Dolan Ares SL review

A racy ride with sensible geometry, we tested the latest offering from Dolan

Cycling Weekly Verdict

In an era when new models tend to rely on headline-grabbing gimmicks — generally related to aerodynamics or weight — the Ares is all straight lines. And in terms of its performance it plays it straight, too. There are no nasty surprises or quirks. Terry Dolan, who built Chris Boardman’s early time trial frames and is now probably best known for his track frames, has a vast amount of experience. Even though the Ares, like virtually all carbon frames, is built in the Far East, with Dolan you sense you’re in good hands. If you don’t want a race bike from one of the big American brands and would rather go for one from an authentic British name with racing pedigree, then Dolan is it, and the Ares is the bike. And as before, it’s very competitively priced.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Clean lines

  • +

    Racy ride

  • +

    Sensible geometry

  • +

    Great value for money

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    If you want aero, look elsewhere

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it might be a good maxim for Dolan’s Ares. The Ares SL is the same bike that the UCI Continental An Post-Sean Kelly team rode in 2011 and 2012 — a bike that proved to be unbreakable even under Niko Eeckhout, the former Belgium champion who was nicknamed ‘Rambo’ — albeit with a few tweaks and a fair bit of weight shaved off.


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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.