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Value for money bicycles, with no compromise on performance delivered, is this brand’s mantra. Btwin emphasizes on innovation and design. Their new line of 2017 bicycles are a perfect example of this. The recently launched range boasts of some exciting bicycles. We got to review the Triban 520 and this is what blew my mind about it.
The Btwin Triban 520’s frame is made using a 6061 aluminium alloy that is lightweight, sturdy and versatile. The frame design and geometry has been modified on this year’s bicycle with a sloping top-tube, a shorter frame geometry, and a head tube for integrated headset. The short frame geometry enables a relatively more upright, comfortable riding position than the standard position for most road bicycles. I felt that the design is as such, to facilitate a non-aggressive, comfort oriented ride. The frame has a plethora of features to up its versatility. Starting from its unusual riding position to the fact that this bicycle has fittings for front and rear guards and, remarkably, mountings for front and rear racks. This means you can use it for light touring too. Additionally, there is adequate clearance for wider tires too. Outstanding, or what?
Remarkably, the fork on this bicycle is a Btwin Sport fork with carbon blades and an aluminium headset with a 1-1/8” headtube that provides immense strength and rigidity to the steering set-up. This fork perfectly combines strength, low weight and precision.
Developed and designed in Flanders, Belgium, the Btwin Triban 520 is not only a well-performing road bicycle, it also looks phenomenal. The neat design featuring clean lines and colour enhance the sleekness of this mean machine. To add to the eye-pleasing aesthetics, the bar tape on the handlebar and drops is colour co-ordinated with the colours on the frame. Attention to detail, or what?
The first that that caught my attention was that the Btwin Triban 520 has a triple chainset. This means smaller jumps, and the extra ring means more gearing combinations come into play. This bicycle comes equipped with a 27-speed complete Shimano Sora drivetrain. At the given price point of this bicycle, the components used in this department are noteworthy and will surely raise more than a few eyebrows and thumbs. So, what’s the catch?
Nothing! The shifting was indeed incredibly smooth and precise, with immediate transition of the gears. The 27-speed gearing provides enormous options in terms of gear combinations, and hence adds to the versatility of this road bicycle – enabling it to be a well performing sportive, tourer or racing bicycle. At the given price range, not much can compare to the Triban 520 from Btwin.
The Btwin Triban 520 comes equipped with Btwin Sport dual-pivot brake callipers, with a long-reach pivot for easy mounting of a mudguard. The brake levers are Tektro aluminium brake levers. With great components right across, this is the only area where the performance was a little bit of a let-down. The stoppage power of these brakes wasn’t remarkable. It was powerful when the momentum gathered was not very much, however at higher speeds, braking was not as effective or powerful as one might hope for it to be. The soft, unpowered braking can put a lot of strain on one’s hands, especially on descents.
This bicycle comes equipped with a Btwin Sport handlebar. The design of the handlebar and the drops ensures an all-round comfortable riding experience. The compact handlebar stem and length ensure efficient control of the cycle, when on the saddle. The reach to the drops is completely non-aggressive adding to the comfort, giving the rider more options when on the saddle for a longer period of time. The tape on the handle bar and drops offer great grip and added comfort. Quite commendable.
The Triban 520 comes equipped with Btwin Sport Wheels with 28 spokes and aero 28 hubs. The tires on the bicycle are 700 x 25C fast rolling tires that enabled a smooth, speedy ride.
The stock saddle on the Triban 520 is the new Btwin Ergo fit saddle. When tested, the saddle was comfortable for a short distance and then felt slightly on the harder side. This maybe a slight downer when considering making long distance rides, especially for a tourer. That said, this can’t be a major thumbs-down, as there is nothing that a good pair of cycling shorts can’t fix!
If you are in the market for a versatile road bicycle to use on sportive rides, long leisure rides, short tours, or zippy commutes – the Btwin Triban is a definite front runner. With amazing specs at an incredible price point, I am certain this bicycle from Btwin is going to fly off the shelves within no time.