Lapierre Camp 2013 First Rides: Zesty • Spicy • DH 722

Jul 30, 2012
by Richard Cunningham  
LAPIERRE: 2013
Clockwise from top) Lapierre camp began under rainy skies, which afforded us a complete palette of trail conditions with which to test ride the 2013 bikes. Lots of carbon was the theme. Nico Vouilloz launches the new Spicy. Gilles Lapierre poses beside the new team truck. RC rides the Zesty near the snow line above Chatel. RockShox's Jeremiah Boobar explains the servo mech in the e.i. Monarch shock.


Lapierre surprised the industry with its e.i. electronic rear suspension at its 2013 product launch in Morzine, France, where the announcement's wow factor nearly overshadowed the French brand's stellar mountain bike lineup. For the upcoming season, Lapierre boldly redesigned its performance off road bikes with a lot of input and testing by one of the most decorated downhill racers of all time. Nicolas Vouilloz is famous for his meticulous preparation and his scientific approach to all aspects of racing, so it should come as no surprise that Nico applied the same ethos to his position as Lapierre’s technical consultant. The message was: name-brand components, through-axles on every frame, dropper seat posts, shorter stems, wider handlebars, lower bottom brackets, slacker geometry and more aggressive tires across the board. In short, Lapierre’s design team listened to Nico and turned the volume up to eleven.

Lapierre 2013 XR 29er showing e.i shock battery and handlebar controls.
  Lapierre's e.i 'electronic intelligence' rear suspension on the XR29 cross-country 29er. A remote button near the right handlebar grip cycles through five suspension sensitivity options. The stem-mounted display reaffirms suspension settings and shows speed, time and distance. Emmanuel Molle photo


Three Models With e.i Electronic Suspension

Lapierre offers an extensive lineup that is sharply focused on performance, with carbon-framed pro-level models for Cross-Country, Marathon, and Enduro competition, and a new Downhill chassis that has been doing well on the World Cup circuit this year. Lapierre offers its e.i electronic rear suspension system on its cross-country XR 29er, the Zesty marathon/trailbike and its Spicy Enduro racer. The plan for 2013 is to offer e.i. at three price points for each model and also sell non-electric versions in each category as well. While that may seem like a lot of overlapping models, Lapierre deserves credit for not muscling its new electronics onto potential customers. For those of us who have not yet hit the Lottery, Lapierre offers aluminum-framed versions of all its elite-level carbon bikes, except the XR 29er, because its pivotless, 100-millimeter rear suspension requires the engineered flexibility that is made possible by carbon fiber construction techniques. Lapierre was vague about exact prices at the launch, which will be finalized by the Eurobike Exposition in August.

Lapierre’s annual launch is timed to coincide with the Passportes du Soleil. So, with five of Europe’s best bike parks linked by uplifts and a downhill trail network that spans the gamut from mild to wild, we had nothing to do but ride, ride and ride. So that’s what we did – in the rain and mud and afterwards, when the sun came out with a vengeance, we witnessed a rarity for the French Alps; hard-pack, dust and sand. The result was a half-dozen crashes two punctures and the following series of first-ride impressions.



FIRST RIDE
LAPIERRE DH722
Lapierre completely redesigned its DH V2, with a slacker, 63-degree head angle for steep courses, an ultra-rigid carbon swingarm, and new pivot geometry for its Pendbox suspension that provides better pedaling and smoother suspension action. Travel has been boosted to 220 millimeters. Claimed weight is 17kg/37.4 pounds, with the Team version at 16.4kg/36.08 pounds.


Lapierre offers two downhill models based upon the all-new DH V2 chassis, which has been impressive this season on the World Cup DH circuit: the Team DH (Nico had the only one at Lapierre Camp) and the more affordable DH 722 that we had a chance to ride. The DH V2 frame is beefed up in the swingarm area with new rear dropouts and rectangular carbon fiber stays, bonded to forged aluminum junctions. The suspension is Lapierre’s Pendbox multil-link design which pedals quite well for a big bike and keeps the mass of the frame centered and low for quicker handling response.

Lapierre 2013 DH 722 suspension details
  Lapierre's patented Pendbox suspension places the bottom bracket on a pendulum that is linked to the swingarm. Pedaling forces encourage the swingarm to hover in its sagged position, where the bike accelerates quite efficiently. A driver link between the shock and swingarm allows designers to precisely control the shock's leverage rate.


Revised pivot locations keep the chassis balanced and level in the big stuff, and the rear-wheel travel has been boosted from 195 millimeters to 220 millimeters. A second set of rocker links drives the Fox shock, which nests inside a forged-aluminum pocket in the down tube of the frame. Lapierre abandoned the Angleset headset it installed in last year’s frame in favor of a fixed, 63-degree head angle (the 1.5-inch head tube can accept an adjustable headset if you so choose). Nico pointed out that Lapierre widened the bottom bracket to a DH-width 107-millimeter PressFit type to offer a better chain-line, and to give the rider a wider stance on the pedals for better balance. Lapierre will offer a frame and shock only as well as the Team DH and DH 722 models in small, medium and large frame sizes. MSRP TBD

Riding the DH 722

Lapierre’s DH 722 has a personality much like Nicolas Vouilloz, quiet and unassuming, it can cruise down the mountain without breaking a sweat, and it gets up and over small rollers with a few easy pedal strokes. But don’t let the DH V2 chassis’ easy going manners fool you into thinking that it lacks a serious side. In fact, the only way to discover the bike’s full potential is to push it hard – and then it shifts up ten gears and really starts to move. Commit to the steeps and the suspension eats up Anaconda-sized roots. Compress the suspension into a berm and the bike leaps out of the corner. Stay light on the pedals and the suspension will stick close to the ground over all but the largest jumps, and a bit of compression on the ramp is all it takes to launch the bike.

The DH 722 holds its line around each corner and if you do manage to overcook your entry, it tends to burn off speed with an easy two-wheel drift rather than with a fancy looking (and time-wasting) rear-wheel slide. Under braking, the DH V2 chassis won’t dive noticeably, which makes it possible to brake late and enter a turn without upsetting the bike. This was helpful, because the downhill tracks at Les Gets are rife with wheel-sized braking bumps. I used a lot of front brake to check my speed just before entering corners, which released the suspension to eat up the 10 meters of chatter that preceded each berm. That said; when I did have to drag the rear brake, the DH 722 made the best of it. I found that DH 722’s rear suspension remained surprisingly supple under braking when fear overcame better judgement down heavily rooted steeps.

Lapierre 2013DH 722 Boxxer coil fork Formula brake lever through-axle rear dropout.and spec chart
  Lapierre chose the RockShox Boxxer Coil, the most honest performing fork in DH, and backed it up with its counterpart, the Fox DHX RC2 shock in the rear. After riding Formula's The One-S brakes with 203mm rotors for a day of downhilling, it's easy to understand why they are regularly seen on the top pro's bikes. Lapierre uses rigid carbon stays bonded to forged-aluminum dropouts and journals to keep the DH 722's tail end tracking true.


Standout Components

Lapierre’s more affordable DH racer is well appointed. Its Formula ‘The One’ brakes are powerful stoppers with World Cup credibility. Suspension is handled by up front, by a 200-millimeter RockShox Boxxer Coil fork and in the rear, a Fox DHX RC2 Factory shock. The drivetrain is equally capable, with a Race face Chester crankset matched to an e*thirteen LG1 chain guide that power a SRAM 11 x 28 cassette and an X.9 short-cage derailleur. The business end of the DH 722 is sweet, with a perfect feeling 750-millimeter Easton Havoc handlebar (31.8 mm center section) and a matching Havoc direct-mount stem clamp. Tire choice for both the Team and DH 722 are Schwalbe Muddy Marys, which seem impossibly large for their stated, 2.35-inch casings. If you haven’t got the message by now, the DH 722 is the real deal – race worthy in stock condition.

Pinkbike’s First Impressions

Lapierre’s design team intended the DH V2 chassis to be race specific and it is exactly that. I had most of the day to acclimate to the DH 722 in conditions that ranged from slippery mud to concrete hardpack. Under an amateur rider, the DH 722 is generously forgiving, but its suspension feels a bit stiff and the front end must be steered into the corners. To get a feel for its full potential, I pointed the Lapierre down two tracks at the Les Gets bike park that I am very familiar with, at a pace that was well beyond my comfort zone. At a speed and intensity nearer to the realm of a Pro DH rider, the DH 722’s handling feels quicker and more intuitive. Its steering feels lighter and the bike tracks around corners as if it is on auto-pilot. On course, as the energy of the impacts increases, the suspension settles into a specific ride height and maintains it, so the chassis feels more stable and always at the ready to change direction. I was descending at the top of my game and I was just warming it up. Under an accomplished bike-handler like Nico, the DH 722 would be an awesome ride. – RC



FIRST RIDE
LAPIERRE
ZESTY 914
Those who ride long and hard and subscribe to the nimbleness of the 26-inch-wheel format will fall in love with the Zesty. It truly is a do-it-all bike. This year, Lapierre slackened the head angle to 66.5 degrees and boosted the travel to 140mm rear and 150mm up front. A tad longer chainstay and a slightly steeper seat tube angle keep the rider confidently centered between the wheels for better technical handling. And it pedals easily with and without the advantages of Lapierre's e.i shock system.


My First experience with the e.i. Shock on a Lapierre was aboard the Zesty 914, a 140-millimeter-travel carbon fiber beauty that sports Lapierre’s four-bar OST suspension system. The Zesty is billed as a technical marathon or Enduro racer. It is not afraid of speed and can take a serious beating in the rough stuff, but a far better description would be Lapierre’s ultimate trailbike. The reconfigured Zesty's weight is claimed to be 11.1kg/24.4pounds and it features a lightweight carbon chassis, a low-geared two-by-ten drivetrain, a dropper seat post and has cockpit ergonomics that blend a steep, pedal-friendly seat angle with a short stem and a wide handlebar. MSRP TBD


Lapierre 2013 Zesty 914 frame details
  Internal routing for brake hoses, shift cables and its e.i control wires keeps the Zesty looking clean and uncomplicated. The front derailleur mounts to the swingarm so the cage tracks the chain as the suspension compresses. The Zesty's stiff seatstay pivot arrangement keeps the bike on line in rough corners - and may prevent its release in North America until some legal language is sorted out.


Its descending performance its boosted by a 66.5-degree head angle, a 150-millimeter-stroke Fox 32 Float CTD fork, and 140-millimeters of electronically controlled rear suspension that allows the ride height in the rear to be set soft and low without compromising pedaling or climbing efficiency. In short, the Zesty pedals with cross-country efficiency and it descends with the surety of many dedicated all-mountain bikes. Lapierre offers the Zesty in small, medium, large and X-large sizes and at six price points. The Zesty 914 and 714 are full-carbon frames, the 514 and 414 with carbon front and aluminum rear sections, and the all-aluminum, 314 and 214 models.

Lapierre 2013 Zesty 914 specs fox 32 for and e.i. Monarch shock
  The three platform options of the 150mm Fox Float CTD fork closely mirror the automatic shock modes driven by the e.i. servo motor on the RockShox Monarch damper.


Riding the Zesty

I spent a considerable duration of my time in the French Alps aboard the Zesty, as it became clear in the first hour, that this was Lapierre’s most versatile trailbike. With its electronics set at ‘Auto 1’ (the lowest of five sensitivity options), I could jump out of the saddle and push hard, or stay seated and the Zesty would pedal like a dedicated cross-country bike. The suspension, however, was always at the ready – smooth and responsive - all the time.

RC on the Lapierre Zesty Chatel
  The Alps near Chatel promised spectacular riding and lots of rocks - sometimes at singletrack speeds, and many times, we were mach-ing down endless stretches of babyheads. Only one puncture after two days of abuse thanks to good luck and OST+ suspension. Lorna Schouten photo


My fears that somehow the trail could outfox the e.i. electronics and send the Lapierre’s rear suspension into a limp-wristed miasma of indecision were unfounded. The e.i has an ‘open’ option that leaves the RockShox Monarch damper unhindered by its computer or its pedaling platform. I could not feel the difference while descending in the ‘Open’ or ‘Auto’ mode, which indicates that e.i. performs as promised. There is, however, a sensation that the bike rides firmer on the flats in Auto mode when the sensitivity is turned up to level four or five. Increasing the e.i. sensitivity causes the electronics to keep the shock’s three-position platform damping in the middle position for a greater percentage of the time, so pedaling feels more firm at the expense of some roughness over the chatter. Sensitivity is adjusted by a handlebar-remote button and displayed on the stem-mounted computer, so the rider can right any wrongs in a split second. Once again, the trick is to set it on Auto 1 and then forget e.i. for the rest of the ride.

Technically speaking, the Zesty feels well balanced, so the rider’s position on the bike remains relatively centered over the cockpit while braking, cornering and descending. This makes for easy judgment calls, because the rider is always in position to handle unforeseen changes in the trail ahead. All it takes is a little tug to get the front end over a gap and the bike eases over mid-sized jumps without the little kick in the rear end that most XC/trailbikes have (a tribute to Nico, no doubt). If a wall of a climb appears suddenly, a quick downshift and a touch of the Reverb remote button will have you half way up before you realize how effectively the rear suspension works to keep the Schwalbe rear tire hooked up. Lack of lungs or leg power will be your only excuse for technical climbing fails.

Lapierre chose Schwalbe Nobby Nic (F) and Rocket Ron (R) 2.25 inch tires for the Zesty, which corner and brake well in Alpine conditions that range from slick roots and deep forest loam, to the ugliest rock infested hardpack I have ridden since the last time I was in the Alps. When leaned over in a turn, the Zesty will drift the rear tire just a little bit, with the front tire remaining composed the lion’s share of the time. The Schwalbe’s good grip under braking was useful, as Lapierre specs powerful-stopping Formula RX brakes with 180-millimeter rotors on the Zesty. The steep tracks in the Morzine area gave us ample opportunity to get the calipers and rotors barbeque hot. The report is that the Formula stoppers remained consistent and in combination with the bike’s predictable handling, the Zesty could be trusted to keep the rubber side down, while descending at speed. While I can’t be sure that the Zesty’s e.i computer was calibrated for perfect tire diameter, it recorded maximum speeds above 90km.

Lapierre 2013 Zesty 914 type 2 rear derailleur X.0 crankset and RockShox Reverb Stealth seat post
  SRAM's mid-cage Type-2 rear derailleur has roller-clutch action for chain control. The SRAM X.0 two-by crankset continues the Zesty's carbon theme notice the magnetic pedaling sensor in the hollow bottom bracket axle for the e.i. system. The RockShox Reverb dropper post is an absolute necessity to take advantage of the Zesty's XC pedaling efficiency.


Zesty Component Report

I had the chance to ride both the SRAM X.0 equipped Zesty 914 and the Zesty 714 outfitted with Shimano XTR/XT. Both were set up with e.i./RockShox rear suspension. Both models ride with a Fox 32 Float 150 CTD Fit fork, although only the 914 gets the Kashima treatment. Not a fault of the bike, but the fork needed more air pressure to keep it up under braking, which is typical of the new CTD’s lighter compression damping setup. Where previous Fox 32 forks would run well at 25 percent sag, the CTD versions are about right at 20 percent. Big points for the internal-hose RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper seat post. It is presently the best made and it showcases the Zesty’s superior pedaling action in addition to boosting the fun factor on the downhill sections. We already shouted out the Schwalbe tires and Formula brakes, but we need to add that the Mavic wheels (Crossmax ST for the 914 and Crosstrail for the 714) were set up tubeless. All of Lapierre’s performance lineup is spec’ed with tubeless ready wheels and tires. Some riders may complain that the Zesty’s Easton Haven handlebar is too narrow at 711millimeters, but it was sufficiently wide for anything we ran into in the French Alps and the bar feels balanced with the bike’s front end, so we’ll leave that judgment to personal preference.

Pinkbike First Impressions

After about 90 miles in the Alps, Lapierre’s carbon fiber Zesty proved to be a dream of a trailbike. It strikes a near perfect balance between a speedy, lightweight climber and a tactical descender. The Zesty can rip challenging downhills. On the flats and uphill, it feels lightweight and energetic. Add the fact that the Zesty was quite at home playing on the jumps and tracks at the bike park, and it rises to the top of its class in the AM/trailbike ranks. But there is two stories to the Zesty. The first is about a trailbike redesigned by a multi-time World Champion who understands that a mountain bike must be equally efficient under human power as it is when gravity takes over. The second story is about is e.i/RockShox rear suspension.

I rode the Zesty extensively, with and without the RockShox Monarch’s e.i. electronics switched on, and was pleasantly surprised to report that the chassis pedals quite well with the suspension in the active mode. That bodes well for prospective Zesty customers who are leery of batteries on bicycles. Non e.i. Zestys are suspended by Fox Float CTD shocks, which lets the rider manually emulate the three positions controlled by the e.i./RockShox system. My vote is for e.i, because it is the set-and-forget option for optimum pedaling and suspension performance in all trail situations. Choose either option - the Zesty is going to be a killer trailbike. - RC



FIRST RIDE
LAPIERRE
SPICY 916
With its tapered and sculpted carbon tubes, Lapierre's 160-millimeter-travel Spicy seems almost fragile when compared to the bulky profiles of other Enduro racers, but that assumption would be a mistake. The Spicy feels solid when pressed hard and can hold its own with the big bikes in all but the wildest situations. Longer chainstays and a slacker head angle boost its downhill performance, while the addition of electronic suspension management gives the Spicy the advantage in any pedaling section. Emmanuel Molle photo


Nico Vouilloz races a Lapierre Spicy 916 on the Pro Enduro circuit, so one can imagine that he focused a lot of his attention to its design and component specifications. Spicy is a 160-millimeter-travel carbon fiber chassis that looks exactly like the 140mm Zesty. The OST-plus frame geometry features a slightly longer chainstay (430mm, from 425mm), paired with a 74-degree seat angle that is one degree steeper than before to center the rider over the bike, and it is topped by a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post. Out back, Spicys have a 142/12-millimeter through axle and beefed up stays for lateral rigidity. The head angle is 66.5 degrees, with a tapered steerer, fitted to the new 34-millimeter stanchion Fox 34 Float 160 TALAS CTD Kashima fork. The magic of the carbon-framed 160-millimeter-travel Spicy is that it is a gravity loving monster that weighs only a click away from 26 pounds (25.96/11.8kg stated). MSRP TBD

Lapierre 2013 Spicy frame details Fox 34 fork e.i.Monarch shock and Formula The 1 brake
  A look down the front of the Spicy shows its molded-plastic down tube guard. Fox's new 34-millimeter-stanchion Float CTD fork is rapidly replacing both the burly 36 series and the slender 32 as the slider of choice for Enduro and All-mountain riding. Lapierre switched all of its trailbikes to the 142/12mm through-axle standard. Emmanuel Molle photo


Last year’s Spicy used the larger-stanchion Fox 36. Depending upon your choice of electronic or conventional suspension, the Spicy comes with a Fox CTD Kashima shock or the new e.i/RockShox Monarch system. The drivetrain is SRAM X.0/X.9 with the medium-cage type 2 rear derailleur (roller clutch chain control) and a sweet bash-ring-equipped 2 x 10 carbon crankset. Cockpit and wheels are Easton Haven items, with a 50mm stem and 711mm-width carbon handlebars. Brakes are Formula The One with 203mm front and 180mm rear rotors. The Spicy 916 rolls on Continental Rubber Queen UST tires. Spicy’s are available in small, medium, large and X-large and at three price points: the carbon fiber 916 Nico replica, and two aluminum models, the 516 and 316.

Lapierre 2013 Spicy e.i shock and specifications
   Emmanuel Molle photo


Spicy 916 Riding Impression

With its short stem, taller stance at the handlebar and longer-legged suspension, the Spicy feels more like a purposeful descender than a cross-country oriented chassis. With the assistance of Lapierre’s e.i. shock control, however, the Spicy is able to accelerate and climb with similar energy as the lighter, more XC friendly Zesty. Nico set the bike up for competition, and climbs are not normally timed in Enduro racing, so the Spicy’s gearing is a bit lower, with a 22 x 36 two-by crankset and a now-standard, 11 x 36 ten-speed cassette out back. Aided by the exceptional grip of Continental’s Rubber Queen tires, the stump-puller low gear makes the steepest climbs possible – which will no doubt encourage Spicy riders to venture beyond uplifts to explore big-mountain trails.

Lapierre 2013 Nico Vouilloz skies the Spicy 760
  Nico seems quite comfortable aboard his Spicy race bike. The Morzine area has been the multi-time World Champion's playground for a long time. Emmanuel Molle photo


Efficient and firm-feeling pedaling, however is not the main sell point for e.i. suspension on the Spicy. Lapierre’s automatic suspension option pays huge dividends when the trail rapidly switches from technical descents to rolling terrain. Here, the Spicy is always at the ready: supple over the bumps and then firm and sure on the pedals the moment the rider needs to accelerate, and the transition feels seamless. There is no need for the Spicy pilot to flip levers or fuss with handlebar remotes to tune the ride. Technical, smooth up or down, Lapierre’s electronics make sure that the suspension is doing the right thing - you just choose a line and go. The bikes that can duplicate that action can be counted on less than five fingers, and none have 160-millimeter-travel suspension.

Setting up the Spicy’s suspension requires a leap of faith. The shock works best when its sag is set with at least 30-percent sag which seems like it is way too soft. The Fox 34 CTD fork, however, will dive too much if it is set similarly soft. Ultimately, I used 20-percent sag on the fork, which seemed like too much spring pressure for normal riding. When I tried less pressure, the bike’s front end would ride too low down the steeps and I would struggle everywhere. Later, Nico discussed his setup and he pointed out that he sets his fork up so he rarely uses full travel for descending. I then discovered that with the fork set stiffer, the electrically monitored rear suspension kept the ride height stable, which made the Spicy an easy bike to handle in almost any downhill situation.

Once dialed in, the Spicy is brilliantly fun to ride. It rocks the tight berms and mid-sized jumps in the bike park and drops down steep rooted sections almost as well as a big bike. The Spicy feels balanced and light at the controls, and that feeling is translated through the powerful brakes, which require minimal pressure at the lever, and grippy tires with a defined feel at the edge of their cornering and braking grip. The sense is that the bike takes care of the details. Over jump and the bike can handle a pretty stiff flat landing. To fast in a corner and the tires scrub hard and burn off speed. If you get overconfident on a steep decent, the rear suspension stays active while you drag the brake. And the bike maintains a good pace too. Supercharged by its easy pedaling e.i. rear suspension, the Spicy squirts out of corners – and if you really need to get moving, you can give it a full sprint and it will respond like a motocross bike.

Spicy Component Report

The Spicy 916 feels like a complete package, as if you borrowed Nico’s personal race bike for a day – and that’s probably holds true, as it was designed to be an Enduro racing bike by the man himself. Formula The One brakes, Continental tires, the lighter weight Fox 34-millimeter fork platform, Easton Haven components throughout – and the best dropper post money can buy - are all a reflection of Nico’s holistic approach to speed, Every part is chosen to do its job and work seamlessly with the rest of the bike. And on the race course, every line is chosen to flow into the next one. Because of Nico’s input on the components, the Spicy 916 feels like the real deal.

Lapierre 2013 Nico in action at Morzine
  Always the ice man on the bike, Nico manages risk with careful line choices. When pressed about his design philosophy, he often refers to a sense of being comfortable on the bike, both in the context of its steering geometry and of his position in the cockpit. Nico was quietly making small changes and then testing his setup throughout the week at Lapierre Camp. Emmanuel Molle photo


Pinkbike’s First Impression

LaPierre’s showcase Enduro racer would probably be labeled as an All-mountain bike in North America and thrown in with the many high-cholesterol long-travel single-crown swine of that genre which are destined to spend most of their lives in the back of shuttle vehicles or hooked to an uplift chair. In Europe, however, where Enduro is rapidly evolving into a well recognized mainstream sport, the Spicy is poised to do battle. The Spicy’s lightweight carbon chassis and excellent pedaling performance will come in handy for the genre’s rolling singletrack descents, while its stable handling at speed and in technical situations will be a lifesaver in the big-mountain stages. Lapierre’s Spicy is the complete package from its Reverb dropper post, down to its tire selection - everything is poised and ready to win. As for the Spicy’s e.i. rear suspension option; I’d say that you’d be an idiot not to run it. Let e.i’s simple electronics and trail-proven RockShox Monarch shock manage the details and use every bit of your concentration to ride the terrain ahead. - RC



Just in Case You Are 29er Curious

Lapierre debuted its carbon fiber XR29 chassis mid season last year and this time around, the bike's travel grows to 100-millimeters, with complete bikes appearing at three price levels in both e.i. and conventional shock configurations. The rear triangle of the 1800-gram frame (with shock) has no dropout pivot and it drives a small carbon rocker link to a shock that is cupped into a reinforced pocket in the seat tube. Lapierre says the Team models are said to weigh in at only 10.4kg/22.88 pounds, and while the XR29 chassis is designated as a cross-country race bike, with its big wheels and four inches of suspension, it should be a peppy trailbike as well. The XR529 is the third model down the line - it weighs a claimed, 11.5kg/25.3 pounds and it looks so sweet that I thought I'd throw it in for PB's secret 29er fans. MSRP TBD

FIRST LOOK
LAPIERRE
XR529

Lapierre XR529 specifications


See all of the Lapierre 2013 bike lineup



Lapierre 2013 Bike Launch

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85 Comments

  • + 57
 What next? Terrain response system? ABS, ESP? Cruise-control?
  • + 67
 air conditioning and heated seats would be good..
  • + 20
 @ dnsukrain & pperini. Your driving licence please. Because that would be next.
  • + 5
 'mozarle' they're already trying to introduce licenses for cyclists in Australia, its such a nanny state country here :/
  • + 6
 Hey, what about switchable traction control Wink Now THAT i like the sound of! Big Grin
  • + 28
 Why don't we stick an engine into the frame? I've even thought of a name for it, 'motor-bike'. Catchy, huh?
  • + 3
 A nice e_motor in the rear wheel and heated grips for winter!!
  • + 4
 AUTO drive and a beer cooler
  • + 2
 Hubs that heat up coils for your bum-bum warmer and finger warmers would be nice and maybe some a.c. and water spritser. Thats all
  • - 2
 need a chip that modifies your time that gets entered into the uci thingy and drops it 20 seconds, NOW THAT would be popular Big Grin
  • + 2
 paved trails
  • + 4
 they have those already, its called road biking ^
  • + 2
 saddly
  • + 20
 dammit! new boxxer graphics! now I feel like I'm riding an old fork!
  • + 21
 I like the "old" graphics better
  • + 5
 Thats because you are riding an old fork Razz
  • + 2
 new ones look tacky
  • + 8
 You're the marketing teams perfect customer then prurient-possum! Same product, different colour and we all start lusting after it... and they're laughing all the way to the bank!
  • + 3
 old boxxers look much better! i'm going to keep mine Big Grin
  • + 18
 Technology is too complex I am not worthy
  • + 18
 Bring Lapierre to the USA!
  • + 3
 Unfortunately, Specialized's FSR patent means you couldn't buy the Zesty or Spicy in North America - it's a shame as there's loads of great Euro bike brands that use a similar suspension layout but they don't export to you guys for the same reason...
  • + 3
 That's what I've been hearing love seeing the Lapierre road bikes out and about but hopefully one of these days ill get a lapierre XR5 29 under me
  • + 9
 The horst-link patent expires next year, then you can buy these bikes and every other great horst-link bike made by european and canadian brands, in the USA. The horst-patent doesn't apply in Canada anyway, so us canucks can get these new Lapierres already if we want them. As to the pendbox...nice way to essentially copy the GT I-Drive and call it something else. They can claim its patented in europe, but I still suspect GT will be suing them if they try and sell them stateside.
  • + 3
 That's not true, I can get a Spicy and Zesty in Canada easily. Same with Pendbox. But good old USA will be s.o.l. most likely.

Edit: @steezysix
  • + 3
 You can buy whistler bike park Lapierre demo bikes.
  • + 7
 I always liked the look of lappiere bikes, too bad we can't get them here. On a side note:

"LaPierre’s showcase Enduro racer would probably be labeled as an All-mountain bike in North America and thrown in with the many high-cholesterol long-travel single-crown swine of that genre which are destined to spend most of their lives in the back of shuttle vehicles or hooked to an uplift chair"

Woah there buddy typical American stereotype- if we had real enduro series here like you all do there...we would race it.
  • + 11
 .......RC is American.
  • + 9
 i want to know how they make the bikes stand up like that
  • + 11
 Muahahahaha...me too...perhaps they shoot a quick snap before the bike falls over....
  • + 15
 One of the team has to paint themselves with invisible paint then hold the bike, so they don't show in the photo...
  • + 12
 Dang! I thought nobody noticed. Did I miss a spot? The invisible paint is not the problem. It's standing in the park naked next to a bike that worries me.
  • - 1
 Its balanced on the rims, they all have flat tires.
  • + 4
 no. no they do not.
  • + 0
 Tent pegs anchored at an angle and hidden behind front and rear wheels?

Or maybe they're just 'shopped?
  • + 7
 Hint: We only need 125th of a second. Just sayin'
RC
  • + 1
 BLUE SCREENED Razz
  • + 2
 So you actually just stand them up then step out of frame?? Aw man, if that's the case I feel almost let down.
  • + 9
 Am I the only one who actually likes the electronic suspension control?
  • + 0
 nifty gadgets...I'd give it a go at leasty...LaPierre Yeasty?

Beautiful Bikes...The DH 722 has a GT style 'Prolapsed Drivetrain"...
  • + 1
 nope
  • + 6
 Just another thing to go wrong. Just give me a coil shock and i'm happy, The easier the bike makes your ride the harder it is to get better.
  • + 5
 The beefed up swing arm is a very welcome change on the dh frames, one local guy cracked his in just over a year but luckily lapierre warranty is second to none.
  • + 3
 I know a guy who managed it in 3 or 4 rides! Hopefully they have resolved the issue now!
  • + 2
 RC, for those of us who can't get a Zesty because of the country we live in. What are the other bikes that can match its suspension performance?
I'd guess 1:Specialized Stumpy with the brain shock. 2: Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc 3: Pivot Mach 5.7C. 4: Ibis Mojo SLR.
I know at this price range we are splitting hairs so any insight would be great.
  • + 2
 I'm going to guess the carbon versions of these bikes with the electronic suspension are going to be pretty pricey. I can't wait for the FSR patent to expire so we can hopefully get some more of these Euro brands more readily available here in the US.
  • + 4
 My favourite bike just got a whole lot better! I've gotta get me one of those new zesty's. They just look sooooooo sexy!
  • + 5
 I like what I see Wink
  • + 5
 Those dh bikes are ill!
  • + 1
 With all these technologies, after few years our bikes would be ridden by robots and we will be watching them on our TVs. I don't want this future.
  • + 4
 bikes will always remain human driven.
  • + 1
 you mean riddenWink
  • + 2
 Holy cow, I would ride the shiz out of ALL those bikes with the biggest smile on my face...
  • + 1
 when i leave the city and ride the trails in the forest is dont want any electonic stuff around me. especially NOT ON MY BIKE!
  • + 2
 Sweet DH bike. The ones I saw/heard went downhill without clatter. Impressive.
  • + 2
 if they had Lapiere in whistler I would be the proud owner of one now but alas no dice foiled again
  • + 3
 why does it say that the spicy 916 comes with a fox rear shox
  • + 3
 The non e.i models are shipped with Fox Float CTD shocks. RC
  • + 2
 I like specialized bikes, but thank god their FSR patent runs out next spring!
  • + 1
 sorry....I can NEVER get excited about a 'new' single pivot dh bike....lame-ola! that said the others are quite nice.
  • + 1
 saw a couple of guys on lappys at the forest of dean on sunday they do look the part for trail park riding still tempted
  • + 2
 Yhe lapierre spicy 916 is sexy!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Why is lapierre so inexpensive?
  • + 2
 and your point is???

I can find broken frames from pretty much any mfg.

Next!!
  • + 1
 The thing is, and I guess most french mountain bikers won't disagree, Lapierre bikes are not very reliable! But since they are going carbon no problem so far for their frames. It's a bit like everyone in France has (at least) one friend who broke his (aluminum) Lapierre.
  • + 2
 omg you mean somebody broke a bike? damn I didn't think that was possible.
  • + 2
 In the group of people I'm riding with, half Lapierre's have been broken in the last couple of years. Last time it was in late February, a 6 month old X-control, the rear triangle smashed in front of me (just regular trail riding if you're wondering). Once again it was an (way too light) aluminum frame, and zero carbon frame so far.
  • - 2
 Some of the ugliest bikes I have ever seen!
Electronic shocks? I'm thinking of the turkeys that were the Cannondale ELO system and the K2 smartshock in the late 90s... Total cack!
  • + 1
 the dh one looks like it makes hellllaaaa noise
  • + 1
 I need a Spicy 916. Then i can ride like Nico.
  • + 1
 What a load of utter crap.
  • - 1
 Whats a bet that within 3 years you will be hard pressed to find a fs bike that hasn't got an electronic suspension control
  • + 1
 WHERE IS FROGGY?
  • - 1
 pictures a rock shox shock but specs a fox shock......hmmmm
  • - 3
 DH722 what an ugly motherplocker!
  • - 1
 got any more cables??
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