My new bicycle: the B'Twin Triban 540

Here comes a new bicycle

Did I need a new bike? Not necessary… well maybe… or absolutely. I was going on a rampage by owning so far two Dahon folding bicycles: a red Dahon Eco C7 and a white Dahon Mu P24. They were my all-around bicycles for my daily commuting in town, doing some shopping, and going on long rides, usually with a friend.

I enjoy riding these bicycles and I should make a post someday to introduce you to those two little guys. This sounds like a new member is joining the family. It kind of is :)

As fun as they can be I started to feel some limitations with these folding bicycles. First, as I get more experience riding, my average speed tends to increase and my Dahons are maybe not the best for maintaining a 30+km/h speed. Also my most recent one, the white Mu P24 isn’t rigid enough when I push hard on the pedal: speeding is exhausting.

That’s why I decided to buy a new bicycle, a regular one. I had to negotiate a bit to be allowed to bring a new bicycle at home: I had to sell one of my bicycles (plot twist: I still own the two folding bikes, it’s our little secret).

The bicycle

The Triban 540 falls into the category of a road bike. However, I’d qualify it as a versatile road bike as I use it for my daily commute, recreational rides, and long trips.

Triban 540 picture from B'Twin

For the transmission, it offers Shimano 105 cassette (11 speeds - 11/28), derailleurs, and shifters. The compact crankset (52/36) however is not from Shimano but is a “Prowheel Ounce 721”. It sure does the job, but it doesn’t look as cool as the new Shimano cranksets.

Stock tires are Hutchinson Equinox 2. These are good tires for a start offering some comfort, and relative puncture protection without sacrificing too much rolling resistance.

The bicycle offers good handling even if you’re not used to road bikes. That’s something I appreciated having experienced folding bicycles before.

The frame is an aluminum frame. The fork, however, is a carbon fork with holes that allow mounting a front rack. This is not something very common and I appreciate it even though I didn’t use this feature yet. I did not check the weight of the bicycle. On the webshop, they announce 9.5 kg in size M without the pedals. So I’d say it’s a 10 kg bike.

The wheels are Mavic Askium wheels. These are entry-level wheels from Mavic but are already good and solid which will make them last longer.

Modifications and equipment

To better suit my needs I added a rear luggage carrier as I am going to use this bike as both a commuting and touring bicycle. I chose a Pletscher Athlete 4B that was available at the shop where I bought the bicycle for 26€.

I also wanted to add SKS fenders. However, this leave little space between the tire and the brake, plus it was finally not possible to mount them on the frame despite what the product web page stated. So I ended up mounting Zefal road front and rear fenders. They do their job quite decently and provide good value for money (16€ for the fender set).

I added two Elite bottle cages with their bottle to carry water on the way.

Living in a big city and having already experienced bicycle theft opting for a U-lock was not an option. It would have been a pity to have to carry a huge lock with me, that’s why I chose the Kryptonite Evolution Mini 5 with the flex frame support to hold the lock on the frame while riding. It was quite tricky to find a proper position for the lock support and I decided to put it on the vertical tube above the bottle cage. On my daily commute, I wouldn’t need more than one bottle, and on longer trips, the small lock easily fits in any bag.

On the electronic side, I went a bit crazy and bought a GPS for my rides: the Garmin Edge 1000 Explore. It does the stuff you’d expect from a cycling computer which is mainly speed, time, calories, distance, and altitude. This model brings the navigation mode which will help you to navigate to your destination without the need of carefully planning your trip. I should make a dedicated review for this GPS.

To sumarize the equipements and modifications:

What I think of this bicycle

To cut off any suspense I am quite happy with this bicycle. It behaves well on both city and countryside roads. Whenever it is not a cross bicycle and does not like offroading too much. You can however change the tires to make it better offroad but will be limited on tire width (32C max).

You can fit quite a lot of equipment on this bike. However, be aware that the road handlebar with the thick ribbon and cable underneath it makes it difficult to fit a lot of accessories on the bar. This is true in general for any road bike.

For the best test ride was my challenge to ride from Paris to Lille (250+ km) within the day. I did it and was glad to ride this bicycle and can confirm it is good for long rides.

I had recently one problem with the left shifter which broke. The bicycle is currently under repair at Decathlon. That’s one drawback of this bicycle: it can only be bought at Decathlon. Even if they offer good after-sale service there are some repairs that they do not do at the shop you bought the bike. Indeed to change my shifter they sent the bicycle to their regional workshop. This makes the bike unavailable for at least a week. At a local bike shop, you’d maybe have to wait for the shifter to arrive but you’d give the bicycle only once the shifter can be mounted on the bicycle and you’d be able to quickly get the bike back and enjoy it.

Is the Triban series a good one? Well look at the picture below taken at my office: that’s a whooping of 3 of them on the rack. That was not staged at all and I found it quite amusing.

The Triban 540 is a good bicycle, and a very good bicycle if you compare its price to what the competition offers. I bought it for 850€ at Decathlon in France. I got good value for my money I would recommend it if my review fits your needs.

You can also refer to the review from Bike Radar if you still need to make up your mind.

Feel free to ask me any questions on my Twitter account.