Decathlon made waves earlier this year when their affordable Rockrider mountain bikes turned up on the professional cross-country race circuit. So when the UCI MTB XCO World Cup rolled into our backyard at Nové Město, we popped over to the Rockrider Team pit to get a closer look at Stephane Tempier’s carbon race bikes – both the 900 hardtail & 900S FC full-suspension… and some prototype gear!
Decathlon’s World Cup Rockrider XC bikes
We were surprised when we first spotted the news that French big box sporting goods retailer Decathlon was sponsoring a World Cup XC mountain bike team with their budget Rockrider bike line-up. So we took a closer look and realized the brand had redeveloped a stock carbon & alloy bike into an all-carbon flex pivot bike.
But we wanted to know even more, so we got in touch with the Decathlon development team directly for an in-depth interview on where they are headed in the Bikerumor Podcast #58 earlier this month!
Rockrider Racing Team XC 900S FC full-suspension
We got a decent look at the details of the new 120mm travel full-carbon single pivot with carbon linkage-driven shock back in February.
But only now do we really see the official name of this pre-production cross-country prototype – the Rockrider XC 900S FC – with the S telling that it’s got rear Suspension and the FC that it’s Full Carbon.
As we suspected, the carbon front triangle is unchanged from the alloy-rear bikes you can buy in Decathlon’s big box stores today. But from that main pivot back, the one-piece UD carbon rear end is all-new, adding a seatstay flex zone to eliminate the need for a pivot above the dropout.
Rockrider Racing Team bikes were all set up with Manitou air suspension. A Manitou Mara remote shock handles the 120mm of rear wheel travel, paired to a 120mm Manitou R7 Pro fork up front with classic Reverse Arch design.
Stephane Tempier races on a carbon-railed Fizik Antares Versus Evo R1 Adaptive saddle with all-black 3D-printed padding.
Stopping is handled by a new set of custom painted-to-match TRP Slate Evo disc brakes, the cheapest and lightest to get TRP’s most recent complete braking system EVOlution.
Instead of the stock one-piece stainless rotors, the Rockrider Racing Team uses the two-piece TRP TR-33 rotors with alloy 6-bolt carriers for better heat dissipation and laser-cut cleaning slots.
Rockrider Racing Team XC 900 hardtail
The XC 900 is a budget hardtail you can already buy today for just 1900€ complete, but it’s still a capable-enough race bike – at least for the more tame World Cup XC courses.
Build kit on the hardtails is pretty much the same on the full-suspension bikes, although it does look like the team may run the R7 Pro forks in a shorter 100 or 110mm travel position.
Cockpit is the same with carbon bars from ProTaper and light alloy LYTI stems from French component maker Dulight. And both are built up with the lightweight BikeYoke Divine SL dropper seatpost and Triggy remote.
The same TRP Slate Evo brakes and TR-33 rotors.
The bikes are all on Mavic Crossmax carbon wheels, wrapped with prototype Hutchinson Racing Lab development tires. Almost all of the Rockrider Racing Team bikes had this low-profile tread setup for the dry Nove Mesto course. The pattern looks to be the same as the long-running Skeleton, but the knobs may be slightly reshaped or at least have a lower profile for faster-rolling.