The first thing you notice about the Roux Vercors R3 is its weight – it is a bit of a beast. The second thing you notice – when you start pedalling – is that the Vercors also offers a very pleasant ride.
True, the entry-level Shimano levers mean you can’t shift up on the drops, the 7-speed cassette means large gaps between gears and there is a little roughness from the freewheel, but those are the only gripes.
HIGHS: Makes a good first road bike
LOWS: Weight; large gaps between gears
BUY IF… You want a nicely-riding road bike on a budget
The Tektro brakes are about as good as you’ll get for the cash, and can be improved by fitting cartridge pads. The oversize stem and bar combination is stiff, and the gel bar tape is plush and comfortable.
The finish is decent for a bike at this price too. Its ride is quite firm, but the narrow seatpost and compact frame prevent it getting too wearing. And while the wheels are also pretty weighty, they proved suitably tough.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Roux, and we enjoyed riding it more than we expected considering its weight and price. We also appreciated the mudguard and rack eyes for the extra practicality.
However, it falls a little way below the best bikes at this price. It is vastly superior to a supermarket bike-shaped object, and as a first road bike, it’ll give you the taste for more, but for 20 quid less you could get B’Twin’s lighter and more refined Triban 5A, which has a carbon fork and a 9-speed Sora groupset.