Dolan Titanium ADX Disc Ultegra review

Disc-equipped titanium sportive special

BikeRadar score4/5

The Dolan ADX majors on value when it comes to similar bikes. It’s always been possible to get titanium for around £2,000, but usually you’re looking at a frame only. Don’t think that because the ADX is cheap, relatively speaking, it’s not quality. A close inspection of the frame shows super-clean welds, neat features such as the hourglass-shaped head-tube and full internal cable routing on the frame and matching carbon fork.

The rear dropouts are very neatly machined
The rear dropouts are very neatly machined

Dolan Titanium ADX Disc Ultegra frame and kit

The rear dropouts are neatly sculpted and machined, but surprisingly they, and the fork, are standard quick-release and not thru-axle. I didn’t notice any undue flex, disc rub or noise when riding the ADX, so I’d say this chassis is stiff enough without the added solidity of thru-axles.

The ADX is an unreserved sportive bike, it’s tall — a 205mm head-tube on my 58.5cm test bike — with a mid-length reach. It’s also designed to handle big comfortable tyres up to 35mm, or around 30mm if you choose to add mudguards, which the ADX has welcome provision for.

The Dolan’s disc brakes are new Shimano Ultegra R8000 items
The Dolan’s disc brakes are new Shimano Ultegra R8000 items

Up front, the full carbon fork has mudguard eyes, bosses for a rack and a neat flat-mount for its disc brakes. At the back it has complementary bosses for carrying and protection too, along with a flat-mount for the disc brake. 

The disc brakes are Shimano’s latest Ultegra units and are star performers. With the 50/34, 11-28 Ultegra gears they make up one of the best performing and best value groupsets around.

Dolan Titanium ADX Disc Ultegra ride experience

The Dolan rides in the way that a great sportive bike should. The ride position is comfortable without being lazy, so it can be hustled through the bends easily. It’s not as assured as some of its more sporty rivals when you’re approaching the limit, especially when cranking it over in corners. 

For enthusiastic distance riding it’s a fine place to be, the ADX being more about stability than swiftness.

The Dolan rides just how a great sportive bike should
The Dolan rides just how a great sportive bike should

My wheel upgrade meant I got Mavic’s UST system, the company’s take on tubeless, and the tyres certainly feel compliant and smooth running, really benefiting the overall feel.

Uphill the Dolan is definitely your friend, the chassis is stiff and responsive when you stand and the climbing-friendly gear ratios are welcome, I would even be tempted to try Shimano’s 11-30 cassette as Ultegra can easily accept the wider range. 

The bike’s finishing kit is all decent stuff, with an aluminium Deda cockpit and Selle Italia saddle, both of which are comfortable and easy to live with. The addition of a carbon seatpost is a nice highlight and all this adds up to a value package that anyone looking to ride smoother should consider.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 188cm / 6'2''
  • Weight: 92kg / 203lb
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 112cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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