Condor Fratello Disc review

A rider favourite now comes with discs

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£1,825.00 RRP

Our review

The Fratello Disc’s road performance outstrips its spec sheet on most terrain
Buy if, You’re looking for a durable road workhorse that will just keep on going
Pros: Beautiful steel frame, saddle, descending ability
Cons: Weight, mechanical discs, harder work on climbs
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Condor’s popular Fratello has been delighting riders for years, and now there’s a disc version. Built from beautifully welded, custom-drawn and shaped, triple-butted Columbus Spirit tubing, it maintains the slim frame tube profile that only steel can, but supplements its traditional looks with modern braking.

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The frameset price of £899.99 includes Condor’s Pioggia Disc fork with carbon blades and an aluminium steerer, which at 580g carries more weight than all-carbon, and when added to the 55cm frame’s 2,100g, comprises the difference between this bike and the lighter models on test. As ever, it’s a choice, and bike weight really isn’t the most important thing.

Satisfaction, ride feel and real-world performance count for more in my book, and here the Condor shines. Fitted with Shimano’s reliable 105 groupset, a Deda cockpit, Brooks saddle, Mavic wheelset with 28mm Continental Gatorskins and TRP Spyre disc brakes, the Fratello Disc isn’t lacking. SKS mudguards with useful rubbery flaps complete the spec.

The Pioggia Disc fork is a blend of carbon blades and aluminium steerer
The Pioggia Disc fork is a blend of carbon blades and aluminium steerer
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The Fratello Disc is a beautifully cultured, smooth ride. You’re in no way isolated from bumps or road feel, there’s plenty of chatter, but it’s not harsh or aggressive, just constant surface feedback, which I like. Big hits are damped but not completely smoothed, with a little more frame compliance than your average aluminium number.

Tyre volume helps, and the 28mm Gatorskins on Mavic’s 24mm Aksium One Disc wheelset measure what they’re supposed to, and have a great combination of grip and speed. Stand on the pedals and the Fratello feels lively, accelerating on the flat, and feeling purposeful uphill. It does slow on long climbs; I explored the 36×28 lowest gear more than once.

As supplied, my bike’s 52/36 and 11-28 gear range is focused on the road, and not steep roads at that. If you’re not Chris Froome, live somewhere particularly lumpy, or plan on carrying some luggage, Condor will be able to customise the gearing accordingly.

Much seated climbing made me appreciate the superb Brooks Cambium saddle that’s just a great shape and truly comfortable. Deda’s bar and stem are typically good, particularly the RHM compact drops, which were appreciated when going downhill.

Stand on the pedals and the Fratello feels lively enough, eagerly accelerating on the flat
Stand on the pedals and the Fratello feels lively enough, eagerly accelerating on the flat
Robert Smith / Immediate Media

The Fratello Disc’s mass matters less when descending. Its 73.5-degree angles strike a great balance between stability and agility, allowing maximum attack through the corners.

The riding position I achieved was perfect too, really helping control and handling. Given the choice, I’d always plump for hydraulic discs, but TRP’s Spyre is the best mechanical option out there. It doesn’t have the instant bite of hydraulics, and needs more lever pressure, but gets the job done.

Add a rear rack and you can lug commuting luggage, or head off on a light tour, because the rear disc caliper is mounted inboard of the stays on the beautifully chunky cast dropouts, so as not to clash with a pannier.

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Condor says 28mm is the largest recommended tyre width, with mudguards. If you’re looking for a mountain goat, keep looking, but if you want a lifelong all-rounder with inherent class and a rewarding ride, your luck might be in.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Fratello Disc
Brand Condor Bikes

Available Sizes 46cm 49cm 52cm 55cm 58cm 61cm 64cm
Rear Wheel Weight 2010
Frame size tested 55cm
Wheelbase (cm) 101
Top Tube (cm) 55
Seat Tube (cm) 52
Chainstays (cm) 42.5
Wheelset Mavic Aksium One Disc
Weight (kg) 10.61
Trail 6.1
Stem Deda Zero 1
Shifters Shimano 105
Seatpost Condor Strada alloy
Seat Angle 73.5
Saddle Brooks Cambium
Rear Tyre Continental Gatorskin, 28mm
Bottom Bracket BSA
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Headset Type Integrated
Head Angle 73.5
Handlebar Deda RHM01
Front Wheel Weight 1550
Front Tyre Continental Gatorskin, 28mm
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Material Custom Columbus Spirit triple-butted steel
Fork Offset 4.5
Fork Condor Pioggia Disc carbon
Cranks Shimano 105, 52/36
Chain Shimano HG500
Cassette Shimano 105 11-28
Brakes TRP Spyre mechanical disc, 160mm rotors
All measurements for frame size tested 55cm