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Hybrid bicycles are gaining more popularity these days with every brand wanting to make that perfect commuter centric bicycle for the adult. It is that easy to keep constantly upgrading the bicycle's features every year since the capability is very low. Hybrids are simple in geometry and functionality. We got an opportunity to review Montra's flagship hybrid model, the Trance Pro 2016 and here is what we thought.
From the Trance Pro 2015,¾there is no change in the type of material used in the Trance Pro 2016. The 6061 alloy frame is light in weight and strong as well. Geometry wise there is one big change which anyone will notice at the first glance of this bicycle from Montra. The seat tube gets bulky in the middle which almost touches the tire. When I tried to find out the performance effect of it during the ride I was pleasantly surprised by the vibration it absorbs which reduced the effects felt on the saddle when the cycle rolled over speed breakers or potholes. So this chunky piece of alloy does have some usefulness behind it.
The colour, graphics and design are easily the most stand out feature in the Montra Trance Pro 2016 and is a major upgrade from its previous versions. The bicycle I test rode came in the new Cyan Green colour which was a definite highlight with top quality paint job. The bulkier seat tube with the 'Trance'sticker on it looks eye catchy and is something new on the bicycle design front. The black forks with the cyan green stripes makes a good contrast to the rest of the bicycle. The Trance pro also comes in a Grey colour variant.
There was no real upgrade in the gearing department on the Trance Pro 2016. Montra has chosen to go with the same Shimano Tourney groupset at both the front and rear derailleurs. The gearing was smooth but there was evident lag in the gear shifts which was felt quite a few times during the test ride. But it is not much of a performance downside for commuter usage. The Shimano Altus 21 speed shifters are a good step-up and felt comfortable on the fingers.
The power alloy V-brakes took care of the Trance Pro's braking. Yes, it isn't the best braking component out there but does the job well. The noisy braking experience is unavoidable. The brake pads were the strongest and performance could differ on wet conditions. The Shimano ST-EF51 brake levers weren't the most comfortable. It is placed quite far away from the grips and requires a longer reach to grab on to the levers.
The Alloy handlebars on the Trance Pro 2016 are one of the components which has gotten better from the previous year's model. The lengthier handlebar on the Trance Pro 2016 not only felt comfortable but also made the riding position even more relaxed which reduced shoulder pains during the test ride.
The 700x35C stock tires were tailor made for the Trance Pro 2016 hybrid bicycle. The XMR rims holds the tires well and also makes sure the overall weight of the wheel set is light. The tires were fast rolling during the test ride but there might be concerns of low level traction during wet conditions. The Montra comfort saddle wasn't the perfect ergonomical design but had enough padding for the novice rider to escape the saddle soreness. The over-all ride quality was smooth on urban conditions but could be jittery on rougher unpaved roads.
A simple hybrid bicycle can change the over-all cycling experience of a beginner cyclist. The Trance Pro hybrid model has been around for a few years and has set the benchmark for affordable hybrid bicycles. The Trance Pro 2016, priced at Rs.16,000 is a great first bicycle to own and rides seamlessly on urban conditions. If you are looking for a bicycle for a regular commutes or just short fitness rides then the Montra Trace Pro 2016 is a great choice to consider.