The Dolomite Four, from the house brand of Evans Cycles, is pitched as a versatile year-round bike, with clearance for 25mm tyres and mudguards.
Highs: You’re getting a great component spec for the price
Lows: The sedate geometry won’t scare newer riders, but overall it lacks a little sparkle
Buy if: You’re looking for versatility and value for money
The mudguards aren’t standard fitment, but at the time of writing Evans were offering £100-worth of accessories with a Dolomite Four purchase. Also bear in mind that the Dolomite only comes in four sizes, so if you’re very short or unusually tall you might be out of luck.
There’s little in the way of novelty tube shapes in the frame, but that’s no bad thing. The top tube is flattened into a horizontal oval and the stays describe gentle arcs, but other than that it’s good old round aluminium tubes all the way.
Considering the price of the Dolomite, a Shimano 105 transmission is a real highlight. The current generation of 105 has concealed gear cables, which means less clutter up front than Tiagra or Sora setups – a boon when mounting lights on your bar.
The 105 kit is beautifully smooth and quiet in use, and while you don’t get a 105 chainset, the FSA Gossamer compact double is a decent substitute. A standard 12-25 cassette out back will be fine for most purposes, although less experienced riders in hilly terrain might benefit from a bigger bottom sprocket. Tektro brake callipers are adequate performers, although not up to the standards of Shimano’s own brakes.
Concealed cables give the 105 levers a clean look: Tom Simpson/Future Publishing
Concealed cables give the 105 levers a clean look
While the Shimano RS10 wheelset is an eye-catching inclusion, we’re not convinced by budget low-spoke-count wheels for year-round UK use – winter roads are hard on wheels and we’d be worried about replacement rims. No complaints about the hubs, though – stay on top of maintenance and the Shimano hubs will last for years.
The handling is well-balanced and won’t scare the newcomer, although you have to work it a bit through tighter corners, and the torsionally-stiff frame and low overall weight of 9.82kg (21.6lb) reward your efforts with brisk acceleration.
The Kenda tyres prioritise durability over low rolling resistance, but that’s a sensible approach for a bike like this. And while there’s something pleasingly understated about the stealth black colour scheme, something a bit brighter wouldn’t go amiss on winter roads.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.