[Review] Decathlon Elops 500 Dutch-style bike

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bohrsatom
Posts: 470
Joined: 20 May 2013, 4:36pm

[Review] Decathlon Elops 500 Dutch-style bike

Postby bohrsatom » 12 Jan 2017, 8:26pm

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I live in Central London and often use a Boris bike to get around - I enjoy the upright riding style, but would prefer to have my own machine as the Boris bikes are heavy, don't have great luggage capacity and it can be hard to find one at times, especially in summer. The bike's going to be left locked up in all sorts of places so I didn't want to spend a huge amount in case it goes missing.

For £300, the spec is good and comes with all the accessories you'd expect:
  • 3 speed Nexus hub gear (SG-3R40)
  • Hub dynamo lights (Shimano DH-3N31 hub with a Axa Echo15 15LUX front light and a German-branded rear parking light)
  • Rim brakes
  • Fenders, pannier rack, kickstand, chainguard and bell
A lot of the bike’s cost has been spent on the hubs and dynamo lights so the finishing kit is pretty cheap. I have made some adjustments: the brake pads have been swapped out for triple compound pads, the stock seat post was too short and replaced with one from the spare parts bin. Longer term I'm not sure how good the tyres will be on London's roads. They appear to be cheap generic 700x40c's and I'll probably replace them with 700x38c Marathons when I get my first flat. The front light has no on/off switch and doesn't have a stand function so goes dark when stopped. I’d like to swap this for a better version at some point, but it’s good enough for now.

Overall, after a couple of weeks riding I’m happy with the bike. There have been two problems so far - a chain pin came loose and so the chain was replaced under warranty by Decathlon, and there was some play in the front hub which my LBS fixed - but it’s nice to ride and it’s great not having to find a docking station and not needing to worry about keeping lights charged.

Compared with a £500+ bike from a proper Dutch brand this is good value for money... I don't understand why I've never seen anybody else riding one

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mjr
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Re: [Review] Decathlon Elops 500 Dutch-style bike

Postby mjr » 13 Jan 2017, 10:35am

bohrsatom wrote:The front light has no on/off switch and doesn't have a stand function so goes dark when stopped. I’d like to swap this for a better version at some point, but it’s good enough for now.

I'd want to upgrade to at least 30 lux and 50 isn't that expensive now... but I wouldn't rely on any lamp's on/off switch because almost all of them seem pretty weak. I fitted a classic motorcycle dip switch near the centre of the handlebars and wired it in between dynamo and lights.

bohrsatom wrote:Compared with a £500+ bike from a proper Dutch brand this is good value for money... I don't understand why I've never seen anybody else riding one

Limited number of Decathlon stores more than anything, I suspect, plus I feel the shops are aimed at sporty types more than everyday riders.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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bohrsatom
Posts: 470
Joined: 20 May 2013, 4:36pm

Re: [Review] Decathlon Elops 500 Dutch-style bike

Postby bohrsatom » 13 Jan 2017, 6:12pm

mjr wrote:.. plus I feel the shops are aimed at sporty types more than everyday riders.


Decathlon have some fame for cheap road bikes but their range of city bikes is much more comprehensive than that offered by other big retailers. For example Evans Cycles don't even have a category for city bikes and would probably try to sell a hybrid which would have no dyno-hub and need another £100 to buy accessories already attached to the Elops.

I don't think many people realise these types of bike exist any more. It's strange given that it's the style of bike sold by the majority of shops in Germany/Holland/Denmark, and you'd have to go to a specialist retailer to find a road bike. Over here we are the opposite :).

Thanks for the tip about lights. They appear to be difficult to find + expensive from UK retailers so will probably get this from ROSE. It's 30LUX, has auto-sensing, a stand light and an on-off switch.