Lapierre Spicy Team Edition - Review

May 19, 2014 at 11:49
by Richard Cunningham  
Lapierre Spicy Team 2014 review


Lapierre first gave birth to the Spicy back in 2007. Since then, with feedback from DH legend Nicolas Vouilloz, it has become recognized as one of the go-to bikes for exploring off the beaten track in big mountains, as well as smashing down enduro race tracks around the world, something Nico isn't too shabby at doing. The bike has evolved during that timeframe, with the 150mm travel Spicy Team Edition tested here, being the most advanced and also the most expensive example of the breed. Retailing for $8,000 USD and sporting electronically aided suspension, this is the French company's no-holds-barred attempt at creating the ultimate mid-travel bike, and it is actually close to what Nico actually uses during race weekends, sans a few rather special near one-off components that only a handful of the world's fastest racers can get their hands on. Don't want to shell out that kind of money? Lapierre also offers their Spicy 527, available in both E:i and a non E:i versions, for $5300 and $4500 USD; and the Spicy 327 (available only in Europe) for $2599 Euro.


Spicy Team Details at a glance.


Like previous editions of the Spicy platform, it features a 160-millimeter fork, but from there the bike has undergone a host of changes. Most visibly, the wheels have been bumped up to 27.5-inches to take advantage of the mid-size wheel's ability to carry speed on rough ground - critical for a bike that was designed to be a race bike first, play bike second. Additionally, the cockpit gets more room, with 15-millimeters added to the top tube length of the small and medium sized frames, and 10 millimeters to the large. The remaining changes are more subtle, with the biggest being the reduction in rear-wheel travel from 160mm to 150mm. As in previous years, this frame is exactly the same as its little brother, the Lapierre Zesty - the Zesty, however, receives less travel up front and components more suited for less demanding trail riding than smashing down mountainsides at warp speed.


Frame Details

The Spicy has a clean look to it, thanks in large part to the internally routed cables, even if its frame doesn't having the flowing lines of some other designs out there. The slack front end gives it a ready-for-business appearance, as does the sturdy looking rear end, and many motor racing fans will recognize the black, blue, and red accents as being close to those historic Martini Racing colours - a neat touch, even if it wasn't on purpose. For those who cringe at the thought of having to swap an internally routed cable, Lapierre has used teflon guides that should make it a snap, while keeping the lines from rattling inside the frame, and there is also an option to route the rear brake line externally if you don't want to deal with bleeding it after installation. As with the majority of carbon frames on the market that have been designed to rip down serious terrain, a burly looking frame guard can be found on the underside of the down tube that protects against rock strikes.

Frame Details clockwise from top left The frame s sleek lines are a result of the internal cable routing normally a headache for mechanics the internal cable routing of the Spicy Team is managed by teflon guides that not only make replacing cables and housing a snap but also keep the housing from rattling on the inside of the frame. Note too the external brake hose guide for those times when fiddling about with an internal brake line is something neither you nor your mechanic have time for. Beefy chainstays are an understatement it s nice although a bit gimmicky that the Spicy also has a rear derailleur guard that fin shaped bit sicking down off of the seatstay . The Bottom Bracket is not only beefy as hell making for instant speed when one mashes the pedals but there s also an equally robust carbon fiber frame guard just above it to protect the bottom portion of the down tube.
  Cable routing runs inside of the frame, with an option to zip-tie the rear brake line to the outside if you wish (top). A sturdy guard on the lower section of the down tube should ward off damage from wayward rocks


Both the front triangle and the seat stays are composed of different blends of carbon fiber in order to maximize strength, while the bike's chain stays are aluminum in order to maximize durability in an area that sees a lot of abuse. The front triangle is manufactured as a true monocoque, meaning that it's molded in a single step, versus being comprised of different carbon sections that are then glued together in a second operation. This not only plays a part in the claimed 300-gram weight savings, compared to the alloy frame, but it is also said to create a stiffer and more reliable product. Lapierre certainly isn't the only brand that takes a monocoque approach to frame construction, however, and the Spicy is made using techniques that have been proven over many years.

Details details clockwise from top left the rear stays offer gobs of tire clearance- -and also comes with a handy sag indicator. Note the asymmetrical nature of the seat tube as it descends toward the bottom bracket-- the shape and the additional material stiffen both work to alleviate lateral flex in this critical area. The frame will also mount a chainguide to the ISCG 05 tabs on the underside of the bottom bracket shell. This is the same frame as the Zesty so it s also set up to accommodate a front derailleur thoughtfully mounted to the chain stay . Every single one of the pivots holds two oversized bearings held in place with a low torque collette system as the retaining bolt is screwed in a wedge expands locking everything together .
  The chain and seat stays offer gobs of tire clearance (top left). If one desires the extra security of a chain device, there are ISCG 05 tabs are around the BB shell (top right). Additionally, the frame will also accept a front derailleur on the chainstay, should one want to run more than a single chainring (bottom right).


Geometry and Suspension

Despite the wheel size change, geometry on the 2014 Spicy remains surprisingly close to its 26-inch predecessor. There's the longer top tube we previously mentioned, but the head angle has been slackened by a half degree as well. However, the seat tube angle and chainstay length remain the same as the 2013 model, although doing that meant eliminating the seatstay brace in favour of joining the stays at the upper rocker link. Another change can be found at the bottom bracket, with it dropped by 18 millimeters order to compensate for the larger diameter wheels, and should noticeably boost the bike's cornering performance.

On the suspension side of the Spicy, we have two things going on: first, Lapierre’s Optimized Suspension Technology plus (OST+) and their E:i system. The OST+ suspension design utilizes a Horst Link rear dropout pivot in order to remain active under braking, but Lapierre’s suspension engineers went to work to combat pedal bob by using chain tension to keep the back end from moving excessively when the rider is on the gas. This is always a balancing act, with designers having to decide exactly how much suspension activity they want to trade for more efficient pedalling. For 2014, this linkage was tweaked to offer more grip when climbing, a larger sag range to better customize the ride, a more linear compression curve, and greater stability when pedalling hard. In other words, Lapierre is saying that it's better in every regard, which is kind of what you'd expect them to say, isn't it?

The heart and soul of OST suspension the Horst link on the lower chainstay keeps the suspension active under braking while the kinematics of the linkage driving the rear shock work to combat peddling induced forces.
  The Spicy's OST+ suspension offers up 150 millimeters of travel - ten less than last year, but we didn't notice the difference on the dirt.


Secondly, we have E:i (electronic intelligence). It’s an electronically controlled system, proprietary to Lapierre and a two sister companies in Europe, that was created in collaboration with RockShox. In a nutshell, a computer handles inputs from two accelerometers - one on the stem, one on the fork leg - and a cadence sensor in the bottom bracket shell that all tell the shock how it should be performing: locked out when smooth, to wide open in the big stuff, and everything in between. For a more complete breakdown of the nuts and bolts of this system, see Pinkbike's article on this technology. The E:i system is obviously more complicated than a standard setup, but it is quite simple to operate: the arrows on the remote change the shock mode from "Auto" to "Locked", to "Medium", or "Open"; and the center button changes the display to show information like cadence, speed, time in motion, etc. In the auto settings, the computer controls servo operated floodgates that can shift the shock from wide open to completely closed and anywhere in between in one tenth of a second. A rechargeable battery mounted near the bottom of the down tube powers the system for up to 25 hours of continuous use.

The other half of the Spicy Team s suspension the e i system. The remote is simple to operate the arrows change the shock mode from auto to locked to medium to open and the center button changes the display to show information like cadence speed time in motion etc. In the auto settings the computer controls a servo motor mounted on the shock that opens and closes floodgates within the rear shock to provide a suspension platform that will shift from wide open to completely closed based on information received from two accelerometers and a cadence sensor. A rechargeable battery mounted near the bottom of the downtube powers the system for up to 25 hours of continous use.
  The E:i computer head tells the rider all sorts of information, while a small servo motor adjusts the shock's level of compression damping.


Lapierre Spicy Component List




Jameson Florence descending Devil s Backbone Ridge in the Central Washington Cascades. With three different trails descending 4600 vertical feet down to the Entiat River it s the perfect zone for riding a bike like the Spicy Team it features a number of short but stiff climbs high speed sections of swervy single track exposure and technical rock gardens. The views don t suck either.


Suspension Setup and Bike Fit

Despite the high-tech nature of the E:i system, suspension setup is per the norm: start by setting sag on the shock and fork, tweaking the rebound to your liking, and then adjusting from there as needed. However, the bike's E:i system should allow you to not be forced to compromise the its descending capabilities with a firmer set-up for non technical trail riding - in theory, it will add platform as needed, enabling one to err on the side of plush rather than punishing. The one point to note during setup is that it must be done with the suspension set to full open, just as you would do with any bike that offers different levels of compression damping.

The 15 millimeters of extra top tube length on the Team, compared to last year’s Spicy, is a welcome change. The cockpit of the 2013 bike was just a bit too cramped. By comparison, the medium sized frame's 605-millimeter top tube paired with a 55-millimeter stem gave us a nice, comfortable feel: not too long for our tastes, but not too short, either. And, despite the larger wheels, there was plenty of stand-over room too. In short, the fit felt just right. We do need to mention one flaw on our test bike, though: we hijacked a pre-production model that featured more man-sized seatstays than the production model (15-millimeters wider, to be precise). As a result, we found ourselves scuffing our heels frequently for the first few rides. After that, like when riding a bike with a low bottom bracket and learning when to avoid pedal strikes on trail obstacles, we modified our pedal stroke to make this a non-issue. However, some riders may find even the tapered stays of the production bike to be distracting when pedalling, particularly with DH style shoes and platform pedals.

Pinkbike s only real complaint the man-sized stays. Note that constant scuffing from the rider s foot had worn through the paint on the weld point on the chainstays both sides . However this was a pre-production frame that we hijacked from Lapierre s North American headquarters the production version has stays that are 15mm narrower. This may not entirely eliminate heel rub from this area of the frame but it will certainly work to limit it. And gimmicky the rear derailleur guard may be--but it s at least functionally gimmicky it DID save the XX1 rear mech on at least one crash.
  Heel rub from the massive stays of the Spicy Team took the paint off of both chain stays during the test. However, this was a pre-production frame; the bikes available now have stays that are 15 millimeters narrower. And while the rear derailleur guard looks gimmicky, we believe that it did save the very expensive SRAM XX1 derailleur during at least one crash.


Climbing

Anyone expecting the 150-millimeter-travel Spicy Team to climb like a bag of rocks will be pleasantly surprised. With the E:i turned off, the bike climbed as one would expect a properly set up longer-travel machine to ascend - with good traction and acceptable pedal feedback, even big out-of-the-saddle efforts don't penalize the rider with too much monkey motion. That said, it is certainly not a rocket ship when fighting gravity. But, with the E:i engaged, the bike climbed like a billy goat: every ounce of effort went into moving the bike up the trail. On quicker paced trail climbs, the rear suspension still engaged on obstacles to offer extra grip when needed. When slowed to a crawl in steeper, technical terrain, however, the E:i system tended to keep the rear locked out, resulting in lost traction in moments when it counted the most. Switching the E:i off in such situations allowed the OST+ rear suspension to grab that brief moment of traction required for getting up and over all but the slickest obstacles. Turning the E:i setup on and off during a climb isn't ideal, and we'd recommend that anyone who owns the bike spend time playing with the different levels of damping control that is available in the system in order to find one that works best for their terrain.

The Spicy Team definitely isn t afraid to climb. With a 66.5 degree head angle the front end does tend to wander a bit but the stiff frame and the ground hugging ability of the OST suspension more than made up for that handicap.
  The 66.5-degree head angle won't help when the trail turns up, but the stiff chassis, light weight, and the ground-hugging ability of the suspension in most scenarios mean the Spicy Team isn't afraid of climbing.


Downhill and Technical Handling

No bones about it; the Lapierre Spicy Team is a light weight, but it tracks like a heavy-duty trail bike with DH balls. The combination of rock solid chassis, a DH inspired cockpit, mid-sized wheels, and top-shelf suspension components make it amazingly capable. It's incredibly stable at speed, yet also incredibly agile when needed; direction changes are effortless… you can flick this bike at will, regardless of speed. And while it has ten millimeters less travel than last year's Spicy, the suspension pretty much gobbled up anything in its path - large, square-edged hits included. That suspension, combined with the laterally stiff frame and SRAM's Rail 50 wheels, meant that it held virtually any line we dropped into. But even when adrift in those “Oh shit, h-a-n-g ON!” moments, the combination of slightly larger wheels, point and shoot stiffness, and don’t-have-to-think-about-it suspension got us through every time.

This is exactly the kind of terrain the Spicy Team savors big mountains with massive technical descents.
  Exactly the kind of terrain the Spicy Team savours: big mountains with massive, technical descents.

The Spicy Team was as equally at home in the deep woods as it was in the high alpine.
  The Spicy Team was just as at home on the wet rocks and slimy roots in the deep woods as it was on the technical rock gardens of the alpine trails of the central Washington Cascades.



The E:i System

The E:i system was an eye opener. We admit that some of us had disliked the idea of E:i before testing it - after all, how can some algorithm tell the suspension what the rider really wants? The whole idea seemed to be disconnecting the rider from the bike, and it just seemed like something that an already good machine didn't need. But with E:i everything was near seamless: no longer were we reaching for a compression lever on the shock when approaching climbs, only to have to fumble for the "open" setting when the fun started. Instead, it was hit the gas for the climb and the bike took off like a monkey. Get into a bit of trail chatter and the suspension would smooth it out. Drop into the kind of pucker found on the ‘Shore or the high speed chunder of big mountain descending and it was taking everything you threw it at and asking for more, allowing us to focus on one thing: going as fast as possible. Rather than disconnecting us from the bike, E:i did the complete opposite by allowing us to forget about everything but the ride.

The cables delivering information to the E i system s display definitely create a bit of a rat s nest of wires on the front end of the bike particularly when paired with the shifter housing brakes lines and the dropper remote hose. Plus the display for the E i system adds a bit of bulk to the stem to say the least. But realistically it s as tidy as it s going to get unless the system goes wireless. And we quickly forgot about this mess when riding as we were focused on the trail. As to vulnerability... it s entirely possible that the wrong crash could break the display off of the mount but that s just a display. The E i system would continue to operate in whatever setting it was in regardless of whether or not the display is mounted or not. Only a broken wire or lack of power will cause the system to fail. In which case it would revert to the open setting. As to durability and weather proofing multiple days of hard riding in harsh weather caused zero problems with the E i system during the entire duration of the review.
  The cables delivering information to the E:i system's display definitely creates a bit of a rat's nest of wires on the front end of the bike, particularly when paired with the shifter housing, brakes lines, and the dropper remote hose. But realistically, unless the system goes wireless, this is as tidy as it's going get. As to durability and weather sealing: many days of hard riding in harsh weather caused zero problems with the E:i system during the entire duration of the review.


We tried the E:i system in all of it’s automatic settings, from the nearly open feel of 'Auto 1' to the XC racing-firm Auto 5. Within a short time, we settled on utilizing either the 'Auto 2' or 'Auto 3' settings. Auto 1 - even with the OST+ set correctly - offered a bit too much suspension bob when standing to hit the gas coming out corners, while Auto 4 and 5 were just too firm for our liking. In slower-paced technical, or pedal-intensive terrain we’d hear the servo-motor on the shock click and whir as we pedaled, setting the right amount of supple compliancy when getting into roots and rocks for us to carry speed, yet also setting just enough platform to remain easily flickable. Trying the same lines with E:i in it’s open setting gave us just as much traction, but when forced to pedal out of the saddle, we found ourselves going into the bike's travel too much whenever we stabbed the cranks for more speed. We also had to put noticeably more effort into flicking the bike over obstacles. Staying seated in situations like that did offer better pedalling, but that also robbed us of the ability to power over most of the rough stuff. In short, the E:i system was consistently more efficient than leaving the suspension in it’s open setting. That’s not to say the bike’s suspension performed poorly when left open; it just wasn't as efficient under power, particularly when standing to hammer on the pedals, than when the E:i was engaged.

Throughout the duration of the review we were only able to "fool" the robot bike in two scenarios. This happened when braking late on the same high-speed left-hand berm while in the Auto 2 setting; E:i appeared to mistake the compression of the fork for rider induced low speed compression and kept the shock locked out even though we weren't pedalling, producing a rough, brake jack-like feeling completely at odds with the bike’s normal performance. However, that same corner offered no problems for either the Auto 1 or Auto 3 settings, nor were we able to duplicate that brake jack elsewhere in the Auto 2 setting. When queried, Lapierre pointed out that our test bike was fitted with an earlier production version of the E:i software that did see some revisions that might remedy this foible, although we didn't get our hands on the updated version to confirm this.


E:i Durability

So how durable is the E:i system? After all, it’s a pretty penny on top of what’s already an expensive bike, and the display appears to be awfully vulnerable perched atop the stem. Plus, if it’s going to fail after a month or six, why bother with it? Well… the display atop the stem is just that: a display. Once the E:i is set up, one can remove the display and E:i will continue to function. Only a severed cable or loss of power will cause the system to fail, in which case, the suspension will simply revert to full open. As to long term abuse; we've had just four solid months on the bike, but we were far from gentle with it - it was used in pissing rain, desert heat, below freezing temps with sleet, and it never failed. In fact, the E:I system worked so well that we went from doubting that electric assisted suspension should exist on bikes, it to not wanting to give it (or the bike) back. The caveat here is that anyone purchasing their own Spicy Team is going to keep the bike for a lot longer than four months, but we do have to say that we have confidence in the system's long-term reliability.


Component Check

• SRAM Rail 50 Wheels – The Rail 50s were rock solid. We beat the snot out of them, and while they did go out of true a bit during break in, they developed no dents, dings, or flat spots. Once re-trued, they held up perfectly for the remainder of the test.

• RockShox Monarch RT3 Shock – We were somewhat surprised to see an in-line shock on this bike, particularly when it’s stated purpose is Enduro racing. However, on long descents, we never experienced suspension fade from overheated oil or cavitation in the shock. And it’s worth noting that for most of his EWS campaign, Nico ran this same rear shock… the exception being on a couple of the more DH oriented EWS races where he ran a Monarch Plus RC3.

• Easton Cockpit – Bar-width and stem-length are personal choices, and while the 750-millimeter-wide Easton Havoc carbon bars will work well for a lot of riders, there will be riders who want a wider bar?.

Underfoot the SRAM Rail 50 wheels with their 23mm internal rim width offered a firm footprint and the star ratchet hubs gave instant engagement when power hit the pedals. The Schwalbe Hans Dampfs-- a 2.35 trailstar front and a 2.25 pacestar rear-- were A-grade performers although near the end of the test the front tire s trailstar compound knobs were getting a bit haggard.
  The 23mm internal rim width of the SRAM Rail 50 wheels provided an ample footprint for the Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires, and with their UST rim profile, the wheels easily converted to tubeless use. The serviceable hubs provided solid performance for the duration of the test; we never once had to touch them. And while the Trailstar compound on the front tire offered fantastic traction, near the end of the test they were definitely getting haggard.



• RockShox Reverb Stealth seatpost – We are definitely a fan of the Reverb, particularly the Stealth version. However, the seals on this one began to fail after only two months of use, requiring a complete rebuild. Not good.

• XX1 Drivetrain – The bike's 30-tooth chainring was spot on. Even though the chain was in good shape, the rear pulleys showed a surprising amount of wear near the end of the test and had to be replaced. Otherwise, zero complaints.

Someone at Lapierre was thinking when they spec d this right hand reverb remote lever on the Team mounted on the left it stays tucked nicely under the bars and keeps that delicate part safe in the event of a crash.
  More Lapierre attention to detail: having the Reverb's remote tucked under the handlebar on the left side is by far the most ergonomic way to run it, so long as your bike doesn't have a front derailleur.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe Spicy Team is an out-of-the-box shred machine, and although that might be an expected conclusion given its high-end build and racing pedigree, it's the bike's E:i suspension that transforms it from an already formidable rig to a mid-travel trail weapon. And while it is close to Nico's personal EWS race bike, the Spicy Team is also as at home ripping around in the alpine as it is chasing down seconds between the tapes. Pro-level performance most definitely comes at a cost, but as mentioned earlier, there are more economical alloy models available that are not far off the Team's performance. Those who are fortunate to be able to shoulder the Spicy Team's MSRP, however, will be rewarded with a point and shoot descender, designed by the man who wrote the book - that can also climb and accelerate like an XC machine - all without touching a lever. How many other bikes can do that?. - RC



Lapierre


114 Comments

  • + 48
 "the bike's chain stays are aluminum in order to maximize durability in an area that sees a lot of abuse."

Just as the bike marketing departments had me believing carbon is as strong or stronger than aluminium.
  • - 12
flag wakaba (May 19, 2014 at 13:02) (Below Threshold)
 Carbon is fine for aerospace, prosthetics and surfboards otherwise just a marketers dream to induce planned obsolesence into a bikeline. That stuff looks s'..t after couple of rides. Costly for consumer, environment. Alu has come a long way. Hydroformed and forged parts make a good looking and longlasting bike.
  • + 4
 Funny thing is, dont some "carbon" bikes only have a carbon rear triangle?
  • + 1
 Front triangle. Usually the rear will be aluminum. See Trek Fuel EX 9.8 XO1...damn that's a mouth full. Smile
  • + 7
 Lapierre DH Bikes to date are an Alloy Front and then Carbon Rear triangle
  • + 3
 Giant's carbon Maestro bikes are front triangle only. They used to do full carbon, but the weight savings were negligible and the aliminium stays were more reliable.
  • + 8
 Svalgis, you are right in thinking carbon is stronger than aluminum, if you read the quote carefully it says more durable not stronger.... carbon will fail faster than aluminum once it experiences defects/cracks/chips, it has its place but its certainly not between my legs.
  • + 4
 I must say that after making my bike almost as carbon as possible I am getting quite disillusioned. My recent purchase, the wheels are much stiffer that I'd like them to be. I don't think I will buy a carbon component or frame again.

At the same time ripcityBlazer, the rumour has it that it is actualy aluminium alloys that are the most potent for long term failure, comparing to steel and carbon. The same rumour has it that the reason that most companies btch on carbon stays is high cost of manufacture at minimal weight savings approx 150-200g at best depending on the suspension system. Here they just made the lower stays so you save probably 50g or so. Forms used for making stays are double as expensive as the one for the front triangle. Then you need to put many elements together takes more time... it is messy with small elements.

Anyways, Giant alu frames are super light, when ReignX weighs 2.6kg, then why go carbon?! Aluminium rims also got lighter, my LB weigh 380g while equally wide Syntace weigh 430g!
  • + 11
 There's a big difference between strong, tough and stiff.

Stiffness is the amount of strain (extension/original length) for a given stress (force/area). Carbon fibres are incredibly stiff under tension, and the way that tubes can be manipulated and moulded, and how different lay up patterns of fibres effect characteristics, opens up all kinds of possibilities for designing in flex or stiffness into the tubing (or not tubes at all - Ibis Mojo for example). However, carbon will fail suddenly and catastrophically once you pass its elastic limit (the stress at which it no longer returns to its original length). Aluminium is also stiff, although more limited in the ways in which you can manipulate the tubing, and will experience more plastic deformation before it fails completely (i.e, it will bend or dent before it fractures).
  • + 7
 Strength, is simply the stress at which a material fails, although there are many different ways that a material can be defined as failed (fracture, elastic limit, ultimate stress). The most commonly used on is ultimate strength - the maximum stress a material can experience without fracture. Carbon is immensely strong (under tension), as is aluminium, although a lot less so than carbon. If either material is built into a well designed frame, it's going to be extremely hard to break under just tension.

Toughness (or durability) is how much energy a material can absorb, so would be the total area under a stress/strain graph. Aluminium, being a metal, and hence exhibiting ductile characteristics, is much better than carbon fibre in this respect. If you scratch or dent alu, the planes of atoms in the metal can slip against each other, which effectively dissipates the force among the atoms, and stops helps to limit crack propagation. Carbon fibre, because it is so stiff, and because the fibres exist as partially crystalline structures, cannot do this, as each atom is bonded to specific others, rather than the delocalised bonding in metals This means that it you damage one bit of the fibre through a scratch or something, the force is concentrated at the tip of the damage, which then passes through the material quickly and without much more force - carbon fibres fail through crack propagation. So in context, carbon fibre is great for areas that are unlikely to get impacted by hard objects, like bars, or a seatpost, or most of the front triangle (ignoring the bb and lower down tube), whereas aluminium can be much more practical for use in areas that are likely to get hit by things like rocks, or a flapping chain - chainstays.
  • + 9
 Another important property that has already been mentioned is fatigue life. Aluminium has a specific fatigue life - if you stress aluminium enough times (even if the stress is quite low), it will fail. Carbon fibre has no such limit, you can stress it as much as you want, but so long as you don't reach the elastic limit there'll be no problems.

And lastly, carbon fibre is expensive to manufacture (well). Moulds and construction methods take a long time to get right, which is why almost all initial frame prototypes will be in aluminium. If you want to change the pivot placement by 1mm on a prototype, on a carbon frame you've got to re-make some bloody expensive moulds; in alu you can just re position a jig, maybe get a different tube drawn, and get welding.

That should be enough physics revision for me today I reckon!
  • + 2
 Well, the issue about carbon toughness is that I repeatedly hit my carbon cranks hard into the rocks and they are fine. Or the test performed at Santa Cruz with PB Karl Burkat slamming the frame into concrete block. Sure V10 has 10mm thick down tube while that Lapierre has probably less than 4mm but still... I saw a carbon HT frame ridden for two years with a hole on the inside of the chainstay, made by rubbing tyre. I would put catastrophical failure o carbon bikes into books with dragons... when a modern carbon frame is put into a situation where it "fails catastrophicaly" I would rather be worried about the rider...

It's been like 5 years since carbon has been widely introduced to MTB, hello... I just think it is not worth the money, this is where it ends. Concerns about it's ability to remain rideable (evading scientific term nazis) after a crash are silly.
  • + 4
 Cranks will have a thick layer of paint and resin over the top, I've slammed my XOs into plenty of things and I haven't come anywhere near the fibres, yet.

That test they did at Santa Cruz was impressive, although you didn't see them putting frames back into the test machine after hitting them on the wall, that's where the damage is done when riding. Typically a down tube will have some layers of twill weave, low modulus carbon over the top of the high mod UD stuff, too help absorb the energy of impacts (like whacking frames on concrete blocks).

I was just talking of the pros and cons of the raw materials though, it's what you so with them that counts. A well made aluminium frame will be far better to ride than an awful carbon frame...
  • + 1
 Fair by me, thanks for sharing Smile Sorry for the tone I have a bit of allergy to science because I am married to a scientist and I am pseudo engineer by trade, work in sort of marketing, so well, I am as disillusioned with fundamental theories and lab work in relation to MTB as some people with the theory about world being created in 6 days... there are books and there is the reality Smile
  • + 1
 padkinson explained what i was too lazy to type
  • + 1
 do not mismatch stiffness and wear resistance...
  • + 1
 that is a very sexy bike.
  • + 29
 This bike makes me want to buy a 29er hardtail. Steel. With 1x9. Flats. 780 bars and a 40mm stem. Rock razor rear, highroler2 front.
  • + 1
 That sounds like a fun bike!
  • + 6
 i still run a 2x9 drive train on my 26" wheel hard hitting hard tail Smile
  • + 2
 3 year old 1x9 drivetrain on my clunky 26'r steely hardtail with super soft hans damphs. I like the bike more than my enduro and ride time is distributed as such.
  • + 2
 26" running 2 x 8, steel 456 hardtail with 150mm fork, love it to bits and you can crash it however you want it hardly notices
  • + 0
 my 2012 kona honzo is almost like that. ardent exo, 760 bars i think, 60 mm (stock) stem.
  • + 17
 I used to love Lapierre's bikes but there just so overly complicated, even to look at now. My Zesty-514-2011 has cracked on the chainstay and I wonder how long it will take for Lapierre to sort it out with hotlines.... I wonder if this team version will fair any better?
  • + 10
 My 216-2011 spicy chain stay cracked took 6 weeks for replacement part.
  • + 49
 SnaPierre?
  • - 7
flag Angryham (May 19, 2014 at 13:35) (Below Threshold)
 Is lapierre the new kona? Please no Cry
  • + 3
 Six weeks..... with Ramadan coming up soon that means Zero riding for me then!
  • + 8
 Typical pinkbike review. Thing is awesome except for one gripe but, said gripe was a preproduction flaw that will be sorted before you can get your hands on one. Companies either use pinkbike for there prototyping or say it's pre production when it's not.
  • + 14
 $2599 Euro
It's either $ or Euro, make up your mind
P.S Sweet ride
  • + 10
 "but it tracks like a heavy-duty trail bike with DH balls."

But it doesn't have C.O.C.K. and B.A.L.L.S. technology like Transition bikes have.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/8341172
  • - 9
flag miguelads (May 19, 2014 at 13:31) (Below Threshold)
 Balls is absolutely a must-have for mountain bikers (excluding xc)
  • + 8
 Typical pinkbike comments:

Too expensive.

I have a different bike and like it so what's the point of this.

I don't like unnecessary technology (coming from people riding bikes with technology that they already own, thinking bikes have always been like that)

It makes riding too easy (just like suspension, knobby tires, disc brakes, lightweight materials etc.)

I had an older bike and broke it after the warranty period was up, and they wouldn't replace it (WTF?)
  • + 8
 My 2008 spicy, cracked on the top shock mount on the main frame, i woudl still be riding a Lapierre but Hotlines stated it was out of warranty and could not offer me any lapierre frame from the range as a replacement, Very poor customer services ! I always had good things to say about my bike when asked, all i say now about Lapierre is buy a Santa cruz which is what i am now riding ! Poor show Lapeirre, you seem to have forgotten your customers.....
  • + 7
 that internal cable routing entrance is very pretty. but the E:i stuff. didn't wakileaks write something about all that? what happened to the purity of biking? I guess you need to replace the batteries/charge it every now and again. if you need to charge/put batteries in your bike then you are doing something wrong. its taking the essence out of mountainbiking. if its possible mechanically then by all means its a great idea. but ellectronics on bikes :/ its not for me. bike looks great though
  • + 8
 Paging Dr. Waki, paging Dr. Waki
  • + 7
 doctor i got this feeling deep in side of me, deep in side of me. i just cant control my susspension when i hear the beat.
  • + 2
 Lol purity of biking, anyone riding a modern mountain bike can't pull that card anymore, get back on your wood frame rock wheeled bike.
  • + 5
 poozank - exactly. I once had a singlespeeder tell me he was more 'pure' than I was. I pointed out he was riding a carbon hardtail with clips, hydraulic disk brakes and a remote lockout on his extremely high-end fork, all of which are far more recent advances that a derailler. I at least was riding flats on a steel bike.
  • + 6
 After realizing the enormous amount of issues associated with owning a lapierre (2012 DH920) I will never buy a Lapierre again.

The customer service was terrible, especially since the distribution dept has been in "transition" for over a year now.

I've cracked two of the Carbon rear triangles and they would not warranty it nor help find a suitable replacement even though I provided proof of purchase and was within warranty period.

It took over 6 weeks to find the parts I needed, then another 8 weeks on backorder to receive them.
I will never own an extravagent/exotic bike like this again..


Terrible Customer service, extremely limited brand accessibility and overall WAAAY too complicated for an average enthusiast to maintain and rebuild.
  • + 1
 lol ......france. there was a reason why you guys called em 'freedom fries' a few years back.
  • + 1
 stacy, you are bringing up some bullshit nationalist crap. Please stop. Some of of us muricans are not proud of that period. France was right. "The intelligence was flawed." George finally admitted it.
  • + 0
 ain't nothin wrong with nationalism. nothin.
  • + 8
 That bird's nest up front is enough to put me off. Looks like a lovely bike otherwise.
  • + 2
 rats nest. horrible
  • + 4
 I ride the actually Zesty 527 (non electric version) with carbon front triangle - it's the same frame like the Spicy. I am a heavier rider and have no problems with the bike and the stifness oft the rear triangle till now. The standard fork and shock on it is crap (Fox 32 Float CTD) and i am looking forward to put RS Pike or the Mattoc on it and Monarch+ Debonair or the new CCDB Inline. Not sure now. I rode many other trail bikes before and i have to say, that the Zesty is a pretty cool bike. I rode also Spicy 2011 and there are so much differencies between the older and the actually model. The geometry is pretty cool for trail riding, it climbs good and descends perfect. I can recommend it! I have Lapierre dealer in my city. I don't know how long it takes to get the spare parts cause i didn't need it till now.
  • + 4
 Nice bike, great spec and quite a nice colour scheme but not for me.
I have had two Lapierre's over the years and both have cracked. We very rarely deal in them now either as it's not worth the risk (used models).

Maybe this is the year they have stopped making the frames from chocolate and they will last.
Time will tell...
  • + 4
 that e-stuff looks interesting and probably works fuckin great, but to tell the truth, the point with these exclusive gadgets is that customers depend exclusively on a single supplier, so if you have some problems............. It makes little sense. My former C'dale is the reason i think this. I'm not willing to take that chance again.
  • + 4
 I own a Spicy Team and I reckon this review is spot on. Whether you agree with electronics or not fact is it works and adds another edge to this bikes performance. Hard to imagine a better bike out the box but you'd expect that at this price. Sure it's not for everyone but it is one great piece of kit!
  • + 0
 I agree completely, I love my Spicy Team and I glad I ordered it when I did, they only brought in one XL for the North American market and it's mine
  • + 1
 grave dig but how you guys liking yours a season later? Thinking about getting the 014 team but mine would be zero electronics (second hand), spend a lot of time in bike parks riding dh trails so need something that can handle the steep and super rough terrain as well as enduro racing.
  • + 7
 Comes in sizes mild, medium, and hot?
  • + 3
 "We were somewhat surprised to see an in-line shock on this bike, particularly when it’s stated purpose is Enduro racing" -> that is because most piggyback shocks can't be mounted. On the Spicy NV ran last year (or the year before can't remember), he did use a piggyback shock, but it damaged the toptube (on most pictures of it, you can't see it because of NV hiding it with his hand)

You could run a BOS Kirk, but it would void the warranty as you'd need to shorten the piggyback by around 25mm if my memory serves me right. It might be possible to do that on other shocks without altering performance, I don't know. Some might still fit.
  • + 2
 Hey y'all...,I have one of these beauties in a size small.... My other bike is a Rocky Mtn Altitude 790 msl.... Both amazing but definitely different.... The rocky is a true trail machine ., nimble light and racy (for a 6 in. bike)..., the Spicy is a real eye-opener!.., also nimble and plush plush plush inANY setting .., OST is a good linkage system!.., and the Ei is as good as you want it to be ..., I like it a lot....I am selling the spicy in mid-season ..., or the Altitude.... Whichever goes first but as much as I like the rocky I like the Spicy more.... You just have to ride that shit to know!
  • + 2
 Looks awesome.

One note regarding the Reverb plunger: you can still run it under the bar on the left *with* front shifter. I have SRAM shifters and SLX brakes, and I connected the brake and shifter perches with a ProblemSolvers MisMatch adapter. It freed up room to run the Reverb on the left.
  • + 2
 I actualy tested this bike today and i was really surprised by how plush the suspension was. I have never been a Rock Shox guy (DVO and fox 3) but they have stepped their game up for sure with both the pike and the E:i shox!
  • + 2
 I have this bike and I thought the E:I system was going to be a gimmick, but it made an already capable bike become an absolutely amazing bike. It's basically a VPP bike with an FSR rear pivot which gives VPP better braking and FSR better pedaling. Love this bike.
  • + 6
 That is one sexy looking bike.
  • + 2
 Electronic suspension is a great idea. I'd like to see a similar setup offered on more bikes or as a retrofit. I ride a lot of trails that have pedaling and steep, fast rocky section so adjusting on the fly would be ideal.
  • + 5
 Love the look of the new spicy
  • + 1
 Ei sounds interesting. I wonder how close you can get it to the performance of a well setup system for a specific track type I do like the idea of a control system on my bike.
  • + 5
 *HEAVY BREATHING*
  • + 4
 Couldn't have taken some pics after a wash?
  • + 1
 An 8000 dollar bike did everything the company claimed it could do very well. Big fuckin surprise. I wish there were reviews of te low end stuff,
  • + 2
 that's what MTBR is for and you can go there and read reviews on low end bikes 'till you pass out. I don't want to see a review of a Kona Precept on here or a Trek x-caliber, because they are basic bikes. Nothing new in the suspension tech or components, so what is the point? To read, "This bike doesn't climb the best, doesn't descend the best and you definitely don't want to jump it, but hey, its cheap!" And manufactures don't want their nice frames kitted with crap components for review so they typically send their most kitted build. You can take the nicest frame ever built, put crap components on it and guess what.... its gonna ride like crap. I come to Pinkbike for the latest news, not to read a review on a bike with five year old technology all over it. (I read that review five years ago)

Like Skeeter from South Park says, "If you don't like it, you can get out!"
  • + 0
 Dam dude chill. I like readin about new shit too, I just get tired of the same review of super high end bikes saying they're awesome. Like you could seriously cut and paste most of the trail bike reviews and nobody would know the difference. I'm not saying I wanna see a review of whether 2 wheels is a good idea, but my favorite reviews HAVE been the precept, zee, x7 type two, etc where I don't know if it will work or not. And pinkbikes great, just like vital, both are good places to see news.
  • + 1
 Would be interesting to see a test of a lower spec'd version of the spicy (527), but equipped with the E:i. And I believe the 527 is aluminum frame. No more whining about carbon snap.
  • + 3
 That place looks amazing!
  • + 2
 I would so much love to be able to afford one... Cause I would get one straight !
  • + 1
 thanks, PB for this review ! This bike is very nice, I have the prior version, without EI, but I'd love to compare my bike to this bike.
  • + 1
 Correct me if I'm wrong about its BB height:
27,5" x 2,54 / 2 = 34,93cm
+ 4,5cm tire profile = 39,43cm
- 0,8cm BB drop = 38,63cm
= 15,2"???
  • + 2
 27.5" wheels are 50-584 ETRTO meaning they have a 584mm bead seat diameter plus a 50.8mm tire. So you calc should be ((584 / 2) + 50 - 8 ) / 25.4 = 13.14". I'd be surprised if it had a 334mm BB, they probably use a 2.3" (58.42mm) tire size, which would be give it a 341mm BB, still low but more realistic, altho the new Bullit has a 335mm BB
  • + 1
 would have to be quite a ride, 14 hours use on mine and still on 3 power bars out of 5, shock is manually switchable anyway so it's no big deal.
  • + 1
 The worst bike I have ridden ever. It has too wide chain stay withs too, not just the swing arm's issue, and it bar me from stabilizing the pedals when run the down hill.
  • + 1
 The Spicy and the Zesty are exactly the same frame?
Say what you like about Lapierre, they ain't no fools.
  • + 1
 yep forget the electric ballbags ........ it can be a great bike without that me thinks
  • + 1
 @Pinkbike, could you review this bike sometime: www.airbornebicycles.com/products/138-toxin.aspx
  • - 2
 I kept my steel hardtail... haven't been riding it for years.. and now back to trail I am sooooo happy... crisp and fast... feel the ground... respect rocks and roots And when I want plushness I sit in my car and drive the road...
  • + 3
 Stay on topic please...
  • + 3
 I miss my hardtail.
  • + 2
 You should keep riding one they're fun
  • + 2
 Someone mind sharing the name/location of that alpine trail?
  • + 2
 I can't understand this electronic device trend (E-Bikes, E:i ...).
  • + 1
 avoid. keep it pure. no need for goofy gadgets
  • + 2
 Its 2014, soon you will have self driving cars and a base on mars. Electronics are not a trend, they are the evolution of bikes. Of course there will be people who say no and talk about staying "pure", this happens with everything. But soon the advantages of electronics will be so big no company will make a bike without.
  • + 1
 I just saw something about lapierre at a glance and got excited. Unfortunately its not the new dh bike Frown
  • + 2
 Soon electronic on bike will be easy as a Sunday morning!
  • + 2
 My girlfriend would be sleeping on the couch if I had one of these... Wink
  • + 2
 Utilize?
  • + 2
 Needs a wash.
  • + 3
 bikes should be ridden, of course. but there's no excuse for a scruffy dirty bike for a review and photo shoot
  • + 1
 Yeah, I was trying to say that for a multi-thousand dollar bike they're trying to push, a clean look goes a long way
  • + 1
 Lapierre have been better ... off better!
  • + 1
 Yt carpa Pro €3999... Half the price
  • + 1
 I live in Washington and I need to know what trails you guys were riding.
  • + 1
 click on the individual pics- the descriptions say "Double D Trail", "Angle Peak", "Devil's Backbone Trail", and "three different trails descending 4600 vertical feet down to the Entiat River"
  • + 0
 first paragraph, last line "for $2599 Euro" so which is it, euro or dollar?
  • + 1
 Looks like a trek session.
  • + 1
 Just what I need, another remote. Kidding, I actually like it a lot
  • + 1
 reminds me of a nomad... the new one in particular...
  • - 1
 Its electronic, it's in another league!! no, it's just replacing a small metal dial with another cable on your bars and adding another thing that can break. wot a load.
  • + 1
 the small metal dial is far more likely to go wrong than the electronics, also there is no way any shock could be set up do do what this system does. until you have ridden one yu have no idea how well it actually works.
  • + 1
 I guess you're right. A small aluminum disk shielded in the frame recess and on a shock has so many more failure points than an electric system in a wet environment, a cable that gets snagged, and a bar mount that can easily be smashed off. you must be a senior engineer mate.
  • + 1
 you mean lots of small alloy parts totally exposed to dirt and water with no sealing at all being operated via a gloved hand while riding along as opposed to a totally sealed, fully waterproof system?
i'm not seeing your logic, electronics are incredibly reliable these days.
  • + 0
 I say NO to electronics on bikes
  • + 0
 obviously not ridden one then. . .
  • + 1
 I say YES.
Pinkbike poll ?
  • + 1
 Isn't the simplicity of bike riding what makes it so fun and interessting? I want a bike, something with two wheels and a chain, this monster here has more in common with a james bond car with all it's funky gadgets
  • + 1
 the whole idea of the system is you just get on it and ride it without thinking about what mode your shock is in. you just get on with enjoying the trail while the electronics worry about fiddling with the shock damping.
  • + 1
 and then who worries about the electronics? You. I would prefer worring about my shock
  • + 1
 what is there to worry about? set to auto and ride the bike, that's about it. modern electronics are ridiculously reliable.
  • + 1
 What if your batteries loose power mid ride?
  • + 2
 It's in the article. Read it, it's interesting. About a bike and electrical stuff.
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