My Triban RC 100 bicycle: Buying decision & ownership experience

I was originally looking at the BTwin Riverside 120 or the BTwin Rockrider ST100. But riding the RC 100 changed my mind completely.

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My Triban RC 100 review

There are a few things in life that give you immense joy. One of those things for me has always been cycling. I’ve been cycling ever since I was 4. My first bicycle was a purple and violet minuscule machine that I had till I was 7 years old. I then got a blue Hero Buzz which I initially struggled to ride thanks to my teensy size at the time. Well, like all things, I did eventually learn to ride “such a huge” bike and spent almost every evening riding with similarly aged chumps. We would race, jump, go off-road, trade bikes for a day and whatnot!

Eventually, I outgrew this one too when I was around 13 and traded it for a Hercules Roadeo Yago 26T. Why this particular bike, you ask? Well, like all kids I longed for a big, brawny, muscular mountain bike just for the looks despite not deriving any advantage from such a bike. Having both front and rear suspension didn’t hurt the looks either! This was the bike that really brought me into the world of cycling. It was the first one that I used to commute to school. It was the first one I went for a really long distance on. I have so many more good memories associated with this bike that I shall not delve into here in the interest of keeping this post as short as possible. I’d probably have to write a book as elaborate as The Remembrance Of Things Past. I absolutely wore it out to the max. Through the course of its life, it had seen 2 derailleur replacements, 2 mudguard replacements, a chain, and a gear shifter replacement. It has also seen a wider, comfier saddle and a new adjustable stem. The teeth on the cassette were worn-out too. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult to give up as it had so much emotional connection.

For my next bike, I was originally looking at the BTwin Riverside 120 or the BTwin Rockrider ST100. I was sold on the Riverside thanks to its sheer value at 11,999. We then went to Decathlon to take a look at both bikes. Unfortunately, I could ride only the ST100. It was completely by chance that I took the Triban RC 100 for a quick spin. Little did I know that that would completely change my mind. Yes, it was about twice the price of the Riverside 120. Yes, it had one less gear. Yes, it had a far more committed posture rather than an upright one. But the moment I set my foot on it, I knew it was the right one for me. This feeling was only compounded when we went to look at the Riverside 120 at another store. This one was quite crowded and let me really exploit the handling capabilities of the RC 100. By the time we got back home, the scales had completely tipped over towards the Triban.

Up to speed? Good!

We had placed an order online and selected store pickup as the option. The whole process was extremely smooth and kudos to the guys at Decathlon Atrium Mall.

Here’s the breakdown of the costs:

Triban RC 100 FB: Rs 22,999

  • Bicycle stand: Rs 699 (I find that utility outweighs the weight and aero penalty)
  • Memory foam seat cover: Rs 499
  • Bottle holder: Rs 199
  • Helmet and bell carried over from the previous setup.

Well, now to address the elephant in the room. WHY DID YOU GET THE FLAT-BAR VERSION OF A ROADIE?!

Two things. Firstly, my bike will be used for commuting quite often and with a backpack. I felt that the slightly more upright position gave it a more familiar, approachable and dare I say it, a more comfortable feel. The other reason is that the shifter on the drop-bar requires you to take your hand off the bar and more crucially, the brakes which would have been quite unnerving on our chaotic Indian roads.

On to the bike itself now. The frame is made of an Aluminium alloy and weighs about 1.8 kilos. It comes in three sizes namely, S, M and the one that I picked, L. The riding geometry is far more relaxed than a “true” road bike and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong for calling it a hybrid. The sloping top tube only further fosters that impression. The frame has plenty of mounting zones for bottle holders, mudguards and panniers.

The front fork is rigid and is made of steel despite which it turns in nicely and is quite agile.

You’ll also find double-walled wheels with 700×25 tyres. Interestingly, they seem to have changed the tyres following the refresh. It now gets a different tread pattern. While I haven’t managed to test this in wet conditions yet, they offer good amounts of grip under dry conditions and “kuccha” roads. For stopping power, it comes with rim brakes on both the front and the rear that lack outright bite but you can’t really expect much more at this price. The bright side is that it gets quick releases for both wheels.

Another thing that has changed post refresh is the rear derailleur. It has been swapped out from a Shimano Tourney to a Microshift one. The shifter is made by Microshift too. However, it says BTwin on all the components. While I won’t get into the whole Shimano versus Microshift debate, I will say that the shift action is quick and smooth and I never had a problem with them. The drivetrain continues to have a 44-tooth single chainring at the cranks and a 7-speed at the back with a 12 X 28 cassette.

The handlebar is made of Aluminium too and mine is a Flat Bar as mentioned before. It houses the brake levers and the thumb shifter. I was initially not a fan of having both the up and down levers close to each other as opposed to one operated by the thumb and the other by the index but I’m now completely fine with it. At the ends of the handlebar, you will find super comfortable palm rests that are nice and plush. The handlebar is also wide enough to accommodate a range of accessories like bells, phone mounts and a small bag like I have installed. (Fun fact, it isn’t meant for a bike but I found it just the right size for a phone and anything small that you don’t want flying out of your pockets.)

The seat post can be extended by a wide range to help you get nice and comfortable. There are no quick releases though and it has to be adjusted using an Allen key. As for the saddle, it is fine and does get the job done. However, I won’t lean too much on this because all posteriors are different from one another and what might be comfortable for me may not be good enough for you.

Alright, I know looks are subjective but I feel this is one damn good-looking bike! And I will stick with my opinion because I haven’t really found anybody who disagrees. It looks just like home in any environment. It comes only in one silvery-grey colour with a black fork to match. It gets some tastefully executed badging at various locations. I was also pleasantly surprised to note that it had some nice and shiny metallic paint. The welds don’t look half as bad either! Overall, this bike looks clean and minimal, just the way I like things to be.

The whole bike weighs a little over 11 kilos and being nice and light, lets you accelerate pretty quickly from stop lights. And once you attain a good speed, you can hold it quite easily too. Coming from a bike that weighs about twice as much, this was quite a revelation for me. Couple this with the inherent aerodynamic advantage, and my average speed has shot up by a lot. I previously used to manage 20 kilometres in an hour give or take 2 minutes. But now, I can do the same in just about 40 minutes.

To illustrate this further, yesterday, despite having about 11 kilos of books on my back, I still managed to do 12.3 kilometres in 26 minutes without running out of breath! And since a greater percentage of the weight was over the rear wheel, acceleration was not hard either owing to the advantage in traction. Rear-wheel drive baby!

If you are contemplating moving from a mountain/hybrid bike to a road bike, there is only one thing for you to consider, which is, Ride comfort. Thanks to its focused approach to speed, a road bike is stiff. You feel every bump. But every drop of sweat you shed will be rewarded with you knowing that all the power goes straight to the road without any losses in compressing the suspension.

As for after-sales, you get two free services, a lifetime warranty on the frame, stem, handlebar and fork.

Overall, I feel this is a stellar package and if you’ve got 23 grand burning a hole in your pocket and you’re looking for one do-it bicycle, I would keep this one on the shortlist. It’s really fun and gets my glowing recommendation.

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