Decathlon's new B’Twin LD 920 E appears to have achieved in one quick move what many others have been aiming at for years - a simple-to-operate yet very high tech e-bike. It combines motor and bike gears in one mid-drive unit that is fully automated.
The B’Twin LD 920 E claims to be an e-bike that allows the rider to set their desired cadence with the motor and transmission control then doing the rest.
Technically speaking Decathlon's own Owuru-branded motor unit (developed in partnership with Belgian firm e2Drives) combines electric assistance with continuously variable, automatic gear shifting.
Pinion's MGU unit unveiled at Eurobike this summer promises to combine motor and gears in the same way but lacks the level of automation that the B'Twin LD 920 E offers. What's more, bikes featuring the Pinion are unlikely to be able to match the Decathlon price tag of 2,999 euros.
Vital stats for the motor are 65Nm torque with a gear range of 265%. (Pinion will be relieved to hear that is no match for their equivalent 85Nm and 568% figures.)
There is also a large capacity 702Wh battery and a full-colour display showing all the usual info, plus cadence, and remaining range. A USB-C port can charge smartphones and the like.
The B'Twin LD 920 E has integrated tracking via 4G, WLAN and Bluetooth that links to a smartphone app and can be used in the event the bike is tampered with or stolen.
Last but not least, the bike features mudguards, rear rack and a 30mm suspension fork plus powerful hardwired lighting. There will be diamond frame and step-through variants.
We first reported on the B’Twin LD 920 E last October but few details were available back then. It's emergence onto the shop floors of Europe demonstrates that Decathlon is not only a reputable retailer of value-for-money e-bikes but now a significant player in developing e-bike technology itself.