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London Cycle Show
London, UK, October 13-16, 2005
Part 1: Bikes from Condor, Sigma Sport & Cotic
London based Condor Cycles have been making frames since 1948 and have a loyal following all over the world. Virtually all Condor production is now outsourced to Italy, although a few custom frames continue to be made locally from Reynolds steel.
Condor now make frames from all materials - having added the Dedacciai GR.9 Titanium Moda to their range for 2006. The model on display was tricked out with a nice Condor branded carbon one piece bar/stem and carbon seat pin.
Topping the range is the Leggero, made from a Dedacciai DCS hand wrapped Carbon tubeset it's available in Cream /Carbon and the deliciously sounding Rhubarb and Custard colour options.
Classico in Steel
The bikes really turning heads though were the new Classico frames. Made from Dedacciai SAT14.5 lugged steel, in "Caffe" colour with "Latte" contrast and chrome detailing on the lugs, the Classico harks back to the roots of Condor and appeals to the growing retro market. The Classico is also available in a "Pista" version, although built up as it was with two brakes, it's also designed to appeal to London's burgeoning market for "fixies" beloved by couriers and people who for some reason don't like freewheeling. In fact all Condor track frames on display were built up for road use.
Condor pride themselves on being able to build "individual bespoke" bikes and offer them all as a frame only option or built as a full bike with the components of the customer's choice.
All Condor framers now carry the word "London" down the seat tube, with a subtle Olympic rings detail between the letters, presumably to celebrate the awarding the 2012 Games to the capital.
Not to be confused with the German cycle computer company of the same name, Kingston based Sigma Sport Pro Cycle Shop stocks all the usual top end bikes, but they also have a great range of frames of their own.
Production of most of the frames is outsourced to Padova in Northern Italy to their own specifications. Over the years, Sigma frames have been ridden by such great riders and triathletes as Andrew Johns, Tim Don, Spencer Smith, Mat Stephens and Bradley Wiggins.
No British bike range would be complete without a top end TT frame, and Sigma were launching the latest incarnation of the Kronos at the London Show. The ultra-aero tubing is formed from Hexcel carbon composites and according to the guys, it "demands to be ridden fast". Coupled with Easton's EC90 Aero Forks and Zipp's most aerodynamic wheelset, it's going to be hard to keep up with this bike, even when it's you that's riding it!
The Sigma flagship road frame is made from Dedacciai Blackside carbon tubing which is tailored to save weight. It comes in a choice of either red and white, or blue and white with exposed carbon.
What do you do when you can't find the frame you want? You design it yourself. That's exactly what Cy Turner did when he was unable to find a cross country hardtail frame that would take a long travel fork. Soul Cy produced the plans for the frame that HE wanted to ride, outsourced the production to Taiwan and the Cotic Soul was born. Made from Reynolds 853 steel, the frame is strong and light enough to thrash and race, featuring massive mud clearance and - most importantly - can be fitted with a 130mm travel fork without the front end rearing up in the air.
New to the Cotic range is the Soda. It's exactly the same as the Soul, but made of 3Al/2.5V Titanium for an even lighter and even stronger frame. Weighing just 1.5kg (3.3lbs) the Soda is described by Turner as "the Ultimate do everything hardtail".
There's a moral there: If you can't find the bike you want, go make it yourself!
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Gerry McManus/www.gerrymcmanus.co.uk
Images by Mark Sharon