Dolan Scala Ultegra time trial bike review

A good value machine that packs a lot of aero punch for the price

Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Dolan Scala is an astute choice for those looking for a first ‘serious’ time trial bike. Admittedly it’s not the most user-friendly — we’ve already talked about the TRP calipers — and it takes practice to get the rear wheel in and out of the rear-facing dropouts. However, we can forgive this because the Scala is a well-designed, good quality, versatile frame that offers plenty of scope for achieving the most comfortable and/or efficient position. And crucially, it’s fast. The Ultegra build strikes the right balance between budget and pro level so that a beginner needn’t fear being ‘over-biked’ and the more experienced rider shouldn’t feel compromised. Certainly there are time trial bikes that have completely hidden cables, integrated stems, range-topping electronic groupsets and that probably post slightly better numbers in the wind tunnel, but you need to take out a second mortgage to afford them

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Aero frame

  • +

    Competitive price

  • +

    High spec

  • +

    Clean look

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Brakes are fiddly

  • -

    Exposed cables

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.

As a general rule the drag coefficient of a time trial bike is inversely proportional to its price. In other words, the lower the drag, the higher the price. With the Dolan Scala Ultegra time trial bike, which has a RRP of just under £1,000 for the frameset, British brand Dolan is attempting to disprove the equation that has governed time trial equipment for at least the past five years.

>>> The best time trial bikes and triathlon bikes: a buyer's guide 

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.