Hailing from one of Britain’s best-known bike shops, Condor’s Italian-named Baracchi is going to sound familiar to some of you. That’s because we’ve seen it before, back in November 2005 to be precise. But thanks to a 2013 overhaul we find ourselves astride it once again.
Nestled in the middle of the Condor frameset price points, the Baracchi is actually second in line to the carbon throne, which belongs to the Leggero – used by the Rapha-Condor race team.
The 2013 tweaks include new carbon lay-ups, shaving 50g off the weight and making it stiffer than its previous incarnation. Our test version has also taken advantage of other technical advances and came equipped with Campagnolo Athena EPS 11-speed. However, as Condor operates a simple flowchart-style purchasing system the set-up is down to you and your wallet.
The Baracchi certainly stood out. At a hefty £4,500, it doesn’t offer particularly good value for money and neither is it a bike we could spend all day cruising on. And while it’s certainly a handsome machine, that’s not why it stands out either. No, it stands out because there is something about the Baracchi that makes us just want to race. Properly race.
It’s agile, aggressively so at times; letting you throw it around with ease, which meant us getting a bit lairy on a few rides, leaving us a long way from home without the fitness to get us back in the blistering pace that got us there in the first place.
It’s not the lightest machine, tipping the scales at 7.8kg, but that’s not a noticeable penalty on the hills, and the overall stiffness, in the mini-me test size meant that it responded well to whatever you could put out, yet didn’t fill us with road buzz, which some highly strung bikes can do.
The geometry isn’t crazy steep or low, so will lure in some riders who are looking for a ?sporty’ bike. But make no mistake, this is a race bike and will make you ride like a racer – even if you don’t want to.
£1699.99 for frameset only