The British company have long been fans of the material and it was only three years ago that they launched their first racing-quality carbon frame – the Leggero, as used by the Rapha Condor Sharp team. Now they’ve gone back to their roots, using their experience from the Leggero to produce the Super Acciaio.
Condor told us they wanted to prove you could still race – and win – on a steel frame, and with Dan Craven winning the King of the Mountains jersey in Gabon’s UCI 2.1 race La Tropicale Amissa Bongo, they’ve already ticked that box.
Hand welded in Italy, the Super Acciaio borrows the tapered head tube of the Leggero but adds a wider base to give more control under tight cornering. Steel doesn’t extend to the fork, which is 300g of carbon. Condor say they've worked closely with Deda to produce custom tube shapes for the seat tube.
The Super Acciaio is hand welded in Italy
The frameset has a claimed weight of 1.9kg and costs £1,199. The bike shown here is fitted with top-end components including Campagnolo Super Record and would set you back £5,800, but full builds start from under £2,000.
The Squadra is also new for 2012 and represents an attempt by Condor to bring the cost of a racing-quality, all-carbon frameset right down. By using a monocoque (one-piece) design, rather than hand building, they’ve brought the price down to £899, or from £1,499 for full builds.
Condor have made the Squadra to satisfy the demand for cheaper carbon frames
The lack of internal cabling is a penalty you pay with this entry-level option. Yellow and black were the two colours on show yesterday but Condor are keeping unpainted stock back to allow customers to choose their own colour scheme.
Pearson, who claim to be the world's oldest bike shop, have undergone a rebranding for 2012. They've ditched their traditional logo for a less subtle but more eye-catching design and have also renamed their entire range with more memorable monikers which reflect what the bike should be used for.
One of Pearson's new monikers
So, their carbon racing/sportive bike is now dubbed 'Hammer and Tongs', a touring bike is 'I May Be Some Time' and their top-end racing bike gets the Spinal Tap-inspired 'Mine Goes Up To Eleven'. Names aside, none of the road bikes has undergone any changes for the new season. They did have a couple of new bikes on show though.
'A Cunning Plan' is a traditional touring bike, constructed with Reynolds 631 steel but with added disc brakes. The frame retails for £449 and full builds start from £1,699 depending on the spec. '10 Goal', meanwhile, is designed for bike polo, named after the title given to the highest level polo players. Again made from Reynolds steel, it has a reversible hub so you can ride fixed or free, with pricing starting from £249 (frame only) and £599 (full build).
Pearson's disc brake equipped A Cunning Plan touring bike
This being the UK's biggest cycling trade show, it was no surprise to see the biggest UK brands at the NEC. Dolan, who are certainly in that bracket, were displaying updated versions of their Ares SL, Hercules SL and Tuono SL bikes. All three now have a tapered seat tube which gets beefier towards the bottom bracket shell and is said to improve frame stiffness.
While only the Hercules had Shimano Ultegra Di2 fitted yesterday, all three come the new electronic groupset as standard on full builds, which cost £2,299, £2,399 and £2,499 for the Hercules, Tuono and Ares respectively. All three have full internal cabling and 3T finishing kit, but the Mavic Cosmic SL wheels shown on the display models of the Hercules and Ares will cost an extra £700.
The tapered seat tube of the Tuono SL
Dani Foffa started fixing up vintage bikes four years ago while continuing his day job in The City. Two years later, his passion finally took over and he quit his job to start Foffa Bikes. They offer the fully customisable Prima singlespeed, which is available in eight different colours and a reputed eight million build options when taking into account component choices.
Prices start at £485 and the bikes are available through Foffa's online store. Customers are guided through a customisation process, where every aspect of the bike is decided. The company have recently introduced their first geared bike, naturally called Gears, which will be available next spring.
Foffa's 'Stick-Your-Fix' option allows you to adorn tour bike with hard wearing stickers. Use a pre-existing design, or choose one of your own