Saturday, April 14, 2018

Vic Edwards Condor twin tube hellenic frame 1982

I try to stop myself accumulating projects but evidently I am weak willed as here is the latest heap of work in two wheeled form that has come my way. The frame is branded as a Condor and is believed to date from 1982. From those not in the know Condor is a large London based bicycle shop and brand. Back in the day they would sell frames made by well known London frame builders alongside their own in house frames and off the peg jobs.

Vic Edwards Condor twin tube hellenic time trialer.

Vic Edwards was one of the builders who would regularly supply frames to Condor and it was he who built my latest project. Vic also sold frames under his own brand name of Rondinella. I'm a sucker for steel road bike frames of unusual design and this particular one scores highly for unconventional features. Whilst both the split seat tube (twin tube) and hellenic (rear stays joining the top tube rather than seat tube to create a triple triangle) features were both used by several manufacturers from the thirties through to the current day I am not aware of any other frames that combine both.

The split seat tube design gives a slightly shorter
wheelbase.

It is believed that this frame is one of two made by Vic, the other was sold as a Rondinella. As if the twin tube hellenic design is not enough the frame is made from Columbus Air tubing which was the first generation of teardrop shaped aerodynamic tubing. The intended use of this frame was for time trialing, as such it does not have provision for a front gear mech, indeed it would be quite difficult to fit one with the twin tube design.

I've thrown a few parts lying around at the frame to make it in to something rolling so that I can visualise it better. The accumulation of appropriate parts is slowly underway. I had thought to fit a Shimano 600AX groupset as this was a first generation aero groupset but unfortunately with the brakes being centrepull they will not work with the hellenic design. One stumbling block that I had not anticipated when I bought the frame is that the seat post is also of aero profile to match the tubing, it was originally supplied with the tube set and is now as rare as the proverbial. Not to worry though I am not in a rush and these things have a habit of turning up eventually.

Eek! Very unusual seat post required....

Next step is to imagine a colour scheme and parts that will do the frame justice. It is eighties so I am thinking something pearlescent. Originally the forks, rear triangle and headtube lugs were all chromed, this has flaked beyond use and given the cost of re-plating and some concern about how thin walled the tubing is I cannot replicate this. Hopefully the very ends of the rear triangle and the forks will polish up to an acceptable level and perhaps the head lugs can be of a different colour to the rest of the frame to echo the original style. I'll post up as the project progresses...

Chromed Condor branded forks, chromed lugs and single aero
gear lever.

Here's what this frame is all about!

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