On the 16th November I posted about a new bike. My new Condor Acciaio. The reasons for buying a road bike will be clear soon but in the meantime how is it riding?
The answer is very well. I am new to road riding with my heart still firmly set in the MTB world. So after picking a custom fitted steel (Acciaio in Italian) frame with Campag group set and with only riding a 1980s Peugeot Marseilles road bike which was al least 3 sizes too big before, how could I review it?
I decided to do it in the style that we review most new things we buy. I will judge it on how much enjoyment it brings.
The first ride or so were reasonably paced 20 milers. Everyone warned me that moving from MTB to road and the subsequent change in position would cause a few aches and pains in my lower back and forearms, it would be fair to say that was the case on the first ride of my Acciaio. However from the second ride in no such pain! So for geometry I will give it a 9.
Moving from a Yeti 575 to a road bike is a bit like moving from a comfy sofa to a bar stool. 5.75 inches of travel certainly help you pick any line when you are descending, the carbon seat post that they recommended at Condor is a different game. I learnt quite quickly that descending on a road bike takes just as much concentration on line choice. Particularly in Surrey, so I am grateful for the additional flex the carbon post gives. As well as the comfort the Acciaio gives with it’s steel frame.
After a few familiarisation rides I plumped for a longer ride. Godalming to Brighton was my chosen route, with my understanding wife providing the return journey via a bike rack. 40 miles in total. I enjoyed crisp shifting, brakes that have bedded in nicely, and bars that I find comfortable in any position although I still find riding on the drops a little unnerving!
Since then I have done a Godalming to Arlesford 40 mile loop and a couple of other smaller rides, all of them have been comfortable and fun, the bike feels composed and builds confidence time after time. The only glitch is not being able to get into the granny ring at the back any more. The first service in the new year should fix that!
I think I may have a new friend, and one likely to stay for a while! I call it Acciaio!