Dolan ADX Titanium 105 Di2 review
Titanium endurance machine with Shimano’s new 105 Di2GBP £3,100.00 RRP Skip to view deals
Liverpool-based Dolan has been designing its own-brand bikes under founder Terry Dolan since 1977.
With close ties to British cycling and track racing, its range covers everything from road bikes and time-trial machines to gravel bikes, tandems and electric bikes.
Dolan’s ADX Titanium is the brand’s take on the classic endurance bike, with a smart, brushed-finish 3Al/2.5V tubeset built into a semi-sloping frame.
Proper mudguard mounts and provision for rear racks make it a truly year-round machine, adding commuting and light touring to the ADX’s endurance credentials.
Dolan ADX Titanium 105 Di2 geometry
The geometry is classic road bike, with a steep, 74-degree head and similarly upright 73.5-degree seat angle, though the riding position is relaxingly upright, with a tall 623mm stack and short 390.2mm reach.
I thought this might make the bike feel too sedate, but the steepness of the head angle combined with the straight-legged fork make the steering quick. The ADX feels responsive thanks to the stiffness through the bottom bracket.
|Seat angle (degrees)||74.5||74||74||73.5||73.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||72.5||73||73||73.5||74|
|Seat tube (mm)||505||525||545||565||585|
|Top tube (mm)||531||539||549||567||580|
|Head tube (mm)||135||152||170||180||205|
Dolan ADX Titanium 105 Di2 specification and ride impressions
The ADX is available from £2,399 with mechanical Shimano 105, to £6,449.99 for a model with Dura-Ace Di2. I opted for the new 105 Di2 to get a bit of the flagship feel for less than half the price.
What usually marks out a titanium frame is a softer spring than you get with quality steel frames.
Dolan’s ADX, however, feels more like the spring of steel, which means the bike’s great fun to ride, with quick handling and a position that’s very easy to live with. In short, the ADX offers everything you’d want from an endurance bike.
I found Shimano’s new 105 Di2 impressive. It shares the same 12-speed gearing as its more expensive siblings, though with fewer gearing options available.
My test bike’s climbing-friendly 50/34 chainset and 11/34 cassette’s 1:1 bottom gear kept me spinning up the steepest climbs though.
The rear derailleur’s shifting is pretty much indistinguishable from the more expensive Ultegra Di2. And while its front shifts aren’t quite as quick as Ultegra, the motor-assisted shifts under load between chainrings are dependable and accurate.
The levers lack the additional buttons of Ultegra and Dura-Ace, so you can’t control your Garmin head unit hands-free. Thankfully, the 105 Di2’s semi-wireless design means you can connect to your Garmin or Wahoo head unit to show your gearing and each battery’s individual level.
The derailleurs are powered by a wired seatpost-mounted battery, with the levers using coin cell batteries.
Shimano has improved 105’s braking too, with a more progressive lever action that gives more feel than ever.
The distance between the pad and rotor has been increased by 10 per cent to reduce the likelihood of rubbing, which seemed to work, though on a couple of wet rides I did get a bit of brake squeal under hard braking.
Mavic’s understated Cosmic SL road bike wheels are reasonably light and have a 32mm-deep rim with a 21mm internal width. Their special shaped and sealed rim bed makes them very easy to set up and maintain as tubeless.
Their stiff, solid feel is classic Mavic. The 9-degree engagement freehub picks up quickly and the wheels’ tautness balances the smooth-riding titanium frame.
The tyres are even more impressive. Continental’s 28mm GP5000s are superb: compliant, fast, grippy and durable. Be aware they’re not the tubeless version, though.
Dolan finishes off the ADX with a smattering of quality Italian components, including Deda’s dependable Zero stem and bar. The stem is stiff and light, while the bar has a good shape with a big, hand-friendly semi-compact drop and nicely ovalised tops.
It’s well complemented by Deda’s tacky and grippy all-weather tape.
Alpina’s titanium seatpost is polished to match the frame and is topped with Selle Italia’s well-padded Novus saddle, with a full-length channel and split nose that I found comfortable as the hours – and miles – mounted up.
Dolan ADX Titanium 105 Di2 bottom line
Dolan has succeeded in producing a quality year-round bike at a very reasonable price with the ADX.
My only niggle with the bike is that one of the down tube’s welded-in bottle bosses had a very coarse thread that wasn’t aligned perfectly.
Ideally, this thread would have been chased out properly when the bike was assembled, but that’s a tiny thing on a well-priced bike with a quality ride.
|Available sizes||50.5, 52.5, 54.5, 56.6, 58.5cm|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano BB86|
|Brakes||Shimano 105 hydraulic disc|
|Cassette||Shimano 105 12-speed (11-34)|
|Fork||Alpina ADX carbon|
|Front derailleur||Shimano 105 Di2|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano 105 Di2|
|Saddle||Selle Italia Novus|
|Shifter||Shimano 105 Di2|
|Tyres||Continental GP5000 28c|
|Wheels||Mavic Cosmic SL 32|