The BTwin 500 socks are a cheap and cheerful staple for everyday riding and training. There are various colours, ranging from classic to funky, and frankly I'd be inclined to buy one of each. They are recommended for 'Regular riding', which translates as rides of around two hours' duration.
These are the lightweight summer versions, though another couple of quid buys their winter weight counterparts, which I wouldn't mind giving a go. Bigger riders will need to look elsewhere, but the two-size range (3.5-8.5 and 8.5-11.5) should cater for most, and allows the retail giant to offer them at an enticing price.
Okay, there's nothing particularly exciting about a polyamide/elastane mix and it does feel decidedly synthetic compared with often-used Coolmax, but the fine-knit is designed for rapid moisture trafficking and general comfort. Fit and tenure are surprisingly good too.
There's a distinct lack of padding/reinforcement around the heel and toe sections, though a constant regime of riding, washing and general padding about sans shoes hasn't revealed any obvious weaknesses. Decathlon is confident enough to offer a two-year no-quibble warranty too.
Performance and comfort are pretty much what I've come to expect from the range. Frequently paired with the BTwin 500 road shoes, wicking prowess has proven comparable with some established names. That familiar clamminess becomes apparent, more so than with Coolmax staples, after half an hour or so, then the fibres slowly kick in, spiriting it away.
Thankfully, we're talking slightly damp not soggy, and I've clocked up four-hour rides without succumbing to sweat rash. That said, things were turning borderline fragrant and my feet were beginning to feel weary by this point. Riders prone to athletes' foot and other unwelcome ailments might be better served by the 700 series socks, and the same goes for longer day riding. Otherwise, these live up to their claims and exceeded my initial expectations.
Decent wallet-friendly socks for general riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 500 Cycling Socks
Size tested: Size 5-8
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
BTwin says: "Anatomical, cycling, ankle socks with a central support band that holds the sock in place while cycling, for added comfort. Fine knit to keep you feeling cool."
Simple but pleasant staples for general riding and training duties.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Two versions, one winter, one summer weight. Simple polyester/elastane mix but works very well.
Thin but quality seems fine.
Wick reasonably well and good for regular rides between 2-3 hours.
Seem to be holding up well, despite my deformed big toe, and a two-year guarantee should put most minds at rest.
Snug, though tactile.
Good rather than great, as most synthetic blends tend to be. I'd be inclined toward their 700 counterparts for endurance events but more than adequate for training and general riding.
Very good value for money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
So far, ours look packet fresh despite regular machine washing at 30/40 degrees.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, a decent everyday staple for training and general riding. Fibres have that slightly manmade feel but this is soon forgotten and wicking prowess is pretty much on par with similar polyesters. A lack of cushioning around the toe and heel sections limits the appeal to rides of around 35 miles but they still represent excellent value for money.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Inexpensive, decent choice of colours, reasonable comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given the asking price, although those with particularly large feet may feel a bit cheated.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? For everyday riding, certainly, but I'd encourage them toward the 700 for longer distance efforts.
Use this box to explain your score
Decent everyday socks, favourably priced.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)