Condor are one of the few remaining true UK bike brands with a deep-set tradition in racing. They have been building bikes for the UK’s best bike riders for 57 years in Grays Inn road, London. Condor are unusual in that they supply customers with the bike they wish for and unlike mainstream manufacturers they can specify pretty much any brand component you want – which is a great advantage should you have a saddle, bar or pedal preference. There’s a proud tradition of building bikes in the Condor workshop which, under the legendary eyes of Monty Young, is well respected. All Condor bikes receive the personal touch (you can be fitted and measured at their showrooms) and although they have a ‘range’ these bikes are all individually assembled.
Condor still build a fair amount of bikes from steel, but have now ventured into aluminium and carbon. In fact their full range was regarded by many at the recent London Show as being one of the most comprehensive and attractive brands on display.
Frame and fork
Dedacciai Tubing are a company that branched off from Columbus about ten years ago, they have taken tubing to new levels of excellence and can now offer custom sets to suit the builder and their needs. This grandly named Dedacciai SC61.10A K.E.T. tubeset is Condor’s signature set, very thin tube walls with custom drawn profiles, the frame is built by an Italian builder who has a very close relationship with Condor, so they can do custom sizes too, but do expect to wait if you are ‘out size’. The frame is heat treated and the rear mono-box features carbon seat and chain stays.
Condor bikes have always had a twist of tasteful style and the ’05 Squadra oozes class. Neat touches to the decals and paintwork provide an exclusive finish and one that attracts a lot of envious attention. Most ‘compact’ frame designs have gone a little less extreme in the past year or so and I welcome this as I always found them far too long and low at the front. The Squadra did still feel a little low to me, it could be solved by going up to the next size, or going custom.
Ride-wise the Squadra is a racing bike with ride all day comfort added in and yes, you do really notice the added carbon in the rear end. It certainly helps the bike behave when taking off a rain cape in the saddle or eating a Powerbar, it’s a stable and predictable bike which is something not always associated with compact frame designs. That comfort you expect from carbon is noticeable but in a subtle way that just takes the edge off the road shock and the full carbon back end helps dig the rear wheel into the road when sprinting or climbing. A full carbon fork would take a little weight off the front wheel, but the Squadra’s aluminium/carbon front end is certainly sturdy and provides plenty of confidence to the controls, you could upgrade and save a little weight.
Ten speed for all
Good: Condor build quality and attention to the details
Bad: Weighty wheels. Deserves a lighter set and a ‘better’ groupset.
Weight: 19.0lbs/8.6 kgs less pedals
Contact: Condor – 020 7269 6820