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B’Twin Tilt 9 (2013)

BikeAdvisor March 21, 2013 Bicycles, City bicycles, Reviews 2 Comments
B’Twin Tilt 9 (2013)
Overall score:
4/5
Plus: 7-speed hub, belt drivetrain, integrated lighting system
Minus: Heavy, unimpressive braking

Tilt is the name of Decathlon’s new foldable bicycle which stands out thanks to its system that allows an easy and fast folding. A lever situated under the saddle is responsible for this, which you must push simultaneously pressing the front of the frame with your foot, and the job is done! Furthermore, you can even fold the handlebar. Being well spec’d for this price and with a touch of vintage, Tilt presents itself as a competitor for the premium brands of this category. What odds does it have to win this competition remains to be read in the review below.

Frame/Functionality

One of the strong points of the bike is the Pop Up folding system, which is very intuitive and easy to use. You may need a couple of shots to get used to this mechanism, but from then on, it’s basicly a childplay. Very interesting is the fact that there aren’t any magnets to hold the two parts together, as they become blocked once you release the lever of the Pop Up.

Aluminum 6061 was the material of choice for building the vintage brown frame. The manufacturer was very careful with the finishing touches and also with the design, so the result is quite impressive. The lower tubes become round as they come closer to the crankset, those sections giving the impression that they are part of the drivetrain. And as far as control goes, things can hardly get better than this, but it’s not something uncommon when reffering to foldable bicycles.

The frame also includes a special seatpost adjusting system. By a simple push of the lever situated in the upper most part of the seatpost, the component can freely move and you can chose whatever height you wish. So, no unscrewing or unlocking any QR squewer.

Specifications

For what a city can throw at it, Tilt has more than it needs. A Nexus 7-speed hub is responsible for multiple gears, and it is acutated by a Grip Shift shifter that displays the current gear. Shifting is done smooth and fast allowing you to opt for whatever ratio you need or want. The belt drivetrain of the bike is provided by Gates, which gives it a 70.000 km warranty, more of a bonus considering that this kind of systems do not require maintenance, nor replacing sprockets or chainrings. Do I need to remind you that you can also totally forget about the unpleasant situation when oil or other lubricants ruin your pants?

The tires are well suited for rolling fast in the city, while grip remains decent in dry conditions and altogether with the double-wall 20 inch rims, the little Tilt proves it has got what it takes for speedy urban rides.

Tilt also comes with 2 LEDs, a transparent one in front nicely fitted inside the frame, and a red one for the rear, both powered by a dynamo situated in the hub of the front wheel. The only comment I have to make is about the front LED, which doesn’t move according to the handlebar for obivous reasons, and that might be confusing in certain situations…

Braking isn’t at it’s best, the Miranda V-brakes hardly deserving any boastful considerations. As for the rest of the accessories, like the grips, the saddle or the fenders and included rain jacket, they are nothing but useful bonuses of the Tilt.

Conclusions

The 700 euro-price set by Decathlon is rather fair given the functionality and specifications. It even manages to surpass dedicated premium brands of the foldable industry, which have a higher pricing for the same specs as Tilt. However, the 16,54 kilogram weight didn’t do the little contender any justice, especially when it came to moving it from one place to another in the folded position. Anyway, speed will not be influenced too much by this factor.

So, Tilt 9 is an agile city foldable bike, and if you don’t consider too important the name of your bike’s brand you might very well take the bicycle for a test drive, especially if it fits in your budget scheme.

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2 Comments

  1. Mike May 2, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Where can you test ride one in London or even better in Surrey?


  2. Brigitte February 14, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    At Decathlon in Surrey Quays


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