launched their revamped Spicy platform back at Eurobike
in August. After spending a few weeks aboard its predecessor earlier this year, along with Nico Voullioz's heavily modified bike at the EWS in New Zealand
, I was eager to jump aboard the latest iteration of this popular enduro machine. Thankfully I didn't have to wait long, and with the dust and dirt of the final Enduro World Series event barely settled, we headed into the hills and on to the trails of Finale Ligure, Italy, to see what the new 2016 Lapierre Spicy is all about.
Three years of meticulous fettling from Nico on the Enduro World Series circuit has lead to a few improvements that follow current trends for longer, lower and slacker geometry. As well as more travel the new Spicy offers more progression, improved durability and stiffness. The proprietary E:i system remains along with the OST+ suspension platform with four sizes and either carbon or aluminum versions, at varying price points, within the range. We took a ride on the Spicy Team, which is an all-carbon affair bar the alloy chain stay and is chock-full of SRAM components and tops out the range at €6999 or $8599 USD.
• 27.5" wheels
• 165mm travel
• E:i Suspension System
• 66° head angle with a 160mm fork
• 435mm chainstay length
• ISCG 05 tabs
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 29.8 lb / 13.5 kg (size medium, claimed
• MSRP: €6999 / $8599 USD
Geometry wise the Spicy has been modernized, gaining an extra 1.5 degrees of angle in the seat tube and while top tubes retain the same dimensions as before, the reach grows by around 19mm (S+18mm, M +16, L +20, XL +18mm) per size. The head angle slackens half a degree to 66°, and there is a 10mm spacer at the bottom of the headtube that can be removed if you want to upgrade to a 170mm travel fork and retain the same geometry.
• Reach numbers grow by 19mm per size
• Head angle loses half a degree down to 66°
• Seat angle steepens 1.5° to 75°
• Chainstays grow by 5mm to 435mm
• Suspension travel increases 15mm to 165mm
• Wider bars as standard, now 780mm
• Shorter stems as standard, now 45mm
Why would you want a longer travel fork? Rear suspension travel has gained an extra 15mm of travel to 165mm so why not get a few more millimeters up front? The chainstay also grows a little to 435mm from 430mm to increase stability and give better weight distribution between the wheels. The bottom bracket stays at a static height of -5mm, but with the increased rear travel it should sit about 5mm lower at the recommended 35% sag position.
As far a componentry goes, there are a couple of changes. The 750mm carbon handlebar changes to a wider 780mm NV Signature alloy bar, which should suit a wider variety of tastes with the option to cut them down should that length be too wide. The 50mm stems found on its predecessor have been shortened to 45mm across the range to work alongside the geometric improvements and further helping to increase stability. The large E:i battery comes as standard, but the 'tube shaped' battery that allows the use of a bottle cage should be available on request from your dealer, they offer the same amount of power reserve and charging times.
I can't help but mention the looks - I know this is purely opinion and a bit of a 'Marmite'
thing, but I think that the flowing lines of the old bike have been lost to the humped top tube, but this was necessary to gain room to safely fit piggy back shocks.Issues
The new shock linkage does away with the direct mount shock. Unfortunately this creates a huge amount of rotation at the lower shock pivot, which causes a lot of friction at the DU bush shock eyelet. The team riders were using a needle-roller bearing here to alleviate this issue, and there was a noticeable difference in sensitivity between their bikes and mine. This can be fixed easily for around $14USD with a shock needle bearing from Enduro Bearings.
A couple of other things that caught my attention were the 125mm Reverb droppers on all sizes - a 150mm option would be nice for the larger sizes and the front end was a little low for me with the 25mm rise handlebar. Finally, for such a hybrid race machine, a small top chain guide would improve peace of mind. All of the above are merely minor points of contention and easy to remedy, which we discussed with the team at Lapierre who said they are going to look in to implementing the changes. Pinkbike's Take:
|All in all, there isn't a vast difference between new and old, but in no way is this a bad thing as the previous bike was a star. Multiple, incremental improvements are keeping this classic up to date and although there are a few niggles as mentioned above, they are fairly easy fixes, which Lapierre say they are looking into.|
The recommended 35% sag means the back wheel can get out of the way of all the small stuff and carry good speed while the added travel and progression eats up the big impacts - highly advantageous when you're enduroing the hell out of a 20-minute trail and your line choice starts to lose precision. As soon as you get back on the pedals, the E:i system is right there and helps you put the power down - I'm a huge fan of the E:i system as it just does its job. You're only aware of it from the whirring noise of it switching modes, but you will never need to reach down for the compression lever for a climb, or head into a descent only to realize you're nearly locked out, and then perform the classic one-handed, wild bull ride to get the damper moving.
The Spicy is a bike that drives you forward when you pump, sits up well to pedal and is stiff and responsive in all the right places. Well balanced, well sized and well specced. - Paul Aston
Visit the high-res gallery for more images from the test day.