French sports and outdoor retailer Decathlon has taken the idea of your good old department store bicycle, and boosted it tech and features. The result is a range of bikes spread across multiple in-house brands which are surprisingly well-equipped, while retaining a rather affordable price tag. Being the avid mountain biker that I am, I was immediately drawn to the Rockrider brand, which, for 2023, has just released two new performance eMTBs.
The first of which is the Rockrider E-EXPL 700, a surprisingly affordable and well-equipped electric mountain bike. It retails for 2,499 Euros, or the equivalent of about $2,713 USD, and takes the form of a traditional hardtail mountain bike. Offered in sizes ranging from S to XL, the bike tips the scales at 24.5 kilograms, and is equipped with the Brose Drive T mid-drive motor. This motor dishes out 250 watts of juice, and is rated for 70 Newton-meters of torque. As for the battery, it's rocking a down tube-mounted Rockrider battery with a 630-watt-hour capacity.
To let you pedal alongside the assist, the Rockrider E-EXPL 700 gets a 10-speed Microshift drivetrain. It comes to a stop with Tektro M530 hydraulic disc brakes that clamp on 180-millimeter rotors. Up front, the bike is suspended by an X-Fusion RC32 suspension fork with 130 millimeters of travel. Last but not least, the bike rolls on 29-inch wheels with Rockrider Grip 500 tires.
The other model in Rockrider's 2023 e-bike portfolio is the E-EXPL 700S. The bike delivers extra performance by way of a full-suspension frame. It also gets better front suspension in the form of a Rockshox 35 Silver R fork with 140 millimeters of travel. Meanwhile, the rear shock is a RockShox Deluxe Select Coil 210 x 55 damper.
Just like the E-EXPL 700, the 700S is equipped with a Brose T-Drive mid-drive motor, and a 630-watt-hour battery pack mounted in the down tube. Rockrider equips it with a slightly better drivetrain, though, in the form of a Shimano Deore 10-speed setup. As you can probably guess, it's a tad more expensive than the hardtail, retailing for 3,499 Euros, or approximately $3,800 USD, per current exchange rates.