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Condor Baracchi Disc review

Verdict:

A truly marvellous all-rounder that’s labelled ‘endurance bike’ but has performance and wits enough to compete with any racer going

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Solid ride • Agile • Expertly fabricated • Perfectly assembled
Against 
Could be a touch more comfortable

They say you eat with your eyes, so a good first impression of the Condor Baracchi naturally coloured my initial ride home.

I picked up the Baracchi from the Condor shop on London’s Gray’s Inn Road, where the company has been located since 1948 and where it still gets to remain open, being an ‘essential service’ in these times.

Each shift of the AXS groupset was crisp and the discs set up true and properly bled. No mismatched lever travel here. All in all it rolled in smooth testament to the mechanics who put it together and I felt instantly at home, with no creaky, mistuned barriers to deny entry to the wonderful world of new-bike. I was taken.

But then I got home, the weather turned crap and I didn’t ride the Baracchi again until… well, until it snowed.

Snow rider

To begin with the snow was like a pound-shop Arctic expedition. Then it was atmospheric, like Narnia. And then it was just slushy and miserable and I was still 25km from home.

Top to bottom, nothing I was wearing was warm enough and everything leaked somewhere. I may as well have had shopping bags on my feet.

 

I turned these thoughts over in my head until I finally splattered onto my doormat, and it was only then I realised what an utterly sorry state the Baracchi was in. Only its second ride and it looked like it had slept in a canal. I cleaned it up guiltily and vowed to give it some proper TLC before my next outing.

Of course that didn’t happen. Nor the next ride nor the one after that. There was some towelling down to give the gorgeous pearlescent paint a chance to shine, but beyond that I have spared little attention on the Baracchi, and the reason is simple: every time I rode it, regardless of conditions, it just didn’t grumble.

Buy the Condor Baracci Disc now

It didn’t snow again but it did rain a lot and the roads turned to quagmires, and yet the Baracchi and I continued to enjoy a smooth and easy relationship. It was a pleasure to pedal every time.

OK, this isn’t quite true. The Sram brakes squeal like an elephant orchestra when it’s really wet, to the point I’ve had to apologise to people at zebra crossings, but all disc brakes do this so I can’t fault the bike. What’s unassailable is how familiar the Baracchi feels; that is, how well it meets expectations for what a bike needs to do.

 

The Baracchi is pitched as an endurance bike, so this size 55 has a 10mm higher head tube, marginally longer trail and 3mm shorter reach than the ‘race’ equivalent. Yet it’s far from stately like some endurance-pitched bikes.

Those measurements create a reactive enough bike, stable on the downs thanks to slightly longer trail yet still sharp and punchy out of corners. But the kicker is I could ride the Baracchi all day, in horrible conditions, and still pretty much forget about it.

However, despite its impeccable road manners the Baracchi is far from boring. It has superb balance, like its stiffness has been draped over the frame and not just concentrated in specific areas. But crucially it has a spring in its step.

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It turns out these wheels are handbuilt by Condor, something I didn’t immediately recognise but which I now think helps deliver the Baracchi’s spring – handbuilt wheels, like tubulars, just feel nicer to ride.

Buy the Condor Baracci Disc now

Moreover, the Baracchi is designed by Condor in London but built by a contract framebuilder in Italy. I am sworn not to name it, but said company builds for a number of top-end brands and is held in very high esteem by its peers.

 

This means the Baracchi is built tube-to-tube in much the same way as a custom carbon bike and, rather like with a handbuilt wheel, I have found tube-to-tube imbues bikes with a special sweetness to the ride, which is mostly lacking in multi-monocoque (that is, most mass-produced) bikes.

This also means you’ll not see the Baracchi anywhere else, nor its tubes in fact – the down tube, seat tube cluster and rear triangle are made to Condor’s designs in Japan and shipped to the framebuilder in Italy.

I’d suggest the cutting, mitring, bonding and wrapping in tube-to-tube creates very stiff junctions, while the tubes themselves can be made very light. But whatever the reason, the outcome is the Baracchi is a joy to ride yet is often entirely – but brilliantly – forgettable.

There’s still some room for improvement. First, I’d swap the clinchers for the tubeless Continental GP5000s. Condor would happily do this. But second, I think the ride would benefit from a more slender – and more forgiving – 27.2mm seatpost rather than the 31.6mm seatpost used here. That’s not so easy to change.

But really I’m clutching at criticism straws. I loved every minute on this bike.

Buy the Condor Baracci Disc now

Pick of the kit


Roka Matador glasses, £190, uk.roka.com

As sunglasses get ever larger I grow ever more particular about them, because once upon a time they just sat on your face, one size fits all, but now – and I admit it sounds crazy – I’m finding some sunglasses too big, and even too heavy.

Thus these Rokas have been a splendid find. Light enough for you to forget that they’re on your face; wide, clear lenses with excellent clarity and a gratifying tint. I’ve even dropped them a few times (what happened to helmets that grip sunglasses properly?) and they remain unscathed.

Buy the Roka Matador glasses now

Alternatively…


More pounds fewer ounces

Condor’s lightest disc bike, the Leggero SL Disc (£3,699.99 frameset) is built in the same place as the Baracchi, only the frame and fork come in at 1,180g (a claimed 350g lighter) and geometry is more aggressive.

Buy the Condor Leggero SL Disc now

Shiny shiny

Made in Italy from Columbus’s finest XCr stainless steel, the Acciaio Stainless (£3,599.99 frameset) is a lesson in lightweight performance steel, with frames around 1,700g.

Buy the Condor Acciaio Stainless now

Spec

Frame Condor Baracchi Disc
Groupset Sram Red eTap AXS
Brakes Sram Red eTap AXS
Chainset Sram Red eTap AXS
Cassette Sram Red eTap AXS
Bars Deda Zero100
Stem Deda Superzero
Seatpost Deda Superzero
Saddle Selle Italia SLR Flow TI
Wheels Handbuilt Mavic CXP Pro Carbon UST on Mavic Road Disc hubs, Continental GP5000 25mm tyres
Weight 7.67kg (size 55)
Contact condorcycles.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£2,699.99 frameset, £8,177 as tested

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