Testing...Specialized Dolce Equipped 2013 Product Review | Rutland Cycling

Words by Mark

on 04/04/2013 12:22:00

Specialized Dolce 2013 Review

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The Dolce is Specialized's entry-level ladies road bike for those looking to get into road cycling or female riders simply after a more than capable commuter than can go the distance. This, the equipped version, is ready to ride straight from the store as it comes with an accessory pack included, featuring an under-saddle storage pouch, for tools or supplies, dual water bottle cages, and flat pedals with toe-clips.

RIDING IMPRESSIONS

Thanks to the clever Specialized Zertz dampening technology built into the frame and forks, and also found on much higher-spec road bikes, the riding experience is far more comfortable than on comparably priced alternatives. It's almost like getting the costly benefits of a carbon frame in an aluminium bike. The Specialized Roubaix taped bars are tactile and comfortable and the saddle could be described as cosseting. The well-considered endurance geometry, specifically tailored to female physiology, really does make this an all-day bike, whether you're riding at a leisurely pace or hammering down the lanes chasing a new best time or an old best mate.

FRAME AND FORK

You get a smooth-weld frame formed from Specialized's A1 Premium Aluminium, so it's a nice and light bike that can be man, or rather, woman-handled around with ease, and yet provides a sturdy and durable platform that should last you for years, even if you commute across pot-holed urban streets. It's designed with women's endurance geometry, making it a comfortable bike for many hours in the saddle and bolstering its credentials as a bike you could enter a sportive on with serious intention. Up front, the forks are FACT carbon, offering not just bragging rights with your partner or riding pals, but making for a light front end that is responsive and accurate. They're the same curved and aerodynamic blade shape found on Specialized's serious race machines, so you're getting great value for money here. Both the frame and forks feature Zertz 'vibration dampening' inserts, which increases comfort on rough roads by absorbing the worst bumps through the frame.

KIT

You're never let down with the components Specialized package with their excellent frames, and the Dolce is no exception. Shimano logos appear all round, with a 2300 drivetrain featuring an 8 speed cassette and a triple chainset giving you a 24 speed system, while Shimano STI levers sit on the shallow-drop alloy bars, for swift, one-finger gear changes. Tektro dual-pivot brakes provide powerful and consistent braking, gripping lightweight Axis Classic wheels. A Body Geometry saddle makes long rides a pleasure and the added accessories that comes supplied with the Equipped mean you can leave the store and enter a sportive immediately!

THE RIDER

The Dolce is the perfect female specific beginners road bike, featuring a forgiving riding position and being ready to ride with the Equipped accessories kit. But that's not to say this won't suit experienced cyclists either returning to road riding or simply looking for the ideal training bike or sportier commuter. Complete with a quality spec sheet of components and all the benefits that come with a light aluminium frame designed by Specialized, this is the perfect ladies road bike for the female cyclist with a competitive edge.

BOTTOM LINE

A quality Specialized road bike designed specifically for the needs of female riders and offering a breadth of capability, suiting it to most riders, from beginners to experienced road riders.

SPECIALIZED DOLCE EQUIPPED FRAME GEOMETRY

specialized-dolce-equipped-13-geometry

SPECIALIZED DOLCE EQUIPPED - FULL SPECIFICATION

  • Colours: Purple/Black
  • Sizes: 44cm, 48cm, 51cm, 54cm, 57cm
  • Frame: Specialized A1 Premium Aluminium, fully manipulated tubing, 1-1/8" lower bearing
  • Fork: Specialized Dolce, FACT carbon, alloy steerer and crown for 1-1/8" bearings, Zertz
  • Wheels: Axis Classic
  • Front Tyre: Specialized Espoir Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection, 700x25c
  • Rear Tyre: Specialized Espoir Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, double BlackBelt protection, 700x25c
  • Shifters: Shimano 2300 STI
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano 2300
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano 2300
  • Chainset: Shimano 2300 triple 52/42/30
  • Cassette: Sunrace, 8-speed, 12-28
  • Chain: KMC Z51
  • Bottom Bracket: Sealed cartridge, square taper, 68mm
  • Front Brake: Tektro dual-pivot
  • Rear Brake: Tektro dual-pivot
  • Brake Levers: Shimano 2300 STI
  • Saddle: BodyGeometry Women's Riva Sport, Cr-Mo rails, 155mm
  • Seat Post: Specialized Sport alloy, 27.2mm
  • Handlebars: Specialized CX Comp, 6061 alloy, shallow bend
  • Grips: Specialized Roubaix Tape
  • Stem: Cast alloy, 4-bolt, 31.8mm
  • Headset: 1-1/8" sealed Cr-Mo cartridge bearings integrated w/ headset, 20mm alloy cone spacer, w/ 20mm of spacers
  • Pedals: Nylon flat test ride, loose-ball, w/ reflectors
  • Extras: Chainstay protector, derailleur hanger, clear coat, owner's manual
  • Weight: Not Specified

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