Corratec Dolomiti 105 £879

Lightweight affordable offering

BikeRadar score 4/5

German company Corratec were founded in 1990 but their bikes have only been sporadically available in Britain until this year, when Raleigh became their official UK distributor. Coming in at under a grand, the Dolomiti has very little about it we would change, combining confidence-inspiring stability and fast handling.

  • Frame & fork: Decent aluminium frame and a matching carbon fork (8/10)
  • Handling: Seriously sharp, very, very stable – a great combination for racing and fast fitness riding (9/10)
  • Equipment: Shimano 105 black groupset and Zzyzx kit. Not flashy but does the job (8/10)
  • Wheels: Competent Shimano hoops with Conti’s excellent 24mm Grand Prix tyres (7/10)

The aluminium Dolomiti weighs in at just 19.7lb (8.94kg) thanks to lightweight wheels, the speccing of a complete Shimano 105 groupset and a compact double chainset rather than a triple.

This sort of weight would have cost you much more than £800 not that long ago, and is still a weight that those not familiar with road bikes will be shocked by on picking it up. And yes, it does make a difference out on the road.

The Dolomiti feels stable, with no hint of twitchiness, but can be cranked up to speed quickly and ridden with a real zing. It’s as easy – and safe – to ride no-handed as just about any road bike we’ve tested, but point it any direction and that’s where it goes, and fast too.

The 105 groupset didn't disappoint, shifting quickly and accurately throughout testing. The braking performance felt better than the Sora/Tiagra setup found on other bikes at this price, but not up to the standard of SRAM's Rival anchors.

The Shimano wheels aren't the most glamorous hoops you’ll find but they’re pretty well sealed for the price, and our resident mechanic and part-time wheelbuilder George Ramelkamp is a big fan of them.

The Conti Grand Prix tyres are also proven performers. The new 24mm width splits the difference between narrower race tyres and wider, more commuter-friendly rubber, adding a little extra comfort without trimming too much off your speed. It straddles the sportive/training divide in Conti’s tyre chart, and is a sound choice for this sort of machine. We’ve ridden this tyre on quite a few bikes this year and have found that it’s pretty puncture-resistant too.

Even the own-brand vinyl saddle was reasonably comfortable. In fact, about the only thing we’d do is swap the bar tape. The black and white Corratec-branded tape has a rubberised feel and is grippy enough, but it’s very thin, and while the handlebar clamp is oversized the bars themselves are standard diameter –  resulting in a fair amount of road buzz being transmitted through the bars. Swap the bar tape for something thicker, or double up on its thickness and it will really help things.

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