Dolan Mythos Carbon £995.00
It looks a million dollars even though just under £1,000 is what you actually pay for the Dolan Mythos Carbon. For that relatively piffling amount you get a full carbon frame with high-gloss nude weave finish, plus matched carbon fork with alloy steerer. The groupset is the latest version of Shimano’s third-tier 105. The Shimano R550 wheels aren’t quite the latest model, but we like the design and low spoke count – it’s a compromise that is absolutely fair enough. Finishing kit is decent stuff – a Selle Italia Trans Am which is cheap ‘n’ cheerful but won’t give you any trouble, an Alpina carbon post and a Deda oversized bar/stem combo. The white of the saddle and bar tape give the Mythos a flamboyant pro look.
The frame comes in four sizes – all with sloping geometry – with head and seat tube angles changing to suit the proportions of smaller and larger bodies. Our test bike is one notch down from the biggest. It’s denoted a “52cm”, which sounds tiny due to the shortened seat tube of the sloping design, but it actually has an equivalent top tube length of 57cm. Head and seat tube angles are both a sporty but sensible 73°. Happily it was specced with 175mm cranks, and a ‘proper’ 53/39 racing chainset, which suggested to us that the Mythos had been set up, if not constructed to go fast.
As with many first rides, the very first impressions of the Dolan came via a midday traffic-dodging, seat-of-the-pants jaunt across London from RCUK Towers. As the editor stood on the pavement calling “ride safe” and raising a hand in farewell, the Dolan surged off through the narrow gap between a bus and a black cab before pulling up sharply at a set of lights. There was a feeling of sure-footedness, perhaps solidity rather than stiffness, but definitely directness. And of course the gleaming carbon attracted the other London bike riders’ attention, mostly causing them to press harder on their pedals in an attempt to prove that their grimy old steel hybrids could beat this spaceship from the future.
When it came to faster, serious mileage the Dolan still cut it. OK, at 19lb it’s not the lightest bike in these days of sub-kilo framesets, but unless you’re going for the Alpe d’Huez record it really won’t make much difference to your actual progress up hills. Descending is fine, although at first it feels a little woolly until you get used to it. Of course for this price, again you can’t expect the stiffness and performance of a Grand Tour bike. Most importantly, you can ride and train on it for as many hours as you like and it is completely comfortable.
Overall, the Mythos is a well designed, no-nonsense bike that is perfectly suited to sportives and clubruns and great for serious commuting, too. At £1,000 it’s an absolute steal, but make sure you’ve got somewhere safe to keep it because with its expensive appearance, to any bike thief it is 100 per cent nickable!