With more imported cycling brands invading the Indian terrain cyclists have got a large variety to choose from. With names like Scott, Cinelli, Cervelo, Cannondale and others who have already put a foot in the growing Indian market, cycling is escalating higher. What inhibits these brands from going viral is their prizes which not everyone can afford. With the Indian government heavily taxing these bikes, the growing fanatics have to think twice before investing.
When decathlon stepped in with the budget MTB btwin Rockrider 500, it turned things in their favor. Since 2009, they have been delighting Indian riders with the quality they provide at a cheaper rate suiting the Indian terrain. Due to shortage of supply and non availability dealer in the proximity they end up paying much more for alternate options. With Decathlon expanding its network of stores this is no more an issue. Also, you have quality Decathlon after sales service.
VeloCrush India got hold of one of the 500’s from Decathlon Thane for a bike review. The bike is just too hard to beat with the high standards it sets at such a low price. The btwin Rockrider 500 is certainly a bike for grab if you are looking for a basic affordable mountain bike, but we’ll give you more on that further on in this review.
The Rockrider 500 is not made for racing on those gruelling trails. If you’re looking for a recreational bike to commute or for fitness or basic trails this bike is a good buy. A simple design with a decent paint job and a sturdy frame is the perfect entry level frame by the Decathlon- owned brand. The Btwin Sports Viper saddle offers adequate comfort for commuting even on badly paved roads, the saddle seems good enough for anyone doing a longer ride as it perfectly supports the sit bones. When it came to observations, the Suntour XCT 80mm fork suspension seemed good for commuting and some easy trails at the price you pay. We thought a lockout with a little hike in price would have totally nailed it. The btwin Rockrider 500 suspension comes with a Knob for manual hardness (preload) adjustment which requires minimal maintenance. The bike comes along with a 600mm- wide handlebar which enhances your control on descents while ensuring a relatively comfortable position when climbing. But if you’re planning to climb up a hill the 14.5 kg bike will make your climb a bit tiring. Not to forget the 26-inch tyres with double walled rims providing extra protection.
The mechanical disc brakes of btwin Rockrider 500, 8-speed cassette, and a pair of double wall rims the Rockrider 500 is a bargain at the given price. The disc brakes offer optimal braking which works just fine even after a number of rides with the 160 mm rotors. After riding it for a longer period of time you are bound to observe a bit modulation in the brakes. The double walled rims provide extra protection in spite of adding on more weight. The 26inch Kenda tyres compliment with the wheels offering a good grip on corners but not a good rolling speed.
The SRAM x4 cassette comes with a 2-lever trigger shifting performance in a more affordable price point. The 3 x 8 drivetrain comes in handy featuring an SRAM crankset with non-replaceable chainrings. If you are a newbie then the bike offers you lower ratios with the chain running on the 32-tooth sprocket and the 22-tooth chainring. Also, the SRAM X4 rear derailleur is highly reliable though it may not offer the best shifting experience with time.
Without a doubt decathlon -owned brand have done a really good job by providing decent specs and also showing that constructing an mtb at a low price which performs and looks well is possible. If you want to get introduced to the world of mountain biking btwin Rockrider 500 is worth a go. This bike can be also used in the city if you are a fitness freak and ride over the Indian roads.
Take a look at the btwin Rockrider 500 specifications in details below:
Exclusive 6061 reinforced aluminium frame.
Sports geometry, perfect for athletic touring.
Stiff and durable Rockrider by Suntour XCT 80mm fork.
Knob for manual hardness (preload) adjustment.
Elastomer spring technology for more reliability and a longer lifespan with minimum maintenance.
SRAM 22x32x42 triple
SRAM X4 rear derailleurMICROSHIFT M30 front derailleur SRAM shifters with indicators for the 24 gears
SRAM 11×32 cassette.
SRAM SB400 CBS levers.
ALONG A front and rear cable disc brake callipers: better braking even in rainy and muddy conditions.
handlebar, 600mm wide (XS and S) or 640mm wide (M, L and XL).
stem, diameter 25.4mm. Length: 90mm (XS and S) or 110mm (M, L and XL).
Viper saddle in polyurethane.
Rockrider SPORT 29.8 mm diameter seat post.
rims with 32 rings,
Stainless steel spokes, 2 mm diameter.
26 x 2.00 VTT
tyres for versatility and excellent lateral traction.
Editor: Tracy Alvares
Pictures by Siddesh Mapuskar