The spec is mouthwatering, but can the Rockrider deliver the full package?

Product Overview

B’Twin Rockrider 740S

Pros:

  • Lightweight. Top quality Mavic wheels and SRAM drivetrain.

Cons:

  • Even the size L frame is way too short for an aspiring XC racer. The bike developed an annoying creak after just one ride. Nervy handling undermines confidence.

Product:

B’Twin Rockrider 740S (2016) first ride

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,000.00
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Need to know

  • B’Twin is Decathlon’s bike brand and the Rockrider 740S is its latest 27.5in full-suspension trail bike
  • NEUF anti-bob suspension design delivers 120mm travel
  • Fast-rolling Hutchinson tyres and lightweight Mavic wheels give the bike plenty of zip

>>> Click here to find the best cheap mountain bikes

B’Twin Rockrider 740S

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If there’s one segment in mountain biking that’s really hotting up it’s the £1k full-suspension category.

We tested five such bikes in the Summer issue, where the Calibre Bossnut, VooDoo Zobop and Boardman Team FS totally blew us away with their performance, while bringing into question the validity of the £1k hardtail.

One key bike that was missing from that test was the 120mm-travel B’Twin Rockrider 740S. Not only did it fit the bill in terms of price, but just like the Calibre, Voodoo and, to a lesser extent, Boardman, the B’Twin is available online or at big out-of-town superstores; in this instance, Decathlon. It should come as no surprise, then, that it’s a very well-specced bike for the money.

How does it stack up against the other bikes from our £1k test though? Well, at 13.99kg, it’s certainly light, but it still would not have been the lightest of the bunch. That honour went to the Giant Stance 27.5 2, which also sports 120mm travel. And if it’s
a short-travel XC bike you’re after, the Giant also has much better sizing and geometry, beating the B’twin hands down.

Anti-bob suspension works at the cost of small-hit response

Anti-bob suspension works at the cost of small-hit response

And it’s not just the outdated sizing on the B’Twin that’s a sticking point; the rear suspension lacks sensitivity and control. Sure the bike pedals really efficiently, with minimal bobbing, but we had to drop the pressure in the Manitou shock well below 100psi just to get it to move when we sat on the bike. As such, the back end clatters over, and off, bumps rather than absorbing them, and combined with the 90mm stem and diminutive sizing the B’Twin feels completely outdated against its competitors.

There’s currently only one review of the Rockrider 740S on the Decathlon website and it says, “This is a superbly equipped 650b full-suss mtb for fast trail riding,” and finishes with the line, “What’s not to like!” While we wholeheartedly agree that the specification is stellar, we were less impressed by the outdated sizing, lacklustre suspension response and overall attitude of the bike.

If other big name superstores can produce a great full-suspension bike, there’s surely no reason why Decathlon can’t too.

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Details

Frame:6061 aluminium, 120mm travel
Shock:Manitou Radium Expert
Fork:Manitou Minute Comp, 120mm travel
Wheels:Mavic Cross Ride, Hutchinson Toro/Taipan 27.5x2.25/2.1in tyres
Drivetrain:SRAM S1000 38/24t chainset, X5 f-mech, X9 r-mech and X7 10-spd shifters
Brakes:Hayes Prime Sport, 180/160mm
Components:B’Twin Comp bar 690mm, B’Twin Sport saddle and 90mm stem
Sizes:M, L, XL
Weight:13.99kg (30.8lb)
Size ridden:L
Rider height:5ft 10in
Head angle:68.1°
Seat angle:70.2°
BB height:343mm
Chainstay:452mm
Front centre:682mm
Wheelbase:1,134mm
Down tube:654mm
Top tube:600mm