When it comes to road bikes, carbon fiber disc bikes are the most desirable due to their lightweight and smooth rides. Decathlon’s Van Rysel lineup of bikes target that premium end of the road bike market with various carbon frame options. In this review, we’ll be looking at the Van Rysel EDR CF 105 which features an endurance geometry and a full Shimano 105 drivetrain. We’re a bit late to the party with this review as the bike was originally released back in 2021, however, the bike has only recently become available in the US with a retail price of $3499. Developed in-house at Decathlon’s Flanders headquarters, the EDR CF 105 is a modern road bike with hydraulic disc brakes, thru-axles and offset seat stays. Decathlon also offers a aluminum frame EDR AF 105 variation for $1700 while the Ultegra variation of the EDR CF isn’t available in the US.
The Decathlon Van Rysel EDR CF 105 combines a smooth shifting Shimano 105 drivetrain with a comfortable full carbon frame.
|Rating||Design: A |
|Weight (lb)||19 (size large)|
|Likes||+ Smooth shifting Shimano 105 drivetrain|
+ Fast and aggressive wheel and tire setup
+ Full carbon fiber frame has smooth and compliant ride
|Dislikes||– Only offered in black|
– Narrow house-branded Btwin bike saddle
– US pricing is in line with larger bike brands like Specialized or Cannondale instead of being lower as European pricing
|Where to Buy (US)||Decathlon|
FIT & FINISH
Visually, the Van Rysel EDR 105 CF takes full advantage of the full carbon frame and fork construction with sharp creases and aerodynamic shaping. The sculpted head tube connects to a thin downward sloping top tube which has an ellipse-like cross section and a crease running along the top. A rectangular downtube extends down to the bottom bracket with a sharp dividing line along the side that separates a matte inner finish with the glossy primary paint finish. Decathlon only offers the Van Rysel EDR 105 CF in a black finish which is consistent with Van Rysel shoes and apparel in the US. While we wish Decathlon would offer more color options, like those found overseas, the blacked out finish and black disc wheels give the bike a sinister look.
Branding on the bike is quite subtle with Van Rysel printed on the top tube and ghosted onto the inside of the downtube. We suspect most people will assume the EDR 105 CF is some sort of Specialized or Cannondale variation unless they’re familiar with Van Rysel as there is no Decathlon branding on the bike. There are a few easter eggs like the coordinates printed on the seat stay and the “Designed in Flanders” on the seatpost. Consistent with the performance theme, the bike has a smooth finish with no accommodations for rack or fender mounting. The rear triangle also features an offset design (i.e. the seat stays are offset lower than top tube) for improved compliance and lighter weight.
This is also an endurance style geometry which means you have a taller headtube, slack head tube angle and lower bottom bracket to achieve a more upright position and stable handling. That doesn’t mean the bike is limited to long rides only though, as it’s easy to adjust the bike into a more aggressive position by lowering the handlebars or sizing the frame down. With the premium price point of the bike you also get internal cable routing with the cables routed through slots on each side of the downtube. The only exposed cables are from the bar tape edges to the downtube with rubber protectors to protect the frame against cable rub.
Decathlon has fitted the bike with a full mechanical Shimano 105 R700 drivetrain with a 2x setup and hydraulic disc brakes. Even though Shimano 105 is Shimano’s entry-level performance groupset, it’s smooth and fast shifting make it hard to justify spending more for higher-cost Ultegra or Dura-Ace variations. Lower cost Shimano 105 bikes like the Triban RC 520 tend to mix-and-match components while the Van Rysel EDR 105 CF has full Shimano components down to the cassette and even the brake rotors. This means you get the full Shimano experience with smooth modulating hydraulic brakes and fast shifting derailleurs. Although we still prefer Sram’s DoubleTap style shifters, the 105’s levers are ergonomic with a light and satisfying click when changing gears. The bike is equipped with a 2x setup with a 52×36 double chain ring in the front and a wide 11×28 cassette in the rear. This gives the bike more than enough range for doing steep climbs or fast-paced group rides.
We were also impressed with the hydraulic disc brakes which have a light consistent feel that gives you confidence regardless of the weather conditions. One of the controversial features of the bike are the 700×25 CST Energia tires mounted on Fulcrum Racing DB wheels. These are narrow compared to today’s “wider is faster” philosophy. The skinnier tires lack to smooth ride you find on 700×32 tires but give the bike a fast and responsive feel. We didn’t experience any flats or issues with the CST branded tires and were happy with the performance despite their budget price. The bike also has aluminum Decathlon branded stem and handlebar as well as a narrow Decathlon Btwin branded saddle. It looks like the exact same saddle on our Triban RC 520 and one of the first things we’d recommend swapping out as it’s narrow and firm. The seatpost itself is carbon fiber though and quite long which allows you to easily find a comfortable position on the bike.
ON THE ROAD
Our 6’1″ test rider chose the size large version of the frame which resulted in a comparable fit as other 56cm bikes. As you can see from the side shots of the bike, to achieve a comfortable fit the bike is set up aggressively with a tall seat post and lowered handlebars. For those looking for a more classic upright endurance fit and are 6’1″ or taller we’d recommend trying out the extra-large version of the frame. On the road, we found the Van Rysel EDR CF 105 to be surprisingly agile and complaint. The carbon fiber bike is well tuned to dampen out the harshness of the road while the Fulcrum wheels and 700×25 tires offer responsive feel and grip. Even with the more relaxed endurance geometry the bike is fun to sprint with or take up steep climbs. The relatively light 19lb weight and wide range of gears give the bike versatility for a variety of riding styles. Aside from swapping out the saddle for a wider Fizik saddle, the stock components are well chosen and dialed in right out of the box.
Overall, we found the Decathlon Van Rysel EDR CF 105 bike to be well designed and fast on the road. The carbon fiber frame has a sleek design with aerodynamic shaping with all the modern design features such as a thru-axles and offset seat stays. While we would have preferred brighter colors and graphics the all-black gloss finish with matte inner triangle looks premium. It’s clear Decathlon has invested time and research into designing and tuning the ride as it’s complaint and responsive. Even with the narrow 700×25 tires the bike feels smooth and complaint over rough roads which allows you to do long distances comfortable. We were also impressed with the smooth shifting Shimano 105 drivetrain and strong hydraulic brakes.
The big cons of the bike is that it’s only available in black, uses a narrow Btwin saddle and the retail price which is on par with bigger brands. Given Decathlon’s lack of retail stores in the US we’d expect a discounted price on the bike like those offered in Europe. In fact, the Ultegra version of this bike appears to have a similar price point in Europe which makes the bike an excellent value. That said, we’re still impressed with the bike and would recommend it if you can buy it at the right price. In fact, at the time of this review the bike is on sale at ~$2700 which undercuts most other brands and makes it a compelling value.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Decathlon. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.