whippet anyway. Instead, in the traditions of a classic ‘tourist’ bike of the ’50s or ’60s, the Classico is perfect for spinning along poorly surfaced country lanes with friends, which is where the traditional, slightly more upright riding position will pay social dividends too.

Its sure-footedness comes into its own on fast, bumpy descents, where you can really let the Classico have its head – safe in the knowledge that the superb braking feel and control of the Campagnolo Centaur brakes will be there when you need them. It’s a traditional bike, so you’re going to have to climb traditionally too and get out of the saddle when the road turns upwards.

Handbuilt, lugged steel elegance is alive and well, and available from a certain north london shop: handbuilt, lugged steel elegance is alive and well, and available from a certain north london shop

Frame: Handbuilt, lugged steel elegance is alive and well

The triple-butted Dedacciai SAT 14.5 tubing is bang up to date but is still cut and welded by hand for Condor in Italy, using traditional skills, before being heat treated for extra tensile strength. The Condor name stamped into the flanges of the bottom bracket, at the top of the seatstays and in the head tube is a fitting reminder of these framebuilding traditions.

A frame like this is built to stand the test of time and big miles – even though the chances are it'll most likely be the ‘special’ second bike that’s only brought out for dry summer cakestop meanders. The Classico is available as a frameset for £799.99, including headset and threaded fork, but this build is actually the most popular according to Condor.

For those who want the same good looks at a slightly keener price, one can be built up with silver Campagnolo Veloce and handbuilt Mavic Open Pro wheels for £1,350. The same frame is used for Condor’s fixie, the Classico Pista. Sizing is described by seat tube length, with the horizontal top tube being typically 2cm shorter.

But you don’t need to invest hours studying frame geometry tables, or measuring your inside leg, as a free fitting session on Condor’s jig is included. Here, your stem length, bar width and frame size can be worked out with you as you pedal the adapted steel road bike with its fully adjustable tube lengths and angles. Custom geometry is an extra £100, as are chromed lugs.

The triple-butted steel frame is handbuilt in italy using traditional skills, with the condor name  stamped in at the top of the seatstays, the head- tube and the bottom bracket: the triple-butted steel frame is handbuilt in italy using traditional skills, with the condor name  stamped in at the top of the seatstays, the head- tube and the bottom bracket

Equipment: Classic looking kit with modern performance

Traditionally laced Mavic Open Pro rims on Campagnolo Centaur hubs, handbuilt in Condor’s London workshop, and the shiny metallic finish of the Centaur groupset all continue the modern classic theme. Campagnolo’s mid-range groupset works impeccably, with the familiar no-nonsense shifting action giving an adequate range of gears despite the standard double chainring setup and robust weight of the whole bike.

Finishing kit of Deda quill stem, Condor seatpost and bar with Brooks bar tape is chosen for the look, though we’d have chosen a slightly wider bar with a longer forward ‘throw’ for more hand positions. A Brooks saddle is de rigueur on any bike with retro style aspirations, and it fits here perfectly.

Despite the marque’s reputation for long-term comfort that has to be earned, we found it a great fit from the outset, though you’ll need to ensure it’s positioned perfectly for you as the polished leather will only let you slide into one very precise spot.

 traditional quill stem is oh so elegant:  traditional quill stem is oh so elegant

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