Weekend with the Fratello
"After one of those frustrating days changing tube stations, squeezing myself into non-existent spaces, I get home and know I'll relish taking the Fratello to work rather than taking public transport."
–Nick, Fratello owner since 2011
The way people ride their Fratellos varies from one to the next. Some choose it for its ultimate reliability as a daily commuting work horse. Others take to theirs to tour around the world. We've even found some throw their leg over and hit the racing circuit.
"It is really good for getting out of the city quickly, covering lots of miles and getting into the lanes. Then you've got the versatility to veer off onto a track or path. I often nip into Epping Forest for 'off-the-beaten track' rides."
–Julene, Fratello rider since 2014
"For whatever reason a member of my club dragged me to an Audax under the pretence of riding a sportive type thing. I quickly found myself hooked to the audaxing scene, super long days (and sometimes nights!) in the saddle, but everyone is so friendly. Comfort is my top priority for audax events, so I plumbed for the Fratello after seeing so many out on events over the autumn."
–Russ, Fratello rider since 2014
For 2015, our updated Fratello has been given a partial face-lift. We now offer this iconic frameset in a disc-ready flavour, ready to adapt to a multitude of riding disciplines. It's this unrivalled versatility that lends itself to the modern rider; a true do-it-all in the most earnest sense. Our Fratello will see you through a whole weekend of riding.
Friday is bookended with an early evening commute to the suburbs. An escape from the shackles of the rat race as our rider glides effortlessly through the city along the Embankment. A nimble handling bike despite its load weaves through the rush hour traffic of London. Adorned with a full rack and panniers, work clothes are stashed unassumingly, and an iPad and work journals neatly tucked in an internal pocket. The ultimate statement of practicality, panniers alleviate that restrictive feeling of an overloaded backpack, freeing the rider to enjoy the journey.
Saturday morning arrives and summertime sunrays bathe the lanes as we head to the North Downs way, a mere sixteen miles out of central London. No need for the panniers today, but the full mudguard coverage comes in handy during those traditional surprise showers. The North Downs is an extensive trail path opened in 1978. It runs for a mammoth 173 miles, snaking along the ridge of the chalky North Down hills. The National Cycle Network travels along parts of the path and warns that some of the route may be unsuitable for road bikes. However, it may be suggested that they never encountered the disc-equipped Fratello before. Its large clearances and 28c tyres make negotiating the dried mud and potholes on Godstone Hill child's play. This is a bike that begs to be tested on rocky ground and gravel tracks, seemingly unwavering in its unparalleled comfort levels. After heading along the ridge overlooking Kent's vineyards we swing right at Reigate and head north towards London to return home, but not before a quick visit to Fanny's Farm Shop for a well earned tea and fresh scone.
Sunday arrives and with it the traditional weekly local club run, and it's a pacey blast to Windsor on the cards. A fast and relatively flat affair, the ride is conducted at an unforgiving velocity as the well-drilled paceline neatly eats up the mileage. Whilst the Fratello isn't a seemingly natural choice for such a ride, with fellow club riders sat atop predominantly carbon machines, the updated Fratello tubeset is crafted from custom Columbus Spirit, lighter than previous incarnations of tubing. Bikes Etc magazine concluded in their 'Weighting Game' feature of issue two by saying that frame weight is decidedly harder to notice on undulating roads found on our fair British shores compared with the alpine moonscape of Ventoux. After an early evening refuel in the shape of a welcome roast dinner, the Fratello is grabbed without thought for a last minute dash to the supermarket for a bottle of vino, the perfect cargo carrying machine making light work of the popcorn and Belgian beers also picked up!
Versatility has always been at the heart of the Fratello, and now with its new disc-equipped option the possibilities are almost endless. Its direct and crisp ride, coupled with the unrivalled comfort provided by the exceptional steel tubing are at the heart of a bike that's begging to be tested on gravel track descents as much as it yearns to retain comfort for the cyclist riding through the night in a 400km audax. Pick the new Fratello frameset and never compromise on ride disciplines again!
> Create your Fratello Disc on the Condor Bike Builder
> View and download our mixed terrain Kent loop