If you are getting into road cycling and looking for the best road bike under 35000, then you will find this guide and these user reviews extremely useful…
This article is specifically for those people who are looking to get into cycling and want their first cycle to be a road bike. It is also for those cyclists plodding along on slow hybrids and MTBs on the road, wishing they could go faster!
Entry level road bikes are few and far between in the Indian market. Quite unlike the bevy of heavy MTBs and hybrids available.
One of the main reasons for this is new cyclists have this misplaced belief that they need ‘suspension’ to tackle Indian roads! Or that fat MTB tyres look chunkier, a similar sort of logic people use to buy SUVs and drive them on asphalt. The third common reason is that road bikes appear uncomfortable.
As such there is minimal demand and supply of road bikes in the entry level segment.
Nonetheless, we put together a list of road bikes, available in the Indian market to start off your road cycling life. Without further ado:
Best Road Bike under 35000
The list is comprised of bikes from Indian brands and Decathlon! All the bikes use aluminium alloy frames. The list is as per price, from low to high.
The Triban 100 has been Decathlon’s entry level road bike for a few years now. It is available in drop and flat bar variants. The bike has been on clearance sale for some time now and is expected to be discontinued, since the introduction of the Triban RC 100.
What the bike has going for it, is the incredibly low cost available in 3 frame sizes. The gear shifters on the top of the handlebar is its biggest downside.
Triban 100 employs an aluminium alloy frame and steel fork. Steel though heavier, does a better job of absorbing road vibrations. The aluminium frame ensures you have a reasonably light bike at this price point.
A beginner friendly bike, this has an upright riding position. The 32 mm tyres aid in making thing even more comfortable.
This 7-speed bike has an index shifter at the top of the handlebar. Not quite what most road cyclists are used to with integrated brake shifters. Gearing is nice and wide to once again aid a beginner cyclist to climb most inclines in your urban area. At the front there is a single 48 teeth crank and a Shimano Tourney derailleur at the rear for the 14-34 cassette.
Tektro RL 340 caliper brakes brings things to a halt. The bike is urban friendly with an option to fix a rear pannier rack. While the front wheel comes with a quick release, the rear is with a bolt mechanism.
An 11.3 kg bike for Rs 19999/- is quite incredible. It is a decent bicycle to start you on the correct road biking path.
Because you can spend a little more money and get something much better. Also, this model is discontinued and will be out of stock at all stores soon…
Check out the Triban 100 Owner Review by Hiren Parkar here.
You can have a look at the Decathlon Website for the Triban 100.
Triban RC 100
The RC 100 is the replacement model to the Triban 100. It is priced marginally higher than its predecessor.
For the most part the new model is unchanged. Because why change a successful formula.
Comfort oriented geometry, aluminium alloy frame, steel fork, drop bar with 7-speed indexed shifter at the top, 32 mm tyres, Tektro RL 340 brakes, are all common on the old and new models.
Even the claimed weight is the same between the two bikes.
What is different is the paint scheme! In more important changes, the front crank is now 44 teeth instead of 48, while the rear cassette is a 12-28T, rather than the 14-34 earlier. Giving the bike a slightly higher gearing.
For the cheapest entry level road bike out there in the market. Nothing comes close at this price of Rs 22999/-.
The shifter at the top of the handlebar can get quite irritating once you increase your mileage. The derailleur hanger is integrated with the frame and not a separate piece of metal. Not much can be done to save your frame in the unfortunate circumstance of breaking the hanger.
You can check out more details of the Triban RC 100 on the Decathlon Website.
The next entry level road bike is after a price gap of Rs 6000/-. As such it isn’t possible or proper to compare with the Triban RC 100.
The Unplugged is more of a ‘normal’ road bike than the RC 100, which is more like a hybrid bike with a drop bar!
A 6061 aluminium alloy frame and fork do duties on the Unplugged. The bike comes equipped with 25 mm tyres.
This is a 2×7 speed bike, with a Prowheel 52×42 crank and a Shimano 11-28 cassette. Shimano Tourney parts are used on the front and rear derailleur as well as the integrated shifters.
The Tourney ST-A070 uses a shifter mechanism in which the brake lever and a thumb shifter are used for up and down shifting.
A set of Promax RC-452 caliper brakes are used on the Montra Unplugged. The bike is equipped with quick release for the front and rear wheels. It is available in four frame sizes, but there is no weight provided by Montra.
The Montra Unplugged provides everything you need in a road bike at Rs 28950/-. Basic stuff, but workable.
Montra dealers can at times be a pain to deal with! Hopefully you will find a decent dealer in your city.
Check out more about the Unplugged on the Montra Website.
The XDS RX280 is from the Surat based XDS company.
The RX280 uses an aluminium alloy frame and fork. Frame is available in only one size of 51 cm.
Gearing on this bike is the Shimano Tourney 2×7 system. Same as on the Montra Unplugged.
Caliper brakes and 25 mm tyres find their way onto this bike.
The XDS RX280 is priced at Rs 28376/- + GST. Making it slightly more expensive than the Iguana, which has better specs.
This bike makes no compelling argument of why it should be chosen over the competition.
Hero Octane Iguana
The Octane Iguana is an entry level road bike from Hero at almost the same price as the Montra Unplugged.
With less than a grand separating the two, the Hero looks like a better bet on paper.
Frame and fork is aluminium alloy as one would expect at this price.
The big difference with the Iguana is that it uses a Claris groupset in comparison to the Tourney on the Unplugged. The Claris is a step higher in the Shimano hierarchy.
The Claris groupset sees a Prowheel compact 50/34 crank and a 11-32 8-speed cassette. Easy gearing for beginners which is sufficient for a little bit of climbing.
The bike also boasts internal cable routing for the rear brake, while the derailleur cables take the traditional open air route along the down tube.
Brakes on the Iguana are Tektro R315 caliper type and tyres are 25 mm wide.
You get a decent spec bike for the price, with a good entry level road groupset. A comfortable bike with an endurance geometry.
Sub-par quality wheels, even for a bike at Rs 29700/-.
Check out the Hero Octane Iguana Owner Review by Vivek Raj.
You can have a look at the specs of Octane Iguana on the Hero Website.
Fantom Road Pro
The Fantom Road Pro is another entry level road bike available to cyclists.
This bike uses a 6061 aluminium alloy frame and fork. A Shimano Tourney groupset and a triple crank.
This 7×3 speed bike has the Shimano Tourney ST-A070 shifters, the same which is found on the Montra Unplugged. Front and rear derailleur are also the A070 models.
The crankset on this bike is a triple ring type, running 42-34-24 combination. Details of the cassette aren’t given, but the gearing should be sufficient for all new cyclists.
To be different.
Montra offers a similar spec bike, the Unplugged, at a lower price. The Road Pro costs Rs 32000/-, 3000 more than the Unplugged.
You can check out the Road Pro on the Fantom Website.
Suncross Racestar 2.0
An entry level road bike from Suncross, which is just under the 35000 mark of this list.
The Racestar 2.0 is an aluminium alloy bike with an alloy fork as well. Suncross claims that the fork has an aero design.
This 8×2 speed bike has the same Shimano Claris groupset as used on the Octane Iguana. The front is a 50-34 crank, while the cassette is 12-25. Gearing which is perfect if you live in flat lands, but not suited if you plan to go climb some hills.
Tyres on this bike are 25 mm and brakes used are Promax caliper type.
A good bike with decent equipment for the price.
The Octane Iguana with a similar specification is around 4000 rupees cheaper.
The Suncross Racestar 2.0 is priced at Rs 33725/-. You can check out the detailed specification on the Suncross Website.
The Firefox Aeron is an entry level road bike which is just about in the price range of this list.
An alloy aluminium frame and fork is used on the Aeron. The bike is available in two frame sizes.
This 8×2 speed bike uses the same Shimano Claris groupset as the Octane Iguana and Suncross Racestar 2.0.
Shifters are Claris 2×8 speed, as well as the front and rear derailleur. The crank is a compact 50-34, coupled with a 11-28 cassette. Ever so slightly better than what is offered on the Racestar 2.0.
Somewhat different from the rest, the wheels on this use bladed spokes to help with cutting through the wind. How much does it actually help is open to question.
Tyres on the Aeron are 25 mm and the brakes are Tektro caliper brakes.
A very well put together bike by Firefox, which also has an extensive dealer network in the country. In smaller cities, Firefox often has the only decent bike stores.
It is considerably more expensive than the Octane Iguana for a similar spec bike. Which is ironic, considering Hero owns both the Octane brand and the Firefox brand!
The Firefox Aeron is priced at Rs 34800/-.
You can check out the full specifications of the Aeron on the Firefox Website.
Triban RC 120
The most expensive bike of this list which makes it by just 1 rupee is the Triban RC 120 by Decathlon.
The RC 120 uses a 6061 aluminium alloy frame mated to an aluminium/ carbon fork. The fork also has eyelets for a front rack, with a 9 kg weight limit.
The geometry of this bike is endurance/ touring oriented, making it an exceptionally comfortable ride for first time roadies.
This 8×2 speed bike uses drivetrain components from Microshift. A major difference from industry standard Shimano used by the competition. Though these Microshift components are Shimano compatible and interchangeable.
The shifting mechanism is also different as compared to the Shimano Claris system. It would take a bit of time getting used to for a Shimano user. But if you are a new user, it wouldn’t matter.
A compact 50-34 chainring is paired with a 11-34 cassette. Giving you decent climbing gearing. A must have considering this bike is positioned as a light-tourer.
Stock tyres on the bike are 28 mm, though you might want to experiment with wider tyres for the advertised light-touring mode.
The bike weighs in at 10.5 kg, which is quite decent at this price point.
Arguably the best bike in this budget by a large margin and an excellent in-store experience by Decathlon.
The most expensive bike out here! Microshift instead of Shimano shift system. A frame integrated derailleur hanger, if you break it, well then there goes your frame. Aluminium alloy welders are not easy to find.
Check out the Triban RC 120 Owner Review by Vinayak Ray and Sundaram Sharma.
You can see the detailed specs of the Triban RC 120 on the Decathlon Website.
Here are a few outliers from the main list above. First amongst these is the X-Bicycle Vulture. An entry level road bike from La Sovereign.
This aluminium alloy frame and fork uses Shimano Tourney shifters and derailleurs. Same as on the Montra Unplugged and Fantom Road Pro.
Caliper brakes are used on the Vulture. While this bike has the narrowest tyres on this entire list with 23 mm rubber.
There’s no price mentioned on the official website. But a few stores have quoted a price around 20000 rupees, putting it very close to the Triban RC 100.
Those who have seen this bike in the flesh, were left underwhelmed.
You can check out the X-Bicycle Vulture on the La Sovereign Website.
The second outlier is the Firefox Tarmak with an MRP of Rs 44000/-, pushing it far out of the purview of this list. But dealer’s often sell this model at a 20% discount, which brings it close to the headline figure.
This aluminium alloy frame is mated to a carbon fork. Immediately taking it a step ahead of the competition. The frame is available in 3 sizes, 52, 54 and 56 cm.
A 9 speed Shimano Sora groupset is used on the Tarmak. A step up on what the competition is offering. A compact 50-34 crankset is coupled with a 12-25 cassette. Giving it great gearing for flat roads.
Tyres on the bike are 25 mm, while brakes are Tektro R312 caliper type.
A sensible bike at the MRP, which is a steal if you get it on the regular discount. But at Rs 44000/- you are opening up a whole new bunch of options in the market.
Read the Firefox Tarmak Owner Review by Shivam Singh.
You can checkout the full specifications of the Tarmak on the Firefox Website.
Montra Celtic 2.1
This is the second iteration of the Montra Celtic.
The Celtic uses a 6061 aluminium alloy frame and fork.
Derailleurs are from Shimano, the Claris 8-speed front and back. Shifters are also Claris. While the crank is a 50-34 Tourney set. The cassette is a 11-28 cog set. Decent gearing for flat roads and small’ish’ climbs for beginners.
Tyres are Kenda 25mm narrow rubber. Brakes are Tektro R-312 caliper type.
The Celtic is available in 4 frame sizes, making it a viable option for beginner roadies.
A good deal at Rs 37000/-, a shade above the upper limit price of this list. You can check out the full specifications on the Montra Website.