Team News: Sean Kelly Signs Dolan Bikes For 2012

After their most successful year to date, the An Post Sean Kelly continental cycling team have re-signed Dolan Bikes for 2012. Their weapon of choice will be the Dolan ‘Ares’ which in Greek mythology, is the God of War so it’s a very appropriate frame for a team based in Belgium where the passion for bike racing runs so high.

Terry Dolan and Sean Kelly after the signing of the contract for 2012 for Dolan Bikes to supply Sean’s team.

News: British brand in a team with British riders Jon Mould, Jonny Bellis, Mark Christian and Mark McNally.

God of war!

First designed in 2010 and then tested on Merseyside by the likes of former professional Phil Thomas, the Ares was delivered to Kelly’s team for 2011 and the team have been very happy with not just the handling of the bike but also the strength of them.

“Dolan Bikes has moved on from the years when we’d build bikes used in the Tour de France for teams with their own branding” says Terry Dolan, the man behind the company. “We have our own bikes in a pro team now and that’s good especially as they’ve (AN Post)  just had their most successful year.”

Team rider Mark McNally says that when they first took delivery of the bike at a training camp in Calpe, he found the bike very responsive on the descents at speed and then later on back in Belgium, the British designed frame coped with the Belgian cobbles very well too.

Dolan will be supplying fourty five Ares road bikes for the team and fifteen Stryke Time Trial bikes. The race bike will be equipped with SRAM RED and the training bikes, SRAM Force. Bars, stem and seat pin are 3TTT and the saddle will be San Marco.

The AN Post car will again in 2012, have Dolan bikes on its roof.

The key for any bike in the pro peloton where the stresses and strains go way beyond what the riders dish out on the road is strength and durability and riders in the team pounding out thousands of miles on roads around Europe are still using their original bikes.

In a review by Robin Wilmott on the internet, he reports how the bike used by Andy Fenn, who was third in the Under 23 World Road Race Championship, survived a crash in Paris Roubaix as well as all the power that road sprinter Fenn produces.  Other riders in the team have similar tales of their bikes surviving crashes. That alone is a comforting thought for anyone buying a bike as crashes are part and parcel of racing.

The design of the semi sloping monocoque frame sees specially shaped box section chain stays for extra stiffness and a geometry that provides the rider with a bike that handles well at speed such as on descents where it provides the rider with an accurate feel around the twists and turns.

The tapered head tube with 1 1/8” to 1 ½” bearings top and bottom respectively houses a full carbon fork including steerer. The different size bearings and the taper in the head tube says frame designer Terry Dolan, enables them to ‘bulk up’ the carbon steer in the appropriate places so it’s not only light but also provides a more stable feel for the front end.

As well as being tough and up to the treatment they get in pro racing, the Dolan’s are also designed to handle well.  The Sprint’s winner at the Tour of Britain in 2011 is pictured on his Dolan whilst in on his many breaks.

Cables for the pro spec UD carbon frame are internal and the designer of the frame, Terry Dolan, says that having their bikes in a team like An Post helps them improve the bikes even more. During the last season, the team have provided new ideas for small tweaks with the frame and these improvements will find there way into new models such as those for 2012. A case of the school of hard knocks helping Dolan provide a better bike for the consumer.

“We want the team to find to tell us how they can be better” says Dolan. An example  of the feedback at work is the inclusion of an extra size, the 54cm, in the range.

We’ll more on the team line up with some quite exciting names to come!

Mark McNally (left) won French stage race La Mi-Août en Bretagne on his Dolan while Andy Fenn (right) sprinted to third place in the Under 23 Road Worlds on his.

Other BikePorn on VeloUK