Questions about the Triban 3 and general darkside stuff

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  • Questions about the Triban 3 and general darkside stuff
  • Premier Icon composite
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    So I have been eying up a Triban 3 (http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-road-bike-id_8167038.html) from Decathlon for ages now and I think I’m actually reaching the point of being almost serious about getting one. Looks like the perfect hack bike for a mountain biker who wants to do occasional road riding with his Dad before he gets to old and just as a change sometimes. I thought it might also be a decent bike to do hill sprint intervals on, which I was planning to do on my ridgid/hardtail.

    It comes with a Shimano 2300 group set which people seem to be saying is nothing special but at this price point is incredible. Reviews are glowing and supposedly the bike performs as well as bikes 2-3 times the price.

    However, I know nothing about road bikes and have a few questions.

    Are headsets pressed in to the head tube in the same manner as the one on my P7/Five?

    I’m used to SLX/XT bottom brackets, are these road ones like that with screw on cups or are they totally different?
    Do I need a special tool to get them out/in?

    If I wanted to up grade the shifters at some point so they were those “swinging brake lever” kind would have I to change all the brakes and mechs or can you just change the lever assemblies?

    I would want to change the pedals to clip less and was thinking of going for something like Shimano M540 SPD’s so I can use the shoes/cleats I already have. Any reason why mtb pedals would end in a slow lingering fire ball of death?

    I see that some derision is given to triple chain sets in some areas of the road fraternity. Although this would never influence my purchase and frankly why would I give a toss what a bunch of lycra fun boys think, but I just wondered what the crack was with that?

    Thanks for getting to the end of this longer than anticipated stream of consciousness.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
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    The Triban 3 is meant to be a cracker. Saw a review of one pitched against a few more expensive bike, £600, £600 and £900.

    It held its head high and certainly gave the expensive bikes a serious run for their money.

    Can’t help with the rest of your questions, far too technical for me.

    I got one for almost the same reasons a week ago. Bearing in mind that its probably 30 years since I last had a road bike, here’s my 2p.

    – I’ve got m520’s on it as I dont want to buy specific road shoes. Seems fine for my fitness / speed.
    – The gears seem fine: not as slick as slx etc but fine. The “swinging brake lever” sideways brake lever movement takes a bit of getting used to but seems to work the same-ish as a Sora setup I tried.
    – I “had” to use the granny ring once- but I could probably survive without it. Doesnt bother me that its there.
    – Given that its not going off road I’d hope that the headset and BB last a good deal longer than the mtb so I’d not even considered that. The cranks look like they need a puller to remove.

    Other stuff: have you sat on one yet? I found them pretty long and while I might be between sizes I’m glad I got the smaller size (this may be partly due to not being used to road).
    – mudguards will be a squeeze but the mounting points are there.

    The chaps in my local were super helpful and I got free lights with it! Also if you have a loyalty card, or take one out on the day you get a voucher for £6 by email. That was the clincher for me!

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    couldashouldawoulda – Member

    Other stuff: have you sat on one yet? I found them pretty long and while I might be between sizes I’m glad I got the smaller size.
    – mudguards will be a squeeze but the mounting points are there.

    Not sat on one yet, my closest shop is either Coventry or Wednesbury and they are both a pain in the arse for me to get to with no car. I will buy from a shop though, not online, if I decide to go for it so I will throw my leg over one then. I’m about 5’10” and thought the 57cm would be the starting place for sizing. What height are you and which size did you get?

    Thanks for the reply and the other tips. 🙂

    Premier Icon kilo
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    I’ve got a triban 3 as a winter commuter, very pleased with it in answer to your questions;

    are headsets pressed in to the head tube in the same manner as the one on my P7/Five?

    I have no idea how they are pressed in on a p7, on the triban they are standard road hidden headset (i would go to the shed and check but it’s snowing outside.

    I’m used to SLX/XT bottom brackets, are these road ones like that with screw on cups or are they totally different?
    Do I need a special tool to get them out/in?

    They don’t have a hollowtech bb if thats what you mean so you would need a different spanner to get them out, probably a standard shimano fit but again i haven’t checked that yet, can’t actualy recall if it’s a sealed unit i presume it is.

    If I wanted to up grade the shifters at some point so they were those “swinging brake lever” kind would have I to change all the brakes and mechs or can you just change the lever assemblies?

    I’m sorry I don’t understand what you mean, what i would say is imho upgrading shifters on such a cheap bike would be money wasted if indeed you could find anything other than more shimano ones to fit it in the first place. They are standard shimano shifters, seem to work well and used on loads of different base level bikes

    I would want to change the pedals to clip less and was thinking of going for something like Shimano M540 SPD’s so I can use the shoes/cleats I already have. Any reason why mtb pedals would end in a slow lingering fire ball of death?

    I have 520’s on mine fine for commuting and club runs

    I see that some derision is given to triple chain sets in some areas of the road fraternity. Although this would never influence my purchase and frankly why would I give a toss what a bunch of lycra fun boys think, but I just wondered what the crack was with that?

    as a lycra fun boy I’ve never really been bothered what chainsets people use on their bikes, some people just like to look down on others for the most spurious reasons.

    Back to the triban – good bikes, very good value for money, terrible saddles, it will be fine for what you want and more.

    edit; mudguards – raceblade longs, i posted a picture on a previous thread

    andeh
    Member

    I bought one last week, I know nothing about riding on the road, apparently 🙄

    I like it, it’s light(ish) and red. As you can see, I’m using my massive MTB shoes. My mate sent me a nice prezzie of a water bottle/cage after seeing the photo, accompanied by this note:

    😆

    Almost exactly the same size as you. I got a 54. But we’re all different shapes and that.

    If you google Triban sizing there are some threads but you really got to sit on one yourself I think.

    Oh yes – kilo’s reminded me about the saddle. I swapped it after a spin round the block.

    #Edit – and lol at andeh

    andeh
    Member

    I’m 6ft1 and have a 57 by the way, it’s quite long.

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    kilo – Member
    I’m sorry I don’t understand what you mean, what i would say is imho upgrading shifters on such a cheap bike would be money wasted if indeed you could find anything other than more shimano ones to fit it in the first place. They are standard shimano shifters, seem to work well and used on loads of different base level bikes

    It was my confusion here asking a duff question. I get it now after watching this youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp2iAzDYXrk) of this guy in his jammies (WTF?) showing how it works. I miss read the photos and thought shifting was all on the thumb bit.

    BTW I forgot the smiley with the lycra fun boy comment. 😀

    I certainly see myself being a road cyclist in your mold andeh. 8)

    andeh
    Member

    They were really helpful when I went to get mine, I suggest going in and asking them lots of questions, sitting, prodding, riding around the shop etc. When you get bored you can have a go on the scooters too.

    Could be worse, I could be running flats! 😳

    I’ll probably end up in lycra eventually, sniff 😥

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    Triban 3’s silly value. Wheels not great mind, but tolerable.

    globalti
    Member

    My son aged 13 has a Triban 3 so here’s what I know:

    A 57 cm is too big if you’re 5’10”, you need something like a 55. The best way is to go to a store if you can and ride them around as they usually have all the sizes built up. An experienced eye watching you will be able to tell you the right size if you can’t tell from riding it.

    The major components like frame and forks are indeed excellent; good quality and lovely paintwork. However the saddle is dodgy; we replaced my son’s with a Charge Spoon and he’s happy. The wheels are the weak point; the bearings seem to be very poor and will get rough within 100 miles. My son crashed badly (hosptial job) and bent the front wheel so we bought a set of entry-level Shimano wheels, which are more appropriate for the bike.

    The standard plastic BTwin bottle cage is too big for a 75cl bottle, which bounces out, distracting the rider and causing him to nut a tree, see above. Get a standard ali bottle holder.

    The BTwin tyres are small and nothing special so we fitted some Specialized tyres I had hanging in the garage. However the mudguard clearances are so tiny that even with the BTwin tyres a set of Crud guards is a tight fit and with a bigger tyre they won’t fit at all. But you won’t want mudguards anyway unless you plan to commute on it.

    The derailleur mount is a bit too far forward and fouls the end of the QR making rear wheel removal and replacement difficult, it might be better with the smaller original tyres fitted but a bigger profile tyre gets jammed up against the bottom bridge, preventing the wheel from moving forward enough. Not a problem; just a small irritation.

    The 2300 gears work fine. My son’s RH shifter got bent in the accident and couldn’t be repaired so I got him some cast-off Sora shifters from my LBS’s box of bits.

    The triple chainset is fine and nobody will laugh at you – a triple has closer ratios on the rings than a double, which needs a bit of care if you are riding in a group and don’t want somebody to ride up your chuff when you drop down for a climb and suddenly decelerate.

    Stop worrying about BB servicing, this is a road bike and you won’t be getting much mud in the bearings. The idea of road riding is to cover decent milages at a good average speed and enjoy the thrill of the fast downhills and riding fast in a pack. With a set of decent wheels on it the Triban 3 is a smashing bike and a great introduction to road cycling while you gain experience and save for a better bike. My son LOVES his, he finds it comfortable and amazingly fast and efficient.

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    Thanks for that.

    Looks like I should probably throw my leg over the 54cm to start then.

    I have SDG Bell Air saddles on my mountain bikes so will probably just go for one of those on this, as I find those comfortable even after long days. I have a couple of bottle cages already so that’s no issue either.

    I was thinking about maintenance as I want this thing to cost as little as possible. I do the majority of the work on my mountain bikes so didn’t want this to be any different. I didn’t really think about that parts should last longer on the road though; good news!

    Stuff like the wheels, tyres and mud guards I would leave initially and just see how it goes.

    Couple of mates have bought a 3 and a 5. We have only had an iffy tyre on one, so get some better tyres and then ride it. A work colleague has a 3 and has done many miles and nothing has failed or fallen off. Wheels are still fine. Go for it, they are a bit of a bargain.

    I bought one a few months ago as a cheap way into road riding, and wanted something cheap as a second bike to go with my Inbred 29er. As fair I can tell the spec, level of kit and quality is on par if not better than a basic level Specialized/Trek/ any other big name, yet its half the price.
    No real experience of road bikes, but it rides really well to me, gears seem fine although not set up very well, and is a lot more comfortable that I thought it would be. I worried it would take ages to get used to drop bars, but that took about 10 miles into the first ride! And it doesn’t look like a cheap bike either, which is a bonus.
    Probably the best value bike I have ever bought, IMO.

    stanfree
    Member

    I was in Decathlon last week and saw 3 new Tribans leaving the shop within 10 minutes. As others have said great value , the wheels would be the weak point but for £299 you cant go wrong. Ride the bike through the winter then buy some cheap Shimano wheels from On One in the summer.
    Great value road bike.

    darkslider
    Member

    I’m also seriously tempted by one of these as a first road bike and foray into road riding. Commuting on a MTB at the moment is fine, but whenever I get done by a roadie zipping along at twice my pace, uphill, I can’t help but wonder how much of it is my fitness and how much is the bike. Probably not the answer I’m hoping for, but it seems a good excuse to excercise n+1!

    joehart42
    Member

    Heya, a quick few things from both a Triban 3 owner and a decathlon employee, I work part time in one of the stores while I’m at university.

    It’s a great little bike I’ve done 900 miles on mine, recently did a service on it myself and there was hardly any grit or dirt inside the hub bearings. The only things that were out on it were the rear wheel needed to be trued slightly and I had to tune the gears but that’s just standard wear.

    Make sure you go into a store and try the sizes. I’m 5’11” I ride a 54. it’s a hell of a lot easier to make a little bike bigger than a big bike smaller.

    Tech wise upgrading the shifters, you don’t really need to It’s got 2300 shifters, which technically are very similar to Sora shifters. If you wanted to upgrade to Tiagra, 105 or Ultegra then you’ve gotta to dish out a hell of a lot of money upgrading the whole bloody groupset. Since 2300 is 8 speed. Meaning if you wanna go up to a 9 speed or a 10 speed you gotta upgrade bloody everything. But if you’re just riding for fitness and doing sportives, like me, 2300 is fine.

    Also btw just for you, and all other Triban 3 owners. Decathlon is crazy lenient on returns and warranty. You get 5 years warranty on the frame and 2 years on all the components. So if anything feels damaged, out of allignment or anything take it into any Decathlon round the world and they’ll fix it for you free of charge. You should also get 6 months free servicing as well, make sure you get a service in that 6 months before you forget. By free service I mean the whole shebang, we’ll take apart your bike degrease, regrease, tune, true, everything.

    One thing I’d say: Upgrade the tires. The default B’Twin tyres are only about 33 Threads Per inch. I ride with these: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/vittoria-rubino-pro-folding-clincher-tyre/ With a TPI of 150. And they look damn cool with the red rims.

    Oh and the free lights that come with it are extremely naff.

    The other two things you mentioned, the Triple ring on the front and Mountain bike pedals. In my time with cycling clubs and knowing other roadies is there is a lot of, for lack of a better word, snobbery in road cycling. People say you can’t ride with mountain bike pedals, and you have to have road shoes. Bullshit. I ride with shimano touring shoes which are crazy comfy and I will take the ease of having double sided SPDs over the slight power increase you get from SPD SLs.

    If you wanna know anything else about the bike or anything just ask.

    Premier Icon pictonroad
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    I have a question, When are you going to get more stock? I’ve “reserved” them online for store pickup in Reading twice now but the order gets cancelled due to stock availibility.

    boo.

    frazered
    Member

    helpful stuff joehart42

    I have a 57 and I am 6ft 1 nearly.

    I would also add, I fitted 25mm tyres (continental GP4000S’s) sks chromoplastics do not fit after moving from 23mm to 25mm tyres

    alaslas
    Member

    Either get a Triban or Carrera TDF at that price point, otherwise look second-hand. For £300 you should be able to bag a very well specced road bike from ebay or classifieds online – an older Allez for instance. Though the market is very competitive at the moment because of demand.

    From experience, I thought the 57 was a bit cramped and I’m 6′. The more road cycling you do, the more you’ll want a stretched out position. Went second-hand in the end.

    As regards triples vs. doubles, most riders with experience will tell you that a well set up compact double will give the same ratios as a triple, without the extra weight and superfluity. The smallest front cog on a triple works as a ‘bail out’ gear – if you don’t live anywhere very hilly it’s unnecessary.

    Factor in the wheel thing too: upgrading could cost you overall. If you wanted to swap out the wheels in under a year, it might be better to consider buying a bike that doesn’t require this upgrade. Same goes for saddle/tyres – factor in £30 for a saddle and £40 for tyres and consider whether you could’ve actually just gone for that £400 Trek/Specialized.

    Look up ‘The Rules’ of the Velominati – this will give you some idea of the expectations. I think andeh is breaking just about every rule in the book there. Take with a big pinch of salt.

    joehart42
    Member

    pictonroad Reading isn’t my store, but at the moment the Triban 3s are low on stock in the UK. They should be available again near the end of the month/ beginning of February but don’t hold me to that.

    Monghorn
    Member

    From another Decathlon employee, the Triban3 is far better value than the Carrera TDF – you save serveral kilos and get the 2300 shifers for the same price as the TDF…

    But yeah agree with Joe, you will want to change the tyres (they get shredded up here in scotland anyway).

    In terms of the stock we have plenty up here in our store, but online orders for home delivery now come from outside the UK so even if we have the stock the website will show up as “not available” (if the warehouses have no stock). Unless you want to do an E-Reservation, then you should be able to ‘order’ one. If in any doubt give your local a call they should be able to reserve one for you anyway.

    Another thing too the after sales services for the bikes is second to none really, we can order all the replacement parts easily and A LOT of the parts are covered under warranty. 5years on a frame is also longer than pretty much any other brand on the market…

    Quick question Monghorn. My mate got the triban 5 and didnt get any cleats with it. He collected it from the Reading branch. Should he have been given the cleats with the bike?

    frazered
    Member

    you don’t get cleats, only the basic pedals with the cages – they are rubbish so you end up with better pedals going on very soon anyway

    andeh
    Member

    Look up ‘The Rules’ of the Velominati

    I’ll be fitting my spare Charge Spoon (white) very soon 8) What will the neighbours say!?!

    you don’t get cleats, only the basic pedals with the cages – they are rubbish so you end up with better pedals going on very soon anyway

    The pedals are Wellgo Look Keo clipless, not toe clips on these.

    retro83
    Member

    I’m dead on 6 foot and ride a 60. The 57 felt slightly too short.
    I’m using the same m540 pedals the OP mentioned. Working well, feels good to ride. I might try a shorter stem but that’s just fine tuning really. It’s basically correct already.

    The only thing changed through necessity has been the saddle which i bent in half with my peenor and ball baggios after slipping off the original plastic pedals it came with.

    Fop
    Member

    globalti, great that you know the ins and outs of bottle cage sizing but can I suggest you apply the same vigilance to helmet sizing. The pic you’ve posted shows either a very poor fitting helmet or a very poorly worn/set-up helmet. Helmets are more important than bottle cages.

    Monghorn
    Member

    Thrustyjust – yes you should get delta cleats with the Triban 5, if he goes back into the store with the receipt I’m sure they will have a set they can give him.

    Frazered – the pedals on the Triban 3 (the ones I’m guessing you mean) are entry level pedals so yeah they’re not really designed for any serious road cycling, easy enough to get an upgrade when you buy the bike though as most stores should have a good selection of road pedals. The pedals on the Triban 5 however are wellgo delta pedals which seem to last pretty well in our terrible weather up here.

    Agree with Fop, the helmet in the pic definitely isn’t seated correctly on the head.

    globalti – using a metal cage is better than the plastic ones as you can bend them to fit most bottles. I never use plastic ones myself but they are good if your using the b’twin bottles (500ml bibida ones iirc) with them as they fit perfectly. The problem with mudguard clearance is a known issue – unless you use SKS Race Blades… which I think we may be stocking soon too. We also have SKS Road mudguards that are downtube/seatpost mounting to keep mildly bad weather at bay. Never noticed the problem you’ve had with the rear QR skewer, if it happens then completely remove the skewer and put it back in once the wheel is seated correctly. The triple chainset is good for children too, the wider gear range means they should have an easier time riding – I prefer a double simply because i don’t even use the granny ring on mountain bikes never mind on the road bike, but it’s all personal preference.

    Your 2300 lever could have been replaced by a Decathlon store, I’m pretty sure warranty won’t cover it as it is crash damaged – however replacements can still be ordered at very good prices.

    alaslas
    Member

    I’ll be fitting my spare Charge Spoon (white) very soon What will the neighbours say!?!

    I suspect the neighbours might be hostile to this mix-up – could be along the lines of the memo from your mate Scott! 😆

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