To create a sub Rs.10,000 adult bicycle is always a challenge. Btwin as a brand have been known to give out the best specs possible at a competitive price. The Btwin VTT Rockrider 300, a MTB inspired commuter bicycle is also a model which has been around for quite a few years now. We got the opportunity to review this bicycle and this is what we thought.
The Btwin VTT Rockrider 300 2016 is equipped with a full steel frame. The top tube of this frame has been slightly inclined, which is a change from the straight top tube in the previous models. A good welded strong steel frame is any day better than a mediocre quality aluminum frame on a bicycle at this price range. In contrast to the usual notion of 'steel=heavy bicycle', the VTT Rockrider 300 weighs close to 15kgs which is a good weight for a full steel frame. The frame posture is a bit on the aggressive side for a commuter, but the MTB characteristic makes it an excusable geometry.
The VTT Rockrider 300 2016 which I test rode came in full black colour. Sometimes a pitch black covered frame gives out a rugged look to the bicycle. The gloss paint job was top notch with the 3 layered coating. The minimal stickering for the brand and model name looked neat on this bicycle. The slightly bent fork and tough MTB tires make this bicycle a stand-out and will guaranteed make heads turn while riding inside the city.
The gearing department in the VTT Rockrider 300 2016 is operated by the basic Shimano SIS index gears at the front and rear. They did feel a bit noisy and slow while shifting at the rear. But what makes up all the smaller glitches in the derailleurs are the SRAM 21 speed grip shifters. While we are almost at the extinct of grip shifters, SRAM offers this high quality, smooth and comfortable grip shifter on the VTT Rockrider 300 2016. They have enough padding for comfortable palm placement and turn efficiently without any discomfort.
The Helical Spring V-brakes on the VTT Rockrider 300 2016 are the most basic ones which you get in any bicycle in this price range. They definitely don't have the stopping power for immediate halts and turns. The pads were large enough to engage with the rims seamlessly whilst riding in traffic. Jamming the brakes is not recommended and the most effective way for braking on this bicycle is to do interval braking. The brake levers are silver in colour and are large enough for any finger to reach the levers comfortably.
The steel riser handlebar on this bicycle is 580mm in length which is good for an opened up shoulder position while being a little more aggressive on the bars.
The semi-slick 26 x 2.0 tires on the Rockrider 300 is the same as seen on a full-fledged budget performance MTB's. Combining with the 36 hole aluminium rims, these wheelsets are quite heavy. The treads are excellent with these tires going effortlessly over hard muddy roads inside the city. The stock saddle on this bicycle are anything but ergonomic with less padding and an uneven width. The saddle can get uncomfortable on 30km+ rides. The ride quality on this bicycle is a bit rattling with vibrations more than often being transferred on to the rider's palms through the steel fork and on to the handlebars.
There is a usual benchmark of expectation for a budget adult bicycle and the VTT Rockrider 300 has surpassed it. Living in a city with more rough and broken roads than smooth tarmacs? Then this bicycle will take on the hard work of rolling over these terrains with ease. If you are looking for a strong and rigid bicycle for mostly commuting purposes on a tight budget then the Btwin VTT Rockrider 300 2016 is the perfect bicycle for you.