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Prototype: Rockrider racing all

Aug 12, 2023

American Elite Women's XC national champion Savilia Blunk has a new prototype Decathlon Rockrider Race 940S mountain bike to race on the World Cup cross-country circuit. Only one year ago we spotted the Rockrider Racing Team on an updated version of Decathlon's budget carbon mountain bike, and now it looks like they are back again with a next-generation full-suspension XC prototype…

What made the full-carbon Rockrider XC 900S prototype that the team raced last season unique was that it shared the same carbon front triangle as Decathlon's budget cross-country bike, only replacing the alloy rear end with a new 1-piece flexing, pivot-less carbon rear triangle. Now, it seems like the Rockrider Racing Team's bike may have just been the research & development project aiming to refine the ideal ride characteristics for an all-new full-carbon XC race bike.

The new bike shares the same basic single-pivot suspension concept with a linkage-driven shock located parallel under the toptube, but the execution is all-new – from the front triangle back to the rear end. Primarily, the upcoming Rockrider Race 940S completely reshapes the now 2-piece machined alloy linkage design and layout. It moves the frame's linkage pivot below the seatstay pivot onto a boxy vertical seattube, in front of a kinked section of the frame that allows a dropper post to extend below that upper frame pivot. And the alloy linkage is pared down to reduce weight, with a second alloy strut connecting to the rear shock mount.

Besides ensuring long dropper compatibility, that new seattube arrangement combined with a dropped downtube and forward extension at the bottom bracket, together makes room for a second set of water bottle cage bolts inside the completely reshaped front triangle.

At the back, the now-flattened seatstays get a unique twist in their upper half that creates a thinner section near the outer diameter of the rear wheel that should better control where they flex, together with the carbon layup, of course. And a new seatstay bridge presumably boosts rear-end stiffness while still allowing for plenty of tire clearance to fit modern wide XC tires – like these pro-only Hutchinson Racing Lab prototype Krakens.

Other than the major reshaping of the top of the new rear triangle, the lower main pivot looks to be in effectively the same place – just in front of the BB, and aligned with the chain on the top of the chainring. It gets the same asymmetric dropped chainstay layout and small vertical stub coming up from the rear dropout.

The bike does stick with conventional internal cable routing through ports on the side of the headtube – although it looks like that is a 1.5″ upper headset cup that could allow for an angle-adjust headset or fully internal routing. But the cable routing does get a new design with forward-facing openings, and 4 ports to support mechanical or electronic 1x shifting, plus a dropper post & remote rear shock lockout.

We don't have any official word from Decathlon of the Rockrider Bikes brand about when we should expect this new Race 940S XC bike to be available. But the Rockrider Racing Team is now racing the new bike without even covering the new model's name, and Rockrider itself is teasing the bike on its YouTube & social media.

We expect it will likely get an official debut in this season's UCI XC World Cup racing calendar, maybe at the Nové Město na Moravě opener in the Czech Republic? But Rockrider is officially calling it a MY2024 bike, so hopefully consumer availability could come early as this summer, but they promise it will be in Decathlon stores next year.

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