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Montra, one of India’s leading brand for performance bicycles have always come out with new models which have gone on to stay in the market for years with new variants every year. One such model is the 2017-launched Montra Downtown hybrid bicycle. We got the opportunity to test ride this bicycle and here is what we thought.
The Montra Downtown 2017 comes with hybrid 6061 alloy frame. The thin tubing and simple frame geometry has made the bicycle easy to ride on urban roads. This frame does not have any bugled corners in any of the joints to make it stronger, rather it has evenly shaped tubing and is welded to perfection to make sure the frame is strong while not using any excess material.
Like many hybrid bicycles in the market, the Downtown 2017 also comes with a rigid fork. This fork is made of steel, which means the front of the bicycle is slightly heavier. Keeping aside the weight, this steel fork is strong and much needed to take in any big potholes or bumps on the road without damaging the frame.
The Montra Downtown which I test rode came with a black primary colour and a sky blue secondary colour. The Sky blue was present in many places on the bicycle including the cable housing. This bicycle comes in this 1 single colour variant only. A bicycle at this price with another colour variant would have been great. The gloss paint job on the bicycle was neat with simple and elegant graphics including the bicycle and the model name. The thin tubing on the frames and the sleek tires makes this bicycle look stylish and oozes all the aesthetical looks of an urban bicycle.
There were no surprises in the gearing department. Like any other bicycle at this price the Montra Downtown 2017 also comes with a Shimano Tourney gearing at both the front and back. As common practice, this hybrid bicycles also runs on this entry level MTB gearing. This gearing was smooth during the test ride with no real glitches. The front derailleur did have some lag while shifting from 1 to 2 and took longer than usual for the chain to shift rings. The Shimano Tourney 21 speed shifter were standard triggers in plastic with broad thumb base and easy index shift.
The brakes are easily the most exciting feature of the Montra Downtown 2017. At this budget price, the Downtown comes with mechanical disc brakes at both the front and back. The brakes are from the Taiwanese brand C-star and the Model of the disc brake is Radius BX-350. I put these brakes to the test on city streets with moderate traffic and found them to be reactive and balanced. Braking while turning and also sudden stops did not cause the tires to skid too much. The Shimano ST-EF41 brake levers were easy to use with just 2 or 3 fingers and were in easy reach from the grips.
The XMR Steel handlebar on the Downtown 2017 was perfect for maneuvering in traffic. The slight raise in the middle on the handlebar makes the riding posture a good mix of aggressiveness and comfort.
The Montra Downtown 2017 rolls on a pair of Wanda 700C x 35C hybrid tires with a strong and well supported XMR double walled alloy rims. These wheel sets were lightweight and also rolled fast on city streets. These tires will be able to handle wet surfaces well.
The Montra XMR comfort saddle was comfortable and was ergonomically designed. The saddle had the perfect length and width with just enough cushioning. The edges were slightly more rounded than usual which was unusual but did not make for any discomfort. The overall ride quality was comfortable and fast on city streets.
This bicycle is the most simple and yet high performing hybrid bicycle one could ride. Gaining quick speeds or cutting through traffic, this bicycle did it well while being in full control. Most importantly a hybrid bicycle with disc brakes at this price is a major selling point. If you someone looking to buy a bicycle on a tight budget for commuting or general fitness rides then the Montra Downtown 2017 would be the ideal bicycle for you.