Steel has been rapidly regaining its status as a bona fide racing-bike frame material over the last three years.
Madison-Genesis this year became the first pro team to use one of the new generation of steel race bikes, the Genesis Volare 953, but Condor had been developing its Super Acciaio with the Rapha team since 2010.
Namibian Dan Craven rode a prototype in the Smithfield Nocturne in 2010, leading to the bike’s inevitably being dubbed ‘Steely Dan’. Craven went on to score the bike its first Premier Calendar podium later that season.
Three years on, Condor has swapped Dedacciai steel for a custom Columbus tubeset and shaved 200g off the frame weight while retaining the tapered head tube and oversized bottom bracket shell – features more often seen in carbon frames – of its predecessor. There’s also a new carbon fork that’s 50g lighter than the previous model’s.
The new steel frame was factory tested at the end of 2012 before being passed to key Rapha-Condor-JLT riders, Kristian House, Tom Southam and James McCallum, who raced it in the 2013 Tour Series.
House said: Getting the steel bike to be absolutely right was really important to me. I spent a lot of time testing it and giving feedback to the guys at Condor, and I came to a point where the bike was so right that I could switch easily between carbon and steel, while getting the distinct benefits from each material.”
The 2014 Super Acciaio production frameset is available in both neon red and team issue colour-ways, priced at £1,299.99 including the full-carbon Columbus Grammy Slim fork. Full bike builds start from £2,499.99 with Campagnolo Athena carbon 11-speed.
This article was first published in the November 28 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!