Wednesday, 25 May 2016


I picked up the new Condor Leggero last Saturday and took it for its first coffee stop, even before the pedals had been fitted. I've ordered some (hopefully) matching blue and yellow Keo Max pedals from Italy, which haven't arrived yet. 

A Julian Cunnington bike fit was part of the deal

With pedals, a 16g bottle cage, and no saddle bag the Leggero weighs around 7.8 kgs
 I'm going to swap my Mavic SLS wheel for the Élites, a slight upgrade

So the big question: What's it like to ride?

To find out I headed off on a ride to Box Hill via Richmond Park and Esher, a trip that I'd completed a couple of times in recent weeks on the Enigma.
So I headed off through Battersea at warm up pace, and right away I noticed how smooth the ride was.But it wasn't until I approached Richmond Park along the rough section of Danebury Avenue that I realised just how smooth. 
I've graded every bike I've ever owned over that strip of low budget, buzzy Tarmac.
The pre-Leggero results:

1. Enigma Étape
2. Vitus 979
3. Rossin Record
4. The rest

I'd almost finished cycling over this rough road surface when I realised where I was. I actually hadn't even noticed it. 
So that was one box well and truly ticked. The Leggero moved into first place.
This is a bike with 'race geometry', but as you can see from the photos, I had spacers stacked under the stem to give me a relatively relaxed riding position, with the hope to gradually remove at least some of them.
I headed out on my route through Kingston and Hampton Court, to Epsom via Sandown Park. I glanced at the Garmin at the hour mark. 25 kms/hr, nicely up on my average. 
And no stiff arms, shoulders or back.

On arriving at the Box Hill café (just under 50Kms in just over two hours) I bumped into James from Condor who greeted me with "I recognise that bike!"

After cake and coffee I headed back down Box Hill, retracing my route home. Right after Box Hill railway station there's Bagden Hill which touches 17%, offering a nice little climbing test.

Disgracefully, after 90Kms, I fell apart in Richmond Park, requiring an emergency stop at the café for lunch. I clearly need to up my mileage.

But the good news is that despite my inadequacies this was clearly the best bike I've ridden. The stiffest for sure; as comfortable as the very comfortable Synapse, and smoother than the super smooth Enigma. It felt really quick too, but to test that I needed to load the ride onto Strava.

Whenever I buy a new bike the predominant feelings I experience are those of guilt and doubt. 

Will it be any good? Will it be worth the money? Have I messed up again!?

So after the ride I knew the Leggero was comfortable and smooth. And it felt fast.
I was hoping to have set a few personal bests on a course that I had 'attacked' just seven days earlier. Praying might be more accurate than hoping.
But I really wasn't expected 54 PBs.
Up Bagden Hill I clocked a pretty slow 6.17, but this was a whole minute faster than my previous week's effort.
Considering how I had crawled home from Richmond Park my average speed of 23.6 kms/hr was decent for me, up from 21.8 the week before when I rode a much shorter route.

But bike riding is about much more than times and segments and data. It's about how you feel on the bike and how the bike looks when it's propped up against a wall while you sip your well earned coffee or tea.
And this Condor Leggero ticks every box for me. 
I have to say, I love it, and I can't wait to get out on it again. And that's the ultimate sign that you've bought the right bike. 
And yes it's nice to go a bit faster.

If all goes as well as I hope, I intend to keep this bike for as long as possible. 
I can have it resprayed in the same livery if it gets too tatty. 
I can upgrade to Dura-Ace eventually.
And maybe get some Mavic Cosmic Carbones to add some extra bling.

And you don't see too many of them around, which for me is a real bonus.

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