A cutting-edge aluminium framed bike with Shimano 105 — what’s not to like?
We’re big fans of B’Twin at CW, mainly because the French brand provides great quality products at astounding prices. This brand-new B’Twin Alur 700 — direct from
the factory — is the firm’s freshest take on what a top-level aluminium-framed bike should be.
Although B’Twin’s entry-level Triban aluminium frame offers nice, simple shapes and round tubes, the brand’s Lille-based designers can’t help pushing the envelope. This brand-new Alur aluminum frame represents the more advanced end of what’s possible with aluminium bikes. There is a huge range of smartly-designed details, including internal cable routing and a rear brake positioned underneath the chainstay.
Square-edged tubing isn’t everyone’s cup of thé, and the finish is a trifle low-key. That said, the gentle bow to the top tube has a pleasing Specialized-like feel about it. However, proof that B’Twin sees the Alur as a serious sports bike is given away by the absence of rear rack mounts, and it’s possible to upgrade to electronic gearing.
Compared to Giant and Specialized bikes in a similar price bracket, B’Twin raises the component stakes not once but twice, fitting the Alur 700 with Shimano 105 gears and brakes — that’s two steps above Shimano Sora. So this is by far the best-kitted and most mechanically adept bike on test — the 105 parts work beautifully.
There are also some unique quirks, such as B’Twin’s own press-fit 86mm bottom bracket and it’s own ultra-lightweight compact chainset. And there’s a few useful extras, such
as front and rear lights and own-brand Look Keo-compatible clipless pedals. Meanwhile, the all-up weight (not including these extras) is an impressive 8.8kg.
One criticism previously levelled at B’Twin was the quality of its entry-level wheels. This has been rectified with the Alur 700’s hoops, which feature long-life cartridge bearings as well as aero spokes. They’re the wheels that B’Twin’s under-19 squad race with. Rounding out the package is a set of very capable Hutchinson Equinox 23c tyres.
Although the frame is designed for sportives, the Alur is quite a sturdy steed. It feels a fraction stiffer than the like-for-like Giant, yet the rear offers a forgiving ride; it’s the front that seems harsher. It’s only a little less forgiving than the two market-leaders, and fitting 25c tyres would help reduce the difference.
There is a pay-off, though: handling and power-delivery. The Alur trumps its rivals from Specialized and Giant on fun terms. Getting the hammer down is hugely rewarding. A 28t sprocket at the back makes climbing superbly efficient; although it’s a fast bike, an 11t at the bottom end would make it even quicker. But that’s nit-picking — overall the Alur 700 an amazingly refined package.
You can see more on the B’Twin Alur 700 here: decathlon.co.uk/alur-700-road-bike
Getting the hammer down in rewarding and the gearing allows for efficient climbing. Overall the Alur 700 an amazingly refined package.