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There's a point in our lives when we want to go back to basics. In terms of MTB bicycles, they don't come more 'back-to-basics' more than the Rockrider 340 2015 which sets a pretty hard to beat value standard, and also acts like a time machine, being the closest thing to a mountain bicycle sold 10 or 15 years ago. Also, Rockrider 340 is living proof that you can find an affordable and at the same time functional mountain bicycle. Here is a detailed review of this bicycle.
It may not be the most comfortable mountain bicycle out there, but keep in mind that The Rockrider 340 isn't built for racing. A certain plus sits in the frame, being one used for higher level mountain bicycles of the Decathlon-owned brand. So, the Rockrider 340, despite being a pure entry-level bicycle, comes with a mid-level frame, with two extra reinforcements in the areas where the down and top tubes meet the head tube. Therefore, it is pretty hard to damage the frame, or at least to bring it to an unusable and unsafe condition, and probably that is why the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for the frame, stem and handlebar.
Suntour's XCT fork that is present on this MTB has an official travel of 80mm, but we could not convince it to use more than half of it during the test ride. The hard coils probably respond better when being put to use by heftier riders, this being the only hope for an improved functioning since there is no other adjustment button than the preload one.
Every brand now-a-days are putting in extra effort to make sure the design for their bicycle is on par with their expensive variants. This is the case with the Btwin Rockrider 340 2015's appearance. It is a simple design with a curved top tube and unique flat T-bridge pad connecting the seat tube and the seat stay right near the back tires. The dark grey smooth paint job with blue tints and bright white suspension fork looks nothing but classy. We thought it was classy and a stand out but some might say it is plain and simple. At the end the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
No surprise in the gearing department from the 3ã7 Shimano Tourney drivetrain, that features a crankset with 24x34x43 chainring. The gear ratios in this bicycle will be useful for beginners on trails, including the lowest gear. The Shimano Tourney derailleurs themselves work well, but not accurate, nor fast. Even if it takes the chain to the requested gear the lag is evident and will take a pedal or two to feel the speed shift. SRAM offers the MRX 21 twist grip shifters, featuring a analog indicator that shows the gear you are currently using, something also useful for rookies. While we are on the decline grip shifter usage, these grip shifts from SRAM are clearly one of the most comfortable shifters to use in terms of length, padding and rotational smoothness.
The Helical Spring V-Brake works fine after a couple of running-in rides, although you might want to use them as much as possible during those rides, especially if you are looking for optimal results. When the brakes start working properly, don't expect any fine modulation. Wet condition braking might wear of the brake pads sooner than expected. The 2-finger aluminium brake levers were less stress on the hands.
As expected for this class of 26-inch mountain bicycles, our Rockrider 340 features a 580mm-wide handlebar, which enhances control on descents, while ensuring a relatively comfortable position while climbing.
The Rockrider 340 2015 features a pair of Ranson Semi-Slick 26x2.0 tires with wheels that include alloy rims that have increased strength and decreased weight. The tires do weigh on the higher side, being manufactured out of a compound that doesn't impress in terms of rolling speed, but ensures a good grip in the corners thanks to the impressive treads. The ride quality can be assessed in 2 ways in the Rockrider 340, with it being easier on the body for rough city riding but a heavier and slower ride on challenging trails.
Without a doubt, the Btwin Rockrider 340 2015 stands as one of the best in its level, by demonstrating that i's not impossible to manufacture a mountain bicycle that looks good, performs well, and doesnÈt require robbing a bank to purchase it. That being said this Rockrider 340 isnÈt a bicycle for aggressive trail riding, but more of a trust-worthy companion when riding on flatter trails and smooth hills. I's a good introduction into the world of mountain cycling since it does not cost a fortune and can be used for city rides without much doubts.