With the increasing number of first time riders, the need for Hybrid bicycles are at a high. Which means more options and more competition among brands to make the best Hybrid bicycle on both performance and cost. The Trance series of Hybrid bicycles from Montra were an instant hit in this Hybrid range and that was mainly d
Montra have gone with the same frame build from the Trance 2015. The 6061 alloy frame in the Trance 2016 is a good mix of both comfort and strength. The welds appear to be well smoothened and the top tube has a good angle without being aggressive. Maintaining a non-aggressive comfortable posture is important for a hybrid bicycle and the frame plays a major part in that. The Tranceês alloy frame has a shape which makes sure there is no need for too much bending and also has a nicely bent elbow position for the reach to the handlebars. The bulged seat tube does take off some vibrations from the surface while riding.
The Trance is different from the Trance Pro mainly because of the front suspension fork. The Trance is equipped with a Zoom suspension fork with a minimal 50mm travel. During the test ride I was able to feel the usage of close to 80% of the suspension travel. Since the total travel is less its plays only a small role as a comfort component.
The Trance 2016 has got a complete makeover when it comes to colour choices and paint quality. The Navy blue/Sky blue combination get along well. The bulged seat tube is definitely the eye catcher on this bicycle, it looks good and also has some functional benefit to it. This unique design will get some curious eyes. The gloss paint job is of good quality and has a nice sheen to it. The front suspension fork is metal and black which offsets the overall colour of the bicycle.
Gearing in the Montra Trance 2016 has been equipped with Shimano Tourneys at the front and rear derailleurs. This is the same groupset from the 2015 version of this bicycle. So no real upgrade when it comes to the gearing components. As an entry level hybrid bicycle with not much price change from last year, these gearing components are not a surprise. The Tourney rear derailleur RD-TX55 is a small internal component upgrade from Shimanoês RD-TX35. The gearing in this bicycle was no different with slight lag in the rear derailleurs but were functional enough for those fast commutes and the occasional long weekend rides. The Shimano Altus ST-EF51 21 speed shifters were comfortable in usage with both the triggers and thumbs. The gear indicators and numbers were clearly visible making it easier for amateur riders.
The braking in the Trance 2016 is taken care of by the stock alloy V-brakes. Like the gearing the brakes are also the same from the last yearês model. V-brakes are the expected components at this price and they were also decent in performance during the test ride. Even though the braking is noisy the long brake pads actually grab on to the wheels quite well to give a balanced braking experience. One might have to worry about braking in wet conditions on this bicycle as the brake pads may not react as fast as you would expect it to be. The Shimano brake levers were lengthy which was a good thing but also curved out too much making the reach slightly farther for riders with small hands.
The handlebar in a hybrid bicycle plays an important role in the comfort and riding posture. The Trance 2016 has an alloy 620mm handlebar with a slight raise from the middle. The increased handlebar length from the Trance 2015 has made sure the rider has an open chested position for easy breathing while riding.
Montra have used the Chinese brand Seyoun tires for the Trance 2016. The 700C x 35C tires had neatly chiselled treads in the middle and edges. These tires were fast and helped me zip through traffic easily during the test ride. Also the XMR Alloy rims were strong enough to support these tires and at the same time were light weight. The Montra comfort saddle had too much cushioning and did not have a great shape to it. This might be comfortable for short rides but soreness can be felt during longer hours on the saddle. The overall ride quality was smooth on flat urban roads.
Hybrid bicycles are the most sought after by beginner cyclists. Trance 2016 has once again lived up to its expectations by being a comfortable and simple bicycle which can be taken out for regular commutes and even on occasional long weekend rides. With the minimal front suspension, the unpaved roads and bumps on city streets can be tackled easily. Priced at Rs.16,700, the Montra Trance 2016 should definitely be a choice to consider for anyone looking to buy a bicycle for leisure riding.