DAWES Mono, singlespeed, £650, www.dawescycles.com
The Mono is Dawes’ interpretation of the classic steel-framed urban singlespeed — and it’s a fine job from the British marque. It’s a fairly understated-looking ride, though some stylish graphics enhance the slate-grey finish.
Under the paintwork is a 520 Reynolds chromoly frame with butted main tubes, partnered by a curved carbon fork. The 175mm cranks, driving a 48T Sugino chainset and 18T sprocket provide suitable gearing for most situations, and the flip-flop hub lets you choose between freewheel or fixed.
On the road, the Dawes feels comfortable, with the double-wall Alex rims and puncture-proof Schwalbe tyres providing a solid platform. Weighing just over 10kg, the Dawes is no slouch, despite wearing a pair of plastic mudguards.
These are a bonus in wet weather and, along with a pair of bottle mounts, make the Mono appeal to those looking for a winter training bike. Tektro brakes with levers mounted on the drops provide the stopping power, which felt more than adequate around town.
Overall, the Mono is a welcome addition to the singlespeed scene, combining subtle styling with a sprightly and well-engineered frame.
The only drawbacks might be the limited sizes — 48cm, 53cm and 58cm — and the fact that at this price point it’s entering a very crowded market.
PROS nicely finished; decent weight, comfort
CONS limited sizing