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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Rockrider 8 XC - Mountain Bike
Image: © 2009 theirEarth.com

Decathlon's Top Mountain Bike - Rockrider 8 XC

PARIS, FRANCE - Turning to Mountain Bikes, theirEarth's Cycling Editor recently reviewed Decathlon's top-of-the-line front suspension mountain bike called the Rockrider 8 XC (8XC), which is sold at Decathlon sports stores in Europe. We have beem performing a long-term test of a Rockrider 8.1, which is Decathlon's first level competition type mountain bike, will soon be reporting on this long-term test shortly. Our editorial group felt it would be interesting to do an article on Decathlon's top-of-the-range Rockrider 8XC.

Our review focuses on the level of equipment on the Rockrider 8XC, which in summary is superb mountain bike for the price. The Rockrider 8XC is appointed with some of the best in class hardware available along with some intermediate-pro hardware. For the list price of 1800.00 Euros, it is extremely hard to beat the level of equipment offered on the bike. The Rockrider 8XC has top specification rims, hubs and spokes, and the bike comes fitted with either Mavic Crossmax SLR (made in France), which are easily recognizable by a red centre hub, or Shimano's XTR series wheel set (shown in the photo). The Mavic wheel set alone would cost 900.00 Euros retail to purchase separately. We asked the Decathlon sales agent about the availability and he said that the customer has the choice of either the Mavic or the Shimano wheel set when they buy the 8 XC.

Both the Shimano XTR and Mavic Crossmax SLR rims, hubs and spokes are designed for disc brakes and tubeless tires, and as a pair (front and rear combined) the Mavic rims weigh only 1520 grams. Tires on the Rockrider 8XC are Hutchinson Piranha 2.0 tubeless. The Rockrider 8XC has an aluminium double butted frame that weighs 1.550 kg (Large frame). The total weight of the Rockrider 8XC with pedals is 10.5 kg (Large frame), which is a very respectable weight for a high-level competition mountain bike. The frame design is also very stiff and maintains its rigidity over bumps. 

The rear derailleur on the Rockrider 8XC is a top-of-the-line Shimano XTR Shadow model and the front derailleur is from the Shimano XT series, as is the crankset (22x32x44), and the shifters. Decathlon has chosen Shimano XT series over XTR series in some areas of the 8XC to keep the total cycle price at an affordable level while still delivering performance to the rider. For instance the Shimano XTR series crankset is a very pricey piece of kit and would have increased the 8 XC's price significantly.

Another piece of high-level hardware found on the Rockrider 8XC is the front shock, and it is a Rock Shox Reba Team with 100 mm of travel and Motion Control. This is a very light weight shock and helps keep the overall weight of the XC at high performance specification. The hydraulic disc brakes on the Rockrider 8XC are Juicy 7 Carbon with 160 mm discs front and rear. The Juicy 7 carbons have racing brake lever adjustment capability for the brake pad positioning against the disc. Pedals on the Rockrider 8XC are X Pedo SLCR's.

We have checked rider reviews of the 8XC and the vast majority of people have reported back that it is an excellent bike for the money. The only negative feedback was that on extremely rough terrain it was a little nervous, but then as the rider also stated, the Rockrider 9XC with its rear shock system was the bike design for this type of x-country riding. All purchasers appeared very happy even after long-term use of the 8XC over six months or more.

In summary the Decathlon Rockrider 8XC represents high performance value at its 1800.00 Euro list price, and comes with some very high spec equipment. The Rockrider 8XC may not be the absolute highest specification mountain bike on the market, but it comes close in many respects and for the purchase price you get a very competitive cycle where your own ability can win the day on the race course against people who have spent much more.

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