Dare Bikes is the hottest direct sale brand you've probably never heard of

More aggressive pricing than Canyon, more customisation than Rose

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

Because Dare builds its own frames the company is able to offer a lot more customisation than most direct sale brands
Because Dare builds its own frames the company is able to offer a lot more customisation than most direct sale brands

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's own aero bar is available as an upgrade for almost all of its road bikes
Dare's own aero bar is available as an upgrade for almost all of its road bikes

  • Dare Bikes range overview

Dare GFX gravel bike and GFE endurance bike

The Dare GFX gravel bike shares its chassis with the company's endurance road bike, the GFE
The Dare GFX gravel bike shares its chassis with the company's endurance road bike, the GFE

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.

Removable inserts ensure that the gravel-capable fork doesn't look awkward with skinnier tyres in place
Removable inserts ensure that the gravel-capable fork doesn't look awkward with skinnier tyres in place

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.  

Dare's GFX sporting 45mm tyres, flared handlebars and 'cross bike gearing
Dare's GFX sporting 45mm tyres, flared handlebars and 'cross bike gearing

The GFE uses the same frame but wears narrower 32mm tyres, compact gearing and a regular handlebar
The GFE uses the same frame but wears narrower 32mm tyres, compact gearing and a regular handlebar

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

Dare's MR1s DB will soon be tested by BikeRadar
Dare's MR1s DB will soon be tested by BikeRadar

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.

Each MR1S frame makes use of a special carbon fibre used specifically to provide flex in this area
Each MR1S frame makes use of a special carbon fibre used specifically to provide flex in this area

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.

Clean lines and subdued colours feature heavily throughout the range
Clean lines and subdued colours feature heavily throughout the range

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.

A closer look at the minimalist rear end of the MRS1 DB
A closer look at the minimalist rear end of the MRS1 DB

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.

Dare's MR1S is available from €3,059 / $3,199 with a Shimano Ultegra mechanical build. This Ultegra Di2 example would be more like €4,449 / $4,499
Dare's MR1S is available from €3,059 / $3,199 with a Shimano Ultegra mechanical build. This Ultegra Di2 example would be more like €4,449 / $4,499

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 bike
The VSR is Dare's aero 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.

The distinctive head tube of Dare's VSR aero frame
The distinctive head tube of Dare's VSR aero frame

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.

Dare's Aero cockpit is available in a full 12 sizes and will also be sold separately for €288 / $355
Dare's Aero cockpit is available in a full 12 sizes and will also be sold separately for €288 / $355

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

Dare's TT bike, the TSR, is soon to be available with disc brakes
Dare's TT bike, the TSR, is soon to be available with disc brakes

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.

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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