AG2R's Van Rysel RCR Pro, the WorldTour's most affordable bike, goes on sale through Decathlon

Decathlon AG2R-La Mondiale replica bike available to the paying public, priced at £9,000

It already has 16 pro wins to its name, the latest being a hard-fought Brabantse Pijl with Benoit Cosnefroy, and now the Van Rysel team bike of Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale is to be made available to the public with a price of £9,000 from 10am today, April 16.

Benoit Cosnefroy wins Brabantse Pijl

Photos: Getty Images

Cosnefroy, who sprinted to victory from a small group in the tough Belgian race, above, said of the bike in Decathlon’s press release: “It's very aerodynamic. It sends speed straight back without needing to give it too much. The bike remains the centrepiece of our equipment, and now that average speeds are often in excess of 50 km/h, aero is very important."

When the French team switched from BMC to Decathlon’s in-house brand for this season, the Van Rysel RCR Pro made headlines as the WorldTour’s most affordable bike. However, it wasn’t quite plucked from the shop floor of one of the sports superstore’s branches; this is a bike that was developed in partnership with some of the industry’s leading aerodynamicists and manufacturers including Swiss Side, Deda and Onera, the French aerospace lab whose name features on the top tube. According to Decathlon, the RCR Pro is made with Super Hi Mod Carbon that makes it 10% stiffer at the head tube than the previous flagship race bike, the RCR.

Dura-Ace chainset on the Van Rysel RCR Pro

Designed as an aero all-rounder, the bike is the only one the AG2R team will be using for road stages. The spec of the replica RCR Pro is identical to that of the team: it has a full Shimano Dura-Ace 9200 groupset including power meter, Swiss Side Ultimate Hadron 500 wheels, which have a rim depth of 500mm and claimed weight of 1,470g per pair (the team also has the option of two deeper rims at 625mm and 800mm). It comes with Continental GP5000S tyres, though the team bike we photographed at the Tour Down Under was set up with the GP5000S TR tubeless rubber. The option is there for tubeless with these wheels, as with most modern high-end race wheels.

Van Rysel RCR Pro's Deda cockpit

At the front is the Deda-developed Van Rysel integrated cockpit and the saddle is a Fizik Vento Argo 00, which has a carbon shell and carbon rails. The claimed frame weight is 790g and and the bike has an overall weight in this build of 6.9kg.

Jaan Kirsipuu in the 2002 Tour of Denmark

Photo: Getty Images

Decathlon hasn't been at the top level of cycling since the mid-Noughties when the brand was the bike sponsor of two French teams – Cofidis as well as AG2R-Prévoyance, who had ridden Decathlon-branded bikes since 2000 (Jaan Kirsipuu rides the Decathlon Penta Pro in the 2002 Tour of Denmark above). The RCR Pro is obviously lightyears ahead of these aluminium-framed machines that now look spindly and retro by comparison, though not without their own particular charm (and some were likely to have been custom made by riders’ own framebuilders).

But back to 2024. If £9,000 isn’t affordable enough – it’s still not exactly ‘cheap’ – there’s an Ultegra Di2-equipped version of the RCR Pro that retails for £5,500 and a SRAM Force version with the same price, while the SRAM Rival version is £1,000 below that at £4,500.

Go to Decathlon’s website for all the details and specs.

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