Affordable and Fast: B'Twin Triban 520 bike review, by @aimpossible

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B'Twin Triban bikes are rarely mentioned whenever a cyclist is looking for a new bike here in the Philippines. Bikes from Merida, Cannondale or Giant are usually the first choices. But how does the Triban fair compared to other entry-level options from other brands? Luckily, Decathlon loaned me their Triban 520 road bike to find out.

Frame and Build Quality

The Triban 520 is made from 6061 aluminum with carbon bladed forks. The bike itself has a short wheelbase with a long headtube installed. This gives the biker a more upright position with the option to be more aerodynamic by moving to the drops. Due to the carbon fork, the overall weight of the bike is reduced without compromising durability. I easily carried the bike to and from the car during my test run.

Biking comfortably is the main selling point of the 520 thus the sloped top-tube. Tire clearance poses no problem for it can sport 32mm wheels for a grippier ride. If mudguards are to be installed, you need to reduce the tires to 28mm though. Personally, I'll immediately swap the stock tires to the 32mm ones and make it more suitable for the harsh roads of the Philippines.

Specifications and Drive Train

Out of the road bikes offered by Decathlon, this bike is definitely the bang-for-the-buck. It is suited with Shimano Sora r3000 9 speed (12-25) with dual crank configuration (50t-34t). The gear configuration is perfect for beginners and intermediate cyclists who are looking for an all-around option.

Other parts of the bike such as the wheels, brakes, handlebars are all from B'Twin. Don't worry if it is not your favorite brake brand. It stops easily when you need it to. I did try the bike on a stop-and-go situation and the brakes did wonder for me. The saddle is a little bit on the tough side though. I'd swap it out for a more comfortable one. But it's up to you if you want to change yours, my bum is not the same as yours.

Ride and Go

It was an exciting ride when I first took out the 520. On the flats, the ride is spot on with smooth transition on the gears. I tried riding fast and slow and it shifts perfectly when I need to. The handles of the bike are stable and I did not feel any wobble. I think the 40cm handlebar contributed to its stability.

Riding on the drops or hoods is fine with no problem in reaching for the brake lever. This is important due to the situation of public transportation here in the Philippines wherein a car or motorcycle might swerve into your lane anytime.

Too bad I haven't used the bike on an uphill road to test the lower gears but I felt like with the Sora's reliability, climbing won't be too hard.

Over-all, the ride is comfortable yet zippy. I would change the tires to a thicker one to tackle the harsh roads though.

Verdict: Yes or yes?

For less than 30,000php (580$) here in the Philippines, the Triban 520 should not be left out when looking for a road bike. Compared to other bikes, the Sora drive train and carbon fork bring value for your money. As an added bonus, it comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and fork. At this price point, it's hard to find a brand new bike with this kind of components.

If you are looking for your first road bike then this is a win. It can be your weekend ride and it can also be your touring companion.

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SHOUT-OUTS!

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@run.vince.run:

Wow, that bike looks pretty good. I have never seen them before in Australia or New Zealand but hopefully they will become more common cause it looks pretty good for the price.