Decathlon Launches the Race 900S, a Mountain Bike for Pros and Weekend Warriors Alike.
When Decathlon’s new Rockrider Ford Racing Team arrived on the professional circuit in 2022, it wasn’t just the athletes causing a stir. It was their bike of choice that grabbed attention. Decathlon’s expert designers had reimagined the affordable Rockrider mountain bike into a high-performance vehicle for their top athletes. But don’t be fooled, while the Race 900S can perform on the international stage, its price point doesn’t leave behind weekend warriors
A High-Performance and Quality-Driven Mindset Inspired the Race 900S
When Decathlon’s designers decided to create a new mountain bike for XC and XC marathons, they looked to the classic Rockrider series for inspiration. Already well-known and loved, Rockrider became the starting point for a new, professional-level mountain bike.
The design of the Race 900S began with the development of a high-performance frame. Decathlon’s product manager Pierre Delcourt said the French design team first focused on the weight and rigidity of the frame. The 120mm full carbon frame weighs in at 1,930g, making it one of the lightest on the racing market.
Pierre said: “It’s a very rigid frame, especially the bottom bracket, which transmits the full energy of the rider with each stroke of the pedal.”
Decathlon’s designers also beefed up the head tube to aid in the precision of steering and direction. When it came to converting the bike from a hardtail to full-suspension, Pierre said they worked hand-in-hand with RockShox to incorporate the SIDLuxe—an ultralight rear shock designed for speed—into the design.
“There’s really a lot of detailed work that has been done,” he said, “so the entire travel of the shock absorber and fork is used in a perfectly balanced manner."
How Professional Riders Tested the Race 900S
Once the Rockrider Ford Racing Team got its hands on the Race 900S, it was able to provide feedback to the design team. Its insights helped inform the specs and performance of the bike.
“Our core business is product design,” said Rockrider’s sports leader Clément Doby. “The [Rockrider] team serves as our laboratory for the development, fine-tuning, and validation of products that will then be found in stores, accessible to the greatest number of people.”
With a mix of international riders from Europe and North America, the Rockrider Ford Racing Team earned several top-ten finishes at the World Cup, a handful of French national titles, and a victory at the Transvésubienne Mountain Bike Race.
“The Race 900S perfectly represents the philosophy of Decathlon,” said Stéphane Tempier, MTB Pro Rider 2022 and Test Rider 2023 for Rockrider Ford Racing Team. “It’s built for performance in high-level competition, and designed for all mountain bike lovers at the same time. The stiffness to climb, the comfort to go downhill.”
Since hitting the market, the Race 900S has furthered its reputation as a fun, reliable bike for cyclists of all levels.
“The weight of a bike is a central factor for riding pleasure on any kind of terrain,” wrote Bike-Test.com. “You can't go wrong with the… Rockrider [Race 900S].”
The Decathlon Race 900S Is Now Available in the United States
American riders can now get their own French-designed Race 900S online through Decathlon.com.
Available in S-XL sizes, the Race 900S has carbon wheels for a lighter and more rigid experience. As for the drivetrain, Decathlon’s designers utilized the SRAM GX AXS wireless drivetrain, which will offer enhanced durability in rough terrain. All told, the new Race 900S is fast, lightweight, and responsive, making it the most efficient bike in Decathlon’s carbon range.
With numerous victories and top finishes in international events, including two Top 10 finishes in the World Cup XCO, Decathlon’s experiment proves that high-quality, affordable design can perform for riders of every level.