we saw the new optimized version, everything that has changed

Frandroid went to Lille, Decathlon’s giant BTWIN Village, to meet the French brand’s teams. An opportunity to present an optimized version of their electric longtail to us is expected this summer. On the menu: a few minor improvements and a slightly higher price.

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

500 meters long, 1,500 workers on site: Decathlon’s BTWIN village is a small anthill with two faces. On one side, there is a huge mall dedicated to the Btwin brand that families and the general public can freely visit. On the other hand, it is Decathlon’s nerve center for designing new bikes.

Design, prototyping, laboratory, assembly plant, modelling, digital support, paint shops, innovation center: the genesis of the new Decathlon bike takes place here in the BTWIN village. Frandroid had the chance to go there all day to meet the various teams of the tricolor brand.

Larger front basket

During this event, Decathlon presented us with a new version of its electric longtail, the popular Longtail R500Elec. The “new version” is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, as the group’s engineers have mostly optimized the existing model with minor tweaks.

First, the front basket is very slightly enlarged. According to them, this will, for example, better accommodate a child’s or college school bag thanks to the wider space. After all, an electric long tail is designed to be as practical as possible: so this option makes sense, even if it doesn’t spoil the experience.

Previously located on the rear wheel ring lock – an anti-theft device that allows you to lock the wheel using a simple key – changes its location and moves to the front wheel. Reason: access would be easier compared to the current location under the extended rear structure.

Stronger support

A flap on the extension of the front mudguard will invite itself to the party: such a small tray serves to better protect you from splashes, despite the presence of the mudguard. Your shoes will thank you.

Let’s continue with the support. As you know, the electric long tail does not have the same weight as the classic VAE. The weight of the R500Elec is, for example, 38 kilos: if, for example, children are sitting in the back, it is advisable to install a strong, sturdy center support that can withstand considerable weight when stationary.

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Decathlon therefore plays the safety card and changes its assembly processes: the new stand benefits from a screw and already screwed assembly due to the risk of damage or breakage in the long term. Plus, it’s already possible to go and exchange your stand for free because it’s still under warranty – the VAE was released less than two years ago.

Another change will come into effect soon. Before and Decathlon to preserve the autonomy of the electric bicycle was passing Electronic mode of your model from Turbo to Normal after detecting the remaining autonomy of 40%. This change has been applied retroactively. Problem: Customer feedback is not positive.

It is planned for the summer of 2023

Therefore, Decathlon will remove this program limitation. According to them, then some loss of autonomy will be felt. This is quite logical, since Turbo mode – if maintained by the cyclist – consumes more than Normal mode. 50 km of autonomy in the Turbo should be considered a few kilometers down.

Finally, the French brand has improved the processing of the back seat board: it is a matter of better resistance and a better controlled process.

All the changes presented here will be in the new version, which is expected in the summer of 2023, except for the electronic compression and the bolt-on support, as explained above. Later, new colors (beige, light green and red) will be added to the catalog.

As for version 2 of the R500Elec, the project is under investigation: in any case, this new iteration will not be landing anytime soon. Decathlon is also working on a more compact electric longtail, but its marketing is not yet ready to see the light of day.

Decathlon R500Elec: a small price increase is coming

Launched at €2,700, the R500Elec is now available for €2,900 on the brand’s official website. The popular optimized version, scheduled for the summer of 2023, will be sold for its part at 2,999 euros, which is a price increase of 100 euros compared to the current price.

Decathlon justifies this jump for two reasons: all the improvements made in the model, but also the context of inflation, which affects all sectors, including cycling.

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