Even if you don’t have the legs to cut it with an elite roadie riding the Premier Calendar series, the Rapha Condor Leggero Team will let you enjoy the same exciting ride and performance.
We’ve tested pro level bikes that feel particularly fast and efﬁcient but are let down by their ruthless ride over poor surfaces.
We’ve tested ‘sportive’ bikes that are so compliant they disconnect you from the ride and dampen its excitement.
The Leggero Team avoids these pitfalls with its rare combination of stealthy, pro-level race speed and sportive-friendly comfort, no matter what the surface.
And while the Leggero Team matches Rapha’s image and colours it has a more prosaic price tag.
Ride & handling: quick but smooth
The Rapha Condor Leggero Team has a delectable combination of speed and big-day ride smoothness. Condor has got the handling and stiffness balance spot on.
Condor has created the perfect all-rounder here. It most reminds us of the Museeuw MP-5 or, to a lesser extent, the Kuota KOM: both team issue mounts with an unusual balance of comfort and speed.
The Leggero Team is the kind of bike that will have you itching to attack when racing, or rising to the challenge of joining faster passing groups on mass participation rides.
You’ll be prepared to make these extra efforts because the bike pampers the body contact points rather than punishing them, so you’ll be further down the road before the inevitable onset of fatigue.
What’s more, point the Leggero Team downhill and the safe and secure steering rewards you with pin-point accuracy and an unerring stability comparable even with the very best German bikes that we’ve tested.
Frame: not the lightest but proper team issue toughness
The Leggero, meaning light or agile, is actually made in Italy using Dedacciai DSC SL unidirectional carbon ﬁbre tubing, with several layers of carbon used to join the tubes that abut each another with a mitred joint.
Deda’s specially constructed Drive Box/Tail wishbone chainstays/seatstays are perhaps dated when placed next to the twin-tube stays of a Scott or Storck, but Deda has worked its magic on the proﬁle to integrate them with the rest of the frame.
Frame geometry varies according to size, so a short rider will not have a problem with toe overlap when turning in a tight circle.
Condor hasn’t adopted the very latest trends in frame design here but what you do get is a solid and dependable package that includes its Wave full carbon fork.
Frame weight comes in at over the magic kilogram for the 55cm size tested, so it’s not a superbike in the true sense of the word, but it will take the hard knocks of racing on the UK’s rough road surfaces.
Frames are ﬁnished in a jet black and luxuriously deep lacquer.
The tastefully contrasting pink and white bands are distinctly Rapha and look classy without being too ﬂamboyant.
For those who prefer to draw less attention to themselves, there’s also a natural carbon and red decal version of the bike.
Equipment: slinky Dura-Ace, dinky Deda
Shimano Dura-Ace kit is hard to fault and combined with the ITM ﬁnishing kit makes this a light and effective projectile for competitive riding or sportives.
Shimano Dura-Ace has been the top choice of professional and amateur road racers for over 30 years, so it is no surprise to see it on the team-issue Rapha.
The gears have a more distinct and luxurious feel through the levers than lesser groupsets and the titanium/pewter surface treatment looks more expensive, even though in practice it’s just as prone to casual knocks and scratches.
Where Dura-Ace really scores for us is in stopping, with the best braking in its class. Confidence in stopping means you can go faster.
Steering duties are controlled by Condor’s own-branded integrated headset with weight-saving carbon top plate.
Following the frame’s Italian theme are the ﬁnishing kit components designed by Deda Elementi in Italy and made in Taiwan. The Newton handlebars cost around £50 on their own and the anatomic shape was a hit with all our testers.
The Deda Zero 100 stem has 8 degrees of drop and is forged in three dimensions for lightness and strength. The 6Al/4V grade titanium screws help keep weight down to a paltry 100g, also making it one of the lightest stems available.
Saddle choice is a matter of personal preference but the Fizik Arione specced here is sure to satisfy more riders than it upsets.
Wheels: best all-rounders
Deep section wheels would have registered higher on the coolness scale but in terms of function Condor has done brilliantly to spec the Rapha with the new Shimano Dura-Ace WH-7850 wheels.
These are our current benchmark for value at around £550 a pair and use rims that are co-moulded carbon with an aluminium braking surface. They are as light as a full carbon rim without the lower performance of a carbon braking surface.
Simply the best wheels we have come across to date, ideal for anything from sportive riding to city centre criterium racing.