Dolan Titanium ADX review

Top value titanium from a British institution

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,198.00 RRP

Our review

It’s not exactly cutting-edge, but the Titanium ADX is a lovely thing indeed
Buy if, You want a lovely titanium all-rounder and aren’t fussed if it has discs
Pros: Lively ride, versatility, value for money
Cons: Firm rear end
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Magic carpet! Bike for life! Springy! All titanium bikes, including Dolan’s Titanium ADX, should ship with a card listing the appropriate clichés to deploy in cake-stop conversations.

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You can confidently assert that titanium offers the comfort of steel but at a lower weight; that it is at once timeless, traditional and yet achingly modern. Club mates will nod in agreement at such truisms and your Twitter followers will quietly get on with their lives.

As it happens, titanium bikes do pull off the rather clever trick of not looking particularly cutting edge, but also never appearing too dated. A titanium bike from the 1990s with a set of modern shifters won’t look radically different to one bought this year, because the way the material is used hasn’t changed all that much.

Despite its conservative appearance, it’s a lively and rewarding ride
Despite its conservative appearance, it’s a lively and rewarding ride
Robert Smith

The ADX’s frame is traditional in some respects, with slim main tubes that are more or less round and a straight head-tube. To the delight of mechanics, the bottom bracket is threaded and the cables are external, and it’s got bosses to take mudguards and/or a rack (we requested our bike with the former already fitted,and they work a treat).

It’s a fine all-rounder even if its geometry tends towards that of an endurance bike

Fairly substantial stays give a clue to the ADX’s road-going manners and we couldn’t help but marvel at the rear dropouts, which are so impressively cowled you could shelter from the rain under them.

The ADX has rim brakes. Yes, using technology that dates back decades, this bike contrives to stop using calipers that grab your wheels just next to your tyres. In fact, Ultegra rim brakes are among the best out there so it would be churlish to complain.

The rest of the groupset isn’t bad either, besides Dolan will build your ADX pretty much however you want, although you’ll get the best deal by opting for one of the ‘special editions’, which still afford some leeway on the finer details.

My Ultegra-based spec starts at a very reasonable £1,999, with the addition of mudguards and some finishing kit upgrades pushing it a couple of hundred quid higher.

Mavic Ksyrium wheels gain low weight and stiffness points
Mavic Ksyrium wheels gain low weight and stiffness points
Jesse Wild/Immediate Media

This build gets you Mavic’s Ksyrium Elite wheelset, which scores points for low weight and stiffness, although it’s looking awfully skinny in this day and age. If you are planning to subject your ADX to the indignities of winter, it’s arguably a bit too nice.

As the name suggests it’s targeted at the audax (long distance rides to be completed in a set time) crowd and really it’s a fine all-rounder even if its geometry tends towards that of an endurance bike.

Despite its conservative appearance, it’s a lively and rewarding ride; the rear triangle is impressively stiff and an out-of-the-saddle sprint or a quick burst of wattage when the road ramps up is always amply rewarded.

This racy persona comes with a side-order of rear-end firmness and neither the huge Alpina carbon seatpost nor the firm Selle Italia Flite saddle help. Still, it’s a smooth ride that does live up to the titanium stereotype and we like it very much.

If you buy this as your winter bike, it won’t feel like second best unless you just can’t stomach rim brakes. If you buy it as your only bike, we don’t think you’ll be missing out.

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For international delivery and shipping check the Dolan site for costs.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Titanium ADX
Brand Dolan

Available Sizes 50.5cm 52.5cm 54.5cm 56.5cm 58.5cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1650
Wheelbase (cm) 98.5
Top Tube (cm) 54
Standover Height (cm) 79
Seat Tube (cm) 49
Chainstays (cm) 41.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Wheelset Mavic Ksyrium Elite
Weight (kg) 9.1
Trail 5.7
Stem Deda Zero 100
Shifters Shimano 105
Seatpost Alpina carbon
Seat Angle 75
Saddle Selle Italia Flite Team Edition
Rear Tyre Continental Gatorskin 700x25mm
Bottom Bracket Shimano SM-BBR60
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Headset Type Alpina
Head Angle 73
Handlebar Deda Zero
Front Wheel Weight 1190
Front Tyre Continental Gatorskin 700x25mm
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Material Dolan ADX titanium
Fork Offset 4.5
Fork Dolan carbon, alloy steerer
Cranks Shimano Ultegra 11-28
Chain KMC
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 11-28
Brakes Shimano Ultegra
Frame size tested 52.5cm