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Dawes Galaxy Excel 631 review: first look

10 Oct 2016

The Dawes Galaxy offers comfortable touring in a classy and well specced package.

Some mornings you wake up and think to yourself, ‘I just don’t feel like winning a Grand Tour today’. Instead you might very well decide that an amble through leafy countryside in the utmost comfort is a more appropriate way to spend a Saturday.

As the numeric suffix suggests, the Galaxy Excel has been built around a Reynolds 631 steel frameset; this particular makeup of alloy offers a desirable mix of durability and comfort, lending itself to the touring range in which this model sits. Adding to the plush ride is a pair of Schwalbe Marathon 32c tyres, allowing low pressures, negating many concerns that gravel or unpaved surfaces may provide.

A Shimano Alivio chainset and XT rear mech keep the wheels turning, with 27 gears offering up a plethora of ratios with which to spin up even the steepest of bridle paths. Shimano BR-CX50 cantilever brakes dealing with the stopping, which while breaking from the current trend for discs offer a more user-friendly experience in terms of adjustment and maintenance.

The finishing kit and paintwork of the Galaxy Excel are a real highlight. Bottle cages, rear rack and SKS branded mudguards are all included in the box, and add a welcome sense of value for money. A subtle metallic green paint job brings to mind racecars of the fifties - an era in which the Dawes would not look entirely out of place. The exposed steel at the bottom bracket and dropouts brings the bike slightly more up to date, while reminding us of just what sits at the heart of the bike.

Although the Galaxy Excel’s natural calling might be touring, we also anticipate that it could easily be pulled into service as a useful commuter bike as the winter months close in. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Galaxy fares over rides of varying length and scenery.


Dawes Galaxy Excel 631
Frame Double-butted 631 steel frame & fork
Groupset Shimano Sora
Brakes Shimano CX-50
Chainset Shimano Alivio, 48/36/26
Cassette Shimano Alivio, 11-34
Bars Dawes, alloy
Stem Ahead, alloy
Seatpost Micro adjust alloy, 27.2mm
Wheels Alex Ace19 rims, Shimano Alivio hubs
Saddle Dawes Comfort Touring
Weight 13.4kg (53cm)

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