The Triban Rainproof Jacket RC500 is a classy looking bit of kit with neat styling, a great fit and plenty of storage at a very tempting price. The waterproofing isn't the best out there, though it does a great job in light to moderate rain, and while there is plenty of storage things can tend to slide around in that single rear pocket.
- Pros: Great cut; looks way more expensive than it is
- Cons: More showerproof than waterproof; separate pockets on the rear would be better
The styling of the new Triban logo on Decathlon's cycling kit gives its new clothing a much more premium look in my eyes, and makes the RC500 look much more expensive than its £34.99 price tag. It's not just the looks, either, as it feels like it should cost a lot more money too. (Note, at the time of writing, only the black is available to buy online.)
The material has a softshell kind of feel to it, and thanks to using a polyurethane membrane to coat the fabric rather than using various layers, it doesn't have that plasticky feel to it against the skin like a lot of other waterproof jackets.
A fabric's waterproofing is rated by how much water it can resist over a set area via a water column; the more it resists, the higher the rating. The RC500 is rated to 8,000mm, a little lower than most waterproof jackets I've tested which normally start at around 10,000-15,000mm. Decathlon also states that that figure will drop to 5,000mm after five washes.
What that means in the real world is that I found the Triban to be more showerproof than able to resist heavy rain for a decent length of time.
Around 45 minutes of riding in constant rain saw water make its way through to my jersey beneath, but on the flipside the RC500 is pretty breathable which makes it ideal for riding fast or racing in inclement conditions. There's no point keeping all the rain out if you are going to be just as soaked on the inside because your body heat can't escape.
It is also suited to fast riding thanks to the cut. It's tailored for a close fit to suit you when you are on the bike, with an extended rear and a high front to stop the fabric from bunching up.
The sleeves are also shaped, which stops the material from bunching on the inside of the elbows when you're on the bike.
The cuffs are elasticated to hold them in place when your arms are stretched out, and there is plenty of length too.
There are plenty of neat touches such as a zip guard at the nice high neck, as well as one at the bottom to stop damage to your shorts or tights when you're crouched over in the drops.
Reflective detailing is always good to see and there is a fair bit on the RC500, although I do find it slightly odd that there is more on the front than on the rear.
The front gets the Triban logo and two large chest stripes plus two stripes on each cuff, while you just get two on the pocket at the rear.
There are two pockets on the RC500, one on the chest for valuables or whatever you want to put in there, and one large one that stretches right across the lower back. This has two zips, one at each end so that you don't have to expose everything to get something out, but I must admit I'm not a massive fan.
I'd prefer to have two or three separate pockets to stop heavy things like tools or a phone from moving around when you're leaning the bike over.
I do like the rear flap that you can drop down, though. The high-vis orange flap is tucked away and held in place with Velcro but should it be raining out and you don't have mudguards fitted you can lower it so that it covers your rear end completely.
The overall finish and quality is very good, and you are getting a lot of jacket here for the money.
For instance, Northwave's Ghost H20 Water Repellent jacket has similar attributes although it doesn't get taped seams like the Triban, and that'll cost you £139.99.
In fact, looking back through all of the jackets we've reviewed over the last couple of winters, nothing even really comes close – with virtually all of them over £100.
The Triban might have its flaws when it comes to how much rain it can keep out, but to be fair it is delivering close to its waterproof rating, it's just that it is not as high as lot of other jackets on the market.
Overall, I like the balance of keeping the rain out and its breathability, and it really is a nice jacket to wear.
More showerproof than rainproof, but great quality and an excellent fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Triban Rainproof Jacket RC500
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the jacket is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Decathlon says, "Our team, who are all keen road cyclists, developed this rainproof jacket so that you can ride comfortably in wet or windy weather.
"This jacket has a waterproof, breathable, stretchy membrane for maximum comfort when riding in the rain. The fold-up flap protects from splashes"
A decent, lightweight waterproof jacket that will deal with light to moderate rainfall.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the jacket?
The 8000 mm membrane protects you from heavy rain.
Fabric that wicks away perspiration (RET of 7.8)
Stretchy fabric for greater comfort and freedom of movement.
Chest pocket with sealed zip and wide zip-up pocket on the back.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
Cut designed for a more comfortable position on the bike.
Better with lighter rain than the heavier stuff.
The sizing is true to Decathlon's size guide.
How easy is the jacket to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
There is nothing special when it comes to washing instructions and I had no issues with it. After five washes the waterproof rating will drop to 5,000mm so it's worth only washing it when you really need to.
Tell us how the jacket performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Copes well with light to moderate rain, which is exactly what it should do for its rating.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the jacket
A really good fit and soft fabric.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the jacket
I'm not a fan of the single rear pocket.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It is a lot cheaper than virtually every other waterproof jacket we've tested.
Did you enjoy using the jacket? Yes
Would you consider buying the jacket? Yes
Would you recommend the jacket to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The RC500 works doesn't work as well as other jackets in heavier rain, but for the money you can't really knock it for that. It's good in lighter to moderate rain and has some neat touches that make it stand out from the crowd. All in all, it's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!