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Btwin as a brand is conisdered to provide affordable bicycles with packed features. First road bicycle for anyone is always special and to make it even more affordable the Triban series of road bicycles have been launched. We got the oppuutunity to test ride the Btwin Triban 300 Road Bike 2016 and here is what we thought.
The Btwin Triban 300 Road Bike 2016 is built with a full aluminium frame. There are no unwelcome shortcuts in the finishing detail of this frame and the test ride around a lumpy 15km tarmac suggested that it rides very much like a race-bred road bicycle rather than like a road bicycle aimed purely at beginners. There is plenty of space for bar and stem position adjustment here, including a bolted spacer that sits directly above the headset and keeps the bearings adjusted correctly if you need to change the stem positioning. The aluminium fork has a neat curved shape to it which takes in the rattles quite well before transferring very little vibration on to the handlebars.
The Triban 300 Road Bike 2016 which I test rode came in full white colour. It was plain and simple with a neat gloss paint job. The grey aluminium fork and the red colour on the top of the handlebar hoods add a very interesting contrast to the primary white colour. The brand and model name detailing are very minimalistic in black, making the Triban 300 a bicycle which looks way batter than its price tag.
The Triban 300 features a compact chainset and eight-speed cassettes, which means you get quite large jumps between gears, particularly towards the bigger sprockets on the cassette. Its low climbing gear is a 32t sprocket a sensible choice for a road bicycle at this price. The budget Microshift gearing setup does feature a paddle lever inside the brake lever for changing gear; but both these levers have a small independent paddle shifter on the top end of the brake/gear lever for changing up to a smaller sprocket/higher gear. Both these systems work without fault, though it was quite difficult to shift the rear gear up while you are riding in the drops, as you may want to while descending, for example.
B'Twin's own brand brakes on the Triban 300 have metal shoes and separate pads. They are far better than average on road bicycles at this price but the lever pull feel is quite heavy compared to higher spec Shimano brakes. These double pivot V-brakes levers aren't able to convert a staggering amount of stopping power, but the calipers, pads and rubber do a fine job of making the most of what they get.
The Btwin over-sized drop handlebars on the Triban 300 are perfectly shaped for non-aggressive beginner level road bicycle posture. The compact handlebar stem and perfect bar width makes handling on this road bicycle a comfortable affair.
The wheels and tires on the Btwin Triban 300 Road Bike 2016 appear to be way better than average for road bicycles at this price. The 32 spokes are rust-less rather than stainless but the double walled aluminium rims with a wear line are strongly laced to Btwin's house brand hubs and the tires are Kenda 23mm slicks, again a grippy fast rolling bonus on a budget bicycle. The stock Btwin saddle is ergonomically designed with good padding and length, but the saddle width was a bit short on the small sized bicycle which I test rode. The over-all ride quality was well balanced and smooth on tarmacs with comfortable weight transfer while pedaling off the saddle.
The Btwin Triban 300 Road Bike 2016 delivers impressive value and performance, with only minor reservations. Its ride feel is incredibly agile and its component parts are far better than average at this price. The doubt lies with longer term durability, but for so little money that's a minor minus. The Triban 300 perfectly fits the tag of your first budget road bicycleÈ