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Hi,

I have a Btwin Triban 500 road bike, still currently in the Decathlon catalog..

https://www.decathlon.it/bici-da-corsa-triban-500-nera-id_8379069.html

It has MicroSHIFT gears/transmission and a Shimano Tourney triple chainwheel (in fact, the specs and pictures at the Dectahlon website link show it to be a Prowheel Ounce chainwheel but seems by now they have ran out of stock of those and moved to using a Shimano Tourney in it’s place without mention).

Anyhow, I do not much like the Tourney. I don’t know if it is heavier than the Prowheel but it sure looks like it being more bulky as oppossed to skeletal.

I want to replace it with a more sightly, hopefully slightly better quality one and being a complete novice, I would like to know what my limitations are in doing this.

Would it be possible to put a double chainwheel? or would that be problematic because of the particular Microshift gears system on this bike?
I’m prepared to put a new triple one if it’s my only option (in that event, will any Triple do? or do I still have to keep note of any particular specs when buying?).

Double would be lighter and since I never find myself using the 3rd rung down, I don’t see the point unless it’s a must because of the gears system.
Because this bike is not so light, it really aches for any possible weight loss regarding components (I already switched the tires to light foldables and put on light pedals and the difference in weight was night and day compared to the bike in stock form).

Many thanks for any advice
Neil

15 comments

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Freetime101 [21 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I have the same bike and have also considered switching to a double crankset - but you will need a new shifter as well as the crank, and possibly a front derailleur. You're looking at about £100-£150 to make the change, I decided to put this towards a whole new bike but ymmv  1

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Freetime101 [21 posts] 3 weeks ago
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If you're looking to save weight I'd start with the wheels - there's an easy 500g to be saved here...

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vonhelmet [1329 posts] 3 weeks ago
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You could switch chainsets without changing shifters. You just have to set the lower limit screw on the front mech so that the second downward shift does nothing.

Upgrade the wheels, as said, that’s always a good bet on a budget bike. Get a set for £100-£150 and that should help. Upgrading the groupset is nice, but you might be getting beyond what it’s really worth spending money on given the underlying frame.

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bikezero [21 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Thanks for the great advice. Not surprised to hear you both mentioning about wheels because even changing the pedals and tires I got a very noticable weight drop (those supplied Btwin puncture protect tires must be really heavy).

I also got a new lighter frame recently (A Btwin Ultra 920 AF) as mentioned in another thread and I am looking foremostly to build that up currently, yet I still hold this affection for the Triban 500 to the point that I'd like to make it better and keep it as a second bike.

The other thing I was thinking of doing with it though (which is surely a more affordable and sensible idea) was turning it into a more cycle trail/off-road bike by adding thicker 'mountain bike style' road tires.

I hope you liked your Triban 500, Freetime101 even if you've obviously upgraded by now. I've had nothing to compare it to and clearly it's not a serious bike by any means but in a year of use I've really enjoyed it's feeling and in particular how fast it seems to go on downhill.
It was a nice introduction to the hobby for me. Thanks again.

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kil0ran [1172 posts] 3 weeks ago
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For the gravel bike idea it might be better to just sell the 500 and buy the 100 bike (silver frame, black decals).

You have lots of challenges upgrading the components - you could go to a double but you need to find out if the Microshift levers are compatible with the derailleurs. Shifters pull a certain amount of cable for each gear, and it needs to be the right amount of pull. So you need to find the specs of the shifters and then match it to the front and rear derailleurs. 

Then there is the wheel compatability - what speed cassette will the freehub take?

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Simon E [3437 posts] 3 weeks ago
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If you don't use the inner chainring you could remove it and tighten the derailleur screw so it stops on the middle ring. But that chainring weighs about 80 grams. And before you jump for a double, bear in mind that triple chainsets have their benefits. I'm now riding a bike with a compact chainset (50/34) but I would prefer to have the 39T middle ring on a triple.

Component weight really isn't that important. I would start with the tyres e.g. Michelin Lithion/Krylion 2, Schwalbe Durano/One, Conti GP4000 II.

A marginal but inexpensive gain is lightweight inner tubes - Schwalbe SV20 / Michelin Ultralight (65g / 70g, 35-40g lighter than a standard tube).

After that consider some lighter wheels as these will make far more of a difference to how the bike feels to ride than just about anything else (though it won't make a huge difference to your climbing speed).

Beyond that you're into rapidly diminishing returns so better to wait until you've worn the parts out then replace them with better ones.

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ktache [989 posts] 3 weeks ago
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You never know when you might want/NEED that granny ring.

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CXR94Di2 [2276 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Having ridden various groupsets, but my preference is my Triple 48/36/26.  I do have the advantage, I run Di2 derailleurs

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ChasP [46 posts] 3 weeks ago
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kil0ran wrote:

For the gravel bike idea it might be better to just sell the 500 and buy the 100 bike (silver frame, black decals).

You have lots of challenges upgrading the components - you could go to a double but you need to find out if the Microshift levers are compatible with the derailleurs. Shifters pull a certain amount of cable for each gear, and it needs to be the right amount of pull. So you need to find the specs of the shifters and then match it to the front and rear derailleurs. 

Then there is the wheel compatability - what speed cassette will the freehub take?

Pointless changing to the 100, the 500 has much better gearing, just change the tyres.

The microshift levers will work a double no problem at all, you just need to ensure you have the correct bottom bracket for the chainset you choose.

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bikezero [21 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Cheers Simon and everybody for the continued advice.
I've ordered the new groupset (105) for my new (btwin ultra af) frame today so I think I am definitely now going to turn the Triban 500 into a hybrid bike by adding some slightly thicker gravel suited wheels.

I think i will just leave it with it's triple gears system and keep my eyes out on ebay for a new old stock Prowheel Ounce Triple chainwheel (the one that was supposed to be on the bike and which for me looks much nicer than the Tourney).
It was nevertheless great to learn about the possibilities of putting a double on so cheers once again.

I might be wrong, but I have a feeling the Triban 500 will make a great off road type bike. While at about 10.5kg it's not light for a road bike, it's a feather compared the typical cheap mountain bike.

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kil0ran [1172 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I had an Ounce Triple on my Triban 3. Perfectly functional chainset but I wouldn't say it was any better than Tourney, other than slightly better looks. You could get a Tiagra triple (or even a 6700 Ultegra) but I'm not sure if the pull is the same in the Microshift shifters.

I did some proper offroad riding today on a 14kg road bike on 40mm tyres. On the whole it was fun - instead of drivers close-passing me I had suicidal squirrels and pheasants to avoid. Bike coped surprisingly well  1

 

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aegisdesign [113 posts] 3 weeks ago
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I've the earlier 500SE. That uses a Claris triple but Microshift everything else.

If you're sticking with triple, I'd go Sora 3030 and a new RS500 external bottom bracket. 9 speed but will work fine with the Microshift R8 shifters. Use a 9 speed chain. It'll rub less on the front derailleur too.

But, first thing to change is the wheels. They look the same on the 500 as the 500SE and they're heavy and not particularly stiff. The spokes on the SE weren't stainless, go rusty and the black paint comes off. The bearings have been ok for me but I've heard others complain they never have enough grease in them.

My SE came with Hutchinson Equinox tyres which while lighter than you have, weren't very grippy. I switched to Shimano RS21 and Michelin Lithion 2 25mm and it transformed the ride.

I'd also swap the brake pads on the Tektro brakes or swap the brakes entirely.

It's a fine bike with a bit of moderate upgrading but I don't think it merits going overboard, especially if you've a nicer Ultra AF to build up. Spend the money there.

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John Smith [151 posts] 3 weeks ago
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bikezero wrote:

Not surprised to hear you both mentioning about wheels because even changing the pedals and tires I got a very noticable weight drop (those supplied Btwin puncture protect tires must be really heavy).

 

I would put good money on that being nothign to do with the wieght and being about the rolling resistance of the tyres. The diffrence between a good set of fast tyres and heavy duty puncture proof tyres totaly changes the feel of the bike and it is nothing to do with the mass of them. 

Don't worry about the weight, you will hardly notice it. To be honest weight makes little dffrence unless it is a huge change or you spend a lot of time climing. Good components will make the bike nicer to ride, smother shifts, better brakeing etc but not because of the weight.

I would say keep the money for a second bike, fit some good pads on your current bike, keep fitting good tyres and enjoy what you have and don't worry too much.

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bikezero [21 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Thanks for that Aegisdesign. The brakes on my Triban certainly are bad. My simpleton workaround has merely been replacing pads a lot to get them back to weak as opposed to outright dangerous. I should probably buy better quality pads. I would definitely consider wheel changes too.

Thanks also John. You are certainly right that discarding the thick Btwin "puncture protect" tires and putting on the foldable ones gave the bike a distinctly different feeling and made it noticeably a little faster. I am pretty sure those BTWIN tires do weigh quite a damn bit though in comparison. Maybe that extra weight is not actually that significant to the ride as you say and it's more so the attributes of the foldable tire that make up the bulk of the difference.

I also of course soon found that foldable tires are so quick and easy to change whereas the Btwin tires were a nightmare even getting off and practically impossible to get back on. In fact when they are new I CANNOT get them on.
It's too bad I prematurely bought a second pair just a week after I bought the bike. They now sit in a cupboard somewhere and will never get used cause a) I see no advantage of them (the foldable Schwalbes I am using, hard as it is to believe, seem nearly as puncture resistant as the Btwin's and even more long lasting with the Btwin's developing cracks only about a month into using them) and b) yes, I can't fit them when new (i was wondering do bike manufacturers/mechanics perhaps use a machine or some seriously advanced tools to fit such tires).

They don't have any better grip than standard foldables so it's not like they are handy for going on cycle trails. I guess in theory they are slightly more puncture resistant but that didn't stop me getting a puncture using them after a couple of months.
I can only think Btwin fit those tires so the buyers of such budget bikes (usually newbies) return to the Decathlon store when they get a puncture and buy some more tires from them.
My advice to anybody who buys a Triban 500 would be to dump and replace those tires with foldables as soon, or at the very least, shortly after you buy the bike. I wouldn't even wait till you get your first puncture(s).

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aegisdesign [113 posts] 3 weeks ago
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Some tyres are tighter on some rims than other combinations. It's not neccessarily the folding tyres that are easier either. I've some folding Schwalbe Marathon Mondials on one of my bikes that are a nightmare on the Rose rims I use.

A good set of tyre levers helps. I've found Stique levers quite useful for stubborn combos. https://stique.bike