Bike Check: Isabeau Courdurier's Leopard Print Lapierre Spicy

Sep 22, 2021
by Alicia Leggett  


It's no secret that Isabeau Courdurier is a fighter. The minute but mighty French Lapierre Zipp Collective rider seemed to have it all figured out in 2019 when she won every single race in the eight-stop EWS. Like Ravanel and Moseley before her it seemed like enduro had found its new dominant champion but Courdurier didn't have things so straightforward.

COIVID disrupted her season last year and she's been quite open about the fact that she's been having a difficult time this season after losing her father in May which has left her struggling to train and race. And yet, the fact that she still does push forward, even when it's hard for her, is what makes her so strong. Now, in 2021, the EWS women's field is the fastest it's ever been, with any of the top five women able to take the win at any given race, but Isabeau is still winning races: first to start off the season in Val di Fassa, Italy, and most recently in Loudenvielle on home soil, even taking the French national championship in between.
Isabeau Courdurier // Lapierre Zipp Collective
Age: 27
Hometown: Gardanne, France
Height: 1.54 m / 5'1"
Weight: 52 kg / 113 lb
Instagram: @isabeau_c

Recognizing that she's had a tough year, the Lapierre Zipp Collective team wanted to do something nice for her, so they surprised her with a new bike at the most recent EWS race in Finale Ligure. Isabeau loves animals, animal-print clothing, and especially leopard print, so the team decided that a custom leopard print bike with some "girly" touches would suit her perfectly.

The bike debuted at the seaside Finale Ligure venue.

At just 52 kg, Isabeau is quite light compared to the average enduro rider, and she runs a 275 lb spring on her RockShox Super Deluxe Coil shock.
Frame: Lapierre Spicy, small
Shock: RockShox Super Deluxe Coil RCT 205x65,165mm travel, 275 lb spring
Fork: RockShox Zeb Ultimate Blackbox 170mm, 45 psi, 1 token
Wheels: Zipp Moto 3, 29F / 27.5R
Tires: Hutchinson Griffus 2.5F 1.25 bar (18 psi) F / 2.4 1.45 bar (21 psi) R
Drivetrain: SRAM XO1 Eagle AXS, 10-52t cassette
Brakes: SRAM Code RSC, 200mm rotors
Handlebars: Renthal Fatbar Carbon Lite 760mm 35
Stem: Renthal Apex 35 stem, 33mm offset, 30mm rise

bigquotesLadies and gentlemen meet the bike of my dreams. Lapierre Bikes and the Lapierre Zipp Collective surprised me yesterday night with this lil beast! This season has not been easy but the least we can say but the support I have received is incredible. Thank you so much for this bike and what it represents. Now it’s only about having the most fun on board of it while giving my best!Isabeau Courdurier

The bike is outfitted with RockShox suspension, Hutchinson Griffus tires mounted onto Zipp's Moto 3 wheels, and 200mm rotors front and rear for plenty of stopping power. As a short rider, Isabeau was an early adopter of the 29" / 27.5" mullet setup, an option built into the design of the Lapierre Spicy.

A WTB Deva Titane saddle, a custom top cap and mudguard from Slicy Products, Renthal Ultra Tacky Push On grips, and HT T1 Titanium oil slick pedals complete the build.

Lapierre and the Lapierre Zipp Collective wanted this bike to be special for Isabeau. A Renthal cockpit, Code RSCs, and an AXS 125mm dropper post keep it consistent with what she's been riding, but the custom pattern ups the style points.

If you look carefully, there's a hidden message for Isabeau on the top tube.

With one more race to go, there's one more chance for this machine to carry Isabeau to the podium.



77 Comments

  • 38 4
 Super rad ! I'm curious at 113lb why the zeb? Why not take advantage of the weight and friction savings if the lyrik?
  • 62 3
 Because the top end Spicy comes with a ZEB and you as a consumer are supposed to want the one with the pro spec.
  • 6 0
 I question this, and the weight of the wheels and tires that the lightest riders use. Suspension 101 teaches us that the ratio of unsprung weight to sprung weight determines how smooth the ride is.

If the Zeb is the fork that is strong enough, but not way too strong for a 113 lbs rider what should a 200 lbs or 240 lbs rider use? Maybe it is just Zeb stickers on a Lyrik or Pike.
  • 5 0
 It probably has a custom damper tune.
  • 3 0
 @GBeard: But why not put a custom tune on a lighter fork, for a lighter rider?

If I was a light pro rider I would at least be interested in trying lighter casing, but stickiest tread compounds, along with lighter rims, fewer and lighter spokes, lighter chains, definitely lighter fork lowers and if possible lightened rear triangles. Maybe they have tried all that stuff and they either do it already or I'm just not right about it.
  • 27 6
 Because she can rider harder and faster than any of us on this site Smile
  • 6 0
 @HairyLegs: then what fork should Richie Rudd use since he is faster yet and a lot heavier?
  • 2 0
 @HairyLegs: probably true, but if you are 113 lbs you likely have some disadvantage in either strength or limb length compared to taller or heavier riders. May as well capitalize on your light weight and ability to run much lighter components than your competition. Still an awesome bike and rider
  • 3 0
 @insertfunusername: As someone who weighs 64kg I agree and run everything as light as I can. The answer is probably as simple as the first one posited here, it probably has to do with contracts and marketing.
  • 8 6
 @HairyLegs: Unlikely, given that Olympic female athletes are regularly bested by early-teen boys. But yeah, she may ride better than many on this site.
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: probably right on the sponsorship side, but in most situations like that you just slap the sticker on that says what the sponsor needs and then run what actually gives you the best performance.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: although her team mate often runs a Lyrik instead of the ZEB and he has been quite vocal about it…

I have noticed that the top women however have a different riding style to the top men and likely require a different suspension setup. You see it in WC DH as well
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: What I have mostly seen as a difference between the men and women's WC DH is that a lot of the women's suspension, in the midfield, looks like it is beating them up. I don't think that it is an issue of their suspension actually set up wrong, I just think it is a physics thing, with the women running nearly the exact same tires, wheels and the rest of the unsprung mass, as the top men.

I believe that at least part of the difference of the speed of the women vs the men comes down to the unsprung to sprung mass issue.
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: To directly reply, I'm not talking about difference in suspension setup. I'm talking about a difference in the sprung vs unsprung mass. If that ratio is lower, the suspension is less supple and the rider will feel more of every bump than someone with a higher ratio. The wheels will also track the ground less well and therefore decrease traction. This has nothing to do with set-up, just physics. Set-up can compensate some for these facts of physics, but why start in a compromised position and try to adjust your way out of it.
  • 1 0
 You do have EWS riders sizing down with Fox forks. I recall Martin Maes and ALN (sorry I don't remember her full name) both went down from the 38 to 36. Maes mentioned something about the bike tracking better with the 36.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: you know they're not made of concrete and are configurable eh?
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: maybe she has tested both and the Zeb felt better to her... Different strokes for different folks..
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: Most likely. I bet she has a really light tune on the damper or a thinner oil in it. Also the unsprung mass between a Lyrik and Zeb probably isn't that big since it is only the lowers and oil which is unsprung.
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: top men just ride ridiculously well these days, they don't do the same sport as many of us. Top women do, on national races they are among amateur riders on scratch times. For Zeb vs Lyric it is surely just a marketing issue for her
  • 2 0
 @GBeard: i wouldn't be surprised if they have some negative air chamber tuning going on too... But, that larger air chamber could be a big reason for her running the Zeb to get a more linear feel for her weight..
  • 2 0
 Force goes up with the square of the speed increase. Evidence points to her being quite fast.
  • 1 0
 @samoooli: I do know that they can be configured via shim stack and many other means, and I do know that the lowers aren't the heaviest part of the fork. The question still stands in my head though that the biggest, stiffest single crown fork in Rockshox lineup may be more stiff than a very light rider needs, no matter how fast they are.

She probably tested all the available options though and this was the preferred one. It just always surprises me though when the lightest pro riders are on the burliest components available. If that fork is the best solution for a 115 lb rider, what should a similarly fast, or even faster, 190 lb rider use, or a sorta fast 230 lb rider? It likely comes down to feel preference
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: The mid field ladies are a good bit faster than the leading ladies ... it could also be a factor of speed that the leading ladies are bounced around less.
  • 1 1
 @HairyLegs: The speed is a factor for sure, but I still think looking purely at the physics if it that a light person should be more worried about their unsprung weight a lot more than a heavy person. Then another factor is speed, so a slower person should be looking at lighter unsprung as well. When you are looking at a midfield light person, you should be trying to gain serious advantage of having as little unsprung mass as possible. If given much more supple suspension due to having as little unsprung mass as possible, the person may find a lot more speed and work their way up out of the midfield.
  • 1 0
 @insertfunusername: again, if you are riding as fast as she is, then please feel free to advise her accordingly.
clearly she is doing what works for her, and it works well.
  • 1 0
 @HairyLegs: I doubt I am as fast as she is, but that has nothing to do with the physics. Obviously she is doing great in the sport, so I guess there is no need to change. The physics still stand as reality though no matter how good an individual is doing.

Similar to DH bikes 15 years ago, physics said that having bigger wheels and longer wheelbase would make the times down the hill faster, but we probably shouldn't have changed those bikes though because people were winning on them.
  • 2 0
 @insertfunusername: speed has everything to do with the physics. What are you even doing? Stop it.
  • 1 0
 @owl-X: yes.. that's why I said "the speed is a factor for sure" and talked about how a slower lighter person should be extremely worried about lowering unsprung weight.

A fast, light person should also be extremely worried about unsprung weight though, since the higher the frequency of the impacts that the suspension needs to absorb, the more important the spring to unsprung ratio becomes. Will they be more likely to need a stronger part than the slower, light person? Yes.

I do understand though that I should stop trying to discuss very basic physics related to suspension performance, when we all know it is about how a particular part makes you feel inside and how cool everyone thinks it is, that makes it fast.
  • 12 0
 Sick bike! What's going on with that big hose?
  • 5 2
 Looks like the back brake and shock lockout are sharing commercial space.
  • 1 0
 At first glance, thought it was shrink tubing to tidy the brake hose and shifter housing. BUT the wireless doesn't need that..
  • 2 0
 @dubod22: Shock lockout is coming from the left side of the bars. This is something new for sure, hose seems to only be coming from the brake.
  • 20 2
 I read that comment as 'big nose' and thought that was a bit rude.
  • 5 0
 it's probably a cable sleeve for internal routing to keep the noise down. Looks very similar to what I did with Jagwire internal housing damper.
  • 2 0
 Looks like licorice whip
  • 1 0
 Hard to tell from the photo but that lever looks a little different, perhaps its something new from SRAM?
  • 1 1
 Looks like a hose coming from her waterbottle so she doesn't have to pull the bottle to take a drink.
  • 1 0
 @gregs22: I think charlie murrays bike has it too
  • 1 0
 @Blablablup123: That's what I'm thinking too. There's a standard size hose at the caliper.
  • 1 2
 Shock lockout cable and brake hose shrink wrapped together.
  • 2 0
 @daugherd: Mid enduro treats.
  • 1 1
 @islandforlife: Lockout is on the left side.
  • 1 0
 @dirtmcleod: isn’t that dropper and brake?
  • 1 0
 Nevermind, she has AXS dropper…
  • 1 0
 as @Blablablup123 said, it's internal cable routing tubing (it's soft celled foam) that's been cut and wrapped around the external cable. It helps keep noise down when it hits against the other cables. Jagwire is the brand to look for.
  • 1 0
 @riddenagenda: Thanks! I believe I would have found a way to neatly cut mine at the frame grommet flush instead of all the way to the lever.
  • 2 0
 I got confirmation directly from the source that it is in fact the jagwire hose to keep the hose from rattling.
  • 1 1
 @dirtmcleod: congragulations
  • 2 0
 @donthaveadropper:
┌П┐(▀̿Ĺ̯▀̿)
  • 11 0
 If you stare at it long enough you will see a 3D image of a bike
  • 2 0
 It’s a schooner
  • 3 0
 Sick bike sick rider. Her long hair flowing out the back of her helmet always makes her look like some kind of maned beast ripping through the woods. The leopard print is definitely a good fit.
  • 3 0
 At least we know she's not a cheetah.
  • 2 0
 I’m not seeing the hidden message on the tops tube anyone else
  • 4 0
 It’s super light purple cursive. I can’t quite make out what it says.
  • 3 0
 @meathooker: "Forever With Me" is what I thought I saw, but it is very hard to read
  • 2 0
 @meathooker: forever with me
I think
  • 4 0
 I'm seeing the face of Jesus
  • 6 3
 @mattg95: *Jeebus
  • 2 1
 @bigtim: Jayzus **
  • 1 0
 Looks like Hutchinson is tipping their hat to the loved(by me)//hated(by you) Michelin DH22/34 hotpatch graphics.
  • 1 0
 I'm quite curious about the DH 22/34 tyres. I love the wild enduro F & R combo, if you've tried them out, how would you say they compare to the 22 or 34 tyres?
  • 2 0
 I think Hutchinson had these graphics on their custom tyres long before michelin came out with their colorful hot patches.
  • 1 0
 @Crisskan: I also rode the Wild Enduros (and still have a couple rolling) in Gum-X. Most recently I ran Fronts on front and rear. The 'wood-chipper' setup. I liked those a lot but the side knobs did eventually tear off. I only have DH34 on the DH bike so I don't have a ton of use on those. They look sick so for me I have to admit that that's 50% of the battle. They look so damn F1 that I feel fast.Gonna get a set of 22s also. I'm not a tire nerd - most tires work for me. Before Michelin I was on Magic Marys and of course Maxxis everythings. I like to run something other than Maxxis just to be a kook nowadays.
  • 2 0
 Sponsored by Mattel

(great looking bike I should say!)
  • 1 0
 Sick bike! They’re Zipp 3 Zero Moto wheels, not “Moto 3 wheels”, for the record. #pickypicky
  • 1 0
 That iXS/pit viper helmet was made for this
  • 1 0
 @Alicia Leggett coivid? wassat? a new variant?
  • 1 0
 needs to come with a trypophobia warning
  • 1 0
 No room for a long dropper post...
  • 1 0
 Spicy is right
  • 1 0
 Nah, this is a prototype
  • 9 12
 When does she get the cougar print?
  • 24 3
 mid 30's ?
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