Advancements in tub­ing tech­nol­ogy have cut weight with­out sac­ri­fic­ing com­fort. And as this quar­tet shows, steel re­tains a time­less beauty…

Urban Cyclist - - On Test - Words: Robin Wil­mott Pho­tog­ra­phy: ASDe­

T he TIG-welded steel tubes used to cre­ate the Con­dor Ac­ciaio are triple-butted and cus­tom drawn by Dedac­ciai in Italy. The car­bon fork is formed around an alu­minium crown and alu­minium dropouts, al­though an ex­tra £60 will buy you a full car­bon mono­coque fork.

Car­bon’s seen on the SRAM Force 22 groupset, though, from its brake and shift levers to its cranks and rear mech outer cage. A 50/34 com­pact chain­set is paired with an 11-25 cas­sette – a rar­ity when 11-28 is al­most stan­dard these days. Com­ing from Con­dor, gear choice will be down to the cus­tomer’s pref­er­ence, but if you live any­where lumpy, go for lower.

Our 55cm Ac­ciaio’s 17.5cm head-tube neatly in­te­grates with the larger-di­am­e­ter head­set cups, and ex­tends 25mm higher than the semi-slop­ing top-tube to al­low for a less ag­gres­sive po­si­tion with­out a spacer stack. At the stem’s low­est height it’s racy enough, and po­si­tion can be tweaked fur­ther through bar and stem se­lec­tion.

Fizik’s Cyrano alu bar, stem and seat­post are topped with an Aliante sad­dle for more Ital­ian flavour. The seat­post clamp­ing col­lar and front mech band-on clamp are Con­dor branded, and both have large, off­set clamp­ing flanges. At the seat­post it’s ac­cept­ably chunky, but the front mech clamp is only 3mm from the rear tyre. The frame has its max­i­mum tyre size of 25mm fit­ted, but this gap still looks un­usu­ally small.

The Ac­ciaio is very smooth, some­thing that can only be down to the frame­set since, un­like the Ritchey (p92), it doesn’t have the ben­e­fit of a car­bon seat­post or han­dle­bar, and rolls on lower-vol­ume tyres. Mavic’s base-level Ksyri­ums with their Yk­sion Elite 25mm tyres are an old favourite that still give a good ac­count, but their nar­row 20mm ex­ter­nal rim width slims tyre width to 24mm. They’re ea­ger and spin nicely, but the taller tyre pro­file lim­its hard cor­ner­ing.

Stomp­ing on the ped­als shakes the Ac­ciaio from its pre­ferred fast cruis­ing mode, but it’s re­luc­tant to let rip, though its long wheel­base en­sures a planted de­scent. SRAM’s Force groupset is a classy com­pan­ion at ev­ery speed, rapidly fir­ing through the gears and halt­ing progress with ease, for ul­ti­mately a rather smooth and com­fort­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

BIKE SPECS Frame Dedac­ciai tripled-butted steel / Fork Con­dor RC car­bon / Wheels Mavic Ksyrium Trans­mis­sion SRAM Force 22 50/34, 11-25 / Brakes SRAM Force www.con­dor­cy­

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