Condor alternative?

star_rover Posts: 318
edited August 2007 in Road beginners
I'm of a mind to buy a fast-ish, light-ish, audaxy type bike. Something like the condor fratello. Problem is, Condor's wait time. By the time I get the bike it will be winter.
So, what alternatives?
1. off the peg bike
2. steel frame
2. Not web/mail order
3. Not a Dawes galaxy
4. budget £900-£1000
5. retro-ish, classic looks
6. use: long weekend runs, audaxes, sportives, etc

I live in London so ideally from a shop I can walk into and try before I buy.
I like the look of the LeMond Sarthe but I can't find anywhere in the UK that stocks it.
Any other suggestions, recommendations?

thanks in advance


  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    That's a rare bike you are looking for if you don't want mail order (or to travel). Condor would probably be the choice. There is Roberts in Crodon, they make custom steel bikes, but both the wait and the price will be worse tghan Condor - you would get a custom fitted and built bike though.
  • graham_g
    graham_g Posts: 652
    Get Bob Jackson to do a build for you with one of their off the peg frames?
  • star_rover
    star_rover Posts: 318
    Buying a frame and getting it built up is a possibility, but I'm hesitant as having gone down this route before I know it will end up (way) over budget. And this time I am trying to be strict.
  • I've got a Roberts and it is lovely but would come in above your limit.

    If you can bear to go to Evans why not try this bike:

    Seems to fit the bill....
    17 years commuting up and down the King\'s Road and i still don\'t get faster...
  • Greenbank
    Greenbank Posts: 731
    Hmm, you're going to struggle to satisfy all of those conditions so how about this.

    On the downside, they're in Bedfordshire not London (but only 4 miles from a train station), bike order will take 3-4 weeks or so (unless you're lucky and they have a frame in stock) but, they do sell the Aravis Audax which is a lovely Reynolds 631 Steel framed Audax bike which meets a lot of the rest of your requirements:- ... 06/10.html

    Mine is here:-

    (Bar tape has been replaced by plain black bar tape, and that's my SON front wheel not the supplied Open Pro). Very happy with it, it's done several 200km Audaxes without a hint of discomfort.

    Give Byercycles a call and ask them what they can do. I ordered mine on the strength of other recommendations, without a test-ride or a fitting, but I did specify some of the important measurements based on my other bikes.
    If I had a baby elephant signature, I\'d use that.
  • star_rover
    star_rover Posts: 318
    The Byer cycles looks good and the price is decent too. Not sure I can handle the wait but I'll give them a ring and will try and visit too.

    The Evans cannondale is a bit too similar to my other bike (surly x-check). I was hoping to get something more sleak.

    thanks for your input.
  • PHcp
    PHcp Posts: 2,748
    If you want retro give Mercian a ring. They often have Audax frames ready made in the shop. You wouldn’t get to test ride the exact bike, though they do have several to get an idea. Derby is little more than an hour from London on the train.
    You'd have to make some serious economies on fitting it out, Spa wheels, Mirage groupset and EBay for the rest might just squeeze in under budget.
  • fluff.
    fluff. Posts: 771
    A Paul Hewitt (Cheviot or other)? Not exactly London based though I guess.
  • Star_Rover...have a look in the "Readers Ads", "Road Classified", "Possibly FS:Chas Roberts Audax, Ultegra Triple" might suit.

    Sorry i don't have the technical ability to do a link! :cry:
    17 years commuting up and down the King\'s Road and i still don\'t get faster...
  • star_rover
    star_rover Posts: 318
    Chriscommuter: thanks for the heads up. The chas roberts looks great, shame it's way too big . . .
  • acorn_user
    acorn_user Posts: 1,137
    What about a Dawes Audax? Two models, both lighter than the Galaxy and off the peg.
  • mm1
    mm1 Posts: 1,063
    Justin Burls

    He's just built me a lovely TT frame.
  • star_rover
    star_rover Posts: 318
    Dawes Audax - still a Dawes, still ugly, still rubbish.

    Burls - very nice but over budget

    thanks for the recommendations though.

    might have to consider an alu frame . . . or save my pennies
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    My Dawes Audax is neither ugly or rubbish! :roll: It is a few years old though, so it's Reynolds 531c and painted in subtle and attractive dark "meteor blue". It rides like a dream, my most comfy bike. Only downside is there is too much BB flex if I overload the rack.
  • acorn_user
    acorn_user Posts: 1,137
    Great scot! If you are going to turn down the most obvious example of what you are looking for, what are we supposed to do?
    The Dawes is the only steel framed, off the peg audax bike I can think of. It's not rubbish, although it certainly is a Dawes. A friend of mine road the end to end on his, and did Rochdale to Sheffield in a day. (He is 60!)
    If you won't contemplate the Dawes, or respraying it and replacing the labels ;) tighten your purse strings and get one of the frame sets mentioned. JF Wilson in Sheffield might have nice frames in stock...
  • PHcp
    PHcp Posts: 2,748
    Spotted this while looking for something else, if it doesn't tick all your boxes I doubt anything will.
    Soma Smoothie ES from Mosquito Bikes in Islington ... ame=bikes#
  • star_rover
    star_rover Posts: 318
    Yeh, I've been to check out the Somas in Mosquito. Though must admit I was drawn to the pricier, and better looking speedster (bit overpriced though).

    Sorry, didn't mean to offend Dawes owners/fans. Have a bit of an aversion to them. But having had a closer look at the spec I think I was a bit hasty in my judgement and I'm willing to reconsider so will try and track one down this weekend and see how it rides - that's the main thing after all, eh?

    thanks for all the recommendations chaps
  • acorn_user
    acorn_user Posts: 1,137
    But those are just framesets... They are also too expensive. Surly and Soma should be non-starters over here. Why should we pay 400 pounds for a Taiwanese welded frame? That's more than it costs to get an off the peg frame from Bob Jackson and Woodrup!
    Still, the Soma frames are supposed to be good. My friend likes his Soma Rush.
  • passout
    passout Posts: 4,425
    Some Salsa frames on Not really what you asked for - better than that!
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.