ribble gran fondo vs dolan l' etape

by harkstar   March 31, 2014  

Hey folks,

Looking to upgrade to a new carbon framed bike, I've got £1000 budget via cycle scheme, I am stuck between either the ribble gran fondo or the dolan l' etape. Both look good for the money and I was wondering if anyone has one or the other that they can give me some advice on which one to choose, any pro's or cons that there may be.

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I have the Dolan. Had it 10 days & already put 200 miles on it.
Aesthetically its very pleasing, the frame isn't boring round tubes but a mixture of triangular and ovalised parts. The finish is high quality and the graphics are very neat.
Ride wise, its comfortable yet has a fairly quick acceleration when you step on the pedals, the BB area seems pretty stiff anyway. Its a little firmer/less forgiving in the rear than the Mekk Potenza it replaced but a little quicker acceleration, up to you which is more important. Its stable even for a novice like me, doing 40mph yesterday and no twitchiness or speed wobble - so far!
I bought mine frame only & swapped everything (apart from the seat pin) over from the Mekk, if you are doing the same remember its a BB30 BB so if you have Shimano cranks you will need some step down adapters.
Overall its a lovely bike, relaxed enough for all day riding yet still has a spring in its tail for racing your mate down - very happy with mine.

posted by muddydwarf [28 posts]
31st March 2014 - 13:50


I believe both are very popular - there's plenty of guys in the club with Ribbles. I think you'd be happy with either, so just go with the one that looks the best. If when you look at it, you *want* to ride it, that will make a big difference in itself.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice...

posted by notfastenough [3723 posts]
1st April 2014 - 16:15

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How 'comfy' is the geometry on the Dolan?

My father has been tempted with one as an upgrade from his 2010 Allez (the last year it wasn't quite as racy as the tarmac).

He was looking at the Mekk Potenza too.

I'll watch this thread with interest.

posted by Super Domestique [1695 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 8:22


Please bear in mind I'm a novice roadie, 15yrs on mountain bikes but only six months on proper road bikes.
The Dolan has a very similar geo to the Potenza (at least in my 44cm size) with the top tube being 2.6mm longer & the head tube 5mm shorter, the seat tube angle being half a degree more acute (73.5 degrees Vs 74degrees) makes it just a tad more lower at the front. Its not a full on race bike by any stretch but its capable of shifting whilst being a bike you can ride all day without crippling your spine. Having had both the Potenza & now the Dolan i think the Dolan is a nicer riding frame-but there isn't that much in it to be fair. It does seem to 'snap' away a bit quicker but that may be new-toy-subjectiveness! Both bikes are marketed as endurance/sportive types so both aimed at the more leisure end of the market.

posted by muddydwarf [28 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 18:35


Being 75 my dad is looking for comfort but lightweight.

Thanks for the geometry info.

posted by Super Domestique [1695 posts]
2nd April 2014 - 18:37

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