Condor’s shop on Gray’s Inn Road, London, has been a cultural hub for everyone from cycle couriers to Continental pro riders since 1948 and has been producing stylish machines for just as long.
The Super Acciaio blends that timeless style and experience with the fruits of its long relationship with Italian tube master Columbus to produce a sporting steeler.
- Highs: Efficiently effervescent responsiveness and handling with serious style and good value custom options
- Lows: Firmer, feistier ride than you might expect from steel
- Buy if: You want a classically styled, deep heritage, custom configurable steelie with a distinctively dynamic ride
Frame and equipment: deliciously detailed UCI-approved chassis
If you didn’t know about the rich racing history of Condor – most recently in cahoots with Rapha and JLT – there are some clear clues in the Super A frameset. It’s gone through the lengthy and expensive process needed for UCI approval and the international racing clearance that provides.
A tapered head tube keeps a firm (for steel) hold on the light Columbus Grammy Slim fork, it uses an oversize BB30 bottom bracket that is almost unheard of in steel bikes and stout, kinked chainstays end in oversized cowled dropouts. You’ll feel a different cross-section wherever you grab the triple-butted tubes too, with everything from round to oval to octagonal to rectangular and every permutation in between used for maximum power transfer and precision.
The oversized PF30 bottom bracket is a rare sight on steel steeds
The seatstays are flattened to flex subtly below the Condor-embossed brake bridge and there’s delicious detailing, from the contrast paint inside the double-sided reinforced dropouts to neatly shaped cable guides and multiple 3D versions of the Condor logo on various tubes.
In the UK, a full bike fit at Condor HQ (or nine other regional Condor stockists) is included in the frame or complete, multi-option bike builder price and if none of the six broadly spaced 46-61cm sizes feel right custom geometry (and paint options) are available – with an eight-week wait. The bike builder also allows your personal choice of parts but you’d not go far wrong with Condor’s own pick of mid-range Campagnolo groupset and top end wheels here.
Ride and handling: sparky steel steed
While artistry and custom spec potential help justify a serious bike purchase, it’s how a frame feels on the road that really lights your fire. We’re pleased to report that the Super A is is pretty damn flammable in that respect.
The stiff, short chainstay frame stokes the lightweight Campagnolo Shamal wheels up to a scorching pace with minimal effort for a steel bike. The 8kg weight means it’ll ignite with equal enthusiasm on any steepness of incline or village sign sprint and it’s a standout bike for riders who love to look over their shoulders and prod the pace of a group ride.
The Super Acciaio is an eager climber
Even with the wheels swapped it’s still got a noticeable edge over the Enigma’s otherwise similarly sporting steeler, the Elite HSS ST when you’re twisting the bar tape off at max torque. The steep steering makes it a quick-witted companion, and it’s as eager on twisting roads as it is on climbs.
Perhaps inevitably, enhanced power transfer and precision comes at the expense of subtle shock damping and there’s a fair amount of clatter and chatter from either end of the Condor. Bear in mind too that tight clearances make even 25mm rubber a close fit.
A relatively tall head tube takes pressure off your hands though, and with the extra filter of a skinny Fizik carbon seatpost under the Aliante saddle there’s enough spring to float a big gear over staccato road sections and keep the steel spark alive.
|Name||Super Acciaio (15)|
|Available Sizes||46cm 49cm 52cm 55cm 58cm 61cm|
|Rear Wheel Weight||1480|
|Top Tube (cm)||55.5|
|Standover Height (cm)||79.3|
|Seat Tube (cm)||50|
|Bottom Bracket Height (cm)||26.5|
|Wheelset||Campagnolo Shamal Ultra|
|Stem||Fizik Cyrano R3, 110mm|
|Seatpost||Fizik carbon, 27.2mm|
|Saddle||Fizik Aliante Kium|
|Rear Tyre||Continental Grand Prix 4000S II, 23mm|
|Bottom Bracket||Campagnolo Power Torque PF|
|Rear Derailleur||Campagnolo Athena|
|Headset Type||Condor custom|
|Handlebar||Fizik Cyrano R3, 420mm|
|Front Wheel Weight||1010|
|Front Tyre||Continental Grand Prix 4000S II, 23mm|
|Front Derailleur||Campagnolo Athena|
|Frame Material||Columbus Condor custom|
|Fork||Columbus Grammy Slim/Super Acciaio|
|Cranks||Campagnolo Athena Carbon, 52/36|
|Cassette||Campagnolo Athena, 11-28T|
|Brakes||Campagnolo Athena dual pivot|
|Frame size tested||55cm|