French sports and outdoor specialist Decathlon has been marketing its own bicycles and e-bikes for quite some time — among others with its own brand Elops. As a novelty, they now present the Elops LD500E in two frame variants: the Elops LD500E HF with classic diamond frame and high top tube and the Elops Elops LD500E LF with comfort frame in trapezoid shape. Both have in common an extensive equipment with mudguards, lighting system and luggage rack, but above all the relatively slim look despite a large and removable battery.
Decathlon uses the familiar ingredients for the drive when an e-bike should only be recognizable as such at second glance: Instead of a clunky mid-mounted motor, a compact hub motor is installed in the rear wheel, which offers a torque of 45 Nm. The drive system is operated via a display on the handlebars, which certainly displays a lot of information, but a more compact and inconspicuous model would certainly have suited the bike better. On the other hand, the integration of the battery is well solved: with a capacity of 500 Wh, it is really large (for a rather slim e-bike), and it can also be removed for charging! Finally, one thing must also be absolutely mentioned: A torque sensor is installed in the bottom bracket, which — depending on the pedaling force on the pedal — provides appropriate support for the motor. A system that ensures a particularly natural riding experience and was previously reserved for high-priced bikes. So it’s all the more pleasing that this technology is now also finding its way into the lower price segment!
The equipment of the Elops LD500E has already been mentioned and is really complete: the 38 mm wide tires are wrapped in mudguards and a sturdy luggage rack with a load capacity of 27 kg ensures high utility. The lighting system comes from AXA with the Blueline rear light and a Blueline 30 headlight. A bike stand, ergonomically shaped grips and a padded saddle round out the extensive equipment.
Decathlon relies on a Microshift derailleur with 9 gears (cassette 11/36, chainring with 36 teeth). Hydraulic disc brakes from Tektro provide the deceleration, unusually with a smaller brake disc at the front than at the rear (160 and 180 mm). Possibly one has taken into account here the habits of the everyday cyclist target group, tends to brake rather first on the rear wheel 😉
Two things become apparent on the scales of the Elops LD500E: On the one hand, the weight of 23 kg is quite heavy and heavier than you would expect from the slim appearance. On the other hand, this also shows that Decathlon had to cut corners somewhere in order to achieve the most attractive sales price possible. After all, lightweight components are more expensive than heavy ones. For example, while the frame is made of comparatively light aluminum, the fork is made of heavy (but inexpensive) steel.
This also brings us to the costs for the Elops LD500E: Decathlon charges 1,649 Euros for the e-bike, which is a really attractive price. For this, you get a slim and elegant bike with complete equipment, a large and removable battery, and a motor control with torque sensor. It is also commendable that you can choose from various frame sizes: The Elops LD500E HF with a diamond frame is available in three sizes, and the comfort frame model Elops LD500E LF is available in two sizes.