We put Decathlon's climbers' bike through its paces

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

B'Twin Ultra 900

Pros:

  • Very light for this price bracket
  • Neat internal cable routing
  • Di2 compatible frame
  • A joy to ride

Cons:

  • Wheels are prone to flexing when sprinting

Product:

B’Twin Ultra 900

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,600.00

Frame

The brand markets its B’Twin Ultra 900 as its climbing bike, so it is no surprise that the frame hits the scales at only 850g — seriously light for a bike of this price.

Unlike the other bikes on test, the B’Twin largely uses box-profile tubes which may not be to everyone’s liking, but are certainly an improvement on the bulbous tubes seen on other bikes.

The B’Twin’s lines are kept clean by the neat internal cable routing. The frame is also compatible with electronic groupsets, should you wish to upgrade in the future. As a neat final touch, the seat clamp is beautifully integrated into the top tube.

The B’Twin Ultra 900

The B’Twin Ultra 900’s lines are kept clean by the neat internal cable routing

Specification

The B’Twin comes equipped with a full Shimano 105 groupset, though pedants may wish to point out that the exception to this is the KMC chain. The 52-36t semi-compact chainset is new territory for 105, but it performs superbly and is the natural choice for riders looking for gearing that is at home in a crit as it is in the high mountains.

The 105 brakes are direct-mount versions, with the rear brake positioned beneath the bottom bracket. The aero benefits may still be questionable, but aesthetically there’s no doubting its appeal.

Deda stem and bars, together with a Fizik Arione saddle mounted to a bespoke seatpost, complete the package, with the B’Twin wheels the only real concession to price.

BTwin Ultra 3

The full Shimano 105 groupset includes a mid-compact chainset

Ride

Riding the B’Twin Ultra 900 is nothing short of a joy. Put an exotic-sounding Italian name on the down tube and an extra grand on the price tag and there would still be many riders happy to own this bike.

The power transfer is good and the handling precise, while comfort on rough British roads is improved by the inclusion of a carbon seatpost. The only improvement we’d like to see would be a wheel upgrade, as the B’Twin wheels were prone to flex when sprinting.

But it is in the hills where the B’Twin really comes into its own. The lightweight frame is constantly willing you to attack the steepest gradients, with the press-fit bottom bracket and boxy chainstays allowing you to dance on the pedals without paying a penalty in flex.

Value

The B’Twin provides a ride which really defies its £1,600 price-tag, and if you’re after a reasonably priced bike that will be as at home in long, mountainous sportives as it is in your local crit series, there’s no need to look any further. The extra details such as the direct-mount brakes and integrated seat clamp really seal the deal. See Decathlon’s site for more on this and the rest of their road bike range.

Verdict

The B’Twin provides a ride which really defies its £1,600 price-tag.

Details

Test miles ridden :312
Frame :B’Twin Ultra Evo Dynamic
Fork :B’Twin Ultra Evo Dynamic
Size range :2XS-XL
Size tested :M
Weight :7.85kg / 17.3lb
Groupset :Shimano 105
Gear ratios :11-28t cassette, 52/36t chainset
Wheels :B’Twin Aero 2024
Tyres :Michelin Lythion 25mm
Bar :Deda Zero 2
Stem :Deda Zero 2
Seatpost :B’Twin Carbon
Saddle :Fizik Arione
Distributor :www.btwin.com
  • bacon_123

    Very tempting..but should I be put off by a ‘custom’ sized seatpost (info from magazine review)?