Decathlon’s extensive Triban road bike range starts at £250 for rim-braked machines, but the RC500 is its cheapest disc-braked model.
The Decathlon Triban RC 500 Disc is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub page.
The 6061 T6 aluminium RC500 frame has a claimed weight of 1,780g in medium size, and sports a carbon fork with alloy steerer and a great specification. There’s a lifetime guarantee on the frame, bar and stem, plus two years on the fork, and it comes in five sizes.
Depending on clearances, we’d anticipate being able to fit 30–32mm tyres David Caudery/Immediate Media
Mounts for mudguards and a rear rack expand the bike’s versatility, and it’ll take up to 36mm (measured) tyres without mudguards. Decathlon doesn’t state the maximum tyre width with mudguards, but we’d anticipate being able to fit 30–32mm rubber, depending on clearances.
The frame welds are neat, and sensible external cable routing means the down tube isn’t perforated, and is therefore stronger and less prone to water ingress. A large painted reflective patch on the upper part of the rear of the seat tube aids visibility too.
The drivetrain is mostly Shimano’s Sora 9-speed David Caudery/Immediate Media
The drivetrain is mostly Shimano’s Sora 9-speed, deviating only for a Microshift cassette and Promax mechanical disc calipers.
The shift and brake levers retain Shimano’s familial feel and looks, with great ergonomics and hood comfort, a positive, light shift feel and easily reached brake levers. It’s predictably reliable in use, with slick shifts, barely any noise and satisfying refinement.
A Microshift cassette and Promax mechanical disc calipers are fitted David Caudery/Immediate Media
Without the budget for superior hydraulic disc brakes, the bulky mechanical Promax DSK-300R numbers fitted, with 160mm rotors at each end, do a fine job, with good initial bite and progressive power that gave me confidence at all speeds.
The pads returned well and didn’t cause any rubbing either throughout my test period.
Triban’s ErgoFit saddle David Caudery/Immediate Media
The alloy bar, stem and 27.2mm seatpost are all Triban’s own, as is the ErgoFit saddle. All gave a good account, the compact bar proving comfortable, and the saddle gave me no cause to complain, which can’t be bad.
The budget Triban aluminium wheels are 28mm tall and 17mm wide internally, with sealed hub bearings and 28 spokes each. They can be converted to tubeless in the usual way for flat protection, but unsurprisingly, they aren’t that light, with a substantial claimed mass of 2,200g.
Triban’s Resist+ 28mm tyres are also tubeless-ready David Caudery/Immediate Media
Triban’s Resist+ 28mm tyres are also tubeless-ready, and were perfectly adequate during my time aboard, seeming grippy and resistant to cuts.
The RC500’s 10.89kg weight (L) is impressive at this price, and helps the lively frame to deliver a great ride. Compact gearing of 50/34 with an 11-32 cassette should easily get you to most places this bike is likely to be pointed, and in style too.
The RC500 is Triban’s cheapest disc-braked model David Caudery/Immediate Media
With its well-damped, engaging ride, comfort, reassuring handling, decent all-round road speed and quality spec, the RC500 is a steal for anyone after an inexpensive, but fine-riding bike for commuting or general cycling use.
Decathlon Triban RC 500 Disc specifications
Decathlon’s Triban RC 500 Disc Courtesy
Sizes (*tested): XS, S, M, L*, XL
Frame: Triban Evo 6061 T6 aluminium
Fork: Triban Evo carbon
Shifters: Shimano Sora
Mech: Shimano Sora 9sp
Chainset: Shimano Sora with 50/34 rings
Cassette: Microshift 11-32
Brakes: Promax DSK-300R disc calipers, 160mm rotors
Wheels: Triban aluminium, tubeless ready
Tyres: Triban Resist+ 28mm
Bar: Triban alloy
Stem: Triban alloy
Seatpost: Triban alloy
Saddle: Triban ErgoFit
BikeRadar would like to thank Stolen Goat, Lazer, Northwave and Effetto Mariposa for their help and support during our Bike of the Year test.