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Bike we like: Dolan DR1

4 Oct 2016

Stylish looks, electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes – the Dolan DR1 ticks a lot of boxes.

What is it?

Launched in spring this year, the DR1 is the newest addition to the ever-expanding line-up of Merseyside bike builders Dolan. To sum up its key points, it’s a Di2 and disc brake-equipped full carbon aero road bike, designed for both speed and all-day comfort, and aimed principally at sportive and club riders. While it may not be quite as svelte as the firm’s all-out racer, the Tuono, it tipped the Cyclist scales at a not too chunky 7.96kg, which shouldn’t hinder you on the hills too much. We love the way the bike looks, with design features such as a D-shaped seatpost with a concealed wedge-type clamp, and slender seatstays that join the top tube beyond the junction with the seat post. The eyecatching ‘Battleship Grey/Red’ livery really stands out too, but there’s also an equally striking yellow and black option if that’s more your thing.

So, who’s behind Dolan Bikes?

Dolan is quite a name to conjure with in the history of British cycling. Terry Dolan started building bikes in the 1970s, learning the art from the legendary Harry Quinn. In the 80s, he owned a bike shop in Liverpool, where one of his customers was a young local rider by the name of Chris Boardman. Dolan went on to be a major influence on the development of Boardman’s career – the pair collaborated on the design and building of the bike that Boardman rode as a member of the GAN pro team in the mid 90s. 

Those wheels look interesting – what are they?

Our test bike came with Mavic Cosmic Carbone SSC wheels fitted with tubular tyres, which perhaps aren’t the most practical choice for everyday riding unless you plan to use the bike for racing. However, when you visit the Dolan website to place an order, you’ll find the standard option is a Zipp 30 disc-compatible clincher, shod with Continental’s Ultra Sport II tyres in the popular 25mm width – a great combination for all-round performance and suitability for everyday use. For a small premium, you can also upgrade to Conti’s excellent GP4000S II. A bolt-thru axle is used for both wheels, providing extra stiffness.

Frame Dolan DR1 carbon frame and fork
Groupset Shimano Ultegra Di2 6870 hydraulic
Chainset Shimano Ultegra 50/34
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 11/28
Brakes Shimano RS805 flat mount hydraulic disc brakes, 140mm rotors
Bars Deda Superzero
Stem Deda Superzero
Seatpost Dolan DR1 carbon
Saddle Selle Italia Flite titanium
Wheels Mavic Cosmic SSC
Tyres Mavic Cosmic Carbone tubular, 25c
Weight 7.96kg (medium)


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