Condor’s shop has served London for 70 years, embracing plenty of changes: aluminium, carbon, gear expansion… The constant is steel frames. It’s why Condor’s growth from ‘local’ shop into a global brand is based not only on carbon, but also a wide range of steel from simple tubes to stylish stainless.
The popular Fratello is at the upper middle of the range with high-grade Columbus Spirit steel tubing (all Condor frames are UK designed and Italian made), and the frameset is priced at £900 / $1,300 / AU$1,550.
The tubes are custom-shaped to Condor’s design input and triple-butted (butted means a constant outside diameter but changeable internally where it’s thicker at the ends and thinner towards the centre; triple butted means three wall thicknesses in the length). This saves weight, adds a bit of ‘life’ yet keeps strength where it’s needed.
This latest Fratello brings the classic up-to-date with minimal flat-mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axle compatibility, internal routing for the rear brake and Di2, plus removable mounts for traditional mechanical cables. It comes with mudguard and rack mounts.
The frame weighs 2.1kg with a 580g carbon fork and there’s internal routing on the left for a brake and (internal) routing on the right for a dynamo, should you want to power your own lights.
Condor’s online bike builder has a multitude of options; I opted for Campagnolo Centaur and Zonda wheels, but I went for TRP’s clever-cable Spyre disc brakes.
Spyres differ from most cable discs in that both pads are sprung and actuated by the lever (cable discs usually have one fixed pad and a moving pad).
Condor Fratello Disc geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||75||74||74||73.5||73||72.5||72.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||71||71.5||72||73.5||73.5||73.5||73.5|
|Seat tube (cm)||42||45||48||51||54||57||60|
|Top tube (cm)||51.3||51.8||53.7||55.5||57||58||59|
|Head tube (cm)||11||12||14.5||17.5||20.5||23.5||25.5|
|Fork offset (cm)||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5||4.5|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||7||7||7||7||7||7||7|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||26.5||26.5||26.5||26.5||26.5||26.5||26.5|
Condor Fratello Disc ride impressions
On the road, the Fratello is a joy; its svelte tubes and slender fork provide a lively steel feel that flows over rougher surfaces.
The Fratello is from the endurance range so has a 588mm stack and 381mm reach paired with steep 73.5-degree head/seat angles. The ride position is back-friendly yet the handling is quick. It’s just so well balanced.
The drivetrain uses a pro-compact 52/36 chainset and hill-friendly 11-32 cassette, giving you top end for pushing the pace and a low end to grind up ascents.
Campagnolo’s shifting is great. Compared to Shimano or SRAM, it has a much more positive (and vocal) click to the shift button; the positive sweep of the lever moving up a single cog or multi-shifting has a lovely tactile appeal.
The TRP Spyres work well, though they don’t match the progressive feel you get from SRAM hydraulics (as on the Kinesis Tripster AT) or Shimano Ultegra discs (Ribble Endurance Ti Disc). They do feel close to the rim brakes on the Tifosi CK7 Centaur in the dry, but the Spyres work better in adverse conditions.
Campagnolo Zonda wheels are a cut above average mid-range disc wheels. The 1,675g weight is good for the price and they roll superbly on ultra-smooth hubs.
The Continental GT tyres are produced in the Far East rather than in Germany like the high-end offerings, but the rubber recipe is similar and they perform brilliantly – supple, compliant, fast yet steadfast on wet roads.
SKS’s Bluemels mudguards are constructed with a thin aluminium core reinforcing a full plastic fender. Here it’s the longboard version with a protective tip on the front and rigid rubberised flaps front and back. They work well.
Similar to the Flinger F25 Deluxe on the Tifosi, they’re designed to pop open under load and prevent ejection over the bar thanks to safety fittings that bracket-bolt to the frame. It’s a neat idea but some bolts loosened during testing, so I’d recommend a little thread-lock.
The Selle Italia Flite saddle is superb and the prominent texturing on the cover means plenty of grip when wet.
The bar has Deda’s RHM (rapid hand movement) drop. The semi-shallow drop works well with Campagnolo, though I’d like a wider bar than the 42cm (outside to outside) one. I prefer a 44cm bar – a change Condor will make when asked.
Condor Fratello Disc bottom line
Overall, the Fratello looks superb and rides beautifully. The downside is that value for money isn’t great. At £2,500, I’d expect hydraulic brakes.
How we tested
Mudguard-equipped bikes have been a staple of road cycling for decades, with winter club rides likely to insist on covered tyres because there’s little worse than sitting in a chaingang with a constant spray of muck being delivered into your face.
Like all chaingangs, we covered the fiscal range by selecting four bikes for every budget to keep you riding outdoors through the dampest days and put them to the test on our local roads in the conditions they were designed for.
Also on test
|Features||Mudguards: SKS Bluemels Longboard|
|Handlebar||Deda Zero 2|
|Tyres||Continental Grand Prix GT 28c|
|Stem||Deda Zero 1|
|Seatpost||Condor alloy 27.2mm|
|Saddle||Selle Italia Flite Manganese|
|Rear derailleur||Campagnolo Centaur|
|Front derailleur||Campagnolo Centaur|
|Available sizes||46, 49, 52, 55, 58, 61, 64cm|
|Frame||Columbus Spirit steel|
|Fork||Condor Pioggia Disc carbon|
|Cranks||Campagnolo Centaur 52/36|
|Cassette||Campagnolo Centaur 11-32|
|Brakes||TRP Spyre cable disc|
|Bottom bracket||Campagnolo threaded BSA|
|Wheels||Campagnolo Zonda disc|