I’ve just got a new bike and I love it. It’s called the Rockrider 580 and it’s made by B’Twin who are one of Decathlon‘s brands. At £600, the bike is a bargain and is specced out at a level you’d be expecting to pay upwards of £800 for. This is common with Decathlon’s passion brands, making them a great buy for outdoor or sport enthusiasts who like quality at a good price.
The first thing that just has to be commented on is the bike’s looks with a white frame; chunky, big grip tyres and black branding with an orangey red flick of colour – this bike really does stand out. It looks mean. It looks awesome! Fortunately, beauty isn’t skin deep with the Rockrider and under the tasty paintwork, the frame is made from 6061 alloy. This frame has been completely engineered to be lightweight and to get the best out of the 27.5″ diameter wheels. Furthermore, it comes with a lifetime warranty which is quite a brave claim with a bike who’s riders will clearly be putting it through its paces.
I’ve always been a fan of hardtail bikes (bikes without rear suspension) and the 650b hardtail is all the rage at the moment. 27.5 inch wheels are rapidly replacing the older style 26 inch ones, B’Twin are at the front of this development. The Rockrider 580 is definitely a bike that is up to date and has been designed with modern thinking.
The ride is obviously the most important factor of any bike and the Rockrider has a couple of features that I’ve noticed that really contribute to the epically, awesome ride. First off, the front suspension is managed by Rock Shox XC30 air fork. These are super light, ultra smooth and very precise, making for a clean run down really bumpy tracks and bumps. I tested this bike with a few rides one of which was on the Cornish coastal path. With it being designed for walkers, the coastal path is very unforgiving on bikes and really gives them a hard time. Large dips and gulleys litter the path as well as uneven stone and rubble. The Rock Shoxs sucked up these vibrations and gave me smooth clean movement at the handlebars. A really comfortable bike to ride on all terrains.
A very high end feature which B’Twin have given this bike is Fork lockout on the handlebar. This is way more effective than the old standard of lockout on the shock itself. With this you can turn the shock off when you don’t want it, but you can do this as you ride, on the fly and keep pedalling. You’re going to want the shocks out at anytime where you feel that fork bob is robbing you of power. This will be on times like sprints, flats and climbing. By turning the shocks off, all your pedal power goes straight to those beefy wheels and will get you going much better.
I love the wheels on this bike, both the look and performance. The wheels themselves and the tyres are both super light weight. In fact, the whole bike is really light and can easily be lifted up with one hand. Being Aero wheels they will help you go faster as they are aerodynamically designed. You can really trust the Michelin tyres when bombing around trails and tracks as they really grip and stick to all surfaces.
I was really impressed with the Shimano SLX 3×10 speed group set. It’s as smooth as butter and no matter what speed, all my gear changes were flawless. Whenever you click to change up or down, it’s smooth and fast. I’ve not ridden a bike which was so effortless when changing gear.
Keeping your ride safe are the AVID DB1 hydraulic disc brakes which have a very tough and robust design. Punching them gives a crisp, precise feel; you feel in control during all stages of breaking with the front and back. I really liked the slim profile of the lever which means they’re there when you need them but not in the way.
In conclusion, the Rockrider 580 is an awesome bike at an incredible price. Honestly, have a shop around and try and find another bike kitted out with these high quality parts at a price like this. B’Twin have done a really great job of choosing components to suit their alloy frame and that work brilliantly well together. The bike is incredibly light and responsive which makes it an absolute joy to ride. I’ve had a total blast cycling with this bike and am looking forward to taking it out on more rides.