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Ribble Winter or Dolan Prefisio?

CRAIGO5000CRAIGO5000 Posts: 697
edited May 2013 in Road buying advice
The Dolan is rare as a built bike on ebay. The Ribble is flooding ebay and they all go for huge premium values and most are a wreck running aged Tiagra groupsets.

I thought about buying new and to be fair, found it's probably the best bet seeing what you can now get for only a few hundred quid more than a chance on ebay. So which is best? I know the frames are nigh on the same and I want something nice and aggressive in terms of geo to match my Ribble Stealth. I also like that for £699, I can get the Dolan with 10 speed Sram Apex and it'll then probably feel just like a heavier Winter version of my Stealth (running Sram Force)

There aren't that many reviews online regarding the Dolan so if anyone owns one, please chime in and help persuade me to press the buy button. :)
Ribble Stealth/SRAM Force
2007 Specialized Allez (Double) FCN - 3


  • Also regarding the Dolan frame sizing;

    I'm 5'10'' with a 33inch leg and the 50c Stealth I have has a seat tube length of 498mm, top tube length of 548mm. (100mm stem fitted)

    Dolan do a;
    50c which has a seat tube length of 500mm and top tube of 535mm and a
    52c which has a seat tube length of 520mm and top tube of 540mm

    So if I went with the 52c over the 50c size, there is a 20mm height difference but only a 5mm reach difference!?

    If that is the case, would it be advisable to go with the smaller frame and sort out the reach with the stem?
    Ribble Stealth/SRAM Force
    2007 Specialized Allez (Double) FCN - 3
  • 3legs3legs Posts: 30
    I run Sram Force on my 'nice bike' and bought a Prefisio kitted out with Sram Apex last winter. I'm delighted with the way Sram Apex works. It's virtually unrecognisable from Force, apart from the brakes, which aren't quite up to the same standard (maybe I could improve this with different block compound?). The Prefisio itself does everything I ask of it, and I find it very comfortable to ride. All in all, it does exactly what I would expect from a 'winter bike'. Having said that, I'd expect most bikes around a similar price level to be much of a muchness. It was the availability of a Sram Apex build which pushed me towards it (and in my eyes it looks better than the Ribble - obviously an important consideration ;) )

    The one niggle that I just don't like is the very short head tube relative to frame size. Even with a full set of spacers on the steerer tube, I've had to flip my stem to get the position to match my other bike, and it's not as if I ride around in a 'sit up and beg' position!
  • That's nice to know from another Sram Force rider. How do you find the overall weight/handling of the Prefissio and are you running the Omega wheels it comes with?

    Every review I read says the geo is aggressive and the headtube is tiny! My Stealth has a head tube of 140mm and the Prefissio has a 105mm headtube. I'm looking forward to that!

    What do you recommend in terms of frame sizing given my point above regarding the 50 and 52c frames?

    Ribble Stealth/SRAM Force
    2007 Specialized Allez (Double) FCN - 3
  • both nice bikes. i recently got the ribble and my dad got the dolan.

    dolan has the nicer paint job and a better finish
  • 3legs3legs Posts: 30
    Yes, I'm running the Omega wheels. The weight isn't noticeable until you start heading uphill. Lighter wheels would make a huge difference, but that just seems pointless on what is supposed to be a winter bike that is probably going to be a workhorse rather than a thoroughbred.

    I wouldn't like to recommend a size - it's so much of a personal decision.

    If you do press the buy button then I'm sure you will be happy with your purchase. It does what it says on the tin, and there are some practical benefits from having Sram groupsets over your 'fleet' of bikes if you've already decided that you like Sram.
  • weedramweedram Posts: 41
    If you leaning towards the Dolan, but are worried about which size to get, I would thoroughly recommend getting yourself along to the Dolan Showroom / factory in Ormskirk.

    The guys there are extremely helpfull and will give you a proper fitting. I visited them with my son last week to get him a new race machine for next season (Ares SL with Force). They will not only make sure you are on the correct frame, but can swap out crank and stems to give you the best fit possible. All for no extra charge.

    I see you are in Manchester, so it's not too far, and much better than risking mail order. The bike will then be built to your spec. (about 3 weeks) and you can either collect it or have it delivered.
  • I called today to try and bob in but they were about to close. I don't think they open at the weekend and the guy who answered was in doing a few jobs. Ill try and get over again next weekend. He did give me some good advice though. I'm 5'10 with longish legs (33 inch) and told him I'd probably need a 52 - he said I would probably need a 56!? He mentioned he was 5' 8 and rode a 56 and then asked if i'd based my frame choice of Ribbles frame sizing chart and told me that they measure their frame differently.

    I'm glad I called now, but I'm certainly going to have to bob over and sit on a few. It's a shame I have to wait a whole week for that though as he said he has loads already built up and ready to go. 8)

    I'm glad to be adding to the Sram fleet too. I really love this groupset.
    Ribble Stealth/SRAM Force
    2007 Specialized Allez (Double) FCN - 3
  • I've recently built up my own Dolan Prefisio with SRAM Apex gruppo. It's a nice bike and does everything I need it to do in terms of getting me through the winter. I run it with full mudguards and Planet X model B wheels. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to you.

    In terms of size, I'm 5 11' and I went for the 56 frame. It fits well, but get down there and sit on one before you buy. All the best with it.
  • Barrzy257Barrzy257 Posts: 411
    Dam it, you may have just cost me £699...
  • Ber NardBer Nard Posts: 827
    I used to ride a Ribble 7005 (very similar to the Audax) and I currently have a Preffisio and they're both the same size. The sizing of them is a little odd for a 'traditional 'style frame. Typically I'd expect them to be 'square' by which I mean the top tube and seat tube measure the same centre to centre.

    I bought the Ribble as a 52cm seat tube measured c-c. The Preffisio was bought as a 56cm measured c-t. Both have 56cm top tubes c-c and I run both with 120mm stems. I'm about 5' 8 as well.

    Don't know if that helps or confuses things!

  • kirkeekirkee Posts: 369
    Have a look at the new Ribble 525 reynolds frames they have. They look good on the site, never seen one in the flesh though. I have owned a race 7005 Ribble compact and it was HARSH, paint job good though. Have seen the 7005 winter frames as one of my mates had one, nothing special, a budget frame/paint job.
    The ride quality Id guess on the steel would be nicer than the alloy. Only problem with steel is corrosion, get the interior treated with frame saver. Ribbles great value. Dont know about Dolans.
    Caveat - I buy and ride cheap, however, I reserve the right to advise on expensive kit that I have never actually used and possibly never will
  • oldfortoldfort Posts: 3
    I have had a proffisio for 3 or 4 years as a commuter & trainer, I put my old 9sp Ultegra on it off my Cannondale caad9 (2004). The profissio has mudguards and rear rack, it gets used up to 6 days per week. The cannondale got a new 10sp groupset.

    I have had no issues with the frame it has been solid. Possibly a bit too solid. Comparing it to the cannondale the frame is heavier, it is a compact design and the tubes are as big or bigger in diameter than the cannondale. This adds up to a frame that I have found harsh and jarring, yes it is stiff.

    The profissio frame is so compact I have dropped the saddle, added a 50mm stem, 170mm cranks and given it to my 11.5 year old son for road rides. I have setup an older steel Myata 414 as my commuter at the moment, it is not nearly as harsh as the profissio. However is has a 1" steer tube and horizontal dropouts, which are both a pain, can't run bigger tyres (25mm) and have to use old L shaped stems.

    Has anyone run the ribble 525 frame with mudguards and 25mm continental GP4000 tyres? I am looking at getting the Ribble 525 for communter/trainer and running the durace 10sp down tube shifters. I have run 25mm vittorias on the Dolan, but they are a small 25, the continental is lot bigger bag.

    Any experience out there with the Ribble 525?
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    CRAIGO5000 wrote:
    I'm 5'10 with longish legs (33 inch) and told him I'd probably need a 52 - he said I would probably need a 56!?

    I would concur with him. At 5'10", the 50cm or 52cm Preffisio would be far too small for you. I ride a 56cm and I'm 5'11.5" with a more average leg length.

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
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