Condor soars again

After finally pulling together all of the essential parts I needed to overhaul my Condor, I bit the bullet and took her in to Lunar Cycles in London to do the work. I probably should have done it all myself but doing it this way it does feel like getting a new bike (and let’s be honest they have done a better job with far fewer tantrums than I would have done).

In short I’ve swapped out the clunky and limited old Tiagra triple groupset for the new Tiagra double but instead of the Shimano crankset (53-39-30) I have used an old school-style square taper double with a very compact 42-26. I hated having a triple and the new double gives all the low end gearing for when there will be 20-30kgs of gear on the bike. I thought about going 1x which I have on my mountain bike but I don’t like the jumps in gears when on the road and like to keep a high, consistent cadence.

Other bits include swapping the brown Brooks for a black one I already had (B17) and some bar tape from Fabric which feels very cushioned yet sort of rubbery and hard wearing so hopefully a good shout to last the distance.

I think she looks much sexier now, though part of me thinks it has gone a bit ‘goth’ with the black and green colour scheme.

There are a few things left to resolve, in particular:

  • New tyres. I want to try the 48mm tyres from Compass. I am pretty sure they will fit though may have to do 42mm at the front. If I was being sensible I’d get some Schwalbe Marathons but I’d rather carry spare tyres on the trip and enjoy the supple, fast ride.
  • Whilst I have the dynamo on the front and a Busch & Muller E-Werk so I can recharge devices on the go, I havn’t picked up any dynamo powered lights yet. Hopefully pick up a Son Edelux II next month. Not sure on rear light yet.
  • I will treat myself to a Gilles Berthoud handlebar bag. It is just a bit of a faff trying to work out which model and where to get it from without paying an extortionate amount.

Oh and the bike now rides beautifully! Very smooth gear changes, quiet, strong brake feel and power.


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