Lapierre 2015: Three Trailbikes, an Enduro Racer and the Team's New DH Weapon

Jul 11, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  
Lapierre Launch 2015




Lapierre's traditional bike launch takes place in the French Alps in Les Gets, where some of the country's more famous DH racers cut their teeth. The terrain is steep and stunning, with six world class bike parks within a 20-kilometer circle and a seemingly endless supply of technical singletrack interlaced between them. For 2015, the French bike brand reasserted its mission to produce a line of performance racing and trailbikes that are among the most innovative and relevant in their categories. While that may seem to be a big check to cash, considering how competitive the trailbike, enduro and DH marketplace has become, backed by strong results in international competition, its recent move into North America, and its proven electronic suspension controls, Lapierre is in an enviable position to make good on those claims.

Lapierre's front-line players for 2015 are the Spicy enduro racer, which is basically Nico Vouilloz's personal enduro race bike; two versions of the Zesty trailbike - one with 29 and one with 27.5-inch wheels; an all-new X-Control XC trailbike; and an absolutely wicked looking DH racer that PB previewed last June. Gilles Lapierre, the brand's namesake and its third-generation man-in-charge is strong on e-bikes. Gilles said that the e-bike market is quickly becoming a separate entity and to address this, Lapierre relaunched its Overvolt e-bikes as a stand-alone brand. Guests attending the launch in Les Gets were given guided rides on the top-range, 140-millimeter-travel Overvolt 900 FS that included some impressive climbs and descents, and also spanned distances that would have been leg burners for most self-propelled cyclists.

Equal parts rain and sunshine made for an exceptional opportunity to test ride and compare Lapierre's most promising 2015 models back to back on the similar trails, and in a variety of conditions. The following report includes riding impressions of the most important models in the 2105 Lapierre range, and details key upgrades important and changes in the French brand's trail all-mountain and DH offerings.

Lapierre Zesty AM 2015
  Exploring a lesser-known singletrack near Les Gets. Almost every kind of riding imaginable makes this corner of the French Alps one of the best testing grounds in Europe.


Simplified E:I Electric Shock Controls

Lapierre's E:I suspension control was launched in 2013, and has been proven to be one of the best hands-free pedaling lockout systems in production. For model year 2015, Lapierre introduces E:I Auto Shock, which eliminates the remote handlebar switch and the bulky and damage-prone LCD display module which sat on the top of the stem. In their place is a slim control box which sits beside the stem, tucked out of harm's way. The battery is much smaller and sits beside the down tube-bottle mount in a quick-release holster. Auto Shock eliminates one wire, which further simplifies E:I, and the system turns itself off and on automatically when the bicycle is active, similar to Shimano Di2, which greatly extends the battery life and eliminates the need for the user to monitor the system. E:I is offered standard, or as an option on all Lapierre's AM, trail and XC ranges.

Laiperre E I Auto Shock system
  Doubters will have to work hard to find fault in the E:I Auto system, the E:I equipped Zesty and Spicy climb and sprint without any bob or mushy feeling in the pedals, yet their 150-millimeter rear suspension is always working. The RockShox Monarch RT3 damper is impressive. The new battery (center) is housed in a quick-release holster. The compact Auto Shock brain sits flush, to the side of the stem.


How E:I works: For those unfamiliar with E:I, the system locks out the shock when the rider is pedaling and opens the shock while coasting. Seamless suspension performance is ensured by two accelerometer sensors, one in the fork slider and one at the stem-mounted control box. The accelerometers signal when the front tire hits a bump, which instantly unlocks the shock so it can soften the blow when the rear tire contacts it. The system reacts fast enough to unlock the shock in one tenth of a second - which is time enough to get the rear suspension active before the bump passes between the front and rear wheels. Because the system is automatically opened while the rider is not pedaling, E:I bikes don't lock out when you are jumping or descending. Battery life is 24 hours of actual riding time and recharge times average at 1.5 hours.

Options: In Auto mode, three sensitivity settings can be selected with a single button that determine whether the shock will remain locked, switch to trail mode, or completely open, depending upon the magnitude of the impact. The user can also switch to manual mode and select 'open,' 'trail,' or 'locked' as a full-time setting. A small LED lamp on the control box indicates which mode is active. We found that the middle, number 2 position, was the sweet spot and we left it there for all riding situations.

E:I Shock: Lapierre partnered with RockShox, to design a servo-motor-activated Monarch RT3 shock for the system. If the E:I system fails, the shock's lockout circuit will remain where it was last set. Basically, the servo-motor remotely operates the Monarch's standard lockout lever assembly. A three-millimeter Allen Key can be used in fail mode to manually select lockout, trail, or open options.




Lapierre DH Team 2015

Lapierre's jewel in the 2015 crown was its new 27.5-inch-wheel DH Team, which was released in pre-production form to the world at Fort William and earned the top spot in the Female Pro category under Emmeline Ragot. We were shown the final version of the welded aluminum DH Team at Les Gets. Loic Bruni's name was on the top tube, and as he had no plans to lend it out to journos, we can't say how it rides just yet. Co-designer and test rider Nico Vouilloz was on hand at the launch to talk about the bike's development program, which used data acquisition technology and a number of 'test mules' with which the Gravity Republic team used to evaluate different geometry and suspension configurations. The new bike no longer uses Lapierre's Pendbox arrangement, in favor of a more conventional single-pivot swingarm that drives the shock via a rising-rate linkage borrowed from MX motorcycles. The team asked for some changes in the bike after testing it on the Fort Bill track, which was explained by Sam Blenkinsop to be some modification of the linkage rates. Reportedly Bruni's bike was the first to arrive with the new changes.





Supra Link Technology

The graphics on the DH Team perimeter frame hide two important pivot locations. The swingarm pivot (A) has been lowered significantly to improve traction while braking. The fixed arm (C) of the rising rate linkage also pivots on the frame beneath the graphic at (B). As the suspension begins to compress, the relationship of the fixed arm (C) and the L-shaped rocker link (D) initially changes very little, but as the suspension reaches mid-travel, the fixed link begins to pull on the rocker (D), which compresses the shock at an accelerated rate and causes the suspension to ramp up. The DH Team's Supra Link arrangement is duplicated in some form by most MX racing motos and has been previously used in DH racing as well. Emmeline's win at Fort William indicates that Lapierre's design is capable of reaching the top step on a course that requires good suspension and pedaling traits, so apparently, Supra Link is off to a good start.



Rising-rate linkage: Nico said that job one was to provide the team with a rear suspension that was very supple over small bumps and chatter - which is critical in order to maximize traction - and then to create a quick ramp-up in the damping and spring rate near full compression to handle big events and flat landings. Nico explained that the solution already existed in Motocross bikes, because they need similar suspension curves for exactly the same reasons. DH bikes, however, require much shorter swingarm/chainstay lengths, so Lapierre's design team revised the layout of the moto-style, rising-rate shock linkage from horizontal to vertical to tuck the mechanism into the frame. The new DH chassis is also borrowed in part, from MX, with a twin-strut "perimeter" frame at the bottom bracket area that provides monster stiffness there and, more importantly, creates a tunnel for the suspension mech and shock. The result is a lower center of mass, which has proven to be a crucial element for a winning DH design.

Lapierre DH Team 2015
  (Clockwise) A look at the DH Team's twin-strut perimeter chassis. A removable shock mount in the down tube provides additional shock and tuning options for BB height and geometry tweaks. Massive tire clearance - no doubt inspired by the mud-fests of the past two World Cup seasons. The rear dropouts can be switched out to alter the wheelbase, and an AngleSet-type headset provides one degree positive and negative options for the bike's 63.7-degree head angle.


Race only: Lapierre makes no excuses about the DH Team's role as a purpose-built DH racer. The elevated speed and intensity of World Cup DH racing has spawned race-specific suspension and geometry that in most cases, does not translate well to park style riding or weekend gravity play. When fractions of a second determine who stands on the box, we'll bet that most competitors will gladly sacrifice "pop" for a bike that can keep its wheels on the ground. It will be interesting to see how Lapierre's new DH bike rides. So far, all we can say is that the frame weighs 4.5kg without the shock and that it will be sold in two versions: the DH Team replica shown here, that sports all the Gravity Republic's sponsored parts and accessories, and the 727 DH production model with an equally impressive spec. Prices TBD.

DH Team Specifications: Suspension is a RockShox Boxxer World Cup 200mm fork and a Vivid Coil shock. The drivetrain is a SRAM X01 7-speed DH (10 x 24) with an e-thirteen chainring and guide. Brakes are SRAM Guide RSC with 200mm rotors and wheels are Easton Havoc 27.5" with Schwalbe Magic Mary DH tires. The cockpit is all Easton Havoc, including the seatpost, and with a 35mm bolt-on stem and an 800mm handlebar. The saddle is a Lapierre-logo SDG Circuit DH model.

Lapierre DH Team 2015



Lapierre Zesty AM 2015

The mainstay of Lapiere's AM/trailbike range, and quite possibly its most versatile design, the Zesty is produced in two wheel-sizes, with models in carbon and also aluminum. Both feature Lapierre's OST-plus suspension, which is a Horst-Link arrangement that drives a top tube-mounted shock and the elite-level models are equipped with Lapierre's E:I electronically controlled suspension system. The 150-millimeter-travel Zesty AM is built around 27.5-inch wheels, while the 120-millimeter-travel Zesty Trail is designed for 29-inch wheels. For 2015, Zesty E:I bikes get the simpler and more crash-worthy "Auto" system without the clumsy monitor display on the stem. As promised, the 29er Trail model's seatstays are dramatically slimmer in order to clear the rider's heels - a problem with last season's Zesty TR. Other than the new 29er stays, Lapierre carrys last year's Zesty AM and Trail chassis designs forward for 2015, which is a good thing. That said, there have been some major component changes that make the new Zestys feel like different animals.

Lapierre Zesty 2015
  (Clockwise) Zestys now feature short stems and acceptably wide, 750-millimeter handlebars and all models, except for the base-price Zesty Trail 329, get dropper seatposts. The switch to SRAM Guide brakes was an improvement that could be felt immediately on the trail. OST rear suspension provides plenty of mud clearance by moving the linkage forward of the seat tube. OST+ suspension bikes have sag indicators on the seat stays.


Zesty upgrades: Zesty models now feature SRAM or Race Face wheelsets, and bikes with Shimano drivetrains have Shimano brakes, while SRAM equipped models feature Guide brakes. Previously, Lapierre spec'd Formula brakes, which did not have impressive stopping power, primarily due to their organic OEM pad configuration. Carbon models get the now-famous RockShox Pike fork, with its larger, stiffer stanchion tubes - a reponse from criticism for spec'ing 32-millimeter sliders last year. The Zesty's handlebar is slightly wider at 750 millimeters - which is acceptable, and all models get short, AM-length stems. Last year, we asked for more aggressive tires, but Lapierre chose to continue with the fast-rolling, 2.25-inch Schwalbe Nobby Nic.

The Zesty AM family: There are four models of the 27.5-inch-wheel Zesty AM: the 827 leads them off with a SRAM XX1 drivetrain, Guide brakes, a RockShox Reverb dropper post and a 150mm RockShox Pike fork. Wheels are SRAM Roam and the frame's front section is carbon, while its rear suspension is aluminum. Next in line, is the Zesty 527 AM, with a Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes. The dropper post is a KS LEV and the frame is the same carbon front/aluminum rear design that the 827 AM uses. Two 'Supreme 6' all aluminum models follow, with the 427 sporting Shimano XT/SLX components and Race Face wheels, and with a 150-millimeter-travel RockShox Revelation fork. Up to this point the top three Zesty models can be purchased either with the E:I system, or with a conventional RockShox Monarch TR3 damper. The base-model Zesty 327 AM is sold with a Fox CTD Evolution fork and shock and features Shimano XT/ Deore component kit. Wheels are Mavic. North American prices are not yet finalized for Lapierre's range, but we will post them here the moment we receive that information. Check back in a week or so.

Zesty Trail 29 family: Lapierre believes that the 29-inch wheel is better suited for XC/trail riding, so its big-wheel Zesty lineup features less suspension travel. In truth, though, the 120-millimeter-travel Zesty TR29 feels nearly as capable as the 150-millimeter AM version. As mentioned earlier, the TR 29's seat stays have been tucked in to address last year's foot-clearance issues. Otherwise, the chassis is carried forward. Component spec follows that of the AM models, with the exception that the elite-level 829 TR has a two-by-ten SRAM X0 drivetrain and a 120-millimeter-travel RockShox SID RL fork. The 529, 429 TR models use Shimano XT/SLX three-by drivetrains with Shimano XT brakes and both sport RockShox Reba forks and Race Face wheelsets. As mentioned, the top three Zesty Trail models offer E:I suspension and have dropper posts - KS LEV in this case, while the base model 329 TR does not. North American pricing TBD.

Lapierre Zesty AM 2015

Zesty 827 AM:
bigquotesLapierre's latest Zesty AM reminds me that most of the bikes in the all-mountain, trail, enduro categories that are that are touted as wonderfully efficient pedalers are not so wonderfully efficient. Riding with its E:I controls switched off, the Zesty 827 AM feels on par with the best in class. Turn on the E:I Auto, select level two, and then be prepared for a rude awakening. Oh, you mean I can set my suspension up for descending and my bike will still climb perfectly? Oh, and I don't have to remember to push some funky remote lockout or travel adjust mech? If you want compromise, buy a bike with Bo-Bo link suspension or a pooper-platform shock. If you want the best of both worlds, the Zesty's OST+ four-bar suspension and E:I active pedaling controls come awfully close. The Zesty 827 AM may be the easiest trailbike that you'll be lucky enough to ride. It handles beautifully, it weighs around 27 pounds (12.25kg), and its mid-sized wheels carry speed without robbing agility. All you need to do is turn the pedals and remember that the gears are on the right side of the handlebar, the dropper seatpost is on the left, and that the trail should be somewhere between them - the Zesty 827 AM will pretty much take care of everything else.



Lapierre Spicy Team 2015

Spicy Team:
bigquotesThe Spicy Team is so closely related to the lighter-spec'd Zesty that one may wonder why it exists, but one or two high speed runs at the bike park, or a trip down the rooted steeps that the locals here call trails would convince you otherwise. The Spicy always seemed to have an extra measure of control in the bank to rescue me from Hail Mary moments when I was already beyond my comfort zone and missed my line or botched a landing. At an enduro event, where practice is limited and the pace is 100-percent, a bike that offers a bit of a safety net could be a real asset. The same can be said for any situation where you are pushing hard in unfamiliar terrain. The Spicy Team's E:I system provides a similar advantage. The Spicy rider doesn't get caught napping with his or her remote levers flipped in DH mode when an unexpected climb or pedal section appears. Downshift, pop the saddle up and hammer. It didn't take much saddle time to discover that, like the Spicy, E:I is an asset that plays well in the technical realms of the sport.


Small changes make a difference. The Spicy shares
the same chassis as the Zesty AM, yet its more
aggressive tires and wheels, and the effects that a
slightly taller fork have upon the steering geometry
give the Spicy a noticeable measure of stability on the
descents - go figure.

Lapierre's Spicy rolls on 27.5-inch wheels and shares the same carbon/aluminum frame and OST+ four-bar suspension as the Zesty, and it also has 150-millimeters of rear-wheel travel. On paper, the main difference between the two is ten millimeters of fork travel (the Spicy has a 160-millimeter-stroke fork). It came as a surprise, then, that among the 20-odd journos who test rode the Spicy and Zesty back to back, that the Spicy was the overwhelming favorite.

Perhaps it was the tacky-rubber Michelin tires, or the placebo effect of riding alongside a ten-time World Champion aboard the bike that he personally designed to race enduro. Perhaps the two frames use a different linkage configuration that slackens the Spicy's head angle and drops the bottom bracket slightly, but the Spicy kicks ass everywhere on the mountain, especially when the terrain is steep and chunky, and while it only weighs a half pound more than the Zesty AM 827, it feels more grounded under the rider than its trail-oriented brother. A quick check puts the Spicy's head angle at 66.5 degrees, 8-millimeters of drop at the bottom bracket, while the Zesty AM, with a 150-millimeter-stroke fork is stated to be 67-degrees with a 12-millimeter bottom bracket drop. What that means in real terms, is that the addition of a longer fork is probably the reason for the Spicy's slacker head angle and that, in addition to some more aggressive component selections, are the factors that give the Spicy its superpowers.

Spicy Details: I rode the top-line Spicy Team in Les Gets, which is powered by a SRAM XX1 eleven-speed drivetrain and suspended by a 160-millimeter RockShox Pike Solo Air fork and Monarch RT3 E:I shock. The Spicy uses the new SRAM Guide brakes and its wheels are SRAM's slightly wider and more gravity oriented Rail 50s, mounted to Michelin WildRock'r Magi-X (F) and Wildgrip'r Gum-X (R) tires in 2.35-inch sizes. The dropper post is a RockShox Reverb Stealth. and the forward cockpit is decked with a 50-millimeter stem designed by Nico Vouilloz and a 750-millimeter-width, carbon Black Box handlebar. The Spicy Team is only available with the E:I Auto Shock system


Lapierre Spicy team 2015
  The Spicy's OST+ rear suspension feels flex free. The SRAM Guide rear brake is protected inside the perimeter of the rear stays. SRAM Rail 50 wheels and Michelin tires delivered the goods on the many technical descents near Les Gets. The 750-millimeter Black Box carbon handlebar was wide enough, but a DH-width bar may be more in line with the Spicy's descending capabilities. A look at the molded down tube protector and massively boxed, offset seat tube that supports the swingarm pivot.


The Spicy Range: Lapierre offers two Supreme 6 aluminum-framed models of the Spicy. The Spicy 527 shares the 160-millimeter RockShox Pike Solo Air fork, but it is powered by a Shimano XT two-by-ten drivetrain and features XT brakes as well. Wheels are by Mavic and the 527 rolls on the same Michelin tires as the Spicy Team. The Spicy 327 shares the same aluminum chassis, with a Shimano XT/SLX two-by-ten drivetrain and A similar Mavic-wheel/Michelin tire spec. Suspension, however, is by Fox Factory, with a Float CTD Evolution shock and a 160-millimeter-stroke Float CTD Evolution fork. North American pricing, TBD




Lapierre Zesty AM 2015
  Because the E:I system defaults to wide open when the bike is coasting, the transition from pedaling to descending is seamless. Set it and forget it.





Lapierre X-Control 327 2015




X-Control is a reissue of a popular XC trailbike that Lapierre has been very successful with in Europe. The heart of the X-Control's Supreme 6 aluminum chassis is a dual-link rear suspension that has been configured to use chain tension to pull the ear wheel into the sag zone, where the suspension's virtual pivot point lines up with the chain. The purpose of the design is to eliminate or reduce pedaling induced suspension bobbing, which oddly, the E:I system does so well. We don't expect to see the X-Control in North America because at present, the reverse action of the upper and lower rocker links reportedly violates the Santa Cruz VPP patent.

X-Control is based upon 27.5-inch wheels and the platform is intended for XC/Trail riders and entry-level mountain bikers. Rear-wheel travel is 100 millimeters and its Lapierre-branded shock is paired with a 120-millimeter RockShox Recon Gold Solo Air fork with a remote lockout. The top-of-the-line X-Control 327 features a two-by-ten Shimano Deore-level drivetrain with an XT rear mech. The 327 cockpit is outfitted with Lapierre branded components that were both good looking and functionally correct.

While we were not provided actual numbers, the medium-sized X-Control that I rode felt roomy enough for unhindered climbing and its steering geometry was steep enough to give the bike a snappy feel at singletrack speeds, while managing to be slack enough to make it possible to enjoy reasonably technical trails. Lapierre chose 2.25-inch Schwalbe Rapid Rob semi-slick type tires for the X-Control, which provide adequate grip and a very fast roll over hard pack surfaces. Lapierre will offer two value-spec'd options: the X-Control 227 and 127 that should make for good starter bikes for mountain bike curious cyclists looking for a good handling bike on a budget.

Lapierre FPS suspension 2015
  Lapierre's FPS+ rear suspension (Full Power Suspension) is a dual-link system that uses chain tension and the migration of the swingarm's virtual pivot point to keep the suspension riding near its neutral, sagged position, with its virtual pivot aligned with the upper run of the chain.


Lapierre X-Control. 2015

X-Control 327:
bigquotesWhile a 100-millimeter-travel XC/trailbike would not be my first choice for exploring the Alpine trails around Les Gets, the X-Control proved to be a worthy mount. Power transfer was crisp and its steering and overall handling was reminiscent of the best performing bikes of recent decade, when cross-country was king and super-slack head angles were still the domain of downhillers. Just for grins, I took the X-Control down a couple of bike park flow trails and, beyond the pounding I took over the braking bumps, it was surprisingly capable outside of its element.




Lapierre Overvolt FS 900 2015

E-Bikes are welcome on the trails around Les Gets, but cyclists are still surprised to encounter them in the back country. Lapierre's most expensive e-bike is the Overvolt 900 FS - a 140-millimeter-travel single-pivot dual-suspension hybrid that can more than double the power output of a fit climber. In profile, the Overvolt 900 FS looks like a modern rendition of a circa 1912 board track racing motorcycle, and after spending some time on one, it's hard not to make moto sounds when powering up techy climbs and other places where human power seems inadequate. Sadly, e-bikes are limited to 25 kilometers per hour in Europe, where they are embraced, while in North America, where e-bikes are largely shunned, the legal limit is almost double that.

I am sure that Lapierre and Bosch, the folks who make the powerplant, did not design the Overvolts to withstand the abuse that we gave them, but it was quite fun to glide up dirt roads and singletracks as if someone had secretly injected us with EPO, and then blast downhill on a mid-travel beast that must have weighed 60 pounds (27kg). To its credit, the Overvolt 900 FS climbed over a pass that would have been a grinder on a carbon XC racing bike, it didn't break the hooks on the uplifts, and although its head angle is on the steep side (69-degrees, I think), it got me safely down some rooted trails that would have given that carbon XC racer much grief. The experience was akin to being seventeen years old and having your mom ask, "Hey will you please drive my Camaro on that long, curvy dirt road over the mountain pass and pick up some groceries for dinner? I am in a hurry..."

Lapierre Overvolt 900 FS 2015

bigquotesYou have to pedal to make the Overvolt go, so there is effort involved in the e-bike experience, but it is very fast in comparison to the speeds that most riders pedal around the mountains. The downside is that when the battery runs out you will quickly discover that the pedals are as effective as male breasts. The Overvolt takes some getting used to. The motor quits helping you at 25 KPH, which feels impossibly slow after busting out runs all day at the bike parks on real mountain bikes. You quickly learn that jumping the Overvolt can get you into trouble, as the speed that most flow-trail jumps require is a bit faster than the motor is allowed to go, so at the moment of truth, as the Overvolt's front tire begins to roll up the ramp, the motor kicks out and it feels like the brakes come on. Nose-first landings are common until you find jumps that match the Overvolt's governed velocity. The bottom line is, as wrong as it should be, riding the Overvolt off road is way fun. There is a certain sense of satisfaction one gets when the Overvolt's power level is maxed on 'Turbo' and you are weaving through a number of suffering souls who are struggling to turn the cranks, while you are barely breathing, making 17 KPH or better. I am positive that I'll go to hell for smiling at the poor saps.



154 Comments

  • + 280
 I was really enjoying this article and all these new bikes....then, it all changed.....I saw the e-bike.
  • + 57
 I think RC does it on purpose........nothing in the title...... scrolling down, scrolling down then BANG! ugly e-bike!! and enter angry e-bike comments.....
  • - 24
flag Matt76 (Jul 11, 2014 at 8:19) (Below Threshold)
 Totally agree. E Bikes need to vanish very quickly......along with Fat Bikes
  • + 27
 Me too. And I really hate them when they are called stuff like "Eco-bikes" They arent Eco dammit! ... unless they come with solarpanels for the back yard...
I do understand the use for some people though, older or otherwise impaired riders.
  • + 28
 I can understand the E-bike debate but I don't see anything wrong with Fat Bikes ( I don't own one btw and probably never will but I can see the appeal).
  • + 27
 electric suspension and bike. DO NOT WANT.
  • + 12
 In my neck of the woods the opportunity to have fun throughout the winter in amplified with owning a fat bike. The winter is long as hell, and snowboarding and skiing can be balanced out with some trail riding on a fat bike. And seeing some vids of fat bikes on groomers makes me wish they'd allow them on the local resort hills. This makes the fat bike a legit choice, for where I'm at. Maybe others don't live in an area covered in a ton of snow half the year, so they hate on fat bikes, but whatever, they aren't designed for them. Those same haters probably don't even live anywhere close to mtns either, which is their loss. Cest last vie. As for e bikes, I can see commuters benefitting from them, but I don't feel they have a place on proper mtn bike trails, but they'd definitely get run over in OHV areas.
  • + 6
 The surprise e-bike Ol' Cuntingham strikes again!
  • + 17
 I just don't understand e-bikes... just buy a moto!!! so stupid.
  • + 2
 Do you understand commuting to work and not wanting to pay for parking, be stuck in traffic, etc etc? In our city the bike paths are everywhere and will get you into the heart of the city faster then the roadways. Having an ebike would get you there quicker, and cheaper. Much cheaper. It's cheating IMHO, as bike paths should be human powered as far as I'm concerned, but if that's what works for someone to get to work and back, so be it. As for motox, an ebike would never replace moto or mtn biking for recreational purposes.
  • + 0
 i actually do understand the appeal of fatbikes, and they just look fun. what's annoying are the long winded posts defending fatbikes to people who aren't really saying anything negative about them Wink
  • + 10
 i can get over the fatbike thing because its still a BIKE. the electronic stuff (electronic suspension and e-bikes) are not bikes IMO. i ride bikes to get away from that crap, not to see more of it.
  • - 5
flag kev-roberts (Jul 11, 2014 at 10:41) (Below Threshold)
 fucking e-bikes, cheers for ruining my day RC. that new downhill bike is horrid too, made me sick from my eye balls.
  • + 5
 yeah i feel like the major brands' new dh bikes are getting simpler with cleaner lines, while this looks like an experiment from cannondale in 1997 - where's the second and third chain?
  • + 11
 Please can PB start another website for e-bikes, I am not interested in seeing them here, I don't care about any redeeming qualities they may have. I've already started seeing them on some trails here, and they're a menace. The sooner they are banned, the better.
  • + 19
 Please pinkbike can you only review sub $3000.00 aluminum bikes with 26" wheels. That is what I own, can't afford a new bike, and want to read about how great what I currently own is because I can't figure it out on my own. Please do not post articles on any new innovations because it's all just trying to steal from us and make what we have obsolete. No other riders preferences count because I'm too narrow minded to realize others may want so etching different from me.
  • + 8
 ooohhh look trail hippies complaining about that new fangled lerktrisity witchcraft.
  • + 9
 This is like taking a super Hot "girl" out on a date, then at the end of the night when you are both naked, you realize "She" has a dick!
  • + 2
 e-bike and fat bike are here to stay. Some of you should deal with it. Maybe I'm wrong but it looks like the most conservative out there are the youngest! Long time mountain biker -20 years or more of mtb- are -and it's a surprise for me- less close minded about things like that.
  • + 2
 yeah it's weird. why are the old guys the open minded ones?
  • + 2
 tjet^^^^ COD!!!!
  • + 5
 it's because the older generation are less concerned about their image, the young pups want to show what super hardcore trail gods they are even wen a lot of them ant ride a bike for shit.
  • + 0
 The sport needs proper innovation like we have had with dropper posts , 1x gearing, great suspension like Pikes and now the game changing tyre system by Schwalbe called Procore. E Bikes and Fat Bikes are just ridiculous fads that have no place on modern mountain biking. Especially E Bikes. They need to disappear extremely quickly. They remind my of crap like Muddy Fox inter linking suspension, suspension stems, Tioga disc rear wheels. Etc. Hopefully they will all end up in the same place.....non existent.
  • + 3
 fat bikes are fun for cruising around super sandy places
  • + 1
 I was waiting for the "enduro racer". When I saw the words E-Bike I was like, cool! Beat everybody on the up! Then I saw it. Darn near puked!
  • + 5
 Fat bikes look f***ing awesome. I don't care how much people shit on them I would definitely ride one on snowmobile trails and stuff during winter. E-bikes on the other hand...I was going to write a long rant about how stupid and wrong and hideous they are, but they don't even deserve the 60 seconds it would take to write it.
  • + 2
 Come on dude ebikes are the perfect fix for down hill slackers who can't handle peddaling up!
  • + 1
 The shop I work at carries Lapierre and we demoed the Spicy and Zesty to see if we wanted to carry em; they electronic suspension works and works very well, the e-bike on the other hand, we probably (hopefully) won't get any for stock. Lapierre bikes are solid and are good bikes, if you have a local shop that carries em, go and test ride to get a little taste of what they are. It's all here to stay. E-bikes do have their place, hopefully not on the trails, but they do have one. As far as fat bikes (not relevant to this article at all...), if you haven''t ever ridden one, find one to putt around on because they are a blast! I live on the coast so the sandy and rocky conditions fit the fat bikes really well. Kwiturbitchin and go ride your bike, whatever style it is, just go ride and be happy!!
  • + 1
 Anyone know the status of this DH bike? Has been missing in action
  • + 1
 eBikes could be the demises for all the trail advocacy so far, are we going back to the dark ages?
  • + 29
 "The downside is that when the battery runs out you will quickly discover that the pedals are as effective as male breasts."

Exactly what I was thinking!
  • + 21
 oh my god it's here!!! send John Connor back in time to kill it
  • + 4
 You mean Kyle Reese (John's father)...
  • + 0
 Pedant.
  • + 3
 As a terminator fan I couldn't let that one go...if that makes me a pedant in your eyes so be it...
  • + 1
 Oh that's right, T1000 was sent back to off John Connor in T2 when Governator was protecting him
  • + 3
 And Kyle Reese was sent back in the first movie to protect Sarah Connor and unknowingly to him to help conceive John Connor.
  • + 0
 So, Kyle Reese was never sent back in time to kill, but to protect? Shouldn't we get on with inventing the T1000 to send back in time to kill it?
  • + 12
 A ble ble ble ble electronle ble bleeee bleeeeee now look at the price! The only thing that I want to see now is test of anabolics, Imean why not?! If iit is cool ti ride an electronic bike, then why not take supplements? Isn't it more fun to ride a bike when you are super strong? I want to knowwhich steroids give best results with least side effects.
  • - 1
 just ask Fabian Cancellara who did both! (PEDs and e-bike):

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Nd13ARuvVE
  • - 1
 @cuban-b that is honestly the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Hands down. Are you even a road rider??
  • - 1
 It's a joke. Don't take it so seriously. for someone who claims to be a roadie Im surprised you've never seen that video. I don't think he had an e bike .... Peds on the other hand still up for debate. Smile
  • + 2
 Ehhh, I still want those steroids to climb like Jerome Clementz without needing to train as much as he does. I don't have time for training, I need results not regrets! I want to have fun on bike!
  • + 1
 @cuban-b yea I have seen the video, I just thought it was ludicrous. Road riders have a way of making cheats out of anyone who is better than them. If they can't beat them, accuse them of cheating. Sorta pathetic really.
  • + 11
 Man I am so sick of hearing about e-bikes and fat bikes! As much as most PB readers feel about the (overlong and misguided)wheel size debate. One magazine whose initials are MBA is practically a sales brochure. When the industry starts pushing recumbents and tandems.......... aaaahhhhh !!!!
Rant over.
  • + 6
 What about off road skooters?
  • + 9
 Such sick advancements in bikenology. And I would love to see a video of RC riding. I know he shreds, but I'd love to see .MOV proof that the author tears it up!
  • + 1
 I think he writes that way, making the reader to believe that he "shreds." One thing is riding a lot and reviewing tons of biking products, and a very different one is riding hard... Would be interesting to see a video while he's testing bikes. Or is it just talk?
  • + 16
 I can ride a bike pretty well, but I can't push a DH bike or an EWS-worthy enduro machine to their absolute limits on the downs. Like all good editors, I use small group of super-talented test riders who can run the O-rings to the top to keep those types of reviews honest. When you read "we," those are the men I refer to.
  • + 6
 brains run on electric impulses, muscles controlled by brains, muscles pedal bikes: all bikes run on electricity.
  • + 4
 haha, this guy had a lot of fun testing this bikes!! props to him
and Lapierre bikes look so great, i've tried (for the first time of my life) the Lapierre E-Bike...it works like crazy!
  • + 2
 All these Lovely Comments about ebikes is upsetting, I hope you all have great knees when your over 40 from riding all your lives. I wouldnt be able to enjoy my daily ride if it wasnt for my 4000Watt electric motor pushing past all those young guys peddelling their butts off up those steep hills or maybe its the fact that you all need to load your bikes onto Lifts and Cars and be towed up those hills. Jealousy is a real bitch isnt it guys.
  • + 2
 Old people will love the e bike, dam baby boomers, wrecked the world, now wrecking MTB too fat lazy but they still want to be cool... Love the whole conception behind the DH bike makes good sense, design execution just struggling with it, why they couldn't gave design a similar concept into a layout like MX, eg vertical shock placing or slightly forward like MX, Im sorta thinking in style of say an Ancillotti shock placing, not frame design just layout, still think the Sunday had one of the best layout designs ever. Just looks right to me, this ahh same with Turners DHR, all the crap gies straight onto the rear shock mount du bushings, seems design over function to me, something you rarely see in MX bikes for the better too. Still go Blienky, Emmelline etc
  • + 2
 I would like to buy an e-bike for my mum. She is 59, she loves biking with my dad but she is finding it too difficult now that she is getting older. The e-bike is the perfect solution for her.
To all the purists... If you don't want one, just don't buy one. Stop trying to look cool questioning things out of your needs.
You want to pedal? Do it!
Be tolerant for god sake!
  • + 2
 My 2014 Spicy team in Small size will be available in mid/end August for a killer price.... I LOVE this bike but, you know, I am an idiot and I buy a new bike every year so.... Make an offer send me a deposit and we can lock in an amazing price.... The bike is an absolute gem.....
  • + 3
 I'll be doing the same with my XL Spicy Team! This is by far the best bike I have ever ridden.
  • + 1
 Might want that small hmm
  • + 1
 my 527 spicy will also be for sale to fund a new spicy 527. its the only bike ive ever wanted to replace with the same model.
  • + 1
 Haters, people were spitting the same bullshit about 29ers..and allowing women vote

Your inexpensive rig would be nowhere with out the expensive ones from the past. Where do you think disc brake and suspension technology comes from?
Certainly not from "forward" thinkers like you. You should give away your bike and buy a wooden wheeled Bone Shaker from the 19th century.
Should we stop trying to cure diseases like polio and whooping cough ( which are coming back ) too?
f*cking CAVE MAN!!!
  • + 1
 Best new bike line up EVER! I was pleasantly surprised by all the new bikes, BUT then I got to the last one. OH MY GOD! Its about time we got a good E-bike option. These are some of the most functional and well thought out bikes ever made. Ive spent countless hours riding E-bikes and I gotta tell you, being able to spend an entire 70KM day on my bike in the mountains and not having to be spent. I can charge up and do it again the next day, which is a god send. Thank You Lapierre for bringing these wonderful bikes to a larger market. I think if everyone just gave it a chance they would see how much more an E-bike could add to their riding enjoyment.
  • + 5
 If you were trying to be not-so-subtly sarcastic, I was entertained. Otherwise, fuck you
  • + 3
 Im very entertaining...
  • + 3
 Would it be any more of a troll to inform you that (and this is actually true) there is a "push" button on the Overvolt's handlebar control that engages the motor and runs the bike at low speed so you don't have to break a sweat when you have to push it up the stairs at the uplifts?
It's evil. Eeeeeeeevil.
  • + 1
 These bike have No place in a proper mountain bike setting. If you cant power your self up the trail then I'm sorry but don't bring your E-bike out to the mountains. They do have a place, that place is with some one who other wise couldn't ride a bike at all. On bike paths. Limited speed(20KM). Much simpler and reliable designs. oh wait they do make something like this its and electric wheel chair. leave it at that.
As someone who has had to deal with a few different E-bike over the years, I can tell you with out a doubt they are a waste of time. I have never come across one that has been built well, is reliable or doesn't weigh 70lbs. Prove me wrong, get one of these Lapierre E-bikes, do a long term test on it, ride it as if it was your normal trail bike. Lets see how it fairs, lets see how much you like it when it isn't a lark. When your 30 kms into a ride and it breaks down and you're pushing that beast out of the bush. Tell me then that you think this is a good idea.
  • + 1
 I used to think the same thing but i went riding recently and there was a guy on one who was mildly disabled. He said the bike was a bit heavy handling but otherwise good fun. I'm against them generally but all for them in this scenario and therefore they do have a (minor) place in mountain biking.
  • + 0
 You forgot "get off my lawn!" Or some other venomous nimby complaint
  • + 1
 hey that's my line!! i dont have a lawn, but if I did there would be a pump track in its place ASAP!!\
I would even let people on E-bikes ride it!! Come one come all!! HATERS STAY HOME!!
  • + 1
 Curious to know how the E:I effects grip on technical climbs? And what stops it locking the rear if you're, for instance, pedalling through a rock garden when descending?

It's a really interesting concept, but I know that personally I only tend to switch modes on my shock for long, smooth climbs as I find the extra traction with it fully open worth the payoff in most other situations.

Now, if the E:I was able to retain that grip, and keep the wheel tracking even when I'm pedalling, but at the same time stiffen up the shock on the short smooth sections between where I rarely bother to flick the manual switch, that would be very interesting. From reading around though my hunch is that right now it doesn't do this, and as such it comes down to individual priorities / riding choices as to whether it's useful.
  • + 1
 delusional^^^ If the fork is activated over bumps, such as pedaling through a rock garden, the shock is automatically left wide open, same for uphills. It sticks like glue to rooty, rocky climbs, because when the fork firsrt touches the rough section, it transmits to open the shock, When the climb smooths out, it locks the rear suspension. Th eonly hint that somthing is going on is that sometimes you can hear the servo motor in the shock working. A sensor in the BB telll the E:I system when you are pedaling. The moment you stop turning the cranks, E:I opens the shock and turns off - so it descends and jumps like any other suspension.
  • + 1
 Thanks Richard, that's great info. I'd missed the part about the fork being used as input; really clever stuff! Will need to track down a test ride on one of these I think to get a feel for myself of how it works.
  • + 1
 Looking at it some more I'm wondering a bit more about the visibility into what the system is doing - now that it's lost the head unit does it have any other sort of interface? It would be amazing if I could connect to the system by ANT+ for instance and log the actions it does - being able to see when and where my fork was responding against a Strava log would be really interesting, and open up a whole world of high level info to your average rider. Even just being able to see where the fork actually was in it's travel at any one time would be amazing.

Following from that, is the system tuneable at all? If for instance I ride it and I want it to stay open a little longer than standard, or react a little differently to the terrain, can I adjust the levels right now? It looks like that may have been possible in the past through the head unit, but I'm not sure if that remains.
  • + 1
 Yes, there are three sensitivity levels in "Auto" mode that basically weigh the size of the bump and then determine if the shock is switched into "trail" or "open." The third position gives the harsher ride. You can also use "manual" mode and just leave it in locked, trail or open the whole time.
  • + 3
 @delusional

EI is a fantastic idea and it works! I had the chance of building one for a customer when I was working in NZ. I'm not the biggest France's Lapierre fan but I was pleased right from the beginning by how well it was designed -the 2014 model- and you can tell it's waterproof. On the trails it was working just great! The roots of NZ are the opposite of what I like on a trail -born and bred in the South of France were rockgarden means business Big Grin - but with the help of the EI the technical climbs over roots were damn easier!

I'd like to see the EI technology paired with the "Simon" tech from Cannondale. It was a lefty fork that uses accelerometers and electromagnets to adjust the front suspension on the fly almost instantly. I'm not sure EI and/or similar approach is race worthy yet but on a trail bike it's just a revolution. I run BOS suspension front and rear on my Turner Burner and I still like the E.I! Don't get me wrong when fully opened the gap between my VIP'R and the Monarch is huge but when the EI plays its magic it's quite something.
  • + 1
 While I would really like to try E:I, as fox's CTD is the bane of my trail riding life (I usually leave it in trail mode 100% of a ride, or get too far into a technical descent to realise I am still in the dreaded climb mode Razz )...

As devil's advocate, what happens if you E.T a jump? (Admittedly, I've only ever done this on my DH bike, but still...)
  • + 1
 I'm surprised you like fox's CTD -I don't and I'm not the only one out there- but CTD is a big joke compared to what EI does.You'll be surprised about how good this whole EI idea is! After All electronics is doing the job well in MotoGP's suspension. Why the hell not for mtb?
  • + 1
 Just a quick note on "The new DH chassis is also borrowed in part, from MX, with a twin-strut "perimeter" frame at the bottom bracket area...."

It's kind of a stretch to call that a perimeter frame`when the only area that's is designed like that surrounds the suspension gubbins. On motorcycles, perimeter frames are all encompassing starting at the head tube and coming around the outside of the engine down to the back of the case where they normally located the swing arm and linkage (based on suspension design). On top of that, many designs used the engine as a stressed member. Some went even further and located part of the suspension on the rear of the engine casing.
  • + 1
 Got a 2014 527 am as I thought with a few upgrades changes it would be an awesome bike. Upgraded forks to pike 150. Brakes to xt . kranks to xt so I co go 1x10 shorter stem an 150mm carbon bars. It is now a brilliant bike. The Fox 32s where so wrong for that bike. The boys at Lappierre need a slap for spacing them. Looks like everyone else thought so and they've listened
  • + 5
 Why, why, why! This is the most complicated single pivot ever!
  • + 4
 Because Moto...
  • + 1
 "The new bike no longer uses Lapierre's Pendbox arrangement, in favor of a more conventional single-pivot swingarm that drives the shock via a rising-rate linkage"

This is very interesting. First they upped the travel from 200mm to 220mm and now they've dropped the Pendbox all together. Possibly its not the best system for DH...
  • + 4
 Is it just me or do Lapierre like to make their DH bikes look overly complicated?
  • + 1
 wow why is everyone talking about the e-bike who cares, instead look at all the other options you have, you guys are always looking at the negative of a review and not what else was presented, there some amazing bike from Lapierre here! there DH and Enduro bike are some of the best out there... if you havent try them yet maybe you should shut up... the spicy team is one of the best enduro I've tested in years!
  • + 6
 2011 Norco Team DH?
  • + 6
 Was thinking the same thing.
  • + 1
 the Norco Aurum looks better than this though
  • + 1
 I agree, however I didn't mention the Aurum...
  • + 1
 oh really. weird.
  • + 1
 Beeing an impaired rider, I would love to have an e-bike, does not matter if is a Cube or a Lapierre. sadly it cost 4 times more to own one here in Brasil than in Europe and US.
  • + 0
 You think you'll got to hell for smiling as you ride past the uphill strugglers on that OVERVOLT? Trust me that judgement was made the moment you threw a leg over it....JK I'd like to try one out just to see what they are like.
  • + 1
 I would have considered riding a LP bike until I saw that f'in Overvolt. I'll put my money in a company that focuses on bicycles, thanks. Though that Spicy looks like crazy fun- the geo charts are amazing.
  • + 4
 Totally intrigued by the Spicy Team rear brake arrangement!
  • + 2
 myself as well. I wonder if they require wider hubs to fit it in.
  • + 3
 No. Standard 12 x 142 hubs fit the rear end. A few other brands are hiding the rear brakes inside the frame as well.
  • + 2
 There is nothing wrong with an Electric bike, You people need to get a grip, you use cars to get to a mountain then hop on a lift powered by diesel.
  • + 3
 Dear Santa, May I please have a 29er e-bike. And some fire to burn it with. Thank you.
  • - 1
 Does anyone know where I can an enduro bumbag? To match my enduro socks and my new fox enduro knee pads. Also where can I buy a bike with slighter bigger wheels than my 26" ? Smaller than 29"? That costs a fortune has a shocking bright colour scheme, doesn't handle or jump as well as my current obsolete 26" but goes marginally quicker in a straight line. My mistake yayy 650b is born, trail riding having fun is dead long live enduro.
  • + 1
 I just hate off road ebikes. I am that guy, and I'm proud of it. Cycling is and, in my eyes should always be about 100% human power.
  • + 1
 Just got my new Spicy Team 2015... I was sceptical about the E/i system but wow its pretty amazing! 6 hours ride and no issues!
  • + 1
 The Spicy is on my short list of AM/enduro bikes for next year......looking forward to the improvements in that e:i shock as well. Wish I could afford the Team version.....
  • + 2
 Stickers to cover the pivot points? Do they not want the suspension to be serviced?
  • + 1
 Maybe helps keep mud out? These aren't production frames yet, I don't think.
  • + 3
 Liking the DH bike. The true test is performance, not looks.
  • + 4
 But it's also sexy as hell. So Win-Win.
  • + 1
 Dear Lapierre, the space between the axles is called the wheelbase. Please measure it occasionally. Oh and bloody tell us!?!?!?
  • + 1
 Is there a video/gif/animation or something that shows how the linkage works on the DH? Or maybe a kind soul would make such a thing? Smile
  • + 1
 It's the same design as all modern MX bikes. It is a sound design that has been used since the early 1980s.
  • + 2
 That zesty am looks just like the new nomads.
  • + 1
 ^^^ not sure if blind.
  • + 2
 an e bike has a motor so whats it doing on Pinkbike???????
  • + 1
 Is this the company who refuses to sell parts to owners of 2nd hand bikes?
They can go ****.
  • + 0
 its a real shame that there still using the ei because ive rode the spicy 2014 without the ei and its one of the best am bikes of 2014
  • + 1
 its even better with it, and it's "they're" not "there" by the way.
  • + 1
 how is it better the rear shok locks out when you peadal over rhogh stuff
  • + 0
 no it doesn't, it only locks if the terrain is smooth, if the forks hit a bump the system sets the rear shock to the right level of damping to absorb it by the time the rear wheel gets there. the only downside to the E.I. shock to me is that i would never want to ride a bike without it. it makes every other bike i've ridden since seem soggy and unresponsive.
  • + 0
 i know how it works but when you pedal it locks up and how come most of the people riding the spicy except nico voilios take it off
  • + 1
 nope it only locks on smooth terrain as soon as the forks start to react to bumps the rear end unlocks to the suitable level of damping to smooth it out whether your pedaling or not. It would appear you don't know how it works at all.
  • + 1
 just shut up you like it I dont
  • + 0
 have you ridden one then?

Probably not seeing as you have no idea of what the E.I. shock actually does.
  • + 1
 yes my i rode one at a demo day
  • + 1
 "give the bike a snappy feel at singletrack speeds" That's about right for Snapierre.
  • + 1
 Pb comments are the best. I like WAKId's idea and do an Anabolic steroid "shoot-out" no pun intended.
  • - 1
 I wish PB would start calling out everyone that stocks Nobby Nics. Nobody wants to buy a new whip and then pay $120 for new tires after 50 miles, yet that's what everyone who specs this garbage is making riders do.
  • + 0
 GET A LIFE
  • + 1
 Reach on the DH bike is 35-40mm off what it needs to be for a large / man sized bike. or is that the kids only size chart?
  • + 2
 Everyone comment hear is shit.. Who cares, ride what you like
  • + 1
 How does the shock behave when the battery depletes all it's power?
  • + 3
 It stays in the last mode that the servo motor set it to. There is an Allen hex opposite the motor drive that allows you to turn the damping control manually if that occurs. It fits the Allen key hidden in the RockShox fork rebound dial.
  • + 1
 easy easy! you guys trying to start a world war!?
  • + 1
 I think that DH bike needs a little bit longer wheelbase
  • + 1
 #endbikegenocide

#savetheebike
  • + 1
 You shouldn't mix E with bikes.....keep it for the discotek ;-)
  • + 2
 Fuck e-bikes
  • + 1
 That sag decal is simple and ingenious at the same time.
  • + 1
 He had me at "... as effective as male breasts".
  • + 1
 4,5kg without shock race only frame in 2015...
  • + 0
 I thought that was a good adjustable stem, and wanted one Then read print & not really interest in a shock brain?
  • + 0
 *Every lol including mine
  • + 0
 Need more info on these new Havoc wheels!! Pinkbike?? Easton?? Anyone??
  • + 1
 Nice bike!
  • + 0
 no duracell batterys on our bikes please!!!!
  • - 1
 KEEP ELECTRIC SHIT OFF MY BIKES. DO NOT WANT.
  • + 2
 'murika!
  • - 3
 that dh bike is one of the ugliest i have ever seen.
  • + 12
 I got something to top that....Go look in the mirror
  • + 11
 well f*ck you too Wink i kinda like it, too many bikes look the same these days, changes things up a bit.
  • + 11
 Apply cold water to burned area.
  • + 3
 @c4mtb Now, you have to ask yourself, is the DH 722 better looking than the DH Team?
  • + 1
 Can't say I think it looks very good either and 10 lbs without a shock? No thanks. However I would be interested in riding it to see what the progressive travel system is like.
  • - 3
 Snap, I dry vomited when I seen it
  • + 5
 Eeeeevil
  • + 3
 I meant that electric thing at the end, the rest of the bikes are pretty good
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