I’m smoldering here after my 100km ride was cut short with a loose cassette 20km in this morning. I’m back now and need something to calm me. Blog it is.
I’ve had my new Dolan GXA a couple of weeks. I’ve done some rides and made some tweaks and its dialled in now ready for a winter of commuting. Lets have a look
I’m a big believer in trying stock saddles. I advise all my customers to try the saddle the bike comes with because you may fluke a comfy one or get by as I did on my Ribble CGR. A Prologo Kappa RS, lovely thing to sit on for hours. The Dolan came with a Selle Italia X1. A god-forsaken thing which I only managed two rides on. Killed my sit bones and jarred my back so it had to go. I used to sell Serfas Vistoso saddles when I had my shop. They were lush and by fluke I found a brand new one on eBay. £40 RRP, I popped in a cheeky £25 offer and it was accepted. My bike now feels like an arm chair. I have one on my turbo bike too.
When I ordered my bike I specified 42cm bars but forgot Deda measure their bars outside to outside rather than centre to centre. Despite dropping a bollock, I could have got a way with it but I just wanted it right so again I found (another fluke!) a pair of 44cm in almost new condition on eBay for £15. All fitted now with the hoods where I want them and re-taped with nicer tape than the shitty thin Deda stuff it came with.
The bike came with Hunt 4 Season wheels and Panaracer Gravelking tyres which I converted to tubeless at work. They ride and look great but I swapped them onto my Ribble as thats my gravel bike now and the Mavic Aksiums off that are now on the Dolan to commute on.
I couldn’t fit the guards off my Ribble because the fork mount was at the back of the fork crown rather than hidden under the wheel arch. I’d taken the standard front-guard bracket off to fit them so I had to get a new pair and opted for a stealthy, matt black pair of SKS Bluemels which go well with my tan wall tyres.
I originally left my 33.3mm Jack Brown tyres on but I’ve opted to go back to my 28mm Roly-Poly’s as they just feel like a better option when compromising between speed and comfort
After my camera mount woes cycling to Torquay a few weeks ago, I’ve now bought a bar mount which hangs my camera neatly and firmly under the bars.
Just a couple of niggles. The two bolts on the top tube. I’ll never use them but they do inhibit my front light’s battery case sliding back along the top tube as it did on the Ribble. The rear rotor is 140mm, the front 160mm. Seems odd to mix sizes and I’d have liked the front guard to secure under the wheel arch as it did on the Ribble rather than the standard back of the fork crown. It just looks neater and I could have used my original guards and saved £30 too. Just niggles though not deal-breakers.
I love the 1x GRX setup. Less buzz from the shifters than Shimano 105. I only use a few gears for commuting but the spread on my 11 speed 11-40T cassette is pretty good without any major gaps in the gears and the lowest gears are REALLY low. I haven’t been searching for a gear yet. The clutch on the rear mech is great for preventing chain slap and the flattened and wider brake lever profiles on the GRX shifters are a revelation. Its a tiny thing but they feel great as you have more contact.
Overall I’m really happy with the bike. I’d say its a touch harsher than the Ribble but a bit faster too which will probably be a little more stiffness in the frame. Ideal for commuting. I’ll keep you posted on how it fairs.