No performance brand is complete without a road bicycle range. Montra released its first ever road bicycle range a few years back with the Unplugged 1.1, Celtic 2.1 and Celtic 2.2. Known for being the most affordable range of road bicycles with good designs this road range has been waiting for an upgrade since then. This year in 2017 Montra refreshed this range of road bicycles and launched the Unplugged 1.1 (2017) and the Celtic 2.1 (2017). We got the opportunity to review the Celtic 2.1 (2017) and here is what we thought.
The Montra Celtic 2.1 (2017) has a 6061 aluminium alloy frame. The frame is butted and welded smoothly on all edges. The top tube is curved slightly making the frame aero. The build quality of this frame with the neatly shaped tubes are definitely something which enhances the riding experience immensely. The frame geometry makes this bicycle a comfort based endurance road bicycle.
The rigid alloy fork on this bicycle is aero in shape and makes the front of the bicycle lightweight. This helps in accelerating quickly and also helps in being in control.
The Celtic 2.1 (2017) which I test rode came in a black frame with green and white graphics. This streaks of green and white in multiple places on the frame makes the bicycle look even more aero. The matte finish paint job was a huge plus point. The colour coded saddle and rims does make the bicycle look bright and aesthetic. This bicycle looks much more expensive than it actually is. Being an entry level road bicycle, one or two more colour variants would have definitely made this bicycle the complete package.
Being an entry level road bicycle, the Celtic 2.1 (2017) comes only with basic Shimano Claris components at both the front and rear derailleurs. These derailleurs even though being an entry level component did perform decently during the test ride. There was no problem with shifting of the gears and the chains fell in place without any glitch. There was quite a bit of noise on the rear derailleur when changing gears but that did not affect the performance. The Shimano Claris 16-speed integrated shifters were easily accessible from both the hoods and the drops.
Like majority of road bicycles in this price range the Montra Celtic 2.1 (2017) also comes with a pair of caliper brakes. The Tektro R-312 caliper brakes on this bicycle were functional for road bicycling needs. During the test ride I rarely had to jam the brakes to stop as the ride was on a moderately busy road. The brakes reacted well when braking at high speeds on a flat surface to slow down. But I would be concerned about braking on descends as these brakes aren’t the best when it comes to quick stoppages.
Handlebars on a road bicycle has the capability of being the differential component to increase or decrease the ride quality, especially for an endurance bicycle such as the Celtic 2.1 (2017). This bicycle comes with a Promax drop handlebar with a 440mm width which was perfect for the rider to reach the hoods and drops. Doing a 100km on this? Rest assured this handlebar will be comfortable enough to see you through.
The Celtic 2.1 (2017) rolls on a pair of Kenda K191 700C x 23C road tires supported by the XMR double walled alloy rims. These tires had less treading which might be something to notice when riding on wet roads as they don’t grip on the tarmac as well as they do on dry conditions. But these lightweight wheel set do go fast which helps on longer rides.
The Celtic 2.1 comes with a Montra race saddle which has been designed ergonomically and had my sit bones in the right place at the widest points of the saddle. The padding was just enough to keep you comfortable without any soreness. The overall ride quality was comfortable on flat tarmacs.
An upgrade to a road bicycle is usually a big step up as it automatically turns in to a performance cycling need. This road bicycle from Montra has clearly more positives and this a good thing for the price at which it comes. With a good quality frame, a comfortable handlebar and an ergonomic saddle the Montra Celtic 2.1 (2017) priced at Rs.35,800 is the most value for money road bicycle you can find.