Specialized 2018 Dolce: An In-Depth Product Review

The Specialized 2018 Dolce is a road bike specifically designed for women, aiming to provide a comfortable and efficient riding experience. This review will delve into the various aspects of the bike, from its design and build quality to its performance on different terrains. By the end, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of whether the 2018 Dolce is the right bike for you.

Design and Build Quality

Frame and Geometry

The Specialized Dolce features an A1 Premium Aluminum frame, which strikes a balance between lightweight construction and durability. The frame's geometry is tailored for women, with a slightly shorter top tube and a taller head tube, ensuring a more upright and comfortable riding position. This design reduces strain on the back and shoulders, making it ideal for long rides.


The 2018 Dolce is not only functional but also visually appealing. It comes in a variety of colors, allowing riders to choose a style that suits their personality. The sleek lines and attention to detail in the paint job add to the bike's overall aesthetic appeal.


Specialized has equipped the Dolce with high-quality components that ensure reliability and performance. The bike features a Shimano Claris 8-speed drivetrain, providing smooth and precise shifting. The 50/34T compact crankset and 11-32T cassette offer a wide range of gears, making it easier to tackle both steep climbs and fast descents.

Comfort and Ergonomics

Body Geometry Components

One of the standout features of the Dolce is the use of Specialized's Body Geometry components. These include the saddle, handlebars, and grips, all designed to fit the female anatomy. The Body Geometry Myth Sport saddle is particularly noteworthy, offering excellent support and comfort even on long rides.


The Dolce incorporates Zertz inserts in the fork and seatstays. These vibration-damping components help reduce road buzz, providing a smoother and more comfortable ride. This is especially beneficial on rough or uneven surfaces, where vibrations can quickly lead to fatigue.

Fit and Adjustability

The bike is available in a range of sizes, ensuring that riders of different heights can find a suitable fit. Additionally, the adjustable stem and seatpost allow for further customization, enabling riders to fine-tune their riding position for maximum comfort.


On the Road

On paved roads, the Specialized Dolce excels. The lightweight frame and responsive handling make it easy to navigate through traffic and take on winding roads. The bike's geometry promotes stability and confidence, even at higher speeds. Whether you're commuting, training, or embarking on a long-distance ride, the Dolce delivers a smooth and enjoyable experience.


When it comes to climbing, the Dolce performs admirably. The compact crankset, combined with the wide-range cassette, provides enough low gears to tackle steep inclines without excessive effort. The lightweight frame also contributes to the bike's climbing prowess, allowing riders to ascend with relative ease.


Descending on the Dolce is equally impressive. The bike's stability and responsive handling inspire confidence, allowing riders to take on descents with control and precision. The reliable braking system, featuring Tektro dual-pivot calipers, provides ample stopping power, ensuring safety on fast descents.

Durability and Maintenance

Build Quality

The Specialized Dolce is built to last. The A1 Premium Aluminum frame is robust and resistant to corrosion, ensuring longevity. The high-quality components are also designed to withstand regular use and the occasional rough treatment, making the Dolce a reliable companion for years to come.


Routine maintenance on the Dolce is straightforward. The Shimano Claris drivetrain is known for its durability and ease of maintenance. Regular cleaning and lubrication of the chain, along with periodic adjustments to the derailleurs and brakes, will keep the bike running smoothly. The availability of replacement parts for Shimano components also ensures that any necessary repairs can be carried out without hassle.

Value for Money


The Specialized 2018 Dolce offers excellent value for money. It is positioned as an entry-level road bike, making it accessible to a wide range of riders. Despite its affordable price, the bike does not compromise on quality or performance, offering features typically found on higher-end models.


When compared to other bikes in its price range, the Dolce stands out due to its women-specific design, comfortable geometry, and high-quality components. Competitors often lack the attention to detail and the comprehensive approach to rider comfort that Specialized provides with the Dolce.

Pros and Cons


  • Women-Specific Design: The geometry and components are tailored to fit the female anatomy, enhancing comfort and performance.
  • Lightweight and Durable Frame: The A1 Premium Aluminum frame strikes a perfect balance between weight and durability.
  • Smooth and Precise Shifting: The Shimano Claris drivetrain ensures reliable and accurate gear changes.
  • Comfort Features: Body Geometry components and Zertz inserts significantly improve riding comfort.
  • Excellent Value for Money: Offers high-quality features at an affordable price.


  • Limited Gear Range: While adequate for most situations, some riders may find the 8-speed drivetrain limiting on particularly challenging terrain.
  • Entry-Level Brakes: The Tektro dual-pivot calipers, while reliable, may not offer the same performance as higher-end braking systems.
  • Basic Wheels: The stock wheels are functional but may not provide the same level of performance as more advanced options.


The Specialized 2018 Dolce is an excellent choice for women looking to get into road cycling. Its women-specific design, comfortable geometry, and high-quality components make it a standout option in the entry-level road bike market. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, the Dolce offers a reliable and enjoyable riding experience.

The bike's performance on various terrains, coupled with its durability and ease of maintenance, ensures that it will serve as a dependable companion for years to come. While there are a few minor drawbacks, such as the limited gear range and basic brakes, these do not significantly detract from the overall quality and value of the bike.

In summary, the Specialized 2018 Dolce is a well-rounded and thoughtfully designed road bike that caters specifically to women. Its combination of comfort, performance, and value makes it a compelling choice for anyone looking to enhance their cycling experience. Whether you're commuting, training, or simply enjoying the open road, the Dolce is a bike that will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

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