Dolan Tuono £1080
17th Mar 2008 | 08:00
Excellent Italian carbon off t'Internet
This Italian-made, website marketed machine is hard to beat for the money
Ride: sharp but smooth
The Dolan Tuono combines the sharply accurate handling properties of a carbon road bike at the high end of the stiffness scale with a smooth ride quality akin to a bike intended for sportives, and shows that you can have responsiveness without needing to wear a second pair of shorts to blunt vibrations.
The relatively short head-tube and low riding position will please those who like to climb aggressively, and the fork’s exemplary lateral stiffness and pinpoint accurate steering responses inspire confidence to feather the brakes into and out of corners on fast descents.
Frame: brand new Italian carbon
Built in Italy, the Tuono is the top model in Dolan’s road bike range and uses unidirectional nanotube (UDN) carbon that is so new only Terry Dolan has it. There are lighter frames out there but the use of an intermediate density carbon promises better durability.
The flattened chainstays – just 18mm thick at their narrowest, help to dissipate vibrations, and the dropouts are capped with alloy for durability.
The 100 per cent carbon forks and a headset are included in the frame-only package and the frame angles are the same regardless of the size selected.
Equipment: own brand goodness
Based on a frame and fork-only price of £1080, the projected cost of this Campagnolo Centaur-equipped Dolan Tuono – it should be available from mid Feb – is a competitive £1850.
The Dolan was decked out mostly with Dolan’s own Alpina branded carbon Ergo handlebars and oversized carbon setback-type seatpost, together with a Deda carbon wrapped stem. The saddle was the little-seen Prologo Nago that has a stiff base and a shape that suited our testers.
Wheels: new premium Ksyriums
A fair proportion of the Dolan’s total price can be attributed to the new Mavic Ksyrium SL Premium wheels. These head the Ksyrium range and use titanium skewers and hub components in place of the steel ones of the SL model.
Other wheels with carbon rims are lighter uphill but we would opt for these Ksyriums in most circumstances as their aluminium braking surfaces provide far better braking modulation on full-attention descents that you’ll encounter in a continental sportive.
The Continental Grand Prix 4000 tyres grip tenaciously in the wet, though we were unfortunate and picked up a puncture.
Summary: hard to beat for the money
Ordering the Dolan Tuono online was a pretty basic experience but we got what we asked for and the new frame technology and the level of kit and wheels package has resulted in a ride that’s hard to better below the two grand scale.