Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

On the occasion of the Roc d’Azur, which takes place from October 5 to 9, 2022 in Fréjus, Decathlon presented new electric mountain bikes, including its first full-suspension Rockriders. A particularly long-awaited launch, since the French brand has specialized in manufacturing equipment that is nevertheless accessible. We were able to meet the prototypes of these VTTAE during our visit to Tignes/Val-d’Isère during the E-Bike Festival. This time we were able to get up close to the E-EXPLs in their near final form, unfortunately without being able to travel with them.

The Rockrider teams have divided the range into two segments. On the one hand, the E-EXPL 520 and 700 are semi-rigid or stiff tails. On the other hand, the 500S, 520S and 700S models are shown in the category of fully suspended e-MTBs. A new range whose prices range between €2,000 and €3,500, that is, quite low prices for this type of electric model. Good news in a market that does not seem to find a limit to the inflation that it has been encountering in recent years and that professionals do not see stopping in 1 or 2 years.

Semi-rigid, but complete

The Rockrider E-EXPL 520 is an electric-assist mountain bike with a semi-rigid aluminum frame. Mounted on a Suntour XCM suspension that offers 130mm of travel, it can be fitted with 29-inch wheels and shod with 2.4-inch-wide “house” Grip 100 tires. Decathlon insists that its entire range focuses on comfort rather than precision, for bikes that remain accessible even to beginners. The most modest of the E-EXPL team can count on an 8-speed MicroShift Acolyte chain transmission (12-42 cassette). On the brake side, Tektro is at the controls, and at the pads, with a hydraulic disc system (180mm).

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

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The 520 is powered by a Yamaha PW-CE central motor that develops 50 Nm, a limited torque compared to what can be found on the market, but which has been adjusted to offer mapping like that of other models in the range. This motor is coupled to a 500 Wh Rockrider battery, integrated into the frame and removable from the side. The interface is provided by a screen developed internally by Decathlon and which is also found throughout the range, despite the different engines used. This screen will soon be customizable and can be combined with an application whose functionalities will be enriched as updates are sent.

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

Other family representative hard hair, the Rockrider E-EXPL 700 is logically more exclusive. It is based in particular on the dual compound Grip 500 tires (softer outer knobs) which this time can be mounted on without camera (without camera). Compared to his little brother, the 700 also gains a telescopic seat post, very practical in technical passages. Up front the fork comes from X-Fusion R32 posts for 130mm of travel again.

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

The central motorization is this time in charge of Brose and its T model that develops 70 Nm already present in the Decathlon E-ST 900 that we have already tested. Enough to cross marked hills much more easily. The battery capacity goes up to 630 Wh, which should ensure a more than comfortable autonomy. Resistance is also a priority for Decathlon for its E-EXPL family.

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Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

The Rockrider E-EXPL 700 can also rely on a high-end drivetrain. The crisis that affects the components of the bicycle makes Decathlon promise either a Shimano Deore set or a Microshift Advent X transmission. In both cases, the 700 will be able to count on 10 speeds, but the Shimano cassette has 11-43 sprockets, while the the MicroShift one offers a wider range from 11-48 teeth. Tektro’s hydraulic disc models still provide the braking.

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

Available in 4 frame sizes, the E-EXPL 520 and 700 will be suitable for riders from 1.50 to 2m tall. The bikes have a weight of 24.3 to 24.6 kg depending on the size chosen. It will cost €2,000 to buy the Rockrider E-EXPL 520 and €500 more for its older sister.

Everything suspended for everyone, or almost

The Rockrider full suspension e-MTB range offers an additional benchmark with the E-EXPL 500S. A model that benefits from a Suntour XCM fork and an X-Fusion O2 shock, each with 130mm of travel. The base model opts for 29-inch Grip 100 tires. The Decathlon bike is braked by Tektro hydraulic disc brakes (180mm discs).

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

The chosen engine has 50 Nm of torque, but it is not the Yamaha engine that is at the height of the crankset. On this occasion, the Brose C was chosen by Rockrider, associated with a 500 Wh battery. The transmission is the same as the 520, being an 8-speed MicroShift Acolyte package.

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

The E-EXPL 520S is the version of the 520 with a rear shock absorber. However, Rockrider’s full-suspension model is increased to 140mm of travel front and rear (X-Fusion McQuenn R and O2 Pro), for added comfort. This model still works without a dropper post, but upgrades to 29-inch Grip 500 tires.

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Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

The 520S has a more exclusive motor, Brose T and a 500 Wh battery. It differs from its little brother by choosing 200mm discs front and rear, but retains the same Tektro hydraulic models. Transmission here is entrusted to MicroShift’s Advent X.

The top of the range model in the family is none other than the Rockrider E-EXPL 700S. The latter retains the 520S motor, but opts for a 630 Wh battery. The 700S doesn’t look for extremes when it comes to suspension and settles for 140mm of travel. However, he opts for a Rockshox 35 Silver fork and Deluxe Select shock. The Decathlon teams particularly praise the absence of maintenance and adjustment of this shock and all its forks. The idea remains to offer high-performance bikes that are easy to ride. Comfort is extended by the presence of a telescopic seat post.

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

Rockrider remains cautious in its drivetrain choice with Shimano Deore 10 speed. A choice consistent with Decathlon’s goal, even for its most advanced electric mountain bike. The 700S opts for more exclusive Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

Prices for full-suspension models in this E-EXPL range range from €2,500 for the 500S to €3,500 for the 700S. Very contained prices for bicycles that seem to have their heads on their shoulders and that will suit a large number of mountain bikers who seek above all comfort and safety on the handlebars of their e-MTB. We will have to have a little more patience, the S models will be available from May 2023.

Decathlon finally introduces a Rockrider e-MTB range with 5 new E-EXPL models

An additional 360 Wh battery is also on offer for €500. This can be adapted to all models in the range and significantly increases autonomy. More intriguing, these eMTBs are compatible with accessories that clash with off-road practice. In fact, Decathlon offers something to attach mounts, racks and lighting to their E-EXPLs. When the reality of the field of a sign with a thousand points of sale catches up with the demands of a highly technical environment.

More experienced off-road cycling enthusiasts rest assured, Rockrider teams are rumored to be working on more advanced models as well. Electric mountain bikes that would take on the more playful spirit of the Feel range, today only muscular, but that would necessarily be much more expensive.

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