Opinion: Nobody is Talking About 1 of the Most Interesting Team Moves of the Winter

Feb 17, 2022 at 1:49
by Matt Wragg  
Header for Matt s Op Ed pieces.


Words: Matt Wragg

Every year when silly season arrives, the same joke gets wheeled out: XXX is signing for Huffy. Or Raleigh, or Carrera, or, here in France, Rockrider.

As Serious Mountain Bikers we look down on these brands and the people who buy these bikes. After all, they make bikes for people who maybe don’t have the money or desire to spend five figures on a bike. People who only want to get from point A to point B. Maybe they want something to teach their child to ride on and don’t want to spend €1,100 on a titanium and carbon balance bike, the fools. They probably don’t even know their fork offset.

We forget that most of us probably learned to ride on bikes like the ones these brands make. I did. My brother did, all of the guys I grew up riding with did.

So when it comes to transfer season, some wit always wheels out the tried and trusted joke. Except for this year, the person wheeling that joke was, errr… Rockrider. Amidst all the team move turbulence, Stephane Tempier signed for Rockrider.


As an English-speaking website, it is understandable that we missed the news. After all, Rockrider is a French brand and they pulled a classic French move and forgot that there are MTB media outside France. While the guys at Velovert have both digital and print features on the move, here at Pinkbike we don’t appear to have even received a press release, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t interesting.

Of course, you may now be wondering why we should care about this move. You need to think about scale. If you are a regular in the Pinkbike comments section, you will probably have read much about the evil machinations of MTB multinationals like Trek or Specialized. Yet a quick Dun and Bradstreet search will show you that Trek sales come to around $719 million per year, while Rockriders’ parent company, Decathlon, take $6.54 billion per year.

The thing is, Rockrider aren’t just supporting a rider, they are building a program. Tempier has had some decent results, although much like his southern French compatriot, Florian Nicolai, he too struggled for form on a Trek program. There is a clutch of young riders, with Joshua Dubau looking like a highlight. If you watched the men's Elite race at the CX Worlds last in January, you may remember his gutsy attempt to take the race to Pidcock, Iserbyt, and co. They have backroom staff drafted in from the big French road racing teams and Olympic gold medalist, Julie Bresset, as a consultant.

If you are not clear on what a massive influx of money can do to a sport, we just need to cast a quick eye towards road cycling. While many people will give you many answers as to why Team Sky/Ineos was so dominant in the last decade, there is one answer that people maybe overlook because it is as simple as it is ugly: money. Ineos outspent their rivals by an order of magnitude and Tour de France victory after victory followed. That is why the comparison between Trek and Decathlon is important - if they decided to, and we've no indication they have, Decathlon has the resources to truly shift the playing field in World Cup racing.


This isn’t a blind swing, either. For the last couple of years, Rockrider has quietly been sponsoring national-level riders of various disciplines here in France and the new team marks a gear change for their ambitions.

The next question is the why, and the answer is twofold. Firstly, as we all know, mountain biking is booming right now. Secondly, the Olympic games are in Paris in 2024. The chance to be a French brand with a French rider fighting for a gold medal on home soil was too good to pass for them. While here on Pinkbike we tend to skew towards the DH, it is worth remembering that the TV value of the Olympic finals is many orders of magnitude more valuable to a brand than an entire year of the Red Bull live feed.

After the Grundig boom of the late 90s, we saw an exodus of mainstream brands from the sport. Today, while it is cool to see Reece Wilson running a Volvo helmet, it is not the same scale of engagement as when they were title sponsors for the Cannondale team. This looks like a tentative first taste for a mainstream brand coming back into the sport - the question will be whether our sport can offer enough to keep them here. In the past, the problem was the brands saw a shockingly poor return on investment, so this might be an acid test for others who are sitting on the sidelines, watching.

Sadly this all means that the comment section comedians will need a new joke for this winter.


203 Comments

  • 193 2
 Hey, if they provide him support and a competitive bike that allows him to be on the same level as others. All for it. Who the hell are we to make fun of a rider that signs for a company we don't know about? Almost none of us have any kind of support at all.
I hope he does well on it. More bike companies coming to the fore and providing all us plebeians more options is great.


*Sam pilgrim & Haibike is still fair game for jokes
  • 41 1
 Except that in Europe "Decathlon" it's not exactly an unknown brand. I don't know if the comparison fits, but they're probably the european for Walmart
  • 10 0
 @Becciu: indeed, but - off topic- blows my mind to think that thats only a tiny bit of walmart. Imagine a decathlon where you could buy all of your groceries after buying a full suspension bike that isn't complete shit
  • 86 1
 @Becciu: Don't know Walmart, but Decathlon sells very usable stuff for decent prices and year by year they improve their offerings. So yes, they sell cheap to moderately expensive equipment but they never sell crap. I have a big respect for them.
  • 8 0
 @lkubica: me too. The comparison (maybe uneven) was simply to point out that's simply not an unknown company
  • 14 1
 @Becciu: Decathlon has clothing with really good quality. Bought a Hip Bag (50,-) and some MTB Pats (40, -) there and the quality is much higher than some big names stuff i had the last years.
  • 34 4
 @Becciu: Walmart is not a good comparison. Anything "outdoor" oriented you get at walmart is barely usable for its intended purchase. While Decathlon sells things from real reputable brands. I was surprised when I first walked into a Decathlon and saw actual climbing gear I usually only see at boutique climbing stores. The better comparison would be REI but that really is not even close because REI does not carry general sporting goods. Decathlon is a unique monster.
  • 3 1
 Yeah, exactly. More options = more better.
  • 11 1
 @EKrum: more like a Dick's sporting goods, maybe?
  • 34 3
 @EKrum: and REI is a shadow of it’s former self. Once upon a time, you could walk in and buy a full climbing rack, now you’re lucky to find a harness, a rope and some quickdraws. Perhaps a standard ice axe. Ice tools or screws? Good luck.

Now they just sell overpriced clothing and glamping gear.
  • 25 1
 @EKrum: For me Decathlon is the best store to buy everything for all your secondary sports.

I don't have much cycling stuff from there (other than clothing, which often comes from the hiking/skiing section), but all my winter sports, beach sports, climbing, hiking etc stuff comes from there and is perfectly good for beginner level or infrequent intermediate level usage.

My wife and I always joke that you go in there to buy a €5 euro item, and come out with €150 trolley worth of new hobbies.
  • 7 4
 @Becciu: decathlon is more like MEC is for north America, except:
1- Decathlon sells not only outdoor stuff, but every sport you can imagine, and
2- 90% of what their stock is house brand.

NOW, while their soft goods are generally good with some hits and misses, the MTBs are absolute, utter crap. There's only two of them I would ride, and they are just that... rideable.
  • 4 0
 @EKrum: REI plus DICKS
  • 7 0
 @iiman: I'm afraid to inform you that MEC is now a lifestyle clothing shop. Their reputation as an outdoors gear shop has evaporated in the last few years, following a few colossal bungles.
  • 1 1
 @iiman: yep their big strength comes to own all the chain from R&D to sales!
Agreed so much that they stuck with poor geometries, narrow handlebars etc. There were few very limited series of xc hardtail that was a real bargain but nothing interesting other than that!
  • 3 2
 @neoides: Decathlon have a store inside a supermarket (tesco) in Glasgow so you can do exactly that
  • 1 0
 @ratedgg13: sorry to hear, went there in 2014-15 and it was great
  • 2 0
 @Becciu: Walmart is roughly $590 billion in annual sales - as massive as Decathlon is as a sports retailer, Walmart is much broader in scope and positively gargantuan. A better comparison would be Dick's Sporting Goods, with over 700 stores and about annual sales over $9 billion (compared to Decathlon's 6.5).
  • 2 1
 @vw4ever: They sell what the Insta-Millennials that overran and ruined the Big Sur coast in search of 'Content' want to buy.......can you blame REI?
  • 3 0
 Decathlon is part of the Mulliez group.
The Mulliez family created the Auchan supermarket brand (which is kind of comparable to Wal Mart, though smaller), then they created/bought many other brands for different sectors : Decathlon is sport, but they also have hardware stores, clothes, car mechanics, etc.
Initially you often have the supermarket, then they'll develop the area in one of those ugly commercial area where all the other stores pop up year after year.
The Mulliez family is worth 26 billion according to wikipedia, so about a tenth of the Walton family (walmart).
  • 1 0
 @Becciu: I think it's safer to say that Decathlon is more like REI here in the states.
  • 9 1
 So I have bought just recently this Christmas, a hardtail from them, 29er with 65° HA, a literal copy of the geometry of the Spesh Fuse 2022, except this bike cost me 800 euro after everything, and came with a 150mm dropper, 130mm travel Rockshox air fork, Enduro spec wheels and Shimano Deore 12 speed, you can all shit on it but I haven’t had so much fun on a bike in a while, makes my 5k enduro bike boring…
  • 1 0
 @Clem-mk: There was a point where I was going either way between mtb and road, and Decathlon's road offerings were unbeatable for spec at the lower-mid price point. Cheapest 105 equipped bike available in the UK at the time and not on a bad chassis. Ended up moving to somewhere with hills so got a Norco instead :'D
  • 2 0
 @iiman: They sold out to private equity and pulled the whole "members-owned" co-op rug out from underneath people who had supported them for decades. It's like what's happening to bike brands but 100x worse, and it all falls at the feet of board members with limited business experience who tried to compete head-on with rapidly improving outdoor retailers (like Forzani) and all had their own pet feel-good enviro project. They just couldn't keep with the original mandate: quality gear at the lowest price for members. It's a sad ending.
  • 3 0
 @vw4ever: This comment struck a chord. I hadn’t been into my local rei in ages. Went to oick up a last minute ski jacket and they literally had three to choose from! Then rounding the corner their are stacks of electric cooler / refrigerator things. WTF!
  • 2 0
 @neoides: It's called "Auchan" - Decathlon Sports Markets and Auchan Super- and Hypermarkets were founded by and belong to the same family
  • 1 0
 @theoskar57: What bike was that?
  • 1 0
 @mtb-scotland: You know its not the same.
  • 83 22
 Opinion: the death of print media and move to low quality high volume online media stopped anyone giving a shit about racers or team movements
  • 73 9
 I only come here for the posts of 1 week old Youtube videos that I already saw on Youtube.
  • 20 18
 Yet you still commented lol
  • 37 1
 I care about my bowel movements more than I care about team movements
  • 12 1
 @jaame: Especially when a good one before a ride makes the same difference an aluminum vs. carbon frame, which is well established PB science
  • 6 1
 That's not opinion, that's fact
  • 15 0
 Not sure about that one. I always found print media to be a bit pretentious. And while I too feel somewhat nostalgic about the magazines of old, I kinda don't miss them.
  • 5 0
 @jaame: I won't leave my house to ride with a "loaded gun."
  • 21 1
 Not sure I can agree with you. Many of us enjoy the tech articles; trail spotlights; and the goofy comments. @mattragg I love this post. Informative AND thought provoking. Pinkbike at its best.
  • 8 0
 @jaame: Well, I do hope your bowel movements are not only once a year around Christmas.
  • 21 0
 Counterpoint: one of the reasons Nukeproof came back as a brand is that they signed Sam Hill. If not for Sam proving Nukeproof on the world stage, they'd be in a very different place today. If Rockrider can have some massive results under a big name rider, it could be transformational to their reputation. So while theres definitely something to be said about print vs online media, who riders are racing for still makes a big difference for our sport.
  • 4 0
 @jaame: TBH, if it weren't for my bowel movements, I wouldn't be on PB to read about the team movements.
  • 2 1
 @TommyNunchuck: It'll be even better when that stale content already seen on Youtube is behind a paywall.
  • 50 2
 As an English-speaking website, it is understandable that we missed the news. After all, Rockrider is a French brand and they pulled a classic French move and forgot that there are MTB media outside France. Classical french move, but also classical US-American move. Both nations are very similar in this point. anyhow the bike looks quite decent.
  • 8 3
 The one post that makes sense amongst the emo
  • 51 1
 Classic French move of forgetting that people speak English in other places, even more classic North American move forgetting that the rest of the world exists.
  • 26 2
 @melonhead1145: does it really exist though?
  • 19 0
 @melonhead1145: Bro, where in South Dakota is the 'UK'?
  • 8 1
 @melonhead1145: Pro tip: It does not help your point one iota if you're under the impression that "North America" = America because there's a good reason why Americans tend to put Canadian flags on their packs while travelling internationally.
  • 4 7
 @melonhead1145: I just like the irony here, being that the French company in question has an English name
  • 3 0
 @melonhead1145:We (well some of us) speak French here in Canada and Decathlon has opened 13 stores over the past three or four years with more on the way. The company also has a growing physical and online presence in the United States.

But I agree with the point that Decathlon should have spread the news-far-and-wide.
  • 2 0
 @nzandyb: Top tier comment mate.. got a genuine laugh out of me Big Grin
  • 6 0
 @CheddarJack46: Linguistics fail!
It's actually a porte-manteau of two Greek words; deca, meaning ten and athlon, meaning event.
  • 2 1
 @CheddarJack46: I just like the irony here
  • 1 1
 @Maxcommencemal: he might have been referring to Rockrider
  • 2 0
 @CheddarJack46: Yeah - education is a game and your number was never drawn...

Decathlon, from δέκα déka ‚ten' and ἄθλος áthlos 'heroic deed' - it's a Greek word ;o)
  • 2 0
 @riverbum: good one mate. The comment (and article) we are replying to literally says "After all, Rockrider is a French brand". In classic Pinkbike commenter fashion, you didn't read the actual post and made an incorrect assumption just so that you could be quick to attempt to prove me wrong. Well done guys.

Shall I research the origins of the words "rock" and "rider" for you?
  • 2 0
 @CheddarJack46: save the digging for the woods mate! Smile
  • 1 0
 @CheddarJack46: The fact that both languages use the same Greek word doesn't make it English. Also, English uses a lot of words with French origin because the British isles were invaded by French in the 11th century. No joke.
  • 1 0
 @CheddarJack46: OK, I see, you meant "the brand" where you wrote "the company". I should have scrolled down.
  • 28 0
 I'll try to keep this short. I will be moving to France in the fall, and did a recon/apartment hunt trip to Lyon in January. All the "blue collar" bikes I saw were BTwin. A Decathlon main stream brand. The whole bike is BTwin branded (derailleurs, wheels, etc). You have a few bucks if you can get someone to manufacture and/or rebrand derailleurs with your name across that many units. And from a close, slow-motion, walk-by of most of said BTwins, they are of a quality several steps ahead of anything you'll get at Walmart or Canadian Tire. I'm going to check out the new Decathlon store here to see what's up with the rest of their line up.

From what little you can tell from the pictures in the article, that bike doesn't look bad. And if Walmart can attempt a premium brand, Decathlon/Rockrider will no doubt surpass that and be able to field a contender of a bike. For however my 2 cents adds to Matt's reporting.
  • 10 1
 Decathlon has a lot of entry level stuff through some in house brands, but at the same time you can buy also some decent stuff for a great price.
For recreational purposes, I would say that Decathlon stuff is hsrd to beat (Intersport comes close, but still..)
  • 10 0
 Btw; Lyon is maybe 2 hours away from Morzine Wink

See you on trails..
  • 1 0
 One weird thing is the french cycling media tell us every year that "next year" Decathlon will get serious about MTB, but their bikes never rise above beginner level.

That being said they have a surprisingly well specced and good value ebike branded as "stilus".
  • 9 3
 No worries about bike looking good/ bad. Jolanda won races on a Kross… just saying
  • 2 0
 @Mugen: In the US too. Bike industry has a collective panic attack about Walmart selling high end bikes and everytime they release and then sort of fade away.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: even closer to Alpe d'Huez and Les Deux Alpes (Lyon was my next stop after riding there). Minimal relevance I suppose as we're looking at more of an XC than DH/Enduro team.
  • 1 0
 You can get your own name on whatever you like even at low volume.
  • 1 0
 You could be bored of counting BTwin bikes on Sunday morning in Madrid Rio,or almost any other bike lane in Madrid. By far the most popular brand in Madrid,very cheap bikes but they are everywhere.
Some of the gravel/road bikes looks very good too. It is almost impossible to find a home without Decathlon stuff hehehe,not mentioning clothing.
  • 23 0
 Can you ride it on rocks?
  • 39 0
 Can a stumpjumper jump stumps?
  • 39 0
 Can you let an Ibis do the job?
  • 9 0
 Yes but you can't hop them, you'll need another brand for that.
  • 33 0
 can a nukeproof survive the Chernobyl disaster?
  • 15 0
 Does a Canyon sender send hardest in Canyons?
  • 4 0
 Only rocks can be hopped.
  • 10 0
 @Genewich: only rocks can be hopped
Bunny: Hold my curb
  • 9 3
 If Yeti had a storage compartment would it be good at keeping the beer chilled?
  • 2 0
 Does a Last last?
  • 3 0
 Can you take a trek on a hike?
Does your San Andreas have a massive crack in it?
  • 5 0
 Does Santa cruise?
  • 1 0
 I rode a Diamondback once. I hurt my feet.
  • 3 0
 @moerkster: Can you win on a Last?
  • 2 0
 Can you rip more on a Ripmo?
  • 6 0
 Can you take turns on a Turner? Does a Pivot have Pivots? Can you use a Specialized for general riding? Will a Nukeproof always beat a Radon? Can you ride mellow trails on an Intense? Where exactly is this female person's 'ton' that some bikes seem to be at? So many questions about brand names.
  • 1 0
 @ak-77: comment gold!
  • 1 0
 Is a Giant that big?

Is a Specialized that esoteric?
  • 37 19
 Most bikes are made in the same Taiwan factories anyway. The rest is marketing and excessive R&D to change an angle or two.
  • 14 26
flag GregSpecialized (Feb 17, 2022 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 looks like you american have no freaking little idea who is Rockrider, brand from Decathlon
  • 4 0
 You mean Brand Engineering?
  • 5 25
flag SterlingArcher (Feb 17, 2022 at 6:32) (Below Threshold)
 @furiousstyles: Then do us all a favor and quit the sport
  • 4 1
 @furiousstyles: Nail, meet head
  • 15 0
 @GregSpecialized: Certainly true. Matt's point is that-it doesn't matter a whit in the end whether Rokrider makes bikes or widgets, they apparently have the ability o bring a massive amount of money to bear, which can shift the tectonic plates of the industry, depending on how they decide to spend it. That said, we've been down this road before. The mention of Volvo is appropriate. I remember Honda, a much bigger company than any of these, building a legendary downhill bike and then deciding, well, "never mind"
  • 3 0
 @GregSpecialized: Exacly, all their stuff is designed and produced for them specifically. They don't sell rebranded Chinese shit.
  • 13 0
 1. Made in the same region in Taiwan is not the same as being made in the same factory.
2. Even brands that are made in the same factory are not made the same. The materials and specs are different depending on the demands of the bike company.
3. "Excessive" R&D gives us the safe and incredibly capable bikes we ride today.
  • 45 2
 Hi, former Global Product Manager from one of the Big 4. I see this sentiment a lot on the ol' interwebs and it's patently false. While it's true that most bikes are ASSEMBLED by Giant in either Taiwan or China, they for sure aren't making most of the frames. They have some really awesome patents and production facilities that make assembly cheap and crazy fast (and not amazing quality, but hey all in the name of profits amiright?!?). The Big 4 have been moving towards exclusive partnerships with manufacturers, and it's largely a technology move. Think of it this way: you want to come out with this crazy new MTB that is amazing in every way, and uses an entirely new suspension system. You wouldn't want to partner with any production company that has ties to other bike companies (and especially Giant), because then you're practically giving away your secrets and letting the other companies dissect your innovations and technology 1-2 years ahead of the actual launch. Assembly is the exception to this because you don't need the frame engineering drawings or to make several rounds of prototypes and molds to just assemble the bike. I get that it's easy to just make blanket statements like you're making (and how many times do we hear "yeah, but Giant makes everyone's bikes anyways, so why not just buy a Giant"), but it kinda bugs me so I wanted to address it!
  • 3 0
 @wako29: wait, there's a big 4? Who's the 4th? I always thought of the big 3 (specialized, trek, giant).
  • 1 0
 @GregSpecialized: What did he say that was wrong? Or were you just looking to make a jab at an American?
  • 3 0
 @toast2266: Specialized, Trek, Giant and Scott, probably.
  • 6 1
 @Muscovir: ah, yeah, I always kind of forget about Scott. It's that ski pole company that decided to make bikes.
  • 7 0
 @wako29: Your profile shows Madison, Wisconsin so I am thinking it's only a short 'Trek' from your house to a Packers bar. Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @bman33: hahaha I really should update that but yes
  • 3 0
 @toast2266: Cannondale
  • 2 0
 @toast2266: They're big in Europe. Where I live, basically every second mountainbike is a Scott Spark. Seems to be a favourite of more casual riders who just want a bike to ride around on light trails and forest roads (which is not to say that that isn't ok or that the Spark isn't a fantastic bike in its own right).
  • 2 0
 @wako29: You sure about Cannondale? Surely not in Europe. I don't think I've seen a someone ride a Cannondale since like 2007.
  • 2 0
 @wako29: huh. That's not the answer I was expecting. I guess Dorel has a bunch of brands, but I almost never see them in the wild.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: it depends on the category, and more on the road and town side, but yeah they're definitely up there for an entire company
  • 3 0
 @toast2266: yeah, I'm talking about big picture and global revenue. Not so much on the MTB side (Santa Cruz is the big name there), but they're a pretty big name in the road, CX, gravel, and town category.
  • 3 2
 @Muscovir: yes in terms of Global sales Cannondale is most surely #4
  • 2 0
 @sirbikealot: That's simply incredible. I haven't seen one in the wild (NorCal) in a more than a decade. Not disagreeing, just genuinely surprised.
  • 5 0
 Remember that mountain biking is just a weird niche of road biking that brands pander to, in terms of sales volumes. Cannondale road bikes are everywhere.
  • 1 0
 Yes and no Smile
  • 2 0
 @wako29: Genuine thanks for providing genuine insight.
  • 15 1
 @mattwragg Always excited to see an article with that "sore bones" headliner. They have become some my favourite content on PinkbikeSmile

This article reminded me of a brand called Bulls, which is basically the German equivalent to Rockrider. They offer entry-level bikes under the umbrella of their parent company ZEG, which is a cooperative of sorts and low-key the largest network of bike shops in Europe, AFAIK. Despite being around for 25 years, they too lack the street cred with the Serious Mountain Bikers (TM) and if you show up on your local trails on a Bulls, you won't get that nod of approval from the hardcore Enduro Bro on his Specialized or Santa Cruz. And despite the fact that said Enduro Bro will dogmatically and categorically believe that paying 13 grand for his S-Works will at the very least have bought him the right to look down upon any peasent who rides bikes cheaper than his, I personally think that these entry-level brands like Bulls or Rockrider have their place in the world of mountainbiking. Like Matt pointed out, not everybody is inclined to fork out huge amounts of their hard earned cash on what is essentially just a toy. For many of us enthusiasts, MTB is more than just a hobby or a sport. It can be an entire lifestyle, an extension of our personality. Even a creed of sorts. But sometimes, we take ourselves too serious and we would do well to sometimes remember that not everybody does. As Brian Park put it in an episode of the PinkCast: "Relax. It's just bikes".
  • 4 1
 Thank you. Wink
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: And it doesn’t seem that unusual in MTB to have these odd brands sponsoring riders on bikes they sometimes don’t even appear to sell. There’s Bulls as mentioned above, then Jolanda Neff winning races on Stockli and Koss, Kerschbaumer on Torpado among others.
  • 1 0
 @wingguy: All the companies you mention, except Bulls which I don't know, do ok in their home countries. The programme Kerschbaumer was on was the national Carbinieri team,, kinda military police, and I used to regularly see them at Superenduro. Kross sell well in Poland and Stockli are a pretty big deal in Switzerland.
  • 1 0
 @mattwragg: Stockli do well in Switzerland? I just googled them and I can’t find any evidence of them producing bikes since just after Neff left. Looks like they’ve consolidated into skiing again unless you know different.

And yes Kerschbaumer was on a state sponsored team but I thought we were talking about the bikes. ‘Cus come on… Torpado?!
  • 13 1
 Haha, if people think that Rockryder is a BS brand, they might be in for a bit of a surprise. If I had 2000 bucks to spend on a bike to get into the sport, I would head over to the Decathlon store and pick up one of their bikes. Rockrider is their house brand but contrary to huffy, they actually dress up their frames with proper parts. Don't believe me? Check out the website. www.decathlon.ca/en/women/300823-80478-100-s-all-mountain-bike.html#/demodelundefined-8501188/demodelsize-1045tg?queryID=8c796245ef9b0391c54e78883821de4a&objectID=2489065
  • 15 0
 I like the Benefits section of the description:

"DIRECTIONAL CONTROL

Designed for steering." These bikes steer! Great feature and benefit!
  • 16 1
 Honestly yeah...That bike ticks all the same boxes as a bike that costs $1,000 more. An """entry level""" mountain bike shouldn't cost any more than that cheerfully named 100 S All Mountain Bike. All the bikes from major manufacturers in a similar price range have a spec that's a level or two down from it.

My riding buddy, who's an experienced rider, wanted to get off his 6 year old Trance and bought a new Trance 29 2 this past spring. The shop tried to steer him up to the 1 or a carbon model, saying that the 2 was the "entry level" option. $4,000 after tax for the entry level option? Seriously?? Pure insanity. Granted, the frame and spec is more than good enough to satisfy a rider of any level, but this sport has a serious problem with being welcoming to newcomers, and elitist bike pricing is a big part of that problem. If Decathlon can provide a similar spec to the big bike companies for thousands less, kudos to them. Hope I see some Decathlon bikes out on the local trails soon.

Edit: Christ alive, just hopped on their euro website...the "XC 920 S LTD Carbon" is a 120mm XC bike that has a carbon front triangle, comes with GX AXS, Carbon Reynolds hoops...all for the price of 3,199 Euros, $4,600 CAD. Competition like this can only be good for the consumer. Hopefully Trek, Giant, Specialized, ALL of them feel the need to compete on price.
  • 5 1
 That is sick value for money. I would love them to really have a go at the middle of the market. The big companies need more competition, especially from a well funded rival with a significant physical presence.
  • 3 0
 @pdxkid: had a good chuckle at that one!
  • 4 1
 @mnorris122:

Wow, that's tremendous value. That XC 920 S LTD Carbon bike would cost north of 7500 in Canada. I really feel like the bike industry jumped the shark in terms of pricing during COVID. It's refreshing to see that you can still get some decent gear for your money if you don't care about the brand of your frame and marketing gimmicks. Heck, their frame comes with a lifetime warranty! If they can keep the geometry current with their frames, they will really do killer business.
  • 3 1
 that's their 'top of the line' and one of the very few things rideable, the rest is just one step above Walmart (I'm speaking exclusively about mtbs here)
  • 2 0
 @pdxkid: LOL, from the creators of a woman specific stem hahaa (check it out on my 'roast my bike' album)
  • 1 0
 That reminds me of an even better value Fezzari, but someone else puts it together for you. Full NX drivetrain, 4 piston level brakes (?? didn't know those were a thing), 35 front/Manitou rear, Duroc wheels, for $2300 loonie toonies? I should've gone north for my bike.
  • 13 1
 Don't tell Americans they sell an aggressive hardtail with a dropper, Rockshox 130mm travel air fork and deore 12 speed for under 900 Euro, or they will raid France Razz
  • 10 1
 I hope that Rockrider will bring out some bikes with competetive geometry and maybe something with more travel. If they do, they could be a great option for people on a budget
  • 10 2
 I hope they finally make an affordable enduro bike for the broke ass southern europeans like me.
  • 5 1
 C`mon. You guys have Orbea, Mondraker, Commencal ... southern europeans can't be that broke :-)
  • 5 1
 Broke ass southern european neighbour cheking in! Decathlon has made more for the growth of the sport with their bikes than most bike brands put together,big respect to them. Also,great writing, Matt!
  • 1 0
 @zeitfuerplanb: Orbea and Mondraker are very expensive bikes (specially Mondraker). Commencal is cheaper than those other two, but they have been bumping up the prices these last years.
  • 5 1
 Decathlon is actually one of the more innovative outdoor goods companies, they have some really well-designed quality own-brand stuff with original solutions to common annoyances. Throw-tents, blow-up tents, cheap but comfy and lasting shoes, mattress - sleeping bag combinations, loads of pretty cool stuff and cloathing.
  • 5 1
 a friend uses a Rockrider Fully an for the 1500 Euros he payed it is a good bike with Sram parts and quit good geo....why not...the XC bike from the picture looks good and fast... If you can't swim, your speedos are not the problem...
  • 3 0
 "After all, Rockrider is a French brand and they pulled a classic French move and forgot that there are MTB media outside France." Man that hurts lol ^^. Are we really seen like this abroad ?
To be honest, I don't know if it's really relevant for Rockrider/Decathlon to communicate much outside french speaking community, as I think it's still the vast majority of their consumer basis.
But I assume a press release at least would not have hurt anyone !
  • 3 0
 I would be interested to see traffic stats for MTB sites in France, despite the language I suspect it would still rank very highly.
  • 3 1
 Dude in Italy decathlons are the default go-to shops for outdorsy and not-so-outdoorsy sports....when i was practicing kung fu, all my stuff came from decathlon. idem for the running apparel (still using Kalenji running tights as thermal layer in winder when i ride)
  • 2 0
 My perception is that everyone in France is aware there are non-French _____ but assumes that anyone with the taste and good sense to be considered will naturally recognize and seek out the good version.

It’s not really arrogance so much as “this is who we are, it’s correct (by definition), but if you want to be wrong that’s fine too.” It’s more charming self confidence, not the off putting isolationism and ignorance associated with some Americans.
  • 2 0
 Wow - a Decathlon store opened in San Francisco in the last couple years (great timing - oof) and I had no idea WTF was going on in there. I did notice the cool 2CV and Citroen van around town with their livery, however!!
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: No way hahaha I knew they were quite developed in Europe but could not imagine that they were opening stores in US too !
Nice touch if they have promoted it with a 2CV and a TUB Smile
  • 1 0
 @Aksel31: Yep - apparently there are 3 in the US
  • 1 0
 In italy Decathlon has 120 shops and I think everyone here has at least one decathlon sportswear in the closet. You can see everywere people wearing kalenji or quechua stuff and rockrider has the monopoly of kids' and low cost bikes...
  • 3 0
 I'm in the market for a new XC hardtail that I can use on daylong rides. This Rockrider XC 100 checks a lot of boxes.

Boost spacing and proper thru-axles, Deore drivetrain, tubeless-ready rims, quality tubeless tires, a Manitou Markhor fork (way better than a RockShox Judy), two water bottle mounts and comfortable geometry, and lifetime warranty of the frame. Best of all, it's only $1,300 CAD.

www.decathlon.ca/en/women/330066-88136-100-cross-country-mountain-bike-29.html#/demodelsize-1045tg/demodelundefined-8616937?queryID=83a60db45a160eb54936074800115b88&objectID=4230778
  • 5 0
 Didn't sign for Huffy, and his new bike doesn't look like a Session. Disappointed.
  • 3 1
 I don't know if anyone remember but they had some attempts to make a heavy duty bikes: www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/mountain-bikes/decathlon-btwin-rockrider-drowp-9-review/?image=2&type=gallery&gallery=1&embedded_slideshow=1 this is just one of the examples, looks like didn't work out but personally I wish them luck as I really like Decathlon stuff
  • 2 0
 That is the same open mold frame that KHS used/currently uses for their factory downhill team.
  • 3 1
 I love decathlon. I always spend a fortune there when I go up to singapore. Their outdoor gear is great quality at an affordable price. Their mtb clothes are great. I have a few jerseys and a pair of shorts. Their basic cycling accessories are great too.
  • 3 1
 I guess we all know it is about the money, we are spending ours on bikes, so we can see that. The jokes comes up as its funny to see top level rider on a supermarket bike. Ask F1 pilots if they want to get back to karts. You know, this is the community where kids are begging Santa to visit regular bikeshop and bring a Santa instead of xxxxx.

And you know what? It is just jokes. So don´t be so serious.
  • 2 0
 "As Serious Mountain Bikers we look down on these brands and the people who buy these bikes. After all, they make bikes for people who maybe don’t have the money or desire to spend five figures on a bike. People who only want to get from point A to point B. Maybe they want something to teach their child to ride on and don’t want to spend €1,100 on a titanium and carbon balance bike, the fools. They probably don’t even know their fork offset."


This is why I ride with a select few people, it's this attitude that's ruining the sport.
  • 3 0
 Funny, prior to my BMX Hutch bike in the 80's I raced a Huffy Pro Lightning and it was a sweet ride. My first mountain bike was a Raleigh M50 in '93.
  • 12 3
 Amazing, you have a…. BMX Background…
  • 5 1
 I wonder if Rockrider will be like Saracen, they’ve won world championships and still no one wants to ride their bikes…
  • 2 0
 Not sure I agree, France is a major mountain biking country and while the company could have issued a press release in multiple languages, is it too much to ask Pinkbike to read at least German and French?!
  • 1 0
 This guy forgot the heritage of Raleigh? Barrie Clarke's 1996 m traxx was a poster bike with the magura and ti frame. The road frames from the 70's (SBDU) well ahead of their time and fetch mega money 2nd hand

Sorry, rant over from a Nottingham lad
  • 3 0
 @Dononemaccanoy City or Queens? I was born in City. My first job was in Tracy Maid, Long Eaton, selling Raleighs in 1998. Swing and a miss. Wink
  • 1 0
 Interestingly, I believe such brands are making a whole lot money then the hi-end brands we are so used to reading all about in here, especially in these recent times. These are the guys making cycling easily available to the masses by churning out affordable bikes. Seems like everybody wants to cycle nowadays but not everybody wants to start off on an mtb. I guess maufacturers like Polygon, Trinx and B’twin are probly laughing their way to the bank right now.
  • 4 0
 Someone's new favourite phrase, "orders of magnitude".
  • 1 1
 My friend uses it a lot - he sounds like a poseur/wanker when he does.
  • 7 3
 Never heard of the bloke!
  • 2 9
flag SterlingArcher (Feb 17, 2022 at 6:34) (Below Threshold)
 Yet everyone’s heard of you? Hah
  • 8 1
 @SterlingArcher: czech him out
  • 3 1
 @SterlingArcher: Irrelevant, he's not the subject of an article.
  • 1 0
 @rbeach: you guys are not as important as you think lol
  • 1 1
 @SterlingArcher: You are not as good at reading comprehension are you think you are Wink
  • 1 1
 I've just seen the biie in flesh and it is a well designed bike with some unique details, that aren't just a copy cat on other brands designs. So I wouldn't be surpised if the team is getting the results they where after. This Rockrider bikes is not a cheap trick it is like a direct to consumer bike that has even more supplychain synergies and therefore a much better pricepoint
  • 3 0
 Patiently waiting for the CCM All Canadian DH team going head to head against Raleigh UK in a Commonwealth Games.
  • 3 0
 They are gonna need to put a way bigger chain ring on that bike for Stephane
  • 2 0
 It isn’t the most interesting move of summer till rock rider actually does something interesting
  • 1 0
 remember when pro mtber's in the 90's made proper Money for doing what they love. now its all gone GM management style! just like Outside
  • 1 0
 unbelievable, that bike only costs 2000 with a decent build kit.
www.decathlon.de/p/mountainbike-29-zoll-500-s-vollgefedert-carbon/_/R-p-325050?mc=8614814
  • 3 2
 Decathlon is definitely a good store wehen it coms to good quality for a lower price
  • 1 0
 Specialized lawyers must ignore french companies too, or they'd have sued already for being too similar to Rock Hopper.
  • 1 0
 Decathlon is a great website for camping and outdoor gear. Ive my mtb van fitted out with alot of stuff from there.
  • 2 0
 big in Sweden!
  • 2 5
 For a bargain or Walmart brand comparison, the top of the line Decathalon XC HT is wildly expensive for the spec. Level T brakes, a RockRider saddle, base-model Reba, and what is certainly an open mold frame.

If we are talking value, and getting folks into the scene for a fraction of what we PBers consider a "real" bike to cost, this ain't it.

www.decathlon.com/collections/mountain-bikes/products/xc-mountain-bike-carbon-29-rockrider-900?
  • 1 0
 Probably because no one cares.
  • 1 0
 I am only here for the comment section comedians, anyone?
  • 1 0
 Reece Wilson needs Volvo to sponsor his Bush Plane.
  • 2 1
 Not sure about the rest of the non sense, but the bike looks good.
  • 1 0
 Don't bother, we still have Nakamura bikes for the jokes.
  • 1 0
 Apparently there’s a guy in aisle 5 with a bmx background
  • 1 0
 They parntering with Gwinn and Vee rubber?
  • 1 0
 hes going struggle to get his 44t front ring on that bike
  • 1 0
 Stomping Stu rode for Huffy
  • 1 1
 Always wanted a bike with a slacker seat angle than head angle. (not)
  • 2 0
 *Cough* *cough* Position of the bottom bracket *cough*
  • 1 1
 @mi-bike:
Got nothing to do with seat angle.
You’re talking effective seat angle. With long legs for my height, that seat angle means I’d be over the rear axle.
  • 1 1
 That TREK $719m you shared, is VERY outdated, its probably double that.
  • 1 0
 nope its pretty accurate, perhaps lasts years boom cycle put it to $860 or so
  • 1 2
 Rockrider? I hardly know her.
  • 1 0
 . error
  • 1 0
 @mccarthyp: Good point! Pinkbike's based in Canada and we're a bilingual country. Honte au Vélo Rose!
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