You probably haven’t heard of Taiwanese company Dare. Since its launch in 2013 the company has not done the best job of making itself known. We’ll forgive that though, because its efforts have instead gone into creating a complete line of very interesting road bikes.
There are a couple of reasons why Dare should be on your radar: the first is that this is a direct-sale brand that will deliver internationally, so expect pricing that big names cannot match. The second is that these are not simply open mould designs picked from a catalogue and have instead been researched, designed, tested and produced by the company’s own facilities.
To think the people behind this company are inexperienced would be a mistake, in fact Dare’s founder has already overseen the production of multiple bike brands.
Editor's note: European pricing has now been updated to include tax.
Built not bought means unique customisation
The fact that the brand manufacturers so much of its own bikes means that it can offer some fairly unique customisation options for customers. For example, each of its models is available in a whole swatch of Scandinavian-inspired hues and the choice of either a matte or gloss finish.
But it’s more than just paint. A custom configurator allows each bike model to be upgraded component by component in a similar way to direct sale brand Rose.
Dare even produces its own handlebars and stems. Its carbon aerocockpit, for example, is available in 12 sizes ranging from 80mm x 400mm right through to 135 x 440mm.
- Dare Bikes range overview
Dare GFX gravel bike and GFE endurance bike
Kicking off with Dare’s latest bikes, the GFX and GFE.
The idea is that Dare has produced a gravel and endurance bike with the same chassis, so it’s GFX for gravel duties and GFE for endurance.
Clever adjustable chainstays provide up to 15mm of wheelbase adjustment without disrupting the disc brakes and mean that the GFX can happily accept 650b wheels with tyres up to 2.25in rather than the 700c x 45mm configuration that the bike ships with.
A removable adaptor at the fork cleans up aesthetics for those running a smaller rolling radius. The GFX wears an own-brand flared bar, while the GFE uses Dare’s standard road cockpit.
Two builds are on offer, the cheapest arriving with Ultegra mechanical and a DT Swiss CR16000 Spline wheelset.
The more expensive model follows the same build but sees a drivetrain upgrade to Ultegra Di2. US pricing and availability for this model is still to be announced.
- Dare GFE S8 — £2619
- Dare GFE S8E — £3309
- Dare GFX S8 — £2629
- Dare GFX S8E — £3319
Dare MR1S and MR1s DB road bikes
The MR1 is Dare’s headline road bike.
Available in disc brake and rim brake versions, the frame comes in at a claimed 820g or 850g for a size 54cm, depending on your braking choice. It’s also the weapon of choice for Norway’s Uno-X cycling team, who Dare supports as a bike sponsor.
Much like the gravel bike, the MR1 frame stands out for its simplicity and clean undisrupted lines. A hole between the seat tube and top tube junction is a significant point of interest and incorporates what Dare refers to as a “comfort channel”.
This curious section of the frame is designed to improve comfort, but this isn’t the full story because surrounding the hole is a wider area that uses a specific form of carbon fibre sourced from UK company Sigmatex.
This unique carbon with its fish scale-like pattern has been chosen specifically to provide shock absorption.
Rim brake builds start at a very competitive €3,049 / $3,199 for a bike with Ultegra mechanical and DT Swiss’ PR1600 Dicut 21 wheelset.
Disc brake builds start at €3,199 / $3,499, again for Ultegra mechanical with discs and the same DT Wheels sans a brake track.
Both versions of the MR1S can be customised to over €6,699 / $7,000 for a Dura-Ace Di2 build with fancier wheels from DT.
A 54cm Dura-Ace disc build comes in at a claimed 6.9kg, and the equivalent rim brake bike at approximately 200g less.
A women’s version of each bike is also available, which features the same frame but with women’s specific contact points.
It’s a particularly smart looking bike that appears to represent excellent value for money. We’ve requested one for testing so stay tuned.
Dare VSR aero road bike
The VSR is Dare’s aero road bike and it’s a design that has been around for a couple of years already. Still, the frame design with its dropped stays, tyre hugging seat tube cutout and distinctive head tube still looks relatively fresh.
Currently sold in only a rim brake option via the Dare website, the VSR frame is actually disc compatible thanks to some concealed mounts and removable dropouts.
Four standard builds exist starting at €3,069 / $3,399 for Ultegra mechanical and DT Swiss PR1600 wheels and topping out with a €6,499 / $7,299 bike with 65mm DT PRC1400 Spline wheels and Dura-Ace Di2.
A 54cm VSR frame is claimed to weigh 950g and is said to build into a 7.3kg bike with Dura-Ace mechanical and DT’s PRC1400 Spline wheels.
Dare TSR Nordic Triathlon/TT bike
One for the time triallists and triathletes out there is the TSR. With a frameset that was UCI approved a couple of years ago, the TSR is a rim brake only carbon chassis that comes in at a claimed 1,320g for a size 54cm.
A sliding seat rail offers 4 degrees of seat angle adjustment to the rider (73–77 degrees), while Dare’s transformer stem and handlebar also provide multiple arrangements to ensure correct ergonomics for competition while keeping all cables out of the wind.
An integrated steering limiter prevents the handlebar from damaging the top tube should the steering be allowed to flop to one side. A disc brake version of the TSR version, the TSR+, is expected for 2019.
We've got high hopes for Dare and are really looking forward to trying out their bikes. For more information on the range head over to the Dare Bikes website.