New frame ideal for cyclo-sportive riders introduced to the Dolan Bike range.
One look round the mind boggling range of bikes on the Dolan Bikes website and it is easy to see there is a bike for everyone. And now there is a new one, the Titanium ADX based bike, for the sportive rider. The precious metal, well known in cycling circles for being a lightweight and strong metal for cycle frames, is not new to Terry Dolan who has been in the business of building frames for 33 years. Terry explained that over the last 20 years, his company has only made around 10 custom Titanium frames with some of those for some pretty special customers. Of those, six of the frames have come from the hands of Terry himself who is one of the world’s top frame builders and designers.
“The first titanium bike we ever did was for Chris Boardman and the Grand Prix de Nations Time Trial in 1994. I was brought up as a copper smith and served my time in ship building so we know a lot about the issues surrounding certain materials to be welded.”
Terry then reeled off a load of things such as wall thickness, width of the beeding, the height of the beeding in relation to the wall thickness and in particular, when you get different thicknesses such as when welding a chain stay to a drop out or chain stay to a bottom bracket. He knows his welding having come from an age when welding frames was commonplace compared to nowadays where the frames come from moulds (carbon). While Dolan’s do carbon sportive bikes, they admit that going to these type of events and seeing first hand how titanium is becoming popular with riders, they know they can‘t ignore the needs of the market.
The new frame in the Dolan range (called the ADX) comes from Europe in thirteen different sizes and will be aimed at the growing cyclo-sportive market and Audax. The frame will come with Dolan’s own carbon fork (available are Alpina models) which is available with either a carbon or aluminium column steerer depending on the needs of the customer.
All the bits added to a frame like the rear tips, cable stops, bottle cage bosses and pannier eyes are all fully welded on and the eyelets for the mudguards are full integrated into the rear drop out lug to create a smooth finish on the frame. One of the unique features of the bike is the integrated headset.
The frames range in size from 49 centimetre up to 61 centimetres and custom frames can also be made at an extra cost if required. By way of example, the 49 centimetre bike will suit a rider who is between 4’8” to 5’1” making them suitable for men and women alike.
Another advantage of the titanium frame is that because there are thirteen sizes made, a frame that suits an individuals geometry needs is easier to come by. Terry emphasised the importance of having the bike set up so that it copes well with fast descents in the hands of a fairly novice rider. A sportive bike says Terry, has geometry pretty close to a race bike because of the speeds the riders will travel at like when descending and so it’s important the bike feels safe.
But why titanium? Besides the extra sizes and the larger choice of geometry than those available with carbon bikes, the ADX has other advantages, some of which few will think about until its too late. Titanium, Terry explained, generally gives a more comfortable ride over long periods and the material is also more flexible making the bike more suitable for travel in bike boxes and such like where being mishandled en-route to an event could cause a similar carbon bike to be damaged.
Giving an insight into the possible problems that a bike may face during travel, Terry explained that should the spacers between the drop outs become dislodged, the titanium stays will flex more than carbon ones and if need be, be prized apart should the bike have had a heavy weight on top of it. Food for thought there!
The look of a bike is also important to riders and titanium frames have a very unique brushed silver metal look but Terry explained that his frames can be painted if required. Riders can also buy either the frame or a complete bike and there is also a shorter waiting time of around six weeks.
More Info: http://www.dolan-bikes.com/