DOLAN TITANIUM ADX DISC ULTEGRA
£2401.98 › Disc-equipped titanium sportive special
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