Update: It’s been a while I’ve had this bicycle and that apprehension about the bottom bracket came true. The bike has been lying around unused because of massive issues with the bottom bracket. I got it repaired and the new one didn’t even last 30 km before the same issue started again. I am very much on the verge of throwing the bicycle away because of this.
Original Blog Post
Upto last year, I used to have a Hero Hawk to commute around for short distances. But, for the past one year it’s lying in disassembled state at a friend’s place because I wanted to convert it to a fixie but haven’t had the time to do it. I missed having a stable bike to go around the neighbourhood. It’s the fastest means without having to spend a much higher amount on a taxi ride. So, I went out and got a MyBike White from Decathlon as it seems to be one of the most reliable low end bicycles around and more so they offer correct sizing options which none of the other manufacturers in this range do.
On day 1, I cycled it up from the Decathlon store in Thane to my house in SoBo, a roughly 50 km ride. Here are the few points I can already comment on
- Weight: MyBike White in Size L weighs around 14.5 kgs without any additional options like carrier, stand, mud guards. That makes it one of the much lighter bikes around.
- Basic Parts: It doesn’t come with any of those heavy aerobars or non-functional chain guard. Even mud guards, stand are optional accessories. This makes it a good deal for people like me who don’t want those extras.
- Good Quality Components: It is a pretty solid bike overall if you keep the price point in mind. A simple design, no funky sizing unlike the Indian bikes. It gives a pretty solid feel while cycling around leisurely. Yes, you do start noticing the shortcomings once you start getting a bit aggresive on the bike, but that’s not what the bike is meant for.
- No Quick Release: This version of MyBike White doesn’t have any quick release option(seems the older one did https://73reviews.wordpress.com/tag/btwin-mybike-review/). Yes, that is indeed a convinient option to have but personally I am happy to not have that as I don’t need to worry about wheels or saddle getting stolen when my bike is locked outside. I’m happy to trade convinience for security here as that is my use case.
- Great VFM: This is among the cheapest bicycles available in the market and still has a sturdy set of components for basic traveling around.
- Frame: The tried and tested diamond frame with correct sizing unlike the Indian counterparts which make it impossible to get the correct positioning on the bike. It’s a steel frame, which is expected at this price range. It only has one set of holes for bottle cage, not something that would bother you unless you’re doing long distances, in which case this might not be the right bike for you.
- Fork: A rigid steel fork is a good option as this isn’t meant for biking on trails. It is angled outside for more relaxed positioning. And it does a good job of dampening the vibrations. Even though it’s pretty sturdy, I could feel a bit of flex while trying to aggresively climb up flyovers, again expected in lower end bicycles.
- Handle Bars: The handlebars are made of steel and comfortably positioned for relaxed, upright riding.
- Grip: A lot of people have felt uncomfortable using the handlebar grip without gloves. I didn’t feel any need for gloves but then again, I have even done long rides of 100-400 kms on my other bikes without any gloves. Or maybe the trick is in holding the grip firmly enough to stay stable but nothing more.
- Brakes: This bike isn’t known for greatest of braking abilities but it does a good job of stopping reliably and without being jumpy. It has much better braking than most bikes in this category, also likely because of aluminimum wheels as opposed to steel ones that everyone else has. And V-Brakes are a way more sensible offering than the cheap caliper brakes.
- Bottom Bracket: This is the worst part of the bike. Just 20 km into my ride on the brand new bike, the bottom bracket started creaking and noise gets very prominent when using higher power. I even tried to smoothen my pedal stroke and go to a higher cadence while pushing but the bottom bracket would make ominuous noises. Looking up on the internet, I am not the only one complaining. This is a weakest point of the bicycle and btwin needs to fix it at the earliest. It is a critical component and affects the overall perspective of the bike strongly.
- Gears: One of the best parts is that it is a single speed bicycle and thus no clunky gear changes or derailluer maintenance. I love that simplicity of single speed bikes and one of the main reasons to go for one. It has a 48 teeth chainring and 18 teeth cassette. I found it pretty comfortable but may not be such a good idea for new cyclists on an uneven terrain. Maybe a 44-18 or even 36-18(http://surlybikes.com/info_hole/spew/spew_single-speed_gearing_101) would make a good option.
- Pedals: Flat, plastic pedals but sturdy enough to take whatever effort I threw at it. Nothing to complain about this one.
- Saddle: I loved the stock saddle. It is a simple MTB saddle but one of a narrow profile. I am not a fan of wider ones, no wider isn’t always more comfortable. But then again, saddles and comfort varies a lot from people to people. My biggest gripe with wider saddles is that it brushes against my thighs. I strongly recommend not to get the gel seat cover. Use the saddle for a while and you’ll get comfortable, you don’t need the gel seat cover.
- Seat Post: It can extend upto 6 inches, which is flexible enough for most needs. It doesn’t have a quick release but a Size 5 Allen Key which is a pretty standard accessory and something that I’m happy about.
- Wheels: This bike comes with a 26er rims with 36 holes and is made of aluminium, which according to me is the best one can offer at this price.
- Tyres: It has semi-slick 26×2.0 tyres, inflatable upto 60psi. I would prefer to replace them with slicks whenever the current one wears out as I am going to ride only on good tar roads.
A few good reviews I found from others on this bike:
These guys have covered a few more points and will help you make an informed decision if you’re looking to buy the bike.
My Verdict: Consider this bicycle if your intended use is cycling around to nearby areas or short, leisure rides. If you have to go around through lot of flyovers or a terrain that involves lots of ups and downs consider a geared bicycle or one with easier ratio or modify this one with smaller chainring, if possible. This may not be such a pleasure ride for more accomplished cyclists especially due to the terrible bottom bracket.
Price: Rs 4499/-
Buying Option: Decathlon has opened up it’s website to B2C customers so you can now buy it directly from their website at http://www.decathlon.in/cycling/cycles/mountain-bikes/my-bike-white/p-M8304742 as most of the 3rd party websites sell it for much higher price.