Dawes Ultra Galaxy review

Dawes Ultra Galaxy
Cycling Weekly Verdict

My main gripe with the Galaxy comes with the choice of groupset used for the bike. On the face of it, it's Shimano Tiagra. Not a bad choice, I admit, but when you look closer it's a bit of a mismatch of components; a personal bugbear of mine. An upgraded 105 rear derailleur is a bonus, but matched with a Tiagra front mech and a downgraded crank, it's all a bit messy. Groupsets are designed to work as a group (funnily enough) and when you split them up to save money, sometimes you lose a bit of performance. Changing gear under stress, which can happen a lot when you're riding fully laden up a hill, it was a little noisy and slightly clunky. It worked - don't get me wrong - but it was by no means instant and it wasn't in any way a svelte pleasure. Perhaps I'm being a little harsh, though. When compared with the Koga's full Deore XT groupset, and the Thorn's Rohloff hub, the Dawes' gears were never going to win on performance alone. But when price is considered too, the Dawes is both a real steal and a worthy continuation of a British touring tradition.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Great looks

  • +

    Comfy ride quality

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Some corners cut with the groupset

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.

It seems most fitting to kick things off with the bike brand best known inside these shores.

Dawes has been making its Galaxy tourer for many, many years and it has become legendary among the British touring crowd. Galaxys older than me are still reliably toured to this day. This version, the Galaxy Ultra, is the best-specced model available and, at £1,800, it's cheaper than the closest priced competitor in this test by a few hundred pounds.

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