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Condor Super Acciaio – review

The Condor Super Acciaio is an anomaly: a modern racing bike made from steel.

The first thing to say about this bike is that it is very different to the machine Condor wheeled round for our ‘first look’ article. Notable by their absence were Campganolo’s Super Record groupset and Bora Ultra II wheels. In their stead, was a Dura Ace groupset and a Miche Connect wheelset.

The frame, however, was the same, though smaller: a race-attuned design made from triple butted steel tailored for the task by Condor with their Italian partner, Deda.

The top tube is flat ovalised, the down tube enormous by steel standards, the head tube tapered, and the bottom bracket oversized in the style of the latest carbon frames.

How did all this feel? Responsive, in a word; comfortable in another. The rear triangle is super tight. Clearance between the rear tyre and the seat tube was minimal, courtesy of 40.5cm chain stay and 74 degree seat tube on our 52cm test bike. Allied to an enormous dollop of stiffness from the oversized bottom bracket, the net effect was rapid acceleration and responsive climbing.

The 74 degree seat tube is mirrored at the head angle, which, combined with a short rake on the full carbon fork, and tapered head tube gave the Super Acciaio a stiff, lively front end that demanded respect, particularly when laying the bike over through fast, flowing descents.

A finish of gun metal grey and white divided opinion among riding colleagues. Your correspondent rather liked the simplicity; others considered it old fashioned. The neat welds, and condor icons on the top tube and the end of the non-drive side chain stay, won universal approval.

The spec is immaterial for potential purchasers who will choose their own from the online ‘bike builder’ facility on Condor’s website, but for the record we didn’t find much to love about Deda’s spindly Magic handlebar and felt there were better ways to showcase a racing frame’s performance than by pairing it with a 1700 gram wheelset.

The Super Acciaio is smooth and comfortable but with a geometry that delivers speed and enjoyment – a true all-rounder. The weight penalty incurred by steel will matter little to lightweight riders, although heavier pilots considering a Super Acciaio for competitive use might find it better suited to flat criteriums than to hillier events.

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