After a couple of years cycle commuting on my old Marin San Rafael hybrid, I decided to treat myself to a road bike.
I'd had a decent Dawes Galaxy as my "ten speed" or "racer" as a teenager but hadn't ridden a road bike since. After a whole bunch of online cycle mag reading, the Triban RC 520 Disc looked like really good value. So now after a couple of years riding and nearing 5000 miles, what's the verdict?
- Outstanding value at £749 given that it includes the Shimano 105 groupset (which alone retails at over £400). The gears are a dream to use and the braking isn't bad either.
Note - Decathlon are now selling the RC520 Disc at £849...)
- The somewhat relaxed riding position is good for covering the miles (I'm never going to be a racer or sprinter)
- Rides well and feels safe and secure. The extra kg or two compared to some bikes is irrelevant to me - I'm afraid there's more obvious targets for saving more than that in the total riding weight...
- Easy to fit with mud guards and a light weight rack making it good for both commuting and touring
- As detailed by many of the reviewers on the Decathlon site, the wheels are a problem. Getting the supplied tyres off the supplied wheels is difficult. After a couple of punctures (and my first ever blowout - my - was that scary going round a corner!), I changed over to Conti 4 Seasons tyres. When they were a problem to get off/on, I later tried Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elite II tyres.
Now it's just about impossible to get the tyres off without two people. I live in fear of getting another puncture out on the road. The wheels will be "swapped out" very soon!
April 2021 update - the rim of the rear wheel shattered as a spoke pulled through it as I tried to change the tyres. Don't even think about buying this bike unless you factor in the cost of new wheels at some point!
June 2021 update - wheels now replaced with a set of Hope 20Fives which seem to be working well
- Not really a problem with this specific bike but why on earth do bike designers put 11 - 32 cassettes on bikes that clearly aren't targeted at Bradley Wiggins. Have these people never heard of Devon hills????
A change to a 11 - 34 cassette (the most Shimano "support") was expensive as it also needed a new chain but made life so much more pleasant
- This year's service - at nearing 4500 miles - was expensive and required a new chain / cassette (and, as above, it was changed about 2,500 miles ago), a new front inner chain ring and new pedals (and some more normal stuff like new disc pads, cables etc).
I've no idea - is this normal at this sort of mileage?
Overall, a reasonably happy customer. I'd give it 3 out of 5. Without the cost of having to upgrade the wheels so that I can actually get the tyres on and off, it would have been 4.5 out of 5.