A high-tech ebike at a budget price? Decathlon make this possible with their new BTWIN LD 920E Automatic city e-bike, which comes equipped with an E2 Drives OWURU motor and continuously variable automatic transmission, retailing at under €2,500 in Decathlon stores. We tested the French high-tech wonder bike for you.

French sporting goods giant Decathlon joined the urban ebike sector several years ago and is generally perceived as an aggressively priced competitor. In other words, Decathlon are trying to take market share away from established bike brands with decent yet not ground-breaking ebikes at discount prices.

However, Decathlon now appear to be changing their strategy. Alongside price leadership, the French brand also want to secure technology leadership in the urban ebike sector. To achieve this, they’re putting out their feelers, utilising technologies from other companies and combining them with the many years of experience of their own team.

Decathlon BTWIN LD 920 E | E2 Drives Owuru/702 Wh | 30 mm (f)
24 kg in size M | € 2,499 | Manufacturer website

Decathlon have already proven their impressive technological capabilities with the Magic Bike concept study in 2022, and now they are taking it one step further. Rather than luring potential customers with whimsical concepts at trade fairs, they’re delivering the goods, offering the new BTWIN LD 920E at nearly 1,700 retail spaces worldwide.

The BTWIN LD 920E is an urban city ebike with an alloy frame. More precisely, it’s a hardtail with a rigid rear end and suspension fork that rolls on 28″ wheels. So far, so good. Banalities aside, it also has a new type of ebike motor with an integrated, automatic gearbox, unlike anything we’ve seen before.. The OWURU motor, which was developed recently by a small motor manufacturer called E2 Drives, provides a stepless “shift feeling” that has nothing to do with conventional drivetrains. In fact, the motor doesn’t shift gears at all, but “varies” the gear ratio ­– but more on that later.

The e-bike draws its power from a 702 Wh battery and weighs just under 27 kg in size M. For € 2,499, you can roll one away from one of the blue and white megastores, provided you’re lucky enough to have a store nearby that still has stock.

What makes the Decathlon BTWIN LD 920E so special?

The BTWIN LD 920E relies on a classic alloy diamond frame, which is fabricated to a reasonably high standard and features a modern, curved silhouette. The BTWIN LD 920E is available in a total of four sizes, S to XL, offering a suitable option for riders between 155 and 195 cm tall. Frame size small will have a step-through design, while L and XL will have a higher top tube, and M will be available in both versions. In some countries, Decathlon will market the bike under their ELOPS brand rather than as a BTWIN.

The OWURU drive is completely different from any conventional ebike motor. Instead of engaging a gear, you have to select a target cadence somewhere between 40 and 90 rpm, which covers a cadence range from relaxed cruising to relatively fast, sporty pedalling. The geared motor takes care of the rest, adjusting the motor power and internal gear ratio with an extremely high sampling rate and without power loss. It does this so well that you don’t even notice that the motor isn’t connected directly to the chainring – it transmits its power to the chain via an additional small sprocket.

The Decathlon ebike politely asks how fast you want to pedal and does everything it can to make you happy. You can choose anything between 40 and 90 rpm!

Let’s jump straight to the technical part: WOW! The exploded view caused more excitement amongst our editors than the announcement that the European Football Championship will be held in our country: two differently sized electric motors, two synchronised belts, a planetary gearbox with internal and external toothed ring gears in multi-shaft operation… The tech sheet looks like the minutes of a US muscle car meeting. However, the Owuru drive is not about sheer power, but more about a new, seamless and smooth riding experience. Some of you may remember the Audi multitronic system: well, the OWURU engine follows a very similar principle. But let’s take a step or two back first.

The idea came from E2 Drives, which was originally a small two-man company near Brussels. Founders Arthur Deleval and Simon Godfrind came up with the idea of the OWURU motor. OWURU means ‘Leopard’ in Igbo, a language of the Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family. The leopard is intended to symbolise the OWURU motor’s ability to adapt quickly.

The OWURU drive is one or two steps ahead of the current state of the art. Inside are tucked away two motors and a continuously variable automatic gearbox, something we’ve never seen before with an ebike.

Apparently, Decathlon were so impressed by the motor concept that they bought the whole E2 Drives company, which is now a subsidiary of the sporting goods giant.

Now we’ll get more technical: inside the OWURU motor housing hides a (bigger) electric motor that provides the system with a large portion of the power via a planetary gearbox. According to E2 Drives, the OWURU motor delivers high torque figures of up to 120 Nm. However, since there isn’t such a thing as a standardised measurement for ebike torques, and the transmitted torque for motors with an integrated gearbox always depends on the gear you’re in, the company has decided to advertise the motor with quite conservative figures based on the torque provided in the least efficient scenario. Therefore, the BTWIN LD 920E is specified with a torque of just 65 Nm on Decathlon’s website.

E2 Drives specify 600 watts of peak power, while the maximum assistance is 375 %: So if you pedal at 160 watts, you should be able to call up the full 600 watts peak power – at least theoretically. Human and motor power converge in the motor via a belt and a planetary gearbox. A second motor, called a variator, rotates the planetary gear from the outside. While the system might sound extremely complex, all it does is compensate for cadence fluctuations while varying the transmission ratio between the motor speed and your own pedalling cadence.

The OWURU motor aligns your pedalling cadence with the motor speed in such a way that you don’t even notice that it’s transmitting power to the chain via a separate sprocket rather than directly to the chainring.

Needless to say, this much technology is reflected by the weight, with the motor and automatic gearbox combo alone tipping the scales at 4.6 kg. By comparison, German manufacturer Pinion’s MGU E1.9 and E1.12 motor-gearbox unit weighs just 4 kg. On the other hand, all of the OWURU’s closest competitors lack a continuously variable transmission.

The motor is paired with a remote, which is attached to the left hand side of the handlebars and consists of four buttons and a joystick. Two buttons allow you to switch between the support modes, while the joystick lets you select the desired cadence. This can be adjusted while riding, although the joystick’s haptics are slightly spongy. The other two buttons are for the lighting system and horn, respectively. The horn isn’t particularly loud and sounds like the laser from Space Invaders on the Atari 2600 (we might be showing our age here). If you want to shoo away reckless pedestrians, you might be better off using your vocal cords.

The support modes and desired cadence can be selected using the remote, which includes a small joystick. The small yellow button sounds a horn, but you can barely hear it over the click of the freewheel.
The BTWIN LD 920E doesn’t have an external charging port on the frame, meaning that you have to remove the battery from the side of the down tube for charging.

Decathlon’s e-bike relies on a 702 Wh battery, which is tucked away inside the down tube, where a key lock allows you to remove it from the non-drive side of the frame. The battery is sealed with a wide rubber lip that prevents moisture and dirt from entering the frame, and it has a practical carrying handle on the top. The frame doesn’t feature a charging port, meaning that the battery can only be charged externally. You’ll find all the motor and battery information on the display, which is worthy of a separate paragraph of its own.

Decathlon BTWIN LD 920 E

€ 2,499


Motor E2 Drives Owuru 65 Nm
Battery Trendpower 702 Wh
Display Decathlon, integrated
Fork Headshock 30 mm
Seatpost Alloy
Brakes BTWIN R280 by TEKTRO 180/160 mm
Drivetrain Owuru Automatic CVT 265%
Stem Decathlon
Handlebar Alloy 620 mm
Wheelset Alloy 28"
Tires Vittoria E-Randonneur Tech 1.5"

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 24 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 116 kg
Trailer approval yes
Kickstand mount yes

Specific Features

automatic shifting
gps tracking
frame lock

The connectivity features of the Decathlon ebike

When a bike manufacturer also owns the motor system – which is the case with this bike – this often gives them advantages in terms of system integration. With the Decathlon BTWIN LD 920E, the display confirms this theory. Not only is this beautifully integrated into the stem, which comes standard with an integrated headlight, but it also has some useful additional features, like the automatic day/night mode, a USB-C charging port and a high-level of connectivity.

Integration that bears fruit: With the Decathlon e-bike, many of the components come from a single source and have been designed specifically for this bike. Amongst them are the tidy stem with integrated display and headlight.
The stem features a USB-C charging port for a smartphone. The stem merges seamlessly into the head tube, which might ensure a tidy look but makes it harder to adjust the cockpit.

The well-designed Decathlon Geocover app (previously the Decathlon Mobility app) allows you to access your Decathlon ebike and view a wide range of information about the bike: as well as getting the basic riding info, you can track a ride, see your calorie consumption and even your CO2 savings.

Particularly interesting is the fact that you can access your Decathlon ebike remotely. For this purpose, it comes equipped standard with a GPS and mobile phone module as well as an integrated motion sensor. If someone tampers with the bike, the system will notify you straight away via a message on your smartphone. Moreover, you can see the bike’s current location and set up a so-called geo-fence. If the Decathlon bike leaves your virtual fence, the system sets off an alarm. Although the Geocover app is well designed and never let us down while testing the bike, it does require plenty of time to familiarise yourself with all the functions.

Everything in the green… er, blue! As long as your Decathlon e-bike remains in the predefined geo-fence, the system won’t send any alarms to your smartphone. If it leaves the zone, however, you’ll be notified immediately.

The data service is free of charge for the first year and will be charged at € 2 per month thereafter, which we consider to be extremely fair. For comparison’s sake, industry leader Bosch currently charge €40 per year for their Flow+ subscription, which includes a similar function, but requires you to spend an additional €100 (plus installation costs) for the hardware, the Bosch ConnectModule. As part of a recovery service, the ebike can also be reported stolen via the app, and a bike hunter will be dispatched to find it. If you haven’t seen one in action, you might want to search “Bike Hunter” on YouTube. In a nutshell, it’s a bike detective who rummages through parks and warehouses with a tracking device, looking for bikes that have been reported stolen. VanMoof made themselves quite popular with this idea, with their Bike Hunters appearing in several reality shows. If a Decathlon bike that was reported stolen isn’t located within 48 hours, you’ll be offered a free replacement bike. The service is subject to additional costs, which must be paid to Decathlon’s insurance partner Laka. The cost of the insurance depends on several factors like your place of residence, so you’ll have to find out the price for yourself.

The drivetrain is tucked away inside a generously sized plastic case, which protects the chain and prevents your trousers from getting dirty. Technically, the OWURU motor also supports a belt drive, but Decathlon opted for a conventional chain.

The leopard amongst city ebikes? – The Decathlon BTWIN LD 920E on test

The BTWIN LD 920E places you in a compact pedalling position, which is partly due to the narrow 620 mm handlebars. Tall riders in particular should book a test ride before buying, as this will help you understand whether the compact riding position is something you like.

When setting off, you’ll quickly pick up speed and reach the desired cadence after just a few pedal strokes. Whether you’re cruising on level ground or negotiating gentle climbs, the OWURU always seems to hit the preset cadence precisely. However, the high-tech motor has one small drawback: it vibrates slightly, which you can feel clearly in the tips of your feet while pedalling. When the motor starts assisting, you can feel a clear resistance in the pedals, which is reminiscent of some of the early mid-drive motors, and isn’t on par with modern systems.

The Decathlon ebike feels at home in cities with good cycling infrastructure, leaving the slow-moving car traffic behind.

The speed is regulated more via the support modes (Eco, Standard, Boost) and the pressure you exert on the pedals, rather than the actual pedalling cadence. If you want to ride faster, you just have to put more pressure on the pedals and the motor will adjust quickly, making sure you’re in the right gear to keep your legs spinning smoothly.

The BTWIN LD 920E quickly reaches the 25 km/h threshold. This is due to both the OWURU motor and Vittoria e-Randonneur Tech tires, which, according to Decathlon, have been developed specifically for this e-bike. They’re just 1.5″ wide and rely on a silky-smooth tread pattern, which generates minimal rolling resistance and is therefore very gentle on the battery. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of the tires’ damping properties, meaning that every pot hole and kerb is passed on to the rider through the stiff alloy frame almost unfiltered.

A 30 mm monoshock is tucked away between the head tube and fork. The so-called Headshock damper only activates itself with hard impacts on the front wheel. Most of the time, you feel as if you were riding on a city bike without suspension.
The Vittoria E-Randonneur Tech tires were developed specifically for Decathlon’s new e-Bike. They’re just 1.5″ wide and generate very low rolling resistance, making it extremely easy to pick up speed with the BTWIN LD 920E. However, this results in a lack of grip and sub-par damping qualities.

We say “almost” unfiltered, because the front end features 30 mm of suspension travel between the fork crown and head tube, which Decathlon call Headshock. However, its response behaviour isn’t comparable to that of a conventional suspension fork. Most of the time, you have the impression that the BTWIN LD 920E doesn’t have suspension at all – only when rolling off a tall kerb do you feel the damper give a little.

The firm suspension is complemented by very direct handling. The narrow handlebars, steep head angle and narrow tires make Decathlon’s e-bike as sensitive to steering input as a racing bike. This allows experienced riders to thread their way through the hectic city traffic and sneak past stagnant car queues. Overall, however, the firm and direct handling doesn’t quite harmonise with the easy riding experience that the “set and forget” OWURU motor provides on busy roads. In other words, the rather agile Decathlon e-bike doesn’t deliver a smooth ride for easy city cruising.

On top of that, the riding comfort is minimal, making weekend excursions on forest paths and country lanes seem less appealing. If you roll through a picturesque vineyard and unexpectedly hit a steep climb, the OWURU motor quickly runs out of steam. The variator only provides a gear ratio of 265%, which is about half the gear range of a modern derailleur drivetrain system. On steep climbs and with decreasing speed, the motor is no longer able to maintain the set cadence of 90 rpm, forcing you to get out of the saddle and use your strength to keep the bike moving.

The Decathlon ebike makes it easy to negotiate gentle climbs. When the going gets steep, however, the Owuru motor quickly runs out of steam, forcing you to pedal out of the saddle.

You’re better off setting up a geo-fence around a city centre with good cycling infrastructure using Decathlon’s Geocover, so you’ll be notified as soon as you leave town. The Decathlon ebike feels most at home in the city and scores points with powerful connectivity features and robust everyday equipment. This includes a rear pannier rack with child seat approval, aluminium mudguards, trailer approval and a kickstand, as well as a permanently integrated frame lock that can be complemented with Decathlon’s € 30 Plug-in Chain 900 chain lock. Together with the app’s clever tracking function, the Decathlon e-bike is well protected against theft even down the dodgiest back alleys.

The rear pannier rack can carry a load of up to 27 kg, and even a child seat.
The BTWIN LD 920E comes standard with a frame lock. The lock has an additional locking mechanism on the right-hand side to attach a chain.

Who should take a closer look at the Decathlon BTWIN LD 920E?

With its sophisticated features and smart tracking function, the BTWIN LD 920E is aimed at city bikers and commuters who want an ebike with a high level of theft protection. Although the OWURU motor aims to provide a chilled riding experience, the BTWIN LD 920 is only an option for seasoned riders who choose functionality over riding comfort, which is mainly due to the bike’s overall choppy ride feeling and stiff handling.

Our conclusions about the Decathlon BTWIN LD 920E

The Decathlon BTWIN LD 920E is smart, fast and good-looking, while the attractive price makes it an excellent option for those who want to save money. It’s well equipped for everyday commuting and protected against theft by its clever connectivity functions. The continuously variable automatic gearbox is a real highlight, one that outshines the ebike itself. However, the firm handling and sub-par comfort limit the BTWIN LD 920E’s area of application to purely urban traffic.


  • Affordable
  • Strong connectivity features
  • Enables completely shift-free riding
  • Solid everyday equipment


  • Poor riding comfort
  • Gear range too narrow for steep climbs
  • Motor vibrates when pedalling

Fore more information, visit decathlon.com

Words: Rudolf Fischer Photos: Jan Richter