Decathlon goes after the US market; will sponsor a WorldTour team in 2024

French megastore uses Sea Otter Classic to announce its presence with a $3999 titanium gravel bike and aerospace engineered road racer

Van Rysel WorldTour road bike
(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Decathlon may be the world's largest sporting goods retailer but in the U.S. the French brand is far from known. A one-stop-superstore, Decathlon is known for its massive selection of affordable products for all sporting goods needs.

But for many Americans at the Sea Otter Classic this past weekend, the expo was the first interaction with the retailer, which used North America’s biggest bike gathering to introduce itself while giving a teaser of its two newest bicycle brands: Van Rysel (road and TT bikes) and Riverside (gravel bikes).

Decathlon is currently working on establishing a dealer network for Van Rysel in the U.S. In the meantime, bikes are available from Decathlon’s European warehouse.

Van Rysel RCR: WorldTour-ready

Van Rysel RCR road bike

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Designed with the French aerospace lab, ONERA, the RCR is an all-out carbon racer which aims to strike a balance of aerodynamics, comfort and energy transfer. 

The carbon aerodynamic frameset is paired with a two-piece cockpit consisting of an aero profile handlebar and a Deda-made stem that tucks the cables neatly away, routing them from the bars underneath the stem and into the headset. The matte black RCR on display comes with a SRAM Force AXS groupset and Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels wrapped in Michelin Power Cup tubeless tires.

This build has a claimed weight of 7.2kg (15.8lbs) and retails for the competitive price of $6,999.

Van Rysel WorldTour road bike

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

A WorldTour version of the RCR was also on display in the Sea Otter Classic booth, though the brand’s representatives would not confirm which team will be riding this bike come the new season. Van Rysel is the current apparel supplier for the men's and women's Cofidis teams, so while it would make sense that a bike sponsorship would be the next step, there are also rumors around the AG2R Citroën team, so we’ll just have to wait and see. 

Either way, Van Rysel is entering cycling’s biggest stage with the RCR. However, this WorldTour version sports a fully integrated front end and a different carbon layup that’s said to be lighter and stiffer. We’re told the frame weighs in at just 810 grams. The full build, with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and SwissSide Hadron 500 wheels, sits right at the 6.8kg UCI limit, according to the brand. 

Riverside GRVL 900: a titanium bike for $3,999

Riverside GRVL 900 titanium bike

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

Perhaps garnering the most attention of all bikes in the Decathlon booth was the Riverside GRVL 900 Ti, with a price tag that had many do a double-take. 

Riverside’s adventure bike is Italian-made and hand-welded featuring Dedacciai titanium tubing.

The bike is designed for those looking for durability and ultimate ride comfort on the long adventures in the saddle. The 1.6g frame (claimed weight) is paired with a carbon fork with accessory mounts, Fulcrum’s RR900 alloy gravel wheelset and a Shimano GRX 400 groupset.  All this for just $3,999.

In addition to the bikes, the Decathlon superstore has a line of bags and gear to outfit every part of the bikepacking adventure. 

GRVL GCR – a carbon gravel race bike

Riverside GRVL GCR – a carbon gravel race bike

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)

For those riding for speed rather than adventure, Decathlon is also offering a competitively lightweight carbon steed, named the Riverside Gravel GCR

This frame features a modern geometry with a lowered seat stay and is stripped from any accessory mounts, leaving only the two bottle minimum. There’s room for 42c tires but Riverside spec’s the bike with 40c Hutchinson Touareg tires. 

The higher end model comes with a flared handlebar, a 1x SRAM Force eTap AXS drivetrain and Reynolds carbon wheels for $5,699. A complete build in a size medium has a claimed weight of just under 20 pounds at 8.3kg.

There will also be a lower spec version equipped with Fulcrum’s RR900 alloy gravel wheelset and a SRAM Rival eTap AXS groupset.

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Anne-Marije Rook
North American Editor

Cycling Weekly's North American Editor, Anne-Marije Rook is old school. She holds a degree in journalism and started out as a newspaper reporter — in print! She can even be seen bringing a pen and notepad to the press conference.

Originally from The Netherlands, she grew up a bike commuter and didn't find bike racing until her early twenties when living in Seattle, Washington. Strengthened by the many miles spent darting around Seattle's hilly streets on a steel single speed, Rook's progression in the sport was a quick one. As she competed at the elite level, her journalism career followed, and soon she became a full-time cycling journalist. She's now been a cycling journalist for 11 years.