Montra as a brand over the years has established itself as one of the top Indian bicycle names in the industry with its performance focused models at a great price. Urban bicycles have been the most successful type of bicycle for Montra and one of them, which was a big hit in the market was the Montra Helicon 2016. This success model now has a 2017 version, the Montra Helicon Disc 2017 which we reviewed and here is what we thought.
The Montra Helicon Disc 2017 comes with a hardtail RTB 6061 Alloy frame. This frame is the same as found on the Helicon 2016. This frame is neither flat nor fully tubular. The tubes are all shaped a bit triangular so as to make sure there is minimal usage of material but enough alloy is used at places, which will take in maximum impact. The frame is also built with a high clearance which can be clearly seen under the bottom bracket when measure from the ground. This means, when going on rough and unpredictable surfaces while touring, this high clearance keeps you going hassle free without any worry of rolling through bumpy roads.
This is an urban hybrid bicycle and has a rigid front fork which is also aero with a neat shape weld to make the front of the bicycle light. The forks also have a good gap in between the tires, making space for a mudguard to be installed if required.
The Helicon Disc 2017 is easily the most stylish bicycles to ever come out from brand Montra. With its top-notch matte finish paint job and smooth welded frames this bicycle is definitely a head turner when on the street. The bicycle I test rode came in a matte black colour with no secondary colour. This model also comes in a full white colour variant from this year. The 650B wheels with broad rims are the most unique and a new feature in the Helicon, which was there in the 2016 version as well. These wheels aesthetically make the bicycle look sleek and more aerodynamic.
The drivetrain of a bicycle is even more important than how the bicycle looks and for a performance focused sport hybrid like the Montra Helicon Disc 2017, gearing does play a major role. This bicycle comes with a Shimano Tourney FD-TZ30 at the front and Shimano Tourney RD-TY500 at the rear as derailleurs. These are the most basic Shimano components and are mostly commonly found on budget hybrid bicycle such as the Helicon Disc 2017. Even though these are entry level gearing components the gearing experience during the test ride was hassle free with only a noisy experience but not much lag experienced. The Shimano ST-EF41 21 speed trigger shifters were perfectly placed and it did not require me to reach out too much from the handlebar grips to engage them.
This brings us to the most important component upgrade on the Montra Helicon from the 2016 to 2017. The Montra Helicon Disc 2017 as the name suggest comes with mechanical disc brakes at both the front and back. Looking back, the Helicon 2016, which had V-brakes which wasn’t reactive and also made a screeching noise when braking hard. The Helicon being a sport-hybrid which can be used for not just commuting but touring as well, required a solid disc brake and that’s exactly what we have got. During the test ride the brakes were extremely reactive and balanced on urban roads amidst traffic. The Shimano ST-EF41 brake levers required only 2 to 3 fingers to engage the brakes.
The XMR steel handlebar on the Montra Helicon Disc 2017 is a perfect mix of comfort and aggressive posture for the rider. The slight raise from the middle makes up for the comfort part and the 620mm length gives superior control of the bicycle to the rider when going on high speeds or rough surfaces.
The Montra Helicon Disc 2017 comes with a pair of Kenda 27.5 inch x 1.75 inch hybrid tires which are well supported by XMR double walled alloy rims. These rims are not only aesthetically good but the broad rim surfaces make the wheels aero and also support the tires well in keeping the balance on roughest of surfaces.
The Montra commuter saddle on the Helicon Disc 2017 is shaped perfectly for the sit bones with accurate length and width. The back of saddle on the edges is bulged with extra cushioning making it a more comfort oriented than for performance. The overall ride quality of this bicycle was fast and comfortable on urban roads.
This bicycle is a proper upgrade to its 2016 version with a much needed and high performing disc brakes. The lightweight wheel set and the frame geometry are built for not just commuting but for touring as well. With a stylish design and matte finish paint job this bicycle is the whole package for any rider who is looking to buy a hybrid bicycle without burning the pocket.