With Prudential Ride London 100 rapidly approaching it was time to make the leap from the wattbike to a real life roadbike. Initially my Ride London training began in the gym on a stationary bike, simply because I couldn’t afford a cycling fall before running the London marathon. I made it to 35 miles on the wattbike, and it truly is as soul destroying as doing a long run on a treadmill. I just couldn’t wait to get out there.
Upon our return from our post marathon travels the bike hunting began. I’m a real advocate of running, for its simplicity and accessibility. However, cycling is a whole new ball game. Endless lists of bikes, from road to hybrid, to cycle cross, to everything else. All with varying price tags, offering various benefits and loads of jargon. Finding a bike as a total newbie is daunting, confusing, expensive and time consuming. Initially all these barriers were so off putting and frustrating.
I was really lucky early on, as a recommendation from a friend pointed me in the direction of Decathlon and their B’Twin range. Googling the reviews I easily came across one bike that stood out, the B’Twin Triban 520, which has a plethora of reviews all citing this as THE performance bike for new road cyclists.
I am proud (and very lucky) to be part of the Decathlon Bloggers Community and therefore was gifted the bike to test. I arranged for the bike to be delivered and soon I was united with my shiny new ride, who I christened Betty (a bike has to have a name right?!) and off we went into the sunset together….
My first thoughts on unpacking the bike was how simple everything was. The Triban 520 came with a decent and comfortable saddle, good quality pedals with toe caps, wheels, lights, allen keys and even a bell. It really was a get out of the box and get out on your bike experience. Very little assembly was needed which is perfect for anyone new to cycling or an experienced cyclist looking for a hassle free bike purchase. I really was expecting that we would have to do some assembly but that wasn’t the case.
I particularly love the pedals with the toe caps to keep my feet in place. I’m not confident enough for clip ons/ cleats and these offer the perfect solution to keep my feet in place and comfortable on long rides but also to offer the ability to get my feet to the floor quickly should I feel nervous or have to stop suddenly.
The straight bar of the Triban 520 was a particular draw for me. I had never ridden or owned a road bike before and my own experience of cycling previously was an old mountain bike that I used to cycle to the stables to see my horse as a teenager before I could drive. The straight handle bars feel familiar and are easy to steer. Most importantly they’re comfortable. I ride without gloves, in a comfortable position and haven’t suffered with any back, arm or wrist pain since starting cycling.
I also love that the front wheel detaches so easily. London roads are so busy and a detachable wheel gives me the luxury to whizz the bike in the back of the car and head out to the countryside to experience some quieter roads, and most importantly practice some hills ahead of Ride 100 and the notorious Box Hill. The bike actually fits in the back of my tiny A1 and it is light enough for me to lift in and out on my own.
Overall I am absolutely loving my B’Twin Triban 520. It is such a simple bike that performs well and really looks the part. It has something for everyone from the total beginner like myself, to the more experienced cyclist. The reputation of the B’Twin range is unrivaled and for the price it certainly is the best money can buy. I am excited for my new cycling adventure and can’t wait to share more adventures with Betty the B’Twin!
Happiness is….having a bike
The B’Twin Triban 520 was kindly sent to me by Decathlon, however all views expressed are my own.