We handcraft our flagship Leggero frameset in Italy. There is a more to our race winning Leggero than meets the eye. Here we explain the explain the technology of the frame, our carbon, and why we choose to make this frameset by hand.
1. Expertly-sourced carbon fibre
Imagine two cooks in a kitchen with both having access to the same ingredients but only one knows how to blend the them in the best possible way. The same is true of raw carbon fibre; truly understanding how to meld these variables is what separates good bikes from great bikes. That is why we source our high modulus carbon fibre tubes from a Japanese manufacturer who produces the carbon in Japan, USA and Germany.
A single carbon tube is actually made up of thousands of layers. Our carbon tubes are made for us using three different types of carbon within each layer. We use three types per layer to provide unique properties: unidirectional carbon fibre (for strength), high modulus carbon fibre (to add stiffness) and ultra high modulus carbon (adds both strength and stiffness whilst being lighter than the previous two, but would be too stiff if used alone). We then wrap the tubes with 1k weave for impact protection and toughness. Nano resins bind and strengthen the layers. See below for more information on nano resins.
The higher modulus material has an increased fibre-to-resin ratio, which allows Condor to design frames using thin-walled tubing without sacrificing strength or stiffness. The result is the ideal blend of value and performance for competitive riders or racers.
2. Nano particles in the resin
This is our most sophisticated carbon fibre. Most carbon bicycle frames use a standard epoxy resin to bind together individual fibres. Construction using nano particles requires less resin, resulting in an overall frame weight reduction. Since nano resin's microscopic particles are elongated instead of round, the bond between resin and fibre is stronger due to the increase in surface area that the nano particles have with the carbon fibre.
The nano resins also help with the dispersal of vibrations through the frame. If you make something very light then you have to use very stiff materials, but that can be so uncomfortable that it's not possible to ride it for a sustained period of time. Using nano resin at the joins helps disperse the forces through the frame, away from the rider's arms and shoulders that would cause the feeling of fatigue.
3. Crafted by craftsmen, not production line drones
Some carbon manufacturers use old-fashioned tube-and-lug construction similar to steel lugged frames, where tubes are inserted into carbon lugs at the intersections and everything is glued together. While facilitating mass production, the problem with this technique is that it requires overlapping of the material which yields a frame which is overbuilt, heavy and lacking that critical responsive feel.
Condor uses craftsmen who build every frame by hand from start to finish; each has honed the skill of his hands to create the machine. Every tube is joined to the other one at a time by building up very thin layers of carbon, allowing each frame section to be further optimised for its intended purpose.
4. Race focused features
The Leggero has a tapered head tube. A tapered head tube significantly improves front end stiffness, performance under braking, and handling precision. Internal cables creates a sleek frame profile, reduces wind drag, and prevents contaminants from entering and interfering with the function of brake and gear cables. The Leggero is both Di2 and EPS compatible, ensuring the latest groupsets are suitable for the frame. The oversized bottom bracket shell allows an increase in axle length and bearing size, which translates into more efficient power transfer and extended bearing life.
The frames sculpted seat tube improves air flow, while a cut out at the rear stays sheds weight but also improves compliancy on long rides and breakaways.
5. Team tested and UCI approved
Our pro team, JLT Condor, provides valuable feedback by putting our products through their paces. They push our prototypes to the limit and allow us to test new technologies to ensure they are ready for consumers and the season ahead. The Leggero frame is a UCI appoved frameset.