Review : : Condor Super Acciaio the 10,000 mile bike

So I noticed last week that my Condor Super Acciaio had notched up more than 10,000 miles since I bought it new from @CondorCycles of London a couple of years ago.  The Super Acciaio is steel frame bike nothing like those of previous eras instead sporting carbon like geometry including a tapered head tube and stiff bottom bracket.

It’s a testament to the bike that it’s lasted this long as usually it would have gone by the way of boredom or broken.  It has survived punishing winters both in London and Yorkshire, being thrashed in road and circuit racing and munched up the miles on the daily commuting. It’s been a fantastic do anything bike and fast when I’ve needed it to be.

Its a stiff bike and is pretty sharp on acceleration with a rock solid front end spurred on by the carbon blade forks. I ran it on 23mm tyres for a long time but I’m currently rating the 25mm tyres which give a bit more comfort and confidence in the corners.

The head tube is a sculpted tapered unit, a rarity in steel, and houses a tapered 1.5in to 1.125in carbon fork..  This does however seem to attract the dirt so I’ve made myself proficient in servicing it myself.  The bottom bracket is an oversized modern pressfit design (BB30). The bearings, which press directly into the frame, are cheap to replace but they also seem to need refreshing more often than those of most bottom brackets.

The Shimano Ultegra di2 has also held up reasonably well. A failed front shifter in the early days was replaced under warranty and more a recently a worn out rear derailleur. I was a little bereaved that Madison wouldn’t replace the derailleur on the grounds it had a scratch which allowed them attribute the wear to damage – hmmm. More alarmingly access to the older Ultegra di2 groupset (6770) is now winding up as parts are at the time of writing are difficult to find now that it’s been replaced by 11 speed (6870).

The Super Acciaio is now furnished with a new set of winter wheels as the cold weather approaches.  I’m very optimistic of the Hunt Wheels which have replaced the existing; more about these later. It will also be strapped with mud guards for those wet and filthy days.  I’ve no doubt it will make it through another grimy winter into 2016 and being easily maintainable I’ve really got no excuses.

Here are some of the details of my Super Acciaio which continue to make think its a keeper;

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Training : : Christmas Eve ride

Christmas Eve ride A long windy ride from London to Shakespeare’s birth place to see the family for Christmas.  The route passed through the Chilterns where I was lucky enough to see two Red Kites circling above lunch.   Brilliantly sunny day riding through the English countryside and I also happened upon a small village called Christmas Common!

Brutal headwind all the way and feet numb for the last 4 hours of the ride.  Rethink needed on shoes and socks for the colder days!

Training : : London to Brighton to London

Long training ride yesterday in very cold temperatures.  London to Brighton and back to London.  Amazingly sunny day and great to get down to Brighton seaside for a coffee and cake.  A super fat flapjack rescued me on the return leg via Boxhill.  Fantastic group of riders and an epic day on the bike.  Its great to be able to put in this sort of mileage in the middle of December.

Ultegra electronic rear derailleur stopped working twice but came back to life both times after 15-20mins of super high cadence.  Intermittent problems like this are tricky but thankfully infrequent.

Training Ride

Training : : Pyscle London

Psycle London

I spend a lot of time on the bike in very static positions so a friend recommended I try an ‘all-body’ spin class to loosen things up.

I’ve put this off for a while now as I’ve never been a great fan of the spin class. However I was given a nudge to try out Psycle, so I took up their introductory offer and headed down there.

The reception has a clean modern decor with space to hang out behind large glass windows facing onto the street.  The greeting was professional and friendly. Shoes, towels and lockers are all provided so its nice and easy getting started.

The bike set up was clearly explained by the instructor, AJ, prior to the start of the class. It was a prompt start with lights dimming and music pumping. The all body workout came as somewhat of a shock to the system; it’s a 5 out of 5 for work your arse off! I certainly disappointed AJ with my complete lack of double time! AJ’s popping and bursts of energy brought a very positive vibe to the class with his dance background shining through. Lots of arm work which whilst easy enough I found difficult to coordinate with maintaining a good leg speed.

Music was loud with some current tracks. Any class that manages to integrate Money For Nothing by Dire Straits needs recognition (still working out whether good or bad). Lighting was sequenced and variable throughout the session.

I would like to see a leader board display showing stats which would provide great feedback and could take this studio much further.

If you need to loosen things up or release that upper body from the static winter turbo it’s worth a visit.

Cycle to Cannes : : MIPIM 2015

CycleTo MIPIM

On the 5th March 2015, I will embark on 1,500km cycle ride from London to Cannes to raise vital funds for the UK’s first ever dedicated children’s charity, Coram, as part of the Broadgate Estates CYCLE TO MIPIM 2015.

I join 100 colleagues from the property industry in an epic six day journey that starts in London and takes in Calais, Reims, Dijon, Valence and Aix-en-Provence before arriving in Cannes in time for MIPIM, the annual property sector conference, on Tuesday 10th March.

The money raised will specifically benefit Coram’s adoption service, one of the most successful in the UK, helping children find safe, loving and permanent new homes.

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/buggonabike