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Dawes Karakum Review

Touring bikes are known for their flat handlebars, but the Dawes Karakum stunned us with its somewhat lovely change of pace – butterfly bars. Imagine our even greater surprise when we found out how practical they were during the review! They offered a far greater range of possible hand positions, and one didn’t feel nearly as hunched as one usually would on a touring bike.

The aluminum frame was also light and nifty, and had some pretty great welding work done on it. We didn’t run thirsty either, as there was a total of three bottle mounts on the bike in very accessible positions. The light steering was both good and bad, as it allowed for nimble riding at the cost of some handling.

We noticed a pretty lovely cocktail of components on the bike as well, including Tektro levers, Shimano V brakes, Schwalbe Silento tires and a Hollowtech chainset. Perfect for the streets and the interstates, the Dawes Karakum was a pleasure to review and was definitely one of the best rides in its price range!


  • Made for versatility
  • Robust frame
  • Great design
  • Butterfly bars for better control
  • Light handling
  • Great components


  • Overly light handling at times
  • Rear rack doesn’t feel firm enough

The Verdict

A light, versatile and durable touring bike that is more than capable of rising to the top of its class in terms of comfort and endurance.

We had a blast reviewing the Dawes Karakum, and we can’t wait to sample more of what the company has to offer in terms of their tourers!

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