I have been meaning to write a review of the Dodici Special SL for quite some time and one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to get round to it is the simple fact I’ve been enjoying riding it too much and haven’t had much time left over to write. Though the time has finally come for me to start typing and let all of you know what I think of Dodici’s latest offering. The Dodici special SL is the big brother to the Special. It features the same geometry and sexy curves as it predecessor though underneath the shiny paint it’s a very different beast.
The Special SL is crafted from adversa aluminum from Dedacciai, it also comes with a full carbon fork. The weight of the frame and fork come in at a measly 1.7kg. The light weight frame and fork mean that most builds should easily come in at under 10kg. The frameset is incredibly light but it has definitely not sacrificed strength or ride quality, it feels very stiff to ride. I know a lot of people prefer steel to Aluminum and I am also a huge fan of steel frames but you can’t help but admire the feel and stiffness of aluminum. I personally preferred to ride steel frames when I was a messenger as they are just a lot tougher and a little more forgiving over the cobbled streets of London.
So how does the Dodici handle those cobbles, lumps and bumps? Well…it is always a pleasure to ride it, but there is no point in lying you will certainly feel every lump and bump! I have now ridden the Dodici Special SL thousands of miles and I cannot really find anything to fault. Whether you are just going to use it to whiz about town, to take on long rides or on the track the Dodici does it all. A stand out feature of the Dodici is how good it is for sprinting, the thing is a beast! The rear wheel can be pulled so tight into the frame you really can get away quickly, the thing just wants to go! Even the slightest effort pushing the pedals is met with and excited burst of speed from the Dodici.
I really notice how quick the Dodici is off the mark; obviously this depends on your gearing. But no matter the ratio you run you will notice how the stiff and short rear end really allow you to get you power transferred through the bike onto the tarmac. Not only is this an awesome bike for sprinting the track standard bb height means that you can lean as far as you dare into corners without worrying about pedal strike, perfect for those Fixed Crit U turns!
The 74.5 head tube angle makes the ride nice and responsive without being too jerky. It’s the perfect balance between track and road. I have taken this to a couple of track sessions at Newport Velodrome and had the time of my life, I am always slightly worried riding a new bike on the boards as for some reason I feel my pedal will strike; which would suck! Though there was no problem with the Dodici and I flew around happily for hours. So slap a pair of drops on yours and get out there and witness the stiffness!
I do have a few things I would change, but I am being very picky here. I would prefer a shorter top tube, the 57cm version comes with a 59cm top tube which is a little bit long for me, I prefer the seat tube and top tubes to be equal in length. I would also like a 75 degree head tube angle but the thing that does genuinely drive me crazy is that the gorgeous curve in the seat tube does not follow the curve of the wheel. It is a simple thing to do and I wish that the designers would change this. Though as I said earlier I a really picking here, there is genuinely hardly anything to fault here. I can see why the Dodici Special SL is such a popular model, it is absolutely gorgeous the welding and build quality is top notch! I love the oversize tubing, decals, overall look and whilst I would make a couple of changes this would not put me off buying one. You really need to see these in the flesh to appreciate just how good they look!