Targeted at 9 to 12-year-olds, the Decathlon Rockrider E ST 500 offers an affordable e-bike option for off-road fun
Decathlon’s Rockrider E ST 500 electric mountain bike (e-MTB), designed specifically for young riders aged 9 to 12, is now officially available for purchase at $1,100. This e-MTB is intended for occasional off-road rides on forest trails and beaten paths.
A New E-MTB for Children
In October, Decathlon unveiled the new Rockrider E ST 500, aiming to provide children aged 9 to 12 with an opportunity to have fun on moderately technical trails. As spotted by CleanRider, the model is now available for sale.
A quick glance at the French retailer’s website reveals the “new” label applied to the Rockrider E ST 500, alongside the recently added BTWIN E Fold 500 and E Fold 100 folding electric bikes. Let’s now delve into the technical specifications of this e-MTB.
No Rear Suspension
It’s important to note that the Rockrider E ST 500 is not a full-suspension mountain bike, meaning it has only one suspension component. The rear suspension has been sacrificed to make room for an 80mm-travel SUNTOUR XCE front suspension fork, which is adequate for a child’s bike.
Nonetheless, the lack of rear suspension limits users to relatively gentle rides, even though there’s still some fun to be had. With a 42 Nm torque, the bike is not ultra-dynamic, unlike e-MTBs that offer a generous 85 Nm torque – like Moustache’s Trail 9.
Surprising Sensor Choice
The area of concern lies in Decathlon’s choice of sensor: surprisingly, they opted for a cadence sensor instead of a torque sensor, which would have made more sense for mountain biking. For reference, a torque sensor provides assistance proportional to the force applied to the pedals.
In contrast, a cadence or rotation sensor delivers electric assistance when it detects pedal rotation. This has the disadvantage of being less responsive, dynamic, and natural – all of which are desired traits in an electric mountain bike, where vehicle control should be exemplary.
Decathlon likely made this decision to cut costs and keep the product’s price down. The manufacturer also mentioned that they worked on the bike’s geometry to suit the target user group.
Lifetime Warranty on Components
As for the rest of the features, the Rockrider E ST 500 comes with a 380 Wh battery, which claims a 100 km range in Eco mode for a 50 kg cyclist (expect less in boost mode). It is also equipped with an LCD screen, an 8-speed transmission, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes at the front and rear (160mm discs), and 26-inch BTWIN Tanwall tires.
Weighing in at 21 kg, the Rockrider E ST 500 comes standard with a bell, lights, reflectors, and flat pedals. The frame, stem, and handlebars have a lifetime warranty.