B’TWIN Hoptown, £250, www.decathlon.co.uk
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 3:46pm 29 April 2011
- Posted in: Bikes
- Tagged with: bikes, b'twin, folding
Decathlon has been selling good-value kit in London for more than 10 years, and this is its 20in-wheel aluminium-framed folder. Although the bike sits at the budget end of the market, it still features seven Shimano derailleur gears and a packed roster of useful features: mudguards, kickstand, built-in rack with bungee cord, lights, folding pedals, plus a carry bag. There’s a five-year warranty for the frame and two for parts.
The fold is quick and easy, though the secondary safety catches don’t feel too robust. Similarly, the clips that hold the folded bike in its 80x66x36cm package are made of plastic, so will need to be treated with care. When folded, the bike can be wheeled along the ground on a pair of castors, which is handy because this is pretty hefty. The combination of extra kit and cheaper components has turned the Hoptown into a bit of a brick, weighing in at around 14kg.
Still, that weight isn’t overly noticeable on the road, with the Hoptown living up to its name as a useful city accessory. The frame feels stiff and the trigger shifters effortlessly help you find a gear for the steepest hills. Overall, though it's possibly the 'weakest' bike here, it’s probably the one that offers the best value for money.
PROS price, commuter features
CONS heavy, build quality in some areas