Based in Dijon, France, Lapierre Bicycles, is one of the oldest brands in the business, founded in 1946. They were also one of the early adopters of eMTB's back in 2014. This all-new Overvolt AM is targeted at all-mountain riding with 160mm of travel and 27.5+ rims and rubber.
This new platform is the first Lapierre propelled by a Shimano Steps motor and fuelled by a 'SnakePower' 500wh integrated battery. Starting at €4599 and reaching up to €6799 split across five spec levels, we headed to Corsica in exceptionally bad weather to try the AM727i.
Overvolt AM 727i Details Intended use:
trail / enduroTravel:
Shimano STEPS E8000 motor w/ internal SnakePower batteryFrame construction:
€4599 - €6799More info: cycles-lapierre.fr
Compared to Lapierre's flagship Overvolt Carbon
, the AM727i is almost bland. The carbon bike featured twin downtubes and a standard battery located under the seat tube and almost directly on top of the motor. The concept was to get the weight as low and centralized as possible for stability and light handling. The AM has a more conventional look and a new suspension design that tries to move the weight of the linkage and shock as low as possible, and instead integrates the battery into the downtube.Motor and Battery
The motor is a standard Shimano STEPS E8000 unit, with stiff, 170mm Hollowtech cranks. The SnakePower battery, on the other hand, is far from standard; the huge articulated unit slides into the downtube from a sealed and lockable port near the head tube. After a couple of tries, it becomes simple and fast to remove it for charging or changing. Of course, the battery can still be charged in the bike with a charging port on the downtube. Build Kits
Aluminum is the only option for the eMTB chassis, with four sizes S-XL. There are five models to choose from with prices ranging from €4599 - €6799. There are also all of the same options in a 29" wheeled bike, with 140mm travel.Geometry
The AM727i's geometry is aimed at all-mountain riding and shaped around 27.5+ wheels. Interestingly, you can't fit 29" wheels as it is a true 27" bike with added clearance to squeeze in a 2.8" tire (most brands offer the option of 29" or 27.5+).
The prime numbers are a 65.5º head angle, 75.5º seat angle, and 445mm chainstays. Reach numbers start at 418mm on the S, up to 482 on the XL.
After jumping off the ferry on to sunny Corsica, we were greeting by 10cm of snow on the beach and the worst (or best) snowfall on the island for decades, which took a sharp toll on our riding time. But after a couple of days, things started to dry out and we could get going.
The AM727i was simple to set up with Fox's latest suspension being a breeze to get dialed in. The bike was quiet from the outset with no battery rattle, and the rubber guards to keep chainslap at bay.
Shimano's motor with the latest firmware updates has great torque sensitive power in 'Trail' mode and makes feeding in the power easier and more intuitive on techy and loose trails. That said, I struggled more on this eMTB when tackling steep climbs than the recently tested Thok and Canyon.
As we dropped into some rocky descents, we were plagued with punctures - some tougher tires would be the first upgrade over the spec'd EXO casing High Roller and Rekon. C'mon Maxxis, just make some Double Down 2.8" tires already.
Like all eMTB's, the stability from the extra weight keeps the bike planted, but there was enough support from suspension to keep the bike up in its travel and let your push as the speeds increase. Then to slow down, the bike is spec'd as all eMTB's should be with 200mm rotors and the more powerful choice of the Guide RE brakes that use an old-style Code caliper.
The AM727i traveled through and over most terrain well. The suspension needed some more support at the end of the stroke in big compressions and hits, but this could be solved with some suspension tweaking and some more time. Overall the AM727i is a package that is ready to take on nearly anything that is put in its way.