Test / Gravelbike: I wasn't familiar with Donnelly at first. But a few searches later, the secret was revealed. Donnelly was previously called Clément and has traditional roots in the field of cyclocross tires. Of course, it makes sense to also devote yourself to the topic of gravel. With the Donnelly G//C, the brand is now also venturing into the frame/complete wheel sector and thus also provides the right bike for the well-known gravel tires.
Donnelly G//C – The frame
G//C simply stands for Gravel // Carbon. As the name suggests, the entire frame and fork are made of carbon. The design comes from Rolf Singenberger, who previously worked for Eddy Merckx and BMC. In the overall impression, the frame has a very simple look in combination with the sand-colored paintwork. The beautifully designed internal cable routing, which makes the bike look very clean, deserves a special mention.
The frame offers maximum space for 50 mm tires with 650B rims or 40 mm tires with 700C rims. All Gravel fans should be satisfied with that. There are also mounts for luggage racks or mudguards on the frame. The geometry of the G//C could also come from a road bike. The steering angle is not too slack and the chainstays are rather long, which promises a sporty bike for fast long distances.
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|head tube (in mm)
|chainstay (in mm)
|Wheelbase (in mm)
|Steering angle (in °)
|Seat angle (in °)
|Stacks (in mm)
Donnelly G//C – The equipment
Our tested Donnelly is not available off the peg. The German Donnelly importer Cosmic Sports used a few fine parts from their own shelves for our G//C test bike. The cockpit deviates from the standard. Ritchey WCS is used here. A WCS Ergomax handlebar is installed on the typical WCS stem. With a 10 mm rise and a 4° bend backwards, this should ensure an ergonomic sitting position. In addition, the lower link bends outwards by 12°, which is typical for Gravel, for more control on rough surfaces. The saddle also comes from Ritchey. With the WCS Stream, a sporty classic was chosen here.
Another manufacturer from the Cosmic Sports portfolio comes into play with the seat post and crank: Cane Creek. With the eeSilk, a support with elastomer damping was installed for more comfort. It offers up to 20 mm of vertical compliance and can be adjusted in hardness using five different elastomers. The absolute highlight is the Cane Creek eeWings All-Road crank made of the finest titanium. With an RRP of 999 €, a very noble part is installed here. At 395g, it also competes with modern carbon cranks in terms of weight.
The wheels come from Donnelly himself and are called Ushuaia. These are prepared for tubeless use and come with an inner width of 23 mm. Thus, the rims should have no problem with the built-in Donelly X'Plor MSO tires in the dimension 700 × 40.
As already mentioned, the Donnelly uses a 2-way configuration. The noble Cane Creek eeWings crank is paired with a Sram Force 22 drive with 11 sprockets at the rear. The reliable Sram Force brakes with 160 mm rotors are also installed to match. The total package of the Donelly G//C then weighs a decent 9,24 kg.
|Donnelly X'PLOR MSO
|Ram Force 22
|Ram Force 22
|Cane Creek eeWings Allroad
|Ram Force 22
|Cane Creek eeSilk
|Ritchey WCS Stream
|Ritchey WCS Ergomax
Note: Cosmic Sports has now stopped selling Donelly bikes - including the G//C. Prospective buyers currently only have the option of going directly to the manufacturer and importing them themselves. At least until a new importer for Europe is found.
Donnelly G//C – On road and gravel
The first seat test on the G//C is pleasantly sporty. We ride with a bit of saddle rise, but the comfortable handlebars make up for it a bit. The first meters on asphalt were also positive. The Sram Force 22 changes gears cleanly and the X'Plor MSO tires roll comfortably. The Donnelly proved to be a very comfortable bike on rough gravel roads. The slightly flexing fork and the Cane Creek post harmonized well and absorbed small bumps. In the long run, this is very beneficial to the rider, as you can pedal more fluently, you sit much more relaxed on the bike and you tire less quickly. The seat clamp of the post was a bit problematic. The star nut loosened from time to time and had to be readjusted. The correct air pressure in the tires is also not to be underestimated. Depending on the route and the terrain, you have to show some instinct here and find a good compromise between comfort, rolling resistance and traction.
When it got rougher, Donnelly reached its limits. Damp and greasy ground caused the tires to slide quite quickly and it became uncomfortable. In steeper terrain, one would have preferred a lower gear so that the bike could be ridden at a higher cadence. Personally, I would have preferred a 1-speed drive, especially since no chainsuck plate was mounted on the frame. During hectic gear changes, the chain sometimes pulled between the chain ring and the beautifully painted frame. It was also difficult in tight corners. If you turn in strongly, it can happen that you touch the tire with your toes.
The Donnelly belongs more on the wide gravel and sand roads of this world, but it also feels comfortable on asphalt and we had a lot of fun covering long distances. The bike can be moved quickly for a long time and still feels very comfortable. For this purpose, however, you could fit slightly thinner tires so that you get a bike that rolls even more easily and is more agile. The Donnelly is therefore ideal for eating up kilometers. You can also imagine it with luggage for longer trips. Especially since due to the good weight and good climbing properties, alpine passes shouldn't be a problem - assuming you have the right thighs.