Test Riverside Carbon CGR SRAM Rival: If you think of cycling when you think of Decathlon bikes, you have to reorient yourself here: The bike with the Riverside lettering on the down tube is a thoroughbred gravel racer including the UCI seal, which primarily wants to be ridden quickly and with has little or nothing to do with bikepacking.
For a long time, the outdoor giant was content with extremely simple, inexpensive bikes. Triban racing bikes with a simple shifting system served a market segment that the big bike companies didn't bother with and didn't hurt anyone. But Decathlon has gradually expanded its portfolio and now offers, among other things, an interesting long-tail cargo bike - and a gravel bike that is technically on par with the models from established brands. The Riverside Carbon CGR can significantly undercut even comparably equipped bikes from major retailers in terms of price.
Riverside Carbon CGR SRAM Rival: inexpensive gravel racer
So what do you get under the Riverside brand name for 2.999 euros? First of all, a very sporty frame geometry with a steep steering angle and stack and reach dimensions that result in a slightly stretched posture and a noticeable saddle elevation. This means that the Riverside is definitely not an all-round gravel bike, but is aimed at riders who want to go on brisk tours and are definitely not interested in bikepacking. Apart from two bottle holders, nothing can be mounted on this bike. The sticker of the UCI homologation also points in the direction of “Gravel Race” - with this bike you can officially take part in races run by the World Cycling Association, even if this is not yet viewed quite as closely.
With angular tube shapes, a flattened top tube and flat shapes, the frame has a very independent and modern design; The logo of a high-end brand would also look good on him. At most, purists might want completely integrated brake lines and an internal seat clamp. The screwed-on stone chip protection under the down tube was implemented with some effort; a thick protective film would have done it too. However, you won't find any pinch protection in the bottom bracket area. When installing the wheel, the exact stop in the dropouts is noticeable.
Only mobile with radio control
Finally, what is noticeable is that the frame is “AXS only” – you cannot mount anything other than the wireless gear system from SRAM. A picky customer base is clearly not part of Decathlon's business model, but on the other hand, the bike with the successful frame and the high-quality SRAM Rival AXS is of course very attractive. The electronic circuit works perfectly as usual. The 38 chainring shifts the overall gear ratio of the 10-44 cassette a little further towards “light” than is usual for a gravel race bike. You could perhaps wish for a carbon support, although the Riverside is by no means uncomfortable.
At just over nine kilos plus pedals, the bike can be moved easily and accelerated easily. When driving quickly on the flat with a lot of pressure on the pedal, the Riverside tends to swing a bit; However, overall straight-line stability is good. Stiffness is not an issue with a frame like this, and the almost 42 mm wide, tubeless tires have a pleasant vibration-damping effect. The Hutchinson Touareg also stands out with its smooth running and enough grip on pretty much any surface. Although they max out the permitted tire clearance of the frame and fork, there is enough space all around and 45 mm tires also fit easily. In addition, it is less the width than the height of the tires that sets limits.
Solid wheelset with fast tires
For the SRAM group, the provider specifies the popular Fulcrum Rapid Red 900 - a cheap, solid OEM wheelset whose rims with an inner width of 22 mm are well suited for wide gravel tires. With a light wheel set you could save around 500 grams, with a super light one you could save a whopping kilo. At a good 1.500 grams, the Riverside's frame and fork are on the light side anyway and offer potential that Decathlon uses in the top model with SRAM Force ASX and Reynolds carbon wheels. This costs 1.000 euros more, but is actually more interesting in terms of price-performance. The elegant gravel bike from the outdoor giant is definitely exciting.