Dolan Detail

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

Saddle woes
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.

posh & comfy but discontinued too sadly

Bar Bollocks
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 wider bars make a big difference to the ride

Wheel Swap
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.

its a very posh winter bike now

Guards
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

Full Mounty
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.

the new camera mount is solid

Niggles
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’ll never use them

Happy place
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.

I just need a 40T oval ring now #comingsoon
the clutch mech is superb
the brake lever profile is a revelation

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.

10 thoughts on “Dolan Detail

  1. Thinking of pulling the trigger on one of these, but am a long way from Dolan bikes so can’t see one in person – looks good! For the money, seems an excellent combo of spec, frame, geometry and all the mounts I’ll ever need, but I’ve not seen one review online – are you happy with it? Would be a combo winter bike, commuter and gravel/bit of off-road for me. Also, any idea on built weight for your’s (before the camera, cage, mudguards etc.)?

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  2. Looks good – I’m thinking of going for one of these, but am struggling to find much online (no reviews, other blog posts) for this year’s frame. For the money, seems like a great spec, geometry, frame and all the mounts I’ll ever need. Would you recommend it? Also, have you an idea of the built weight before you added extras like camera and mudguards? I’d be using it as a commuter, winter bike and some off-road gravel and forest trails.

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  3. So far very happy. It’s a touch harsh on 28 tyres compared to my Ribble CGR but it does look a stiffer frame. Almost aero downtube profile at the head tube. Geo is almost identical, just 5mm shorter top tube. Weight very similar all loaded, will weigh it when next at work with proper scales. Only found the Merlin Malt cheaper but the Geo was no good for me. 6 wk delivery got it in 4. Hope that helps

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  4. Cheers – that’s really useful to know. Funnily enough, the Ribble CGR is another on the shortlist, but this seems to offer a bit more for the money with the GRX groupset. BTW, sorry for the almost duplicate posts – new to posting on WordPress…

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  5. No worries. If you haven’t posted a comment before I approve the first one. Stops spam. It’s a great bike for the money. The Ribble is a great bike too but at a price now. Bagged my 105 one at 1299 18 months ago. Contact me if you have any other questions. I’ll try and get the actual weight too. Don’t believe published weights. Just bollox

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