French outdoor and sports retailer Decathlon has been making quite a name for itself in the cycling scene. The brand has a wide selection of readily available bikes both in-store and online, and has raised the bar when it comes to so-called “department store bicycles.”
In recent years, Decathlon, through its sub-brands Rockrider and Riverside, has expanded into the growing e-mobility scene. In spring of 2023, Riverside released the 520 E, an electric commuter for the urban dweller. This time around, the e-bike has been relaunched in a more accessible step-through variant. The benefits of a step-through frame go beyond just improved accessibility for shorter riders, but also easier stops and starts, not to mention easier mounts and dismounts.
On the performance side of the equation, the Riverside 520 E is powered by a rear hub motor with a 250-watt nominal power output, in compliance with European e-bike legislation. Torque rating is said to be 42 Newton-meters (about 31 pound-feet), offering just enough power to tackle moderate to steep inclines around the city. The bike gets a short-travel front suspension fork to take the edge of less-than-perfect roads, but it rolls on skinny CST gravel tires, so don’t expect to shred any trails aboard this commuter.
The bike is powered by a 500-watt-hour battery pack that promises a maximum range of 62 miles on a single charge. However, this range quickly drops to about 35 miles on the highest assist level. To ensure a smoother ride, the Riverside 520 E is equipped with a torque sensor, rather than a rudimentary cadence sensor. We talked about the differences between a cadence and torque sensor in a previous article, so be sure to check that out if you have the time.
On the technology side of things, the Riverside 520 E keeps things simple yet effective. There’s a multi-function button on the side of the display that allows you to control assist settings, while the display shows speed, distance, and remaining range. There’s also a USB port for powering up your devices on the go. In terms of amenities, Decathlon equips the Riverside 520 E with an B-Twin Ergofit Trekking 500 saddle for extra comfort, as well as ergonomic groups with palm support. Basic lighting and a rear stand come as standard, but mudguards and a luggage rack are optional extras sold separately.
Last but not least, the Riverside 520 E receives a Microshift H081 drivetrain and a Tektro TKD hydraulic disc brake system. The model comes in a single green colorway, and is sold in sizes S, M, and L. As for pricing, it retains its attractive price point of 1,399 euros, translating to about $1,510 USD.