Triban RC500 flat bar - reliable, comfortable and with a few surprises up its sleeve

B'twin's previous Triban flat bar bikes have been winning accolades at Cycling Weekly HQ for years, can the overhauled Triban RC500 flat bar do the same?

Image shoes Triban RC Flat Bar hybrid bike
(Image credit: Luke Friend)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The RC500 threw up a few surprises and most of them were positive. In general the bike rides lighter than it’s 10kg+ weight would suggest. In fact, once up to speed it rolled along nicely as well as being sprightly enough when dealing with city traffic. But the weight is there and it means it’s not great when it has to go uphill. Where it does excel is comfort. It promotes an upright riding position that works for a hybrid such as this, and the combination of frame material and design alongside the wheels, made for a bike that dealt well with the rough and the smooth - this was largely unexpected given the generic wheels and tires. Of course at the price point there are a few concessions - cheap mechanical disc brakes, rock hard grips and those aforementioned wheels that are pretty weighty. But, aside from the grips, its all usable and means that you could happily get a few miles under your belt before you needed to make some upgrades. But once you do, you have a frameset that’s worthy of the additional expenditure.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Well-designed frameset with plenty of mounts

  • +

    Ride quality (it's fast and comfortable)

  • +

    Spec list is mostly solid (wheels, tires, drive chain)

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Cable actuated brakes rather than hydro

  • -

    Uncomfortable grips

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

B'twin's previous flat bar bikes offered a no-nonsense approach to bike design that was as bomb proof as they were good value. Now, the French brand - re-branded in recent years as Triban - has re-worked the aluminium frame, and updated its design.

The result is a sporty looking machine that appear designed for both leisure rides and weekday commutes, just as many of the best hybrid bikes are.

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