Condor Italia review£1,966.00

Classic looks (and brakes) combined with a competitive edge

BikeRadar score4/5

Condor’s Italia is one for the purists. A classic-looking aluminium frame that uses rim brakes instead of discs and routes all its cables externally. 

Condor Italia frame and kit

It’s designed as an all-weather training bike that’s also ideal for commuting. It has mounts for a rear rack and mine came with 28mm-wide Mavictyres along with impressive Portland Design Works (PDW) mudguards (which add to the price).

The weight for the frame in this 55cm size is claimed to be 1,600g, to which you need to add 580g for the carbon fork with its alloy steerer tube. Of course, the beauty of buying a Condor is the freedom to select components, so you have control over its ride feel and ultimate weight. 

I opted for a trusty Shimano 105 groupset, with a 50/34 chainset and 11-30 cassette, a Fizik saddle, tubeless Mavic Ksyriums with 28mm Yksion Pro tyres and those PDW mudguards.

Mudguard flaps extend almost to the ground for maximum weather protection
Mudguard flaps extend almost to the ground for maximum weather protection

It’s hard to describe just how good the PDWs are. For anyone sick of getting a sodden backside and filthy face, these aluminium fenders are the solution. 

They’re held in place by one-piece tubular aluminium stays sturdy enough to eliminate vibrations and have bolt-on flaps that get large reflective panels and reach to within 10cm of the ground. 

Forget about getting spray on your feet, or dousing riders behind you, these mudguards serve as a near impregnable barrier to any moisture thrown up by the road.

A taller front end differentiates the Italia from more race-derived road bikes, but still allows for a low cockpit with the appropriately angled stem and deep-drop bars. The Deda bar and stem are comfortable and stiff, and the 27.2mm carbon seatpost filters out road buzz before it reaches you.

With its parallel 73.5-degree head and seat tubes, the Italia has quick handling and a livelier front end than most of the bikes here. 

Condor Italia ride experience

The frame responds well to pedal inputs, which are willingly transformed into forward surges. Reasonably light tyres help it pick up speed and the generously wide, tubeless tyres mean you can run lower inflation pressures to improve comfort and grip, while reducing rolling resistance and the likelihood of puncturing.

The Italia generates speed with ease. It’s more than capable of competing with your mates in signpost sprints, and an easy companion for lengthy winter rides. It has the feel of a more expensive bike, but the practicality of an all-season hack. Maintaining speed on flat or rolling terrain is bread and butter for the Italia, and it descends with assuredness.

Among a raft of disc-braked bikes, Condor’s own-brand Pioggia rim brake callipers give away quite a lot in terms of braking effectiveness. They do the job, certainly, but stopping expectations need to be recalibrated accordingly. But if you’re a disc disciple, there is an Italia Disc on its way soon.

Condor Italia verdict

With provision for a rear rack, the Italia works well as a fast commute bike, as well as the obvious winter trainer. It wouldn’t be disgraced in a race either, with a few tweaks. It’s not exceptionally light or cheap, but for classy looks with a ride to match, the Italia is worth a look.

The Italia generates speed with ease. It’s more than capable of competing for signpost sprints
The Italia generates speed with ease. It’s more than capable of competing for signpost sprints

Condor Italia specifications

  • Sizes (*tested): 46, 49, 52, 55*, 58, 61cm
  • Weight: 8.96kg
  • Frame: Dedacciai Force 7003 triple-butted, heat treated alloy
  • Fork: Condor Pioggia carbon
  • Chainset: Shimano 105, 50/34
  • Bottom bracket: BSA
  • Cassette: Shimano 105 11-30
  • Chain: Shimano HG601
  • Mech: Shimano 105
  • Shifters: Shimano 105
  • Wheelset: Navi Ksyrium UST
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion Pro UST 28mm tubeless
  • Wheel weight: 1.17kg (f), 1.63kg (r)
  • Stem: Deda Zero 1 alloy
  • Bar: Deda RHM02 alloy
  • Headset: 1 1/8” integrated
  • Saddle: Fizik Antares R3
  • Seatpost: Condor Strada carbon
  • Brakes: Condor Pioggia long drop calipers

Condor Italia geometry

  • Seat angle: 73.5˚
  • Head angle: 71.5˚
  • Chainstay: 43cm
  • Seat tube: 51.5cm
  • Top tube: 55.5cm
  • Head tube: 17.5cm
  • Fork offset: 4.25cm
  • Trail: 6.9cm
  • Bottom-bracket drop: 7cm
  • Bottom-bracket height: 27.5cm
  • Wheelbase: 101.5cm
  • Stack: 58.8cm
  • Reach: 38.1cm

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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