Dolan’s DR1 comes under its endurance category and the specification of Campagnolo Potenza with an endurance-friendly 50/34, 11-30 gearset certainly bears this out.
The geometry, however, is at the much racier end of endurance than most and the low (for an XL) stack of 569.6mm, reach of 395.6mm and parallel 73-degree angles give the DR1 serious handling chops.
The DR1 does ride firm when compared to the latest generation of endurance machines such as Giant’s Defy or Specialized’s Roubaix, but it’s in no way an uncomfortable bike.
The firmness in the carbon chassis is countered by a brilliant Selle Italia Novus Boost saddle, the Deda Zero 100 cockpit is top-notch and, when wrapped with Supercaz’s thick, sticky, comfortable tape, the contact points on the DR1 are spot on, well thought out and very welcome on longer rides.
On hills, the Mavic Ksyrium Pro wheels feel lighter than 1,770g. David Caudery / Immediate Media
Wheel-wise Dolan has opted for Mavic’s base model aero wheel: the alloy Cosmic Elite, paired with Mavic’s own Yksion Pro tyres. I’ve come to expect a tubeless wheelset not to come set up, so it’s impressive to see that Dolan supplies this tubeless package as it should be.
It does make a difference out on the road, with the relatively slender 25c tyres (when mounted on narrow Cosmic rims) riding as plushly as the 28s found on its rivals. The DR1 has clearance for 28s and I would like to see them here, though that’s more of a statement about my local roads than the DR1’s competence.
The DR1 is a bike that impresses all round, even if the bumble-bee paint scheme on my test bike is a little polarising. Dolan is also one of the few brands that offers a Campagnolo build option, so I opted to get reacquainted with the hydraulic disc version of Potenza.
Campagnolo may have come late to the disc road party, following on much later than Shimano, SRAM or TRP, but its system certainly has a lot going for it.
The brake feel is nicely progressive throughout the full lever travel and it has plenty of adjustment, so you can tune the brake feel to your personal preference.
The Potenza group shifts with typical Campagnola efficiency. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The Potenza group shifts across the block at the rear with usual Campagnolo efficiency (and you can sweep up the block in a couple of swings of the lever, or rattle down the block with a push on the button). The shifts on the front, however, felt a bit laboured when changing from the 34 to the 50 compared to its Shimano-equipped rivals.
Hit the hills and the DR1’s a fine companion. The relatively low weight is a boon and the wheels certainly feel lighter than their 1,770g claimed weight (not including tyres) would suggest.
The wide gear range means that you’re always on top of your pedals and that 34/30 pair should see you over the steepest slopes too.
Hit the hills on the DR1 and you’re in good company because this bike is well-geared. Robert Smith
The DR1 is at its best on rolling terrain where the aggressive position encourages hard efforts, and it does a good job of holding on to speed.
The DR1’s distinctive kinked top-tube is reminiscent of Wilier’s GTR and the geometry is very much like the Italian take on a Gran Fondo bike, in that it’s race-bike aggressive but with a softer edge to its ride.
The handling is quick and stable, and if you’re looking for something that’s sharp but never scary, it’s a decent option.
I couldn’t find much to fault with the DR1 because it’s a very competent package; the one small niggle I have with this bike is with the D-shaped seatpost. It’s a tight fit in the frame and I found I had to remove the single-piece wedge clamp completely to be able to wriggle the seatpost up or down to adjust.
On the plus side, the simple wedge holds things tight and the post didn’t get close to slipping come rain or shine, which is much more preferable to the alternative.
Dolan DR1 Campagnolo Potenza Hydro geometry
The DR1 is a bike that impresses all round: it’s a sportive bike with a very sporty edge. Courtesy
Seat angle: 72.3 degrees
Head angle: 71 degrees
Seat tube: 57cm
Top tube: 59cm
Fork offset: 4.5cm
Bottom bracket height: 27.4cm