£2198 › Dolan Titanium ADX
Much like at your school sports days, the one where you tripped over in the 100m sprint and had to be carried over the line to receive your medal for taking part, there are no losers here. Our tour of carbon alternatives covered a range of budgets and types of bike, and if you were in any doubt that there are worthwhile, interesting machines that aren’t made of the black stuff, we hope we’ve eased your mind.
It was a pleasure to revisit Ribble’s classic wintery offering and despite its analogue nature and dated features, it was a useful reminder that there are still affordable ways to keep riding in all seasons. The Allez DSW from Specialized on the other hand is a bonkers, brilliant thing that needs a better build, but we applaud the big S for its innovative approach.
Our experience with the Genesis Equilibrium was a pleasing one. It’s a bike that scores high on likeability, though again we’d suggest a few spec tweaks to bring out its best. It’s all about the details with Focus too – it’s on to a good thing with the Paralane AL and it was a dodgy mudguard away from winning.
Curve’s Belgie Spirit is indisputably lovely, but at more than twice the price of the next cheapest bike on test, it has an unfair advantage over the competition, and it would be disappointing if it weren’t brilliant.
It’s the Dolan Titanium ADX, however, that nails the complete package out of the box and does so irrespective of price. We might make the odd spec adjustment to suit personal tastes, but it combines a very capable frame with considerable practicality, good looks and stonking value for money. No, it doesn’t have discs, thru-axles or branded frame technology, it’s just a classy bike that ticks a lot of boxes and rides very well indeed.
The Dolan nails the complete package out of the box and does so irrespective of price