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TECH NEWS

Decathlon launches 2017 B'Twin Triban road bike range with new £220 entry-level all-rounder

More models and improved specs for popular bikes from sport superstore chain

We're fans of B'Twin's Triban bikes here at road.cc: they're great affordable road bikes, and the Triban 540 was our sub-£1,000 bike of the year for 2017. When we were out in Lille at the B'Twin global HQ last week we snuck a look at the new range, and we're glad to report that it's more of the same: well specced bikes that look like a bit of a bargain. Let's start right at the bottom and work our way up.

B'Twin Triban 100 — £220

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New for this year is the bargain-basement Triban 100. It's a basic machine but B'Twin have taken care to make sure that it's still a sturdy and reliable ride, and to that end they made Nicolas Pierron, the road bike product manager for B'Twin, ride the Roc d'Azur gravel race on one, in this exact spec. And it did the job just fine, apparently. You get a 1x7 transmission with a bar-mounted rocker shifter and a 14-34T cassette that gives a 242% range between top and bottom gear. That's not huge, but it should be fine for the kind of riding you're likely to buy this bike for: commuting, urban riding, leisure riding, that sort of thing. Not the Roc d'Azur, probably.

With long-drop calliper brakes and plenty of space in the frame you can fit biggish tyres to offset the firmness of the alloy frame and steel fork, and B'Twin spec 28mm rubber out of the box. As you can see from the pics though the frame and brakes will easily cope with a 35mm hybrid tyre that should be capable of mixing it up on the tarmac and smoother off-road paths. There's mudguard and rack mounts if you want to turn the bike into an all-weather workhorse. There's not many decent road bikes below £300, and this looks like a very interesting option if your budget is limited. It'll be available from March 2017.

B'Twin Triban 500 — £330

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The Triban 500 shares the new lower-end frameset with the Triban 100 but the similarity ends there: the 500 is a full-spec road bike with a triple chainset transmission and a carbon-bladed fork. For just £330 that's not to be sniffed at. We've tested a previous version of the 500, the 500SE and Steve Worland gave it the big thumbs up: “Its ride feel is amazingly sprightly and its component parts are far better than average at this price”, he said. That bike remains in the range, even cheaper at £299, until it's sold out. This new 500 has a redesigned frame and shares a similar spec: Microshift transmission, carbon-bladed fork, decent finishing kit.

Microshift make a range of transmission parts and their integrated brake/shifter levers for road bikes can be had a bit more cheaply than their Shimano equivalents at the lower end of the market. The Prowheel triple chainset is a budget option too, but all of the bits bolted on to the Triban 500's frame are decent enough: there's nothing that won't do the job it's been given, and as such it's a very solid spec for an entry-level road bike. Some bits are better than previous years: you get B'Twin's Ergofit saddle and 100-series alloy cockpit. You can have it in black or red, and it'll be available from March.

B'Twin Triban 520 — £479

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Here's an entry-level road bike that's so competent I have in the past attempted to stay in a 3rd cat criterium race on one. Yeah, yeah. I changed the wheels. Anyway, I did manage to stay in. This bike is built around the same frame as the previous model.

The wheels are one of the things that have changed. The old wheels were decent, to be honest. But the new ones get sealed bearing hubs and so they're better, for the same money. That's A Good Thing.

Another thing that's changed for the better without getting more expensive is Shimano Sora. It's still nine-speed but the chainset now uses the four-arm design that's trickled down all the way from Dura-Ace, and the lever shape apes the more expensive groupsets too. New Sora is really, really good for the money and it looks the part too. You can still get a triple chainset (105 and above don't offer one now) and this bike uses one with a long-cage rear mech for a really good spread of gears. For £479 this, again, looks like a really good buy: it has been in the past and there's no reason to suspect the 2017 bike won't be.

The 520 also comes in a women's build (520W) with a shorter reach and women-specific ergofit saddle. The ladies also get a better-looking paint job, with shiny silver and white replacing the white/black. It's not an easy thing to photograph but looks cracking in the flesh. Both men's and women's bikes will be available from March.

B'Twin Triban 540 — £650

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The new version of our Sub-£1,000 Bike of the Year gets a higher-spec Shimano FC-500 chainset but aside from that and the colour it's basically unchanged, and there's not much that needs changing. “This is a great buy for those new to road bikes and those looking to their next cycling challenge”, we said about the 2016 bike, and the 540, like all the the B'Twin bikes with steel or alloy frames, gets a lifetime warranty on the frame, fork, stem and handlebar. It's available for this season in the black/grey pictured (from March) and also red/blue, available now.

B'Twin Triban 560CF — £799

We didn't see this bike, because there's currently only one in the world and it was back in Decathlon's Surrey Quays UK headquarters. That's because it's a build that B'Twin have been working on specifically for the UK market. Here's a video walkaround of it though from Decathlon's UK cycling manager Peter Lazarus:

What you'll get is a carbon frame and fork with a Tiagra 10-speed groupset, for £799. That sounds like some serious value. The bike has been designed with a compact frame, and B'Twin reckon it'll be a perfect all-purpose carbon bike for everything from commuting to sportives. Obviously we'll reserve judgement until we've actually seen one, but it sounds like a great addition to the Triban range. It should be available in store from April.

Also coming soon: B'Twin Riverside range

There's a new range of leisure bikes coming from B'Twin too, the Riverside series. The range includes the Riverside 900, which will retail for £349. All the bikes use the same frame; the 900 has a B'Twin branded Microshift 1x8 drivetrain with an 11-40 cassette which should give plenty of range.

The Riverside 900 gets a SR Suntour lockout fork, 700x38 all-purpose tyres and hydraulic disc brakes. It looks like a nicely-specced town and towpath bike for general larking about if you're more at the leisure end of the riding spectrum.

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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17 comments

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kil0ran | 6 years ago
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Found some good reviews (en Francais) of the 100 - chain drop issues and gear range issues aside the frame looks good. Potentially a versatile donor frame for a parts bin special, rim braked gravel bike or light tourer anyone? Rack and guard mounts, long drop calipers, big tyre clearance.

Seriously tempted to replace my Triban 3 with one, solely for the rack/guard mounts and increased clearance (the Triban 3 only takes 25's).

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ChasP replied to kil0ran | 6 years ago
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kil0ran wrote:

Found some good reviews (en Francais) of the 100 - chain drop issues and gear range issues aside the frame looks good. Potentially a versatile donor frame for a parts bin special, rim braked gravel bike or light tourer anyone? Rack and guard mounts, long drop calipers, big tyre clearance.

Seriously tempted to replace my Triban 3 with one, solely for the rack/guard mounts and increased clearance (the Triban 3 only takes 25's).

Better to go for the 500 - carbon forks and a good range of gears from the off (or even 520 with better frame, cartridge bearing wheels and Sora).  The 100 is ok ok for short commutes on mixed surfaces but the cost of upgrading groupset and wheels makes the 500 or 520 better value for more serious rides (same clearance).

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Ghoscher | 7 years ago
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https://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-520-road-bike-sora-id_8377757.html

I can see the white Triban 520 on Decathlon but it has reviews going back to May 2016. Is it the new model? Why does it have the exact same specs as the orange option?

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Zarch | 7 years ago
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Do the 100 and 500 models share the same frame as the existing 500? I'm wondering whether the new 51cm (small) versions will again have 650 wheels?

My 540 (small) has 700 wheels.

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javi_polo replied to Zarch | 7 years ago
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Zarch wrote:

Do the 100 and 500 models share the same frame as the existing 500? I'm wondering whether the new 51cm (small) versions will again have 650 wheels?

My 540 (small) has 700 wheels.

 

No, it's a new frame. It looks different than the old one, and the clearance is one important difference: you can see the new lower-end frame fitted with 35mm tires in the pictures, whereas the old 500 frame would accept a 25 at most.

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Judge dreadful | 7 years ago
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Excellent. I've got a few Triban's, and an old Riverside, as well as an AF720. They are all brilliant in their own ways. I'll be looking at renewing the Riverside this year.

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waynem1983 | 7 years ago
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i had the 500se as my first bike, liked it so much i spent an extra 300 quid to upgrade it to full 105. 

 

Very tempted by the triban 100, at that price its worth a punt for a bit of fun on. 

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Stef Marazzi | 7 years ago
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Cool- They need to get a disc braked Gravel bike out there pronto though.

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kil0ran replied to Stef Marazzi | 7 years ago
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cyclesteffer wrote:

Cool- They need to get a disc braked Gravel bike out there pronto though.

Due to arrive in the summer http://road.cc/content/tech-news/215502-exclusive-sneak-peek-btwin-ultra-af-gf

Disappointing lack of rack and mudguard mounts tho...

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TypeVertigo | 7 years ago
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Impressive range.

I'm not sure if B'Twin ever offered disc-braked road bikes though? That seemed like the glaring omission in their range at the moment.

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btwin replied to TypeVertigo | 7 years ago
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TypeVertigo wrote:

Impressive range.

I'm not sure if B'Twin ever offered disc-braked road bikes though? That seemed like the glaring omission in their range at the moment.

Two disc models are coming out in 2017. One model in July and the other in October. Have a look at this: http://road.cc/content/tech-news/215502-exclusive-sneak-peek-btwin-ultra...

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kitsunegari | 7 years ago
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Such good value for money, and so much fun to ride as well.

I've an old 520, and whilst it looks a bit ugly (it was the black/red model), it's an absolutely brilliant winter trainer and commuter. I've upgraded it here and there, groupset and wheels, but it's also done two years in the Alpes and helped me conquer almost every (famous) Col there is to climb, after I wrote off my Carbon road bike in a serious accident.

I will eventually come to replace it as my number one bike, but it will have been such a good bike, and will continue to be my go to winter bike now I'm back in Britain.

And all for €520 as it was back then.

Cannot recommend these bikes enough.

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javi_polo | 7 years ago
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The Triban 520 looks awesome... I would be on the line waiting for the store to open the day they are available if only they offered a compact version.

I understand that a triple gives you more range, but I had triple and compact versions of the same groupset (Shimano Claris) and I found the compact smoother and easier to adjust.

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Judge dreadful replied to javi_polo | 7 years ago
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javi_polo wrote:

The Triban 520 looks awesome... I would be on the line waiting for the store to open the day they are available if only they offered a compact version.

I understand that a triple gives you more range, but I had triple and compact versions of the same groupset (Shimano Claris) and I found the compact smoother and easier to adjust.

 

 

 

ive had a Triban 520 for a while, with the Sora triple set up, and I've found that once you get used to the trimming function in the front mech ( barrel adjuster from the side of the hoods ) it's actually very handy to have a triple up front.

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javi_polo replied to Judge dreadful | 7 years ago
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Judge dreadful wrote:

ive had a Triban 520 for a while, with the Sora triple set up, and I've found that once you get used to the trimming function in the front mech ( barrel adjuster from the side of the hoods ) it's actually very handy to have a triple up front.

I've never thought about that option, and I actually think it's a viable solution... but I don't feel that is necessary with my current Claris compact setup. Not having to tinker with these barrel adjusters while riding is a good thing in my opinion, so I would still prefer compacts vs triples.

I've reviewed some options for a new bike with aluminum frame and Sora components, as I think they're enough for me. I have been waiting for some time for the new offers from Decathlon as I felt that their aluminium frame and the new Sora would make for a great bike, secretly hoping they would offer a compact option (I know I was being a bit naive, they have a preference for triples for their low-end bikes)... so now I'm a little bit disappointed cheeky. As I said before, if the Triban 520 had a compact option I would literally be on the line waiting for the store to open the day they are available.

Disclaimer: don't get me wrong, I'm not saying compacts are inherently better... it's just a personal preference based on the terrain that I ride and the kind of maintenance I can handle. 

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kil0ran | 7 years ago
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Blimey, what a range 

Good looking bikes, all very practical for British conditions, still stonking value despite the £££ tanking. 

The 100 looks a perfect winter hack. Mudguards, rack, 28s, 1x simplicity? Sorted. 

500 clearly the spiritual successor to the mighty Triban 3 and I'm interested to see how they've done Sora & Carbon on a Sub-£800 bike.

Any news on flat-bar versions? Or are those the new Riverside range?

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btwin replied to kil0ran | 7 years ago
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kil0ran wrote:

Blimey, what a range 

Good looking bikes, all very practical for British conditions, still stonking value despite the £££ tanking. 

The 100 looks a perfect winter hack. Mudguards, rack, 28s, 1x simplicity? Sorted. 

500 clearly the spiritual successor to the mighty Triban 3 and I'm interested to see how they've done Sora & Carbon on a Sub-£800 bike.

Any news on flat-bar versions? Or are those the new Riverside range?

The flat bar versions (520 and 540) now come with the upgraded wheels with selaed bearings and wider vittoria randonneur 700x28 tyres. The Triban 520 flat bar also comes with a sora crankset now instead of the prowheel model.

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