Decathlon’s Triban brand has built a reputation for delivering impressive bikes at real-world prices.
The Triban RC 500 helps the French brand maintain that reputation, even if it has increased in price by more than £100 from the 2019 and 2020 models.
However, despite still not being as expensive as some of its competitors in the market, the Triban has a higher-grade Shimano Sora groupset than many of them.
It also has cable disc brakes and clearance for wide tyres (700×36 or 650×40), while its fork even has fittings for a front rack and a 9kg carrying capacity, upping the versatility factor further still.
Triban RC 500 details and specifications
The Triban RC 500 has an aluminium frame, as we’d expect for a bike of this price, paired with a fork sporting carbon blades and an aluminium steerer.
Claimed frame weight is 1,780g for a size medium, according to Decathlon, while the fork comes in at 680g.
Signalling the Triban RC 500’s intentions as a versatile all-rounder, the bike has wide 28mm Protect+ tyres that measure a shade over 29mm on the Triban rims.
Braking comes courtesy of Promax DSK-300R mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors at the front and rear.
Finally, the finishing kit – stem, handlebar and seatpost – is all aluminium Triban own-brand kit, as is the Triban ErgoFit saddle.
Triban RC 500 geometry
The Triban RC 500 has a comfort-focussed geometry available in five sizes from XS to XL.
|Seat angle (degrees)||75||74.5||73.5||73.5||73|
|Head angle (degrees)||69.8||70.8||71.5||73||73|
|Seat tube (mm)||450||480||500||520||530|
|Top tube (mm)||515||530||548||564||580|
|Head tube (mm)||115||130||155||185||215|
Triban RC 500 performance
The RC 500 is easy to set up, with a couple of nice touches for the novice or less able home mechanic.
The top of the stem’s face plate tightens flush against the stem body, with the lower two bolts tightened in the usual way, ideally with a torque wrench, making it virtually impossible to over-tighten.
It might be a small thing, but it’s a nice touch nevertheless.
The Triban RC 500’s geometry, with the slack 71.5-degree head angle, long wheelbase and shorter top tube, all point to more leisurely riding ambitions than racier options.
The handlebar is also well suited to a more laid-back style of riding, with the tops very slightly swept back and flattened, making an ideal handhold for long days out, where comfort and big mileage are more important than full-on speed.
However, when you do crank it up to speed, the RC 500 holds its pace well and is more than happy ticking along at a pace.
The Triban RC500’s groupset and brakes are well-chosen and represent good value for money at this price.
Sora is an excellent road bike groupset and a long-time favourite of mine, with smooth and accurate shifting. The wide-range cassette seemed to prove its equal and, paired with the compact crankset, provides a generous spread of gears for climbing.
I’m also a big fan of wider tyres, which are not only more comfortable but usually just as fast, and mean you can point the Triban RC 500 down a few dry dirt tracks should you desire.
The stock wheel and tyre combo is pretty heavy, though, with the wheels weighing in at 2,200g. That does hamper acceleration, but they smooth out potholes and poor road surfaces admirably.
Finally, while the Promax cable-actuated discs are never going to equal the power of hydraulic road disc brakes, or better the best rim brakes, they proved smooth, consistent and quiet – and they won’t wear your rims out, an often-overlooked advantage of discs.
Triban RC 500 bottom line
If you’re looking for a sharp-handling, point-and-shoot race bike, you’re probably best off looking elsewhere.
But if you want a quality bike for big days out, cycling to work, loading up with shopping, or perhaps adventurous weekends – and longer trips – away, consider Decathlon’s well-appointed RC500.
It offers you a whole lot of bike for quite a modest amount of cash and hits the sweetspot as a budget-friendly road bike for everything from commuting to light bikepacking.
Got a little less or a little more to spend? The Triban range also includes the more affordable RC 120 Disc – one of the best cheap road bikes we’ve reviewed – and the upgraded RC 520 Disc.
A little less… Triban RC 120 Disc
It’s the same frame, fork and Promax disc brakes, but the gearing is from MicroShift’s eight-speed setup with a Shimano compact chainset and a wide-ranging 11-34t cassette to give you plenty of gears.
A little more… Triban RC 520 Disc
Our test bike’s big brother also has the same 6061 aluminium frame, but its notable component upgrades include a Shimano 105 groupset and TRP HY/RD mechanical/hydraulic disc brakes, making this one of the best road bikes under £1,000.
|Price||GBP £650.00USD $999.00|
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL|
|Headset||1 1/8in Aheadset|
|Tyres||Triban Resist+, 700x28c|
|Stem||Triban No Gap alloy 31.8mm|
|Seatpost||Triban 27.2mm alloy|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Sora|
|Handlebar||Triban alloy 31.8mm|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano RS500|
|Frame||6061 T6 aluminium|
|Fork||Triban Evo, carbon blades, 1 1/8in straight alloy steerer|
|Cranks||Shimano Sora 50/34, 170mm|
|Cassette||Microshift CS-H092, 11-32|
|Brakes||Promax DSK-300R cable discs, 160mm discs|
|Wheels||Triban Tubeless-Ready 6063 aluminium|