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Verdict: 
Great value, practical round-town package with no need to add lights, rack or mudguards
Weight: 
18,400g
BTwin Hoprider 520
8 10

The BTwin Hoprider 520 comes with everything you need to pootle round town, to the office or the shops or just round the park for exercise. It's not the lightest hybrid ever, but it's very well specced for the money.

Off the peg, the Hoprider 520 comes with hub-powered lighting front and rear, mudguards, rack and kickstand. That's a great set of accessories for a hybrid (too often they're just a bare bike) and really makes this bike an excellent choice for commuting and other practical riding.

> Find your nearest Decathlon store here

> Buy this online here

A long head tube and adjustable stem provide an upright riding position. It's not quite as upright as a Dutch roadster but it's close, and keeps your head up for a commanding view of the road.

While the Hoprider 520 is heavy at 18.4kg (40.5lb), it rolls along nicely once you get it moving and its Continental Touring Plus tyres are very puncture-resistant thanks to a thick band of rubber under the tread. Our teenage test pilot has been using the Hoprider for six months as her school transport with no punctures.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 26 - riding

B'Twin Hoprider 520 26 - riding

Unlike the 28mm tyres Dan tested, these are 42mm wide, so you can run them at a sensible pressure and avoid the harshness he mentions. They're still no speedsters, but that's entirely irrelevant for a bike like this where reliability and practicality are paramount. They have reflective sidewalls for night-time visibility, too, a feature that doesn't sound special until you see them in your car headlights and realise just how visible they are.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 10 - Continental Touring Plus tyre

B'Twin Hoprider 520 10 - Continental Touring Plus tyre

The tyres are mounted on sturdy 32-spoke wheels. The wheels and tyres contribute to the bike's overall heft, but also to its general feeling of bombproof security. They make for a bike that lets you point and laugh at potholes and kerbs almost as though you were riding a mountain bike – but without the drag of knobby fat tyres.

The other practical touches make this a superbly liberating bike. The chainguard and mudguards mean you you can ride in regular clothes. The built-in dynamo lighting means you don't need to find lights or keep them charged. There are mounts on the seatstays for a frame lock, a highly recommended add-on. Get a key-retaining model and you don't even have to find your key; it's there in the lock until you close the shackle.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 02 transmission

B'Twin Hoprider 520 02 transmission

There's a decent rear rack too, so you can carry a wide range of panniers, and the high bar means there's room for that Cambridge gear-carrying essential: a basket.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 16 - rear rack

B'Twin Hoprider 520 16 - rear rack

As you might expect for the price, gearing and braking are relatively basic: Shimano Tourney trigger shifters control Acera derailleurs and basic, anonymous V-brakes. The action of the shifters is actually rather nice, requiring only a light prod to go from one gear to the next, but they don't feel as precisely made as Shimano's more expensive offerings. Similarly, the brakes work.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 06 - Shimano Tourney TX brake shift lever

B'Twin Hoprider 520 06 - Shimano Tourney TX brake shift lever

With a triple chainset and eight sprockets out back you get a wide range of gears, including ones low enough that you'll get up most hills without undue effort. While you don't necessarily need super-low gears around town in many places, they're nice to have if you do live somewhere hilly or want to ride out into the countryside and tackle longer and steeper slopes.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 19 - rear sprockets

B'Twin Hoprider 520 19 - rear sprockets

Contact points are all pretty good too. There's a wide, comfortable Selle Royal saddle, pleasantly tacky, ergonomically shaped rubber grips and metal-bodied pedals (though the spec says they're resin).

Two parts of the spec had us scratching our heads: the suspension fork and seatpost. Our tester didn't like the bounciness of the post and after a couple of weeks' we replaced it with a rigid model. The SR Suntour suspension fork has 50mm of travel but also suffers from poor damping, and both parts add extra weight.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 12 - Post Moderne suspension post

B'Twin Hoprider 520 12 - Post Moderne suspension post

A bike like this isn't likely to be ridden on severely uneven surfaces very much, and even if it is, these cheap suspension components aren't going to help. The money spent on the fork and post would be better put into the brakes and gears. As well as improving shifting and stopping, there's less to go wrong with a rigid fork and seatpost, whereas the bearings of cheap suspension parts tend to get loose and rattly after a while.

B'Twin Hoprider 520 11 - SR SunTour suspension fork

B'Twin Hoprider 520 11 - SR SunTour suspension fork

You get a lot of bike for your money with the BTwin Hoprider 520. It's rare to find an off-the-peg bike with this combination of rack, mudguards and lighting at all – you usually have to add at least one of them, and if it's dynamo lights, that's expensive.

> Find more road.cc reviews of urban bikes here

To achieve this for £320, Decathlon has had to use relatively inexpensive parts and has run into the old adage: 'Strong, light, cheap – choose any two'. You notice the Hoprider's heft whenever you have to lift it, on to a car rack, for example, or up stairs.

But this is a bike-weenie niggle. The Hoprider 520 is still excellent value, thoroughly practical and has proven reliable in day-to-day use.

Verdict

Great value, practical round-town package with no need to add lights, rack or mudguards

road.cc test report

Make and model: BTwin Hoprider 520

Size tested: L

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Decathlon says:

FRAME

The aluminium frame is light, rigid and stable. The 6061 aluminium frame has undergone heat treatment to increase its durability. Available in three sizes: M, L and XL. (M: 1.65 m to 1.75 m / L: 1.75 m to 1.85 m / XL: 1.85 m to 1.95 m).

FORK/SUSPENSION

SUNTOUR CR8 coil suspension fork. The Sr Suntour CR8 fork is suitable for urban cycling. With 50 mm clearance, you'll cruise just as easily down a bike path as on rougher roads. This fork considerably improves traction around corners and makes emergency braking safer (no sticking due to wheels locking).

DRIVE TRAIN

Powerful front Trek Lite LED lighting.

Pannier rack can hold up to 25 kg

CRANKSET / CASSETTE

Shimano triple crankset with guard. Shimano CS HG 41 8-speed cassette.

BRAKES

Front and rear V-Brakes with Shimano lever.

Pads can be easily changed.

HANDLEBAR / STEM / STEERING

Flat handlebars, tilt- and height-adjustable stem (tool required), semi-integrated headset.

WHEELS

Large wheels (700) for greater stability at high speeds.

Double-wall aluminium rims increase resistance to torsion and impacts.

TYRES

Continental Touring Plus 700x42, stiff bead tyres with reflective strips. Weight of 920 g, highly durable 66 TPI carcass.

Puncture-resistant strip. Inner tubes are equipped with car valves: tyres can be inflated at a service station.

SADDLE / SEAT POST

The gel saddle offers optimal comfort by reducing pressure peaks by 40%.

The open, honeycomb foam structure offers comfort across the entire saddle. Weight: 790 g.

PEDALS

City trekking resin pedals.

WEIGHT

18.4 kg, fully equipped in size M.

ACCESSORIES / EQUIPMENT

Trekk Lite, powerful, 10 lux, halogen front light. Lighting powered via a hub dynamo: take care when connecting the light.

Pannier rack that can hold up to 25 kg: you can safely fit a baby carrier to it.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Decathlon says:

A women's, fully-equipped, hybrid bike. Complete comfort: 24-speeds to handle uphill climbs, an aluminium frame to make the bike lighter, and a suspension fork to dampen impacts.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
6/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Tidy welding, but despite it being aluminium it's not a light frame.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

6061 aluminium; SunTour suspension fork that's really not needed.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Fat tyres and a big saddle make it comfortable in a cruisy, upright way.

Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10

Cruising is *exactly* what this bike was born to do.

Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
9/10

The drivetrain

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
9/10

Controls

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
8/10

Use this box to explain your score

The Hoprider 520's level of equipment is terrific for the price and while it's not the lightest hybrid around, that's more than compensated for by its sheer practicality.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 5'7  Weight: size 16

I usually ride: Trek 7.5 WSD  My best bike is: Turquoise Cruiser

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Novice

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, leisure

20 comments

Avatar
Christopher TR1 [125 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Oh dear, what's this heap of steaming pooh doing on RoadCC? This sort of ironmongery is commonplace among the normal-clothes-wearing-ride-3km-to-work crowd (at least here in Hamburg). While undeniably practical for very, very short journeys where you may have to leave it locked-up in public places, it's hardly worthy of a review here. You can pick one up at any big supermarket or DIY store.

Please stick to bikes with something, anything, going for them (apart from being undesirable to bike thieves!).

Avatar
gmac101 [176 posts] 1 year ago
18 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:

Oh dear, what's this heap of steaming pooh doing on RoadCC? This sort of ironmongery is commonplace among the normal-clothes-wearing-ride-3km-to-work crowd (at least here in Hamburg). While undeniably practical for very, very short journeys where you may have to leave it locked-up in public places, it's hardly worthy of a review here. You can pick one up at any big supermarket or DIY store.

Please stick to bikes with something, anything, going for them (apart from being undesirable to bike thieves!).

Did you get dropped by someone on of these on the way into work this morning?

Avatar
Moritz [1 post] 1 year ago
1 like
Christopher TR1 wrote:

Oh dear, what's this heap of steaming pooh doing on RoadCC? This sort of ironmongery is commonplace among the normal-clothes-wearing-ride-3km-to-work crowd (at least here in Hamburg). While undeniably practical for very, very short journeys where you may have to leave it locked-up in public places, it's hardly worthy of a review here. You can pick one up at any big supermarket or DIY store.

Please stick to bikes with something, anything, going for them (apart from being undesirable to bike thieves!).

I second that!

Avatar
StantheVoice [105 posts] 1 year ago
14 likes

Wow! Such bike snobbery. How do you think potential cyclists are going to know whether this is worth buying or not unless someone respected reviews it? You obviously know so much that you perhaps aren't the people this review is aimed at. We try to cater for all cyclists here at road.cc yes, even beginners! 

Avatar
Christopher TR1 [125 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
StantheVoice wrote:

Wow! Such bike snobbery. How do you think potential cyclists are going to know whether this is worth buying or not unless someone respected reviews it? You obviously know so much that you perhaps aren't the people this review is aimed at. We try to cater for all cyclists here at road.cc yes, even beginners! 

Yeah, but the review gives it 4 stars, which rather suggests that it is worth buying. I would prefer for beginners to discover that cycling can be a fast, fun and enjoyable experience. I guess the only enjoyable thing about the tested bike is that is saves you the bus fare or petrol money.

Avatar
StantheVoice [105 posts] 1 year ago
17 likes

Christopher TR1 wrote:

StantheVoice wrote:

Wow! Such bike snobbery. How do you think potential cyclists are going to know whether this is worth buying or not unless someone respected reviews it? You obviously know so much that you perhaps aren't the people this review is aimed at. We try to cater for all cyclists here at road.cc yes, even beginners! 

Yeah, but the review gives it 4 stars, which rather suggests that it is worth buying. I would prefer for beginners to discover that cycling can be a fast, fun and enjoyable experience. I guess the only enjoyable thing about the tested bike is that is saves you the bus fare or petrol money.

 

Yes the review gives it 4 stars because it does what it is designed to do well and if that's what you want a bike for, then yes, it's worth buying!  And as the review says

"Great value, practical round-town package with no need to add lights, rack or mudguards"

and

"everything you need to pootle round town, to the office or the shops or just round the park for exercise"

Maybe the person this bike is aimed at just wants to "pootle" I see plenty of cyclists "pootling", but I don't stop them and tell them they're doing it wrong and to ride faster! Why should a cyclist have to ride fast? Surely it's up to each person to decide how they want to ride? Maybe the person who would buy this bike might not be able to or want to ride fast? There's all sorts of reasons for people to ride a bike, we want to encourage everyone, no matter what speed or what they want to ride for! 

 

Avatar
Ush [932 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:

Oh dear, what's this heap of steaming pooh doing on RoadCC? This sort of ironmongery is commonplace among the normal-clothes-wearing-ride-3km-to-work crowd (at least here in Hamburg). While undeniably practical for very, very short journeys where you may have to leave it locked-up in public places, it's hardly worthy of a review here. You can pick one up at any big supermarket or DIY store.

Please stick to bikes with something, anything, going for them (apart from being undesirable to bike thieves!).

Is this a troll account designed to provoke an outpouring of love for this capable, practical bicycle?

(40 lbs though! .... whew!)

Avatar
bikebot [2120 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

Road.cc really shold have posted this, with a picture of a full kit w****r riding it.

Avatar
vbvb [619 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:

cycling can be a fast, fun and enjoyable experience. I guess the only enjoyable thing about the tested bike is that is saves you the bus fare or petrol money.

Nah, that's nonsense. Fast shmast. The upright position and wide gears makes this bike much, much more fun (and enjoyable, if that's different) for an easy in-traffic commute for beginners than your £2k Colnago. Just no contest at all. I wish they'd made it w/o the sus fork + seat post, dynamo lights, hub brake etc, and it'd then be 10lbs lighter, but nothing is perfect.

Avatar
vbvb [619 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

And articles about utility cycling and utility cycling gear are so much more interesting than reading about the new rapha socks or that the Wrestling Federation has banned disc brakes.

Avatar
Geraldaut [25 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:

Oh dear, what's this heap of steaming pooh doing on RoadCC? This sort of ironmongery is commonplace among the normal-clothes-wearing-ride-3km-to-work crowd (at least here in Hamburg). While undeniably practical for very, very short journeys where you may have to leave it locked-up in public places, it's hardly worthy of a review here. You can pick one up at any big supermarket or DIY store.

Please stick to bikes with something, anything, going for them (apart from being undesirable to bike thieves!).

I am very pleased to find this review - a lot more interesting for 99% of us than the 30th bip review that in the end does not help very much as you have to try them anyway.

 

To the writers: please review also some kid bikes for our children!

Avatar
KiwiMike [1297 posts] 1 year ago
8 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:
StantheVoice wrote:

Wow! Such bike snobbery....

Yeah, but the review gives it 4 stars, which rather suggests that it is worth buying. I would prefer for beginners to discover that cycling can be a fast, fun and enjoyable experience. I guess the only enjoyable thing about the tested bike is that is saves you the bus fare or petrol money.

 

@Christopher TR1: fortunately for you, me and the planet, cycling is not confined to sub-8kg yoga-position impractical fripperies. I own several of those, they come and go, wear out, get obsolete. But the bike I've had for 5 years and will have for 50 more is a 28kg Workcycles FR8. It can carry 11 children (I have photos). It's CE-rated for 250kg of load, because heavy industry like Airbus use them in hangers. It has a seat on the front for my boy, and a rack strong enough to carry my wife home from the pub. The seat height adjusts both stack and reach, so my wife and ride it as easily as I can. The 'enjoyable' bike is the one that does what you need it to *right now*. A lightweight roadbike would be uselessly miserable for anything in normal clothes, in a city, carrying stuff.

Avatar
Christopher TR1 [125 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Just checking back after reading about the usual road chaos, deaths and rage and.... You're right! Love to the sit-up-and-beg cyclists, you're doing us all a favour by not being in a car. Long may you enjoy pootling in your "normal" clothes and sipping coffee from your handlebar-mounted thermos cup. I don't like your bike, it's big and heavy and fugly but at least it is a bike.

Still, 320 quid. You could buy some decent bib shorts for that! yes

Avatar
Paul_C [500 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I'd like to see an e-bike version of this bike...

Avatar
MKultra [393 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:
StantheVoice wrote:

Wow! Such bike snobbery. How do you think potential cyclists are going to know whether this is worth buying or not unless someone respected reviews it? You obviously know so much that you perhaps aren't the people this review is aimed at. We try to cater for all cyclists here at road.cc yes, even beginners! 

Yeah, but the review gives it 4 stars, which rather suggests that it is worth buying. I would prefer for beginners to discover that cycling can be a fast, fun and enjoyable experience. I guess the only enjoyable thing about the tested bike is that is saves you the bus fare or petrol money.

I would prefer it that begginers are not compelled to dress up as a giant penis to get into cycling.

Avatar
MKultra [393 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes
Christopher TR1 wrote:

Oh dear, what's this heap of steaming pooh doing on RoadCC? This sort of ironmongery is commonplace among the normal-clothes-wearing-ride-3km-to-work crowd (at least here in Hamburg). While undeniably practical for very, very short journeys where you may have to leave it locked-up in public places, it's hardly worthy of a review here. You can pick one up at any big supermarket or DIY store.

Please stick to bikes with something, anything, going for them (apart from being undesirable to bike thieves!).

Errrr no you can't.  It's not something that you can buy in a supermarket or DIY store at all. While it may have fairly simple utility components it's running on a proper cassette hub, not a cheap screw on free wheel, the group set is the genuine shimano item and not a cheap copy and the the thing that makes it stand out the most is the dyno-hub and LED light system which you will never ever find on a cheap bike from a supermarket.  This bike has lots going for it and it's very worthy of a review.

Avatar
I love my bike [202 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
vbvb wrote:
Christopher TR1 wrote:

cycling can be a fast, fun and enjoyable experience. I guess the only enjoyable thing about the tested bike is that is saves you the bus fare or petrol money.

Nah, that's nonsense. Fast shmast. The upright position and wide gears makes this bike much, much more fun (and enjoyable, if that's different) for an easy in-traffic commute for beginners than your £2k Colnago. Just no contest at all. I wish they'd made it w/o the sus fork + seat post, dynamo lights, hub brake etc, and it'd then be 10lbs lighter, but nothing is perfect.

If you're reasonably fit, in the city (even) a bike like this can keep up with most race kit wearers on >£2k Colnagos, especially if it doesn't have the un-needed suspension.

Avatar
dafyddp [432 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

part of the fun of cycling is the steady growth of n+1.  For the price of a five year old Mazda, it's possible to amass a whole fleet of assorted bikes and I quite like being able to choose my bike for the day based on nothing more than mood and purpose. This morning's ride was a twenty year old Raleigh Pioneer (I needed to pick up a pannier's worth of croissants on the way in and didn't want to faff with expensive locks). Tomorrow I'm hitting local bridlepaths on my Croix de Fer, and Sunday's going to be a long ride out to eastern fens on the carbon number. 

Bikes like this Btwin are possibly the most important sort in the UK, because if we want to change opinions we need to start by getting everday people riding everyday bikes in everyday clothes.

 

Avatar
unconstituted [2341 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes
dafyddp wrote:

 

Bikes like this Btwin are possibly the most important sort in the UK, because if we want to change opinions we need to start by getting everday people riding everyday bikes in everyday clothes.

 

 

Completely agree.

 

I may get my kicks out of aero bike porn, but I have no misconceptions about what cycling really needs, and how important cycling is for all societies.

Avatar
vbvb [619 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
I love my bike wrote:

If you're reasonably fit, in the city (even) a bike like this can keep up with most race kit wearers on >£2k Colnagos, especially if it doesn't have the un-needed suspension.

For me, it's less important to keep up with others but more important to minimise the number of cars passing me. But I find my town bike pretty much as quick as my road bike, true enough, and much easier in traffic. It's like the reviewed model but without the heaviest bits.