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Decathlon launches new high-end bike brand, Van Rysel

Joe Robinson
24 Jan 2019

French giant aims to be taken seriously in the bike market with new dual approach

It's been a busy year for French sports giant Decathlon with a host of changes, particularly to its in-house bike brand B'twin. The cheap but cheerful brand relaunched as Triban at the end of 2018, with focus on the lower end of the market providing bikes with endurance-based framesets and lower spec components. 

Decathlon has now made steps to break the higher end of the market with the launch of its second in-house brand, Van Rysel, which was unveiled in Belgium earlier this week.

This latest brand will focus 'much more on the performance cyclist and will see the introduction of products never stocked at Decathlon before such as skinsuits and aero helmets.'

The idea behind the new name comes from the translation of Van Rysel meaning 'From Lille' which is firstly a homage to Decathlon's headquarters in Lille and also secondly to where the bikes are designed, assembled and tested, using the nearby Roubaix and Flanders cobbles as a test centre.

Brand director, Nicolas Pierron, believes this new brand will open a new chapter for Decathlon taking them away from being solely the brand known for its cheaper, entry-level bikes. 

'We started this project with a blank canvas and first set about recruiting a passionate team and the best technical partners. Their experience and passion helped us to create products which meet the requirements of the pros but are accessible for our customers at Decathlon,' said Pierron.

'Cycling in this region is truly a religion, so we have since moved production from Portugal to Lille and we have put the lion of Flanders on to each frame.

'The name Van Rysel is not really something we invented; it’s just an introduction of this new story for performance road cycling at Decathlon.'

Topping the new range will be the Van Rysel Ultra 940 CF Dura-Ace, replacing the B'Twin equivalent from 2018. With this full carbon frame comes mechanical Shimano Dura-Ace and a set of Zipp 303 clincher wheels with Vittoria Corsa tyres. Fizik and Deda components complete the bike.

Unfortunately, the brand has dropped its blue and fluorescent pink paint job but is likely to continue its tradition of low prices. For example, the equivalent bike in the B'Twin range cost only £3,500 last year.

Also in the range will be a Van Rysel 940 CF Ultegra Di2 option with Mavic Cosmic Pro wheels, set to retail at €3,800, and a mechanical Ultegra option with the same wheels just with alloy brake tracks.

At the bottom of the range will be the Van Rysel 900 AF aluminium frame with the new Shimano 105 groupset and a set of box section Mavic Askyiums. 

To complement the new bike brand will also be a clothing and shoe collection based upon the popular B'Twin brand that has already been established.

Prices will be in the 'respectable' range with irredescent carbon shoes for only £109 and a skinsuit for under £100.

One drawback of the bike collection could be the lack of disc brakes although with the brand now taking its bike manufacturing more seriously we could expect to see this option in the future. 

Prices are yet to be released for the range with more information expected to come when the bikes reach stores and online from March 2019.

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