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Triban RC520 Disc review

Decathlon ups the ante on its 105-equipped all-rounder

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £850.00 RRP | EUR €850.00
Pack shot of the Triban RC520 Disc road bike

Our review

Well-equipped and great value all-rounder for non-racy riders
Pros: Shimano 105 gears; hybrid brakes; all-round comfort
Cons: Pretty weighty; non-tubeless-ready tyres
Skip to view product specifications

Triban is the name Decathlon uses for its less expensive bike ranges, preserving the Flanders-flavoured Van Rysel moniker for its racier machines.

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And while it comes in at a value price point, Triban’s RC520 Disc is stacked with kit usually only seen on bikes with much heftier price tags.

The gearing is based around Shimano 105, the rims are tubeless-ready, and the brakes are TRP’s innovative hybrid hydro-mechanical HY/RD discs.

Triban RC520 Disc frame geometry

Unsurprisingly, the RC520 Disc isn’t that light and it’s not that racy either, being aimed very much at the comfort and endurance sector of the cycling market. It has a short top tube, for a more upright, distance-friendly riding position.

The metre-plus wheelbase, 71.5-degree head angle and 379mm of reach also reflect its less aggressive cycling ambitions.

M
Seat angle (degrees)73.5
Head angle (degrees)71
Chainstay (mm)427
Seat tube (mm)464
Top tube (mm)540
Fork offset (mm)47.5
Trail (mm)68
Bottom bracket height (mm)278
Wheelbase (mm)1,025
Standover (mm)780

Triban RC520 Disc kit and ride impressions

The Triban RC520 Disc road bike is equipped with a Shimano 105 levers
It’s a pleasant surprise to find Shimano 105 levers at this price.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

What is a surprise is that the Triban, in spite of costing just £850, has Shimano 105 levers and derailleurs, and it’s easy to forget just how good a groupset it really is such is its ubiquity.

I’d no issues with the cost-cutting deviations from 105, though.

The Shimano’s non-series RS510 compact chainset adds about 150g over the 105 model, but the aesthetics are similar, and I couldn’t detect any shifting differences with that and the Microshift cassette.

The Triban RC520 Disc road bike is equipped with a Shimano RS510 compact chainset
Shimano’s non-series RS510 compact chainset shifts well.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The brakes are the RC520’s other highlight. TRP’s HY/RD brakes have been around since 2013 but they haven’t really gained much of a market share.

It’s a hybrid system that pairs a standard cable-actuating brake lever with a hydraulic reservoir at the disc. They’re not the equal of a full hydraulic system but the action is reasonably light and well-modulated.

Triban has specced tubeless-ready wheels yet, strangely, the Resist+ tyres aren’t tubeless-ready. On arrival, these tyres were the shiniest rubber I’ve seen, and I was very wary at leaning them into corners or tackling wet descents before some hard miles over varying surfaces – tracks, towpaths and gravel paths.

Male cyclist in blue riding the Triban RC520 Disc road bike
The brakes performed well, but I felt more confident riding the tyres once I’d worn off their glossy look a little.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

I was very enthusiastic about the Triban’s cockpit, though, especially the ergonomic handlebar. The slightly ovalised tops are my favourite shape for comfortable road riding and their very slight backwards sweep puts you a bit more upright in the saddle.

The stem is unusual – rather than a single four-bolt faceplate, it has a pair of vertical two-bolt faceplates, the top of which is designed to fit flush against the front of the stem rather than leaving a gap. It does actually make it easier for the novice mechanic to get the correct even-pressure torque every time, though.

Triban RC520 Disc overall

Once I’d gained confidence in the tyres, the Triban’s ride proved very appealing. The gearing helps you cope with the weight when the road rears up, but what marks the RC520 loses in weight it more than makes up for in comfort, versatility and year-round practicality.

You can ride all day on it, and if you choose wider rubber – it’ll accommodate up to 36mm tyres – you can leave the highways and hit the byways. I’d also happily load up the Triban for weekends away and credit-card touring.

The lack of tubeless-ready tyres is one of the few negatives. To get predominantly 105 at this price is virtually unheard of, the hybrid TRP HY/RD brakes are excellent, and the saddle and handlebar very good.

Male cyclist in blue riding the Triban RC520 Disc road bike
This is a great value all-rounder.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

If you’re looking for a single bike to cover a lot of cycling bases – and full-on speed isn’t your main priority – this is a very serious contender.

It would work if your riding is mainly on road but you fancy the occasional foray on tracks or towpaths. There’s bags of room for mudguards, comfort for long days out and fittings for racks.

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In its navy-blue guise it’s not the most exciting-looking bike, but it’s available in just-as-dull-sounding whale grey or ‘blood orange’, which sounds a bit more like it.

How we tested

We put four aluminium framed, carbon forked bikes to the test to find out which is best for your riding needs.

All of the bikes come from major brands but sit in the more real-world price bracket that many of us actually buy from, ranging from £600 to a grand.

All four bikes were ridden head to head in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Also on test

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €850.00GBP £850.00
Weight 10.55kg (M)
Brand Triban

Features

Available sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
Headset Unbranded
Tyres 700x28c Triban Resist+ tyres
Stem Triban ‘No Gap’ aluminium
Shifter Shimano 105
Seatpost Triban 27.2mm alloy
Saddle Triban ErgoFit
Rear derailleur Shimano 105
Handlebar Triban Ergonomic aluminium
Bottom bracket Shimano BB RS500 threaded Hollowtech
Front derailleur Shimano 105
Frame Triban Evo 6061 T6 aluminium
Fork Triban Evo, carbon blades, aluminium 1⅛in alloy steerer
Cranks Shimano RS510 50/34
Chain KMC X11
Cassette Microshift 11-32
Wheels Triban Tubeless-Ready Light, sealed cartridge bearing hubs, 28 spokes