Cycle Show 09: Condor mix old with new

London bike shop draws on 60-year heritage

London bike shop Condor had their entire range on display at the Cycle Show 09, focusing on a mixture of retro and modern machines.


Established for over 60 years, Condor has a genuine claim on what is now fashionable ‘old-school’ steel frame building. This has been their bread and butter for so long, and while they’ve made several accessions to modern design, the classic approach is still very much in play.

After we tore our eyes away from a 1958 British racing green lugged steel frame, we had a look at Condor’s most popular frameset, the £549 Fratello. It’s a touring frame made from Dedacciai tubing and available in striking orange or more subdued grey.

It can be built up in number of ways: the cheapest is a Shimano Sora build for under a grand, but you can go all the way up to Super Record for £2,299.99. What’s attractive about this bike is that it’s suitable for touring, fast commuting and winter riding. And yes, it looks like gears are still in fashion.

We also spotted some interesting looking mudguards on it, featuring a flat profile rather than the standard curved one. These, explained Condor’s brand manager Claire Beaumont, are their own make. And while they’ve yet to be fully tested, they certainly look stylish and will no doubt be popular with Londoners.

The fratello, condor’s big seller:
Jeff Jones/BikeRadar

The Fratello, Condor’s most popular road bike

The classico pista, a rather stylish singlespeed:
Jeff Jones/BikeRadar

The Classico Pista

London is also well known for its fixed wheel and singlespeed bikes, which are too popular to be called niche any more. Condor had several offerings on display, including the £1,100.99 Classico Pista (frame £799.99). The retro steel frame, 36-spoked wheels, flat bars with leather grips and Sugino cranks make it an ideal city cruiser.

The cheaper and more modern condor potenza:
Jeff Jones/BikeRadar

The more modern looking Potenza is cheaper at 399.99 for the frame and £730.99 for a full build.

The classico road: will steel ever go out of fashion?:
Jeff Jones/BikeRadar

On the road side, the Classico Road speaks for itself. The lugged steel frame harkens back to Condor’s roots, and whatever the build, it’s still going to look old-school. Framesets are available for £799.99 while complete builds start from £1,250.

The race ready leggero, as used by the rapha-condor team:
Jeff Jones/BikeRadar

It’s not all retro though. Condor’s Leggero frame – as used by pro team Rapha-Condor – is decidedly modern. Styled in the pink and black of the squad, this carbon frameset goes for £1,799.99, with full build options from £2,150.

The time trial specific ultima:
Jeff Jones/BikeRadar

Finally for the speed freaks, Condor’s Ultima frame is their time trial offering. It was ridden by Olympian Chris Newton this summer and netted him a few podiums in the various national time trial championships. The frameset is priced at £1,599.99 with full builds being completely custom.

Click here for more Cycle Show 09 coverage.


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