DOLAN TI­TA­NIUM ADX DISC UL­TE­GRA

£2401.98 › Disc-equipped ti­ta­nium sportive spe­cial

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

There is a lit­tle step up in price to the ADX com­pared to its steel ri­vals on test here. Some of that is be­cause of the ma­te­rial change to 3AL-2.5V ti­ta­nium tub­ing, but also be­cause we couldn’t re­sist play­ing with Dolan’s on­line bike spec­c­ing tools and up­grad­ing to Mavic’s Cos­mic disc wheels over the stan­dard Ak­si­ums. With­out this up­grade the bike would have been £2299.99 with Shi­mano Ul­te­gra or £1999.99 with Shi­mano 105.

Which­ever way you cut it, the Dolan ADX ma­jors on value when it comes to the com­pe­ti­tion. It’s al­ways been pos­si­ble to get ti­ta­nium for around £2000, but usu­ally you’re look­ing at a frame only. Don’t think that be­cause the ADX is cheap, rel­a­tively speak­ing, it’s not qual­ity. A close in­spec­tion of the frame shows su­per-clean welds, neat fea­tures like the hour­glass-shaped head-tube and full in­ter­nal cable rout­ing on the frame and match­ing car­bon fork.

The rear dropouts are very neatly sculpted and ma­chined, but sur­pris­ingly they, and the fork, are stan­dard quick-re­lease and not thru-axle. We didn’t no­tice any un­due flex, disc rub or noise when rid­ing the ADX, so we’d say this chas­sis is plenty stiff enough with­out the added so­lid­ity of thru-axles.

The ADX is an un­re­served sportive bike, it’s tall – a 205mm head-tube on our 58.5cm test bike – with a mid-length reach. It’s also de­signed to handle big com­fort­able tyres up to 35mm, or around 30mm if you choose to add mud­guards, which the ADX has wel­come pro­vi­sion for.

Up front the full car­bon fork has mud­guard eyes, bosses for a rack and a neat flat-mount for its disc brakes. At the back it has com­ple­men­tary bosses for car­ry­ing and pro­tec­tion too, along with a flat-mount for the disc brake. The

The Dolan ADX ma­jors on value when it comes to the com­pe­ti­tion

disc brakes are Shi­mano’s lat­est Ul­te­gra units and are star per­form­ers. With the 50/34, 11-28 Ul­te­gra gears they make up one of the best per­form­ing and best value groupsets around.

The Dolan rides how a great sportive bike should. The ride po­si­tion is com­fort­able with­out be­ing lazy, so it can be hus­tled through the bends eas­ily. It’s not as as­sured as some of its more sporty ri­vals when you’re ap­proach­ing the limit, es­pe­cially when crank­ing it over in cor­ners. For en­thu­si­as­tic dis­tance rid­ing it’s a fine place to be, the ADX be­ing more about sta­bil­ity than swift­ness.

Our wheel up­grade meant we got Mavic’s UST sys­tem, the com­pany’s take on tube­less, and the tyres cer­tainly feel com­pli­ant and smooth run­ning, re­ally ben­e­fit­ting the over­all feel.

Up­hill the Dolan is def­i­nitely your friend, the chas­sis is stiff and re­spon­sive when you stand and the climb­ing-friendly gear ra­tios are wel­come, we would even be tempted to try Shi­mano’s 11-30 cas­sette as Ul­te­gra can eas­ily ac­cept the wider range. The bike’s fin­ish­ing kit is all de­cent stuff, with an alu­minium Deda cock­pit and Selle Italia sad­dle, both of which are com­fort­able and easy to live with. The ad­di­tion of a car­bon seat­post is a nice high­light and all this adds up to a value pack­age that any­one look­ing to ride even smoother should se­ri­ously con­sider.

THE VER­DICT Value packed bike that ma­jors on long dis­tance re­fine­ment

Be­low The Dolan’s disc brakes are new Shi­mano Ul­te­gra R8000 items Bot­tom The rear dropouts are very neatly ma­chined

The Dolan rides just how a great sportive bike shouldHIGHSFlaw­less Ul­te­gra gears and brakes, sweet rid­ing frameLOWSNot the most ex­cit­ing of this bunch, no thru­axles may be a con­cern for someBUY IFYou want the class of a ti­ta­nium frame in a sta­ble and se­ri­ously smooth ride

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