Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

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scottg
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby scottg » 20 Nov 2018, 1:56pm

Some of the nicer Taiwan frames are now painted, decaled then clear powder coated.
I have a Black Mountain Monster Cross finished like that, paint looks good and shiny.
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Why not the best, buy Cyclo-Benelux.

PH
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby PH » 20 Nov 2018, 2:02pm

scottg wrote:Some of the nicer Taiwan frames are now painted, decaled then clear powder coated.
I have a Black Mountain Monster Cross finished like that, paint looks good and shiny.

Yes, as I said there are exceptions. Thorn have been doing this for at least 15 years, though I'm sure the original coat and the clear coat are both powder, I think the heat to set the clear coat is more than a paint can tolerate.

NetworkMan
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby NetworkMan » 21 Nov 2018, 9:31am

pwa wrote:
TrevA wrote:If you do go for the Spa, then I would specify a different headset to the one that comes with it as standard - the Tange Terios is not the best.

If you get something like a Hope you can swap the bearings if you ever need to.

My Spa Audax Ti frame came with an FSA headset - almost certainly this one:-
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s115p36 ... uipe-1-1-8
I expect they will happily fit anything they have in stock - you might need to pay a little more (or even a little less!).

amediasatex
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby amediasatex » 21 Nov 2018, 10:51am

My Spa Audax Ti also came with a headset, definitely not that one, it's still in a bag in my spares box as it didn't seem great to me and I fitted an alternative.

pwa
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby pwa » 21 Nov 2018, 11:30am

NetworkMan wrote:
pwa wrote:
TrevA wrote:If you do go for the Spa, then I would specify a different headset to the one that comes with it as standard - the Tange Terios is not the best.

If you get something like a Hope you can swap the bearings if you ever need to.

My Spa Audax Ti frame came with an FSA headset - almost certainly this one:-
https://www.spacycles.co.uk/m2b0s115p36 ... uipe-1-1-8
I expect they will happily fit anything they have in stock - you might need to pay a little more (or even a little less!).

I managed to source replacement cartridge bearings for an FSA headset on another bike.

David9694
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby David9694 » 21 Nov 2018, 8:02pm

Not sure I’d run my Spa Ti as a utility bike. I built a frame set up with Ultegra and I happily run 28s with the smallest ESGE, sorry SKS mudguards. It’s a well sorted bike and Ti wise, a steal. I prefer a paint finish. Lifeless it ain’t, but it does have character - audax is its purpose and it certainly prefers that sort of steady spirited riding.

londonbikerider
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby londonbikerider » 22 Nov 2018, 2:10pm

scottg wrote:Some of the nicer Taiwan frames are now painted, decaled then clear powder coated.
I have a Black Mountain Monster Cross finished like that, paint looks good and shiny.


To my knowledge, powder-coating involves a relatively high temperature and that's why you cannot use it on many types of plastics (like SKS mudguards) and especially common bicycle decals, they will just melt.

Broadly speaking, the more gloss is the paintjob the more brittle usually is. So a very shiny and gloss paintjob is more subject to chipping.

I've had a bike done by the local powder-coating (Armourtex, in Hackney) and it was wel done and very gloss, very robust as well.
But a couple of clubmates have Condor bikes and surely I don't like the (unpainted?) raw carbon one, but a couple of them are very well painted.
One chap has used "gorilla" tape to protect his own one, and seems ok; the other fella has got his chainstay all chipped, and the rest of the bike has a few scuffs.
I suppose the latter thinks it's more as "utility" bike than "the good one".

I am usually careful with my bikes, so the accidental scratch is part of the deal when cycling. But the lack of care isn't something I would tolerate.

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Gattonero
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby Gattonero » 23 Nov 2018, 12:24am

I have a Condor and have used the clear Gorilla Tape for protection on the top and down tube, it works well and after 3 years my paintjob is still intact so no complaints here 8)
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

pwa
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby pwa » 23 Nov 2018, 9:56am

I have got into the habit of putting one of those protective neoprene wraps around chainstays on new frames, so the chainstays on my bikes remain pristine.

garibaldi
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby garibaldi » 25 Nov 2018, 9:23am

Thanks for your thoughts everyone, I've decided to go for the Fratello. I don't think that one bike is necessarily "better" than the other so it all came down to a few maybe minor reasons in the end:

- Condor offer full bike fitting with every new bike/frame.
- Condor's shop is easier to get to for me which will make the whole process a bit smoother, also easier in future should I have any problem with the bike.
- It might be my last chance to own some fancy steel (Columbus Spirit). Ti and Carbon will only become cheaper and more accessible in future, I reckon.
- Fratello's frame is a joy to look at (specially in orange).

Now, I'm thinking, if I'm going for a more classic look and material I should also fit rim brakes. I don't see a great advantage in going for discs in a bike like the Fratello. Tyre clearance will be the same (28cm), there're no thru axles and it will make a relatively heavy bike even heavier. Sure, it will save the rims and give me some extra braking power when wet, but is it worth the extra 300 or so quid? I think discs can wait until I buy the famous Adventure Bike :lol:

MikeF
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby MikeF » 25 Nov 2018, 10:05am

garibaldi wrote:Thanks for your thoughts everyone, I've decided to go for the Fratello. I don't think that one bike is necessarily "better" than the other so it all came down to a few maybe minor reasons in the end:

Price must be more than a minor difference, but if that's not a problem it doesn't matter. Frame geometry is slightly different and Fratello has ovalised down tube, square top tube and curved seat stays , so maybe rides differently. I have experience of neither!
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Brucey
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby Brucey » 25 Nov 2018, 10:41am

I agree that rim brakes may well make more sense on a bike like this. By all means compare the two different bikes to see for yourself but IME there is a good chance that the rim brake model will ride better than the disc brake model. It is liable to work out this way because the loads that the fork has to see are completely different and this usually makes the disc fork an appreciably stiffer thing than a comparable rim brake fork.

A consequence of using rims brakes is that sooner or later your rims will wear out. This can (depending on what wheels you use) mean 'a whole new wheelset' is required, (if you use wheels which don't have available/economically priced wheel rims), or at the other extreme that ~£40 worth of new rims is required, and an evening's work to lace them into wheels(*).

(*) The last time I re-rimmed a decent wheel (i.e. one that has been properly built in the first place, with nipples that were not corroded or seized) it took less that twenty minutes to fit the new rim. Another ten minutes or so and I had a perfectly true wheel, stress-relieved and with good tensions etc. I guess I am quicker now through practice but I'm sure it is possible to do the job even more quickly than that.

I abhor the waste implicit in using wheelsets which don't have readily replaceable rims; rims may wear out but decent hubs and spokes ought to last almost indefinitely.

cheers
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Gattonero
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby Gattonero » 25 Nov 2018, 11:55am

Brucey wrote:I agree that rim brakes may well make more sense on a bike like this. By all means compare the two different bikes to see for yourself but IME there is a good chance that the rim brake model will ride better than the disc brake model. It is liable to work out this way because the loads that the fork has to see are completely different and this usually makes the disc fork an appreciably stiffer thing than a comparable rim brake fork....


Nah, I've ridden both and they ride the same
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

garibaldi
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Joined: 16 Nov 2018, 7:30pm

Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby garibaldi » 25 Nov 2018, 2:12pm

MikeF wrote:
garibaldi wrote:Thanks for your thoughts everyone, I've decided to go for the Fratello. I don't think that one bike is necessarily "better" than the other so it all came down to a few maybe minor reasons in the end:

Price must be more than a minor difference, but if that's not a problem it doesn't matter. Frame geometry is slightly different and Fratello has ovalised down tube, square top tube and curved seat stays , so maybe rides differently. I have experience of neither!


It's true, the Fratello works out a wee bit more expensive but I'd also spec it with slightly better components from the go (e.g. saddle, bars, headset, etc.). I'm also able to buy it through the cycle to work scheme which will save me a couple of quid. Unfortunately, Spa doesn't participate in CTW schemes or offer financing.

RE geometry, as mentioned on the original post:
I've tried both bikes, albeit not back to back (that would make for a very helpful test) as their respective shops are a fair distance from each other... A can't fault any of the two on geometry and comfort. The Fratello is prettier but I love the minimal looks and low maintenance aspect of Ti finishing. I would say the Fratello has perhaps a more forgiving ride over rough surfaces and the Spa felt livelier with a slightly sportier geometry but there really isn't much to it in my view. Plus, how do I know these small differences are down to geometry a not things like different tyres, saddle, etc? :?
Last edited by garibaldi on 25 Nov 2018, 6:07pm, edited 1 time in total.

garibaldi
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Re: Condor Fratello / Spa Audax (Ti) for Audax & light touring

Postby garibaldi » 25 Nov 2018, 2:25pm

Brucey wrote:I agree that rim brakes may well make more sense on a bike like this. By all means compare the two different bikes to see for yourself but IME there is a good chance that the rim brake model will ride better than the disc brake model. It is liable to work out this way because the loads that the fork has to see are completely different and this usually makes the disc fork an appreciably stiffer thing than a comparable rim brake fork.

A consequence of using rims brakes is that sooner or later your rims will wear out. This can (depending on what wheels you use) mean 'a whole new wheelset' is required, (if you use wheels which don't have available/economically priced wheel rims), or at the other extreme that ~£40 worth of new rims is required, and an evening's work to lace them into wheels(*).

(*) The last time I re-rimmed a decent wheel (i.e. one that has been properly built in the first place, with nipples that were not corroded or seized) it took less that twenty minutes to fit the new rim. Another ten minutes or so and I had a perfectly true wheel, stress-relieved and with good tensions etc. I guess I am quicker now through practice but I'm sure it is possible to do the job even more quickly than that.

I abhor the waste implicit in using wheelsets which don't have readily replaceable rims; rims may wear out but decent hubs and spokes ought to last almost indefinitely.

cheers


I'll probably go for Condor's own handbuild and replace parts when necessary. Also, I believe rim wear in not so much of a concern on a touring kind of setup as this one where you want your wheels to be basically bombproof. If I was going for a racer with carbon wheels then yeah, I'd be quite concerned about rim wear.