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N+1 Condor in the garage!

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N+1 Condor in the garage!

Old 07-03-19, 06:21 AM
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N+1 Condor in the garage!

Yes, I know this thread is useless without pics, please have patience.
I'm always on the hunt for a bargain bike, I enjoy figuring out just what an old bike is when the ad has terrible pictures and bad descriptions and then making a mental call about whether the bike is worth their price. Yesterday I found an English Condor online. One not great photo, no description. I could tell it was lugged, had downtube shifters, presta valve on the one wheel, and did not have safety lever brakes. The price was low enough, the paint good enough, and size close enough that it could make a good bike for my wife so I went to look at it.

The seller thought it was an 86 and aero brake levers point to mid 80s as does the Laprade fluted seatpost. I can't see the serial number, I think it might have been repainted, but very well done-the wrap around part of the seat stay is pinstriped, the Condor marking on the seatpost is hand painted quite well, the flutes of the seatpost and crankset are color matched to the frame, the lettering on the derailleurs is color matched to the frame. It is a good looking bike, albeit dirty. The front wheel was in a garage incident and has been thrown out recently. I see Suntour derailleurs, Campagnolo downtube shifters, Dia Compe brakes and I've got enough spare front wheels that this isn't a problem, money changes hands. I decide to cruise past the dumpster and sure enough, the front wheel is still sitting there. I figure I could pull the hub out to at least still have a matching set of hubs and look to see what it is .

Campy! So much Campy, all the Campy. I made a parts list after getting home.
Campagnolo: Downtube shifters(friction), crankset, dropouts, headset, hubs and skewers (I assume the BB is Campy also, but didn't check)
Suntour Cyclone front and rear derailleur
Dia Compe brake levers and brakes

I'm not fluent in Campy, so it's going to take some digging to figure out what exactly I have, other than a cleaning job ahead of me. I promise I will post pics over the weekend.
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Old 07-04-19, 04:24 PM
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Old 07-04-19, 04:26 PM
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N+1 = 68

Last edited by Cyclist0108; 09-18-19 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 07-04-19, 04:53 PM
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Now, who's ready for a happy not ending?
Today was my club's annual July 4th picnic. One of the ladies I am lucky enough to ride with has an absolute unbounded enthusiasm for cycling. Her collection has made the local news, she has pretty much every kind of bike you can think of. Diamond frame, Tandems, Penny Farthings, home built Hobby Horse, yeah she has them. So today I was happy to tell her about my recent find. I told her I bought a Condor and it took a second for it to register, her eyes got kind of wide, she said Wow you don't see one of those every day (bike nerd nirvana). Then she said, is it turquoise? I said yeah, and she said, that's my bike.

Now some of the mystery has been solved. I thought the frame had some 70's details (the head badge would be a dead give away) but the components scream 1985. She had bought the bike in the 70s, and sold it in the 80s when she wanted something stiffer and racier. She replaced the components in the 80s prior to selling it.

So, if it doesn't fit my wife, I have a buyer who would be willing to pay way more than what I paid (I don't think I could bring myself to ask her for money). So this bike has a great history and a great future.
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Old 07-04-19, 05:22 PM
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Very nice bike, a Condor would definitely be on my wants list. What's the story with the white paint on the stem, handlebars and headset?
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Old 07-08-19, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by P!N20 View Post
Very nice bike, a Condor would definitely be on my wants list. What's the story with the white paint on the stem, handlebars and headset?
I don't know the spray paint story. My first thought was that whoever did it should be shot. Fortunately it's so terrible I think it will come off with very little effort.
Pink on the handlebars and headset, purple on the handlebar (and yes, that is electrical tape somebody used for bar tape), white on the front hub and rear derailleur cable jacket.

I did take it for a driveway test ride, even though it's too small it is a nice ride, even without cleaning everything is very smooth.
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Old 07-08-19, 09:27 AM
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the components scream 1985.


The suntour stuff should have '70s date codes. And that black rear mech will be in high demand here or on ebay.
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Old 07-08-19, 09:52 AM
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The serial number should be on stamped on the non drive side drop out. I think the first 2 digits are the year. Condor is still in business. Lots of info on their website.

https://www.condorcycles.com/

Mine is a 72 that was sent back to the factory in the mid 80s for some updates and a repaint. Pic is fuzzy, but that is where the serial number usually is.

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Old 07-08-19, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
N+1 = 68
I see N - 1 = 68
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Old 07-11-19, 10:36 AM
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Found the serial#, can't make out the digits past 75. But at least I know what year it is, and I saw on another thread that the fork is usually stamped also, so I should be able to get a complete number from there when I tear it apart. Got it on the trainer last night for my wife and she was pretty happy with it. The handlebars that somebody wrapped in electrical tape are a problem, and the chain is either too long or really worn out. It's going to be interesting to see where this journey goes.
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Old 09-16-19, 05:44 AM
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Finally had the opportunity to tear the Condor down over the weekend. Found the complete serial number on the steerer. The grease has turned into dinosaur boogers, I thought the NDS cup of the bottom bracket was going to be a permanent part of the bike, but after a few washes the frame looks great (aside from paint damage). The front hub and bottom bracket are soaking overnight. Tomorrow I'll get the bearings for the headset and front hub (assuming the races in the hub aren't toast).
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Old 11-18-19, 07:57 AM
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Build direction chosen, reassembly has begun. I wanted to keep as many of the parts that were on the bike as I could, but it still has to be something that my wife can and will ride-that means the downtube shifters and 52-42 crankset weren't staying, which also requires changing the brake levers.

The frame was cleaned up, I added frame saver to the inside of the frame (and who would have thought a shotgun cleaning kit would be so handy for cleaning the inside of a bike frame?), sourced a triple crank, cleaned and polished the stem, seatpost, and derailleurs.

I knew that I was going to need a wider BB spindle to accommodate the triple, but I knew I had one and that's where the fun started. Turns out the wider BB I have is garbage, the races have ridiculously deep gouges in them (how did someone turn the cranks to get them this bad). But at least I can mock it up and check the chainline-which comes out terrible. The Suntour derailleur is capable of handling a triple, but the chainrings are so far off the frame it's never going to reach the big chainring. Turns out, the BB/spindle that was on the bike is just about the perfect width for the triple crankset I got.
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Old 02-03-20, 08:04 AM
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Indecision, the desire to not disapoint, and a need to be fiscally responsible-all detrimental to building a bike up. I finally pulled the trigger on direction. I wanted (not needed) to go with 10 speed so I could swap wheels without swapping cassettes if needed. But I just couldn't find and Campy 10 speed shifters in silver, they are all carbon fiber it seems and carbon fiber shifters on a bike like this just isn't going to look right IMO. So I finally found a pair of Chorus 9 speed shifters and took the gamble. The info on what Campy shifters will shift triples is very confusing, but it looks like I got it right. Having a 9 speed setup allowed me to zero in on finding a rear wheel. I have a nice set of Wolber rims in 36 hole, but finding a Campy 36 hole hub in my price range wasn't easy. I did find a 32 hole hub and 9 speed cassette together for sale, so I snapped them up. Saturday I started putting things together.
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Old 02-03-20, 08:07 AM
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There's plenty of little things left to do, some of the cable housings are too long, cables need to be trimmed, brakes need adjusting. But it's getting closer.
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Old 02-03-20, 08:13 AM
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Saturday morning one of our local bike shops held their annual garage sale, for $15 you can rent a table and sell your whatever. There are great bargains to be had, and deals to avoid. I figured finding a vintage 32 hole rim (or wheel) would be no problem, and I was wrong. Found 1 set of tubular rims, a few sets of disc brake rims, 1 32 hole wheel with a bent rim, and a set of 32 hole wheels with 105 7 or 8 speed hubs. I would have bought the 105 wheelset but the guy would rather take them home than make a deal I was willing to buy, so no cheep wheels for me.
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Old 02-03-20, 08:25 AM
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Sunday, I didn't take pictures, but I unlaced a 32 hole 10 speed 105 hub I had and laced the wheel to the Campy hub I bought. The flange offsets and diameters were so close that spoke length was within .5mm difference. Yes, I reused the old spokes and nipples. Yes, it is the first time I've ever built a wheel, Yes, puppies may be killed as a result. Yes, I did probably make every wheelbuilding mistake at least once. But it was for practice, the rim isn't anything special, I just wanted something I could use to get the derailleurs set up and work on position. The rim I used is black and will stick out like a sore thumb on this bike, so it will be replaced with something better/more appropriate quickly.
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Old 02-19-20, 08:15 AM
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Well, at least it rolls.
Currently the Condor is on my wife's trainer, which makes tweaks a lot easier than doing it on the road. I had planned to reuse the Suntour Cyclone derailleurs but the rear derailleur is in not good condition. The jockey wheels are worn down a lot, and the bearings in them are shot, so the chain jumps in the pulley a lot. I had a Deore derailleur in the parts bin, so it went on, but it looks atrocious, so it's not staying long. The front derailleur is capable of shifting a triple according to what I found online, but it's not good at it. It might be okay for a triple with smaller steps, but getting from the small to the middle is difficult, getting from the middle to the big takes too much force as you are getting to the travel limits of the derailleur. New (to me) derailleurs are on the way. Next will be figuring out the stem; the Condor is more aggressive than her current Specialized Ruby and at first she said she wanted to bring the bars back to get more upright and then last night she said she likes the stretched out position-time will tell on that. Everything on the bike is cleaned and regreased, but when the derailleurs get here, I'll be taking it apart to re clean, polish, regrease, trim and dress the cables, and hopefully get a touch up paint to match.
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