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Saturday, January 10, 2009
Decathlon Rockrider 8.1 MTB
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Decathlon Rockrider 8.1 Competition Mountain Bike

The Decathlon Rockrider 8.1 Mountain Bike is an excellent entry level competition mountain bike that will give almost anyone satisfaction for the money spent. In the latter part of 2008, the site concentrated on top end 'state of the art' mountain bikes for the professional competitor, or avid cyclist. The Rockrider 8.1, however, is an entry level affordable competition mountain bike, having a list price of just 699.00 Euros in France and sold at the Decathlon Sports stores in Europe. We have acquired the Rockrider 8.1 as a long-term test bike and will be reporting on it a few times in the upcoming future.

One of the first things that the Rockrider 8.1 scores points on is its braking system. Decathlon's Rockrider 8.1 has Avid Juicy 3 hydraulic 160 mm disc brakes, which are essential for MTB competition and are a huge step up over standard cable pull callipers. The other aspect is that the bike is relatively light at a total weight of 12.6 kg (27.7 lbs) for the Large frame model. The bike benefits from an all aluminium 6061 T6 frame that weighs in at a light 1.65 kg (3.63 lbs) and is additionally very stiff for competition and durability. Available frame sizes on the Rockrider 8.1 are Medium, Large and X-Large, so there is a frame size available for most adults and teenagers.

For the front and rear derailleur systems and the shifter controls, Decathlon has installed the capable SRAM X-7 series, and the crankset is a Truvativ Firex 3.1 2-piece (22x32x44) with an SRAM PG-950 gear cassette deriving a total of 27 speeds available on the bike, and all with indexed shifting that finds each gear automatically. The front fork suspension is a mid-range RockShox Tora 302CL with 100 mm of travel and remote lock-out off the handlebar control.

For the contact patch on the Rockrider 8.1, Decathlon has specified Michelin XC All-Terrain 2.0 tires, and the rims are 32 hole alloys by Rigida with stainless steel spokes. The handlebars are Decathlon brand 600/640 mm with a wide stance for stability and comfort. The seat is a Fi'zik Nisene Sport saddle.

For those with a bit of extra cash, or who want to use their mountain bike for serious competition, the Rockrider 8.1 upgrades to the Rockrider 8.2 model which uses the same 6061 Alloy frame as the 8.1 but upgrades the fork to a Rock Shox Reba Race, the brakes to Avid Juicy 5 and the derailleurs front and rear go up a series to SRAM X-9 as the significant changes. This brings the overall weight of the bike down to a very competitive 11.6 kg (25.5 lbs) with pedals. The Rockrider 8.2 lists as 999.00 Euros in France.

Both the Rockrider 8.1 and 8.2 are excellent starter competition type mountain bikes and can be enjoyed by all riders. The stiff mountain bike frame and precise hydraulic brakes and derailleurs also make the Rockrider 8.1 and 8.2 excellent bikes to use on a daily commute of less than 15 km (9.3 miles) and the bike is extremely efficient to ride long distances on.

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