Pushing the handmade envelope

Condor aero bike

It is a monstrous beast that is designed to get the adrenaline flowing. This bicycle produces an intoxicating sound as the carbon wheels rumble over the cobbles of a quiet London mews where we decided to photograph it.

This is isn't a new model or a trick of the light; it really is a bicycle frame made by hand, by Condor. The frame hasn't come pressed from a mould that was picked off the shelf in the Far East. We built the frame by hand in Italy. Each carbon tube was cut, wrapped and sculpted to form the unusual shape before being baked.

We know it is not to everyone's taste and certainly the mix of Campagnolo wheels and an electronic Shimano Dura-Ace groupset doesn't quite sit right with us but on this occasion we bent the rules to achieve the lightest, fastest bike possible using an electronic groupset.

The bicycle features custom painted Cinelli Ram handlebars with pink/black stripe detailing. A Clavicular single chain ring to save weight and an integrated carbon chain catcher. The TRP brakes are hidden within the fork and chainstay and the battery powering the groupset is concealed within the frame; we've used Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset because the battery is slightly smaller than the Campagnolo EPS battery.

It has been built for Dominque Gabellini to race. He is one of the reasons that Rapha and Condor came together to form the Rapha Condor team in 2006. Dominque is a keen racing cyclist but recently had an operation on his back requiring him to be slightly more upright on the bike, for now.

The bicycle is on display at the Condor store, Grays Inn Road, WC1X.

Condor aero bike

Condor aero bike

Condor aero bike

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