First Look: Lapierre Returns to XC With the New XR & XRM

Mar 22, 2022 at 13:33
by Mike Kazimer  

Lapierre are diving back into the world of cross-country racing and riding with the launch of their new XR series of bikes. The XR models are the purebred XC race models, with 100mm of front and rear travel and no dropper posts to be found.

The XRM models use the same frame with a different shock to get 110mm of rear travel that's paired with a 120mm fork, and all of those models receive dropper posts. The 'M' in the model name stands for marathon, but Lapierre do mention the downcountry word in their press materials, just in case you were worried that term wasn't going to make an appearance.
Lapierre XR Details

• Wheelsize: 29"
• Rear travel: 100 (XR) or 110mm (XRM)
• Carbon frame
• Head angle: 67° (XR) or 66° (XRM)
• Sizes: S / M / L / XL
• Chainstay length: 435mm
lapierrebikes.com


Personally, I have a feeling that more and more riders will be showing up at starting lines with dropper posts on bikes with slightly more travel than what was traditionally the norm - I wouldn't be surprised if in a couple years what Lapierre are calling marathon / downcountry ends up being typical for XC racing.


Frame Details

Achieving a competitive frame weight was one of Lapierre's overarching goals with the new XR bikes. To accomplish that, they went with a flex-stay suspension layout in order to eliminate the approximately 90 grams of weight that would have come from a pivot with cartridge bearings. Flex stays are becoming increasingly common in the XC world these days, with Specialized, Orbea, Giant, and others using variations of the design.

According to Lapierre, the XR's seatstays are lightly pre-loaded – they're under a small amount of tension until a rider sits on the bike. Then, at 26% sag that tension is neutralized. After that, as the bike goes through its travel the stays flex upwards until the end of the travel reached.

A new layup using Torayca unidirectional carbon fiber was also used to shed additional grams. The highest end models in each category receive the Carbone UD SLI Team layup, which is 198 grams lighter than the standard layup.


The XR Team version frame weighs in at a claimed 2038 grams, a figure that includes the shock, bearings and bolts. That's 393 grams lighter than Lapierre's previous XC frame, which is an impressive weight reduction, although it may not set true weight weenies' hearts afire when that figure is compared to other modern XC bikes. For reference, the Specialized Epic checks in at 1869 grams, the Orbea Oiz OMX is 1740 grams, and the Cannondale Scalpel Hi-Mod is 1910 grams.

Other frame details include a universal derailleur hanger, room to carry two water bottles inside the front triangle, and a remote lockout lever on all models. There's also clearance for up to a 2.4” rear tire, and up to a 38-tooth chainring.

XR geometry.

XRM geometry.


Geometry

Surprise, surprise, the new XR is slacker than the previous version. The head angle now sits at 67-degrees for the XR and 66-degrees for the XRM, a significant change of nearly 3-degrees, and one that puts the bike's numbers right in line with its contemporaries.

The seat tube angle was steepened by one degree, and now sits at 75.5-degrees on the XR model, and 74.5-degrees on the XRM (the angle is slacker on the XRM due to the 20mm longer fork).

One figure that stands out is the relatively short head tube – it's only 100mm on a size large. That's 15-20mm shorter than many other bikes in this category and gives the XR a very low stack height. That may not be an issue for riders who want their front end as low as possible, in a more traditional XC position, but it's something to consider for riders who are coming from the more upright position found on modern trail bikes.

Other changes included lopping 8mm off of the chainstay length, which puts them at 435mm, and increasing the reach on all sizes between 8 to 13mm depending on the frame size.


Models and Pricing
XR 5.9 - 3799 Euro
Lapierre XR and XRM
XR 7.9 - 4599 Euro


XR 9.9 - 6899 Euro

XRM 6.9 - 4099 Euro
XRM 8.9 - 5199 Euro





79 Comments

  • 51 1
 Is it a flex stay single pivot with a 67 degree head angle?
Why, yes it is.
  • 4 2
 triggered
  • 34 1
 @kbecker: I don't dislike it. But what would make someone choose this over the basically identical Orbea, Spesh, Santa Cruz, Cannondale?
Whether its a real tangible performance benefit, or just because your favourite pro rides the same one, I'm not seeing what Lapierre is bringing to this party, having shown up 2 years fashionably late.
  • 46 6
 @AyJayDoubleyou: You buy it if you want something very similar to one of those bikes, but with the added excitement that comes from knowing it might snap in two at any moment.
  • 9 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou:

Maybe your favorite LBS is a LaPierre dealer. That’s all I’ve got ‍♂️
  • 2 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: you're french
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: That's it. Everybody's already ridden the Orbea, SPesh, SC or Cannon, so now they will buy this one as it is new. *cry_silently*
  • 1 0
 @AyJayDoubleyou: Maybe you like the color of the Lapierre better? Who knows. I like that golden one very much.
  • 24 1
 I remember when Bible of the Bikes thought the 2014 Specialized enduro 29 was “crazy slack” at 67.5 HTA
  • 1 0
 Commencal Meta SX from 2013 had already 66 HTA
  • 2 0
 @styq64: Intense Slopestyle had 66.5 way back in 2008.
  • 15 0
 While everyone complains about how "all the bikes are the same" it does kind of make me wonder have we reach "peak XC" at least for the time being, 67-68 HTA (though the Oiz is still 69) flex stay, boost spacing, remote, brain or live valve. STA seems to change from bike to bike, but other than that, where do they get better from here? Other than lighter and stiffer what is the next big thing?
  • 7 0
 13 speed will make it better :/

Probably be in suspension lockout/dropper integration. It’ll be interesting when fox and rockshox are competing to have the best software.
  • 2 0
 @hllclmbr: yea, I'm not sure it would work well but I could see someone trying to have a setup where the suspension is open when the seat post is down and have the suspension firm when the dropper post is up. Seems like something Sram could do with their AXS stuff and Flight Attendant
  • 7 0
 I just hope the XCO courses stay, or even at a few places, get a little gnarlier to match or push these more capable bikes. That's also increased the popularity of these races and that in turn helps the sport and gets us involved with the racers themselves. All good good good.

I reckon if the XCO courses were still gravel fests like some we saw a decade ago, we wouldn't be seeing these bikes. It'd be hardtails and roadies at the front, not the awesome bikes and riders we have these days. I've been racing XC for thirty years and XC is in the best place its ever been.

[F*** you spellcheck - gnarliness IS a word!]
  • 4 0
 @pedalingbobby: BMC's Trailsync system from 2017 did just that. Lack of widespread adoption means the system can't have gained much traction.
  • 1 0
 Erm, a stealth ebike motor. Obviously!
  • 2 0
 The Oiz is 68° with a 120mm fork which they spec on the vast majority of bikes and is what their pro team runs.
  • 1 0
 @hllclmbr: That'd be like having the wipers on when the motor in your car is running. Works at some times, but doesn't at most.
  • 1 0
 @iamamodel: While they are skilled riders no doubt, Van Der Poel and Pidcock have been pretty dominant and are kinda roadies if you had to put them into a category.
  • 1 0
 I'm confident the next Spesh Epic Evo will have a SWAT hatch in the downtube. I'd gladly take that weight penalty on my '21 Evo rather than the ugly XC-box & pump I've fitted now.
  • 4 0
 @benfer: Are they really though? MVDP has numerous CX championships under his belt and Pidcock has U23 champs in his pocket already... I wouldn't say they are just roadies, more like cross discipline athletes...
  • 1 0
 @SonofBovril: Agree they are skilled across all 3 disciplines, but they both ride for road cycling teams and only attend the XC races when it fits around their road schedule. Pidcock's bike sponsor doesn't even make a MTB, he's probably only ridden like 5 world cups. I'm sure if they made as much money riding xc as road it would be a different story though.
  • 1 0
 @martinaasa: technically that is the Oiz TR, the off the shelf OIZ XC is 100/100.
  • 1 0
 @eroc43: I guess the factory riders ride it with 100 mm and degressive tune in the rear though, so it's really a hybrid in between the XC and TR models.
  • 20 4
 2017 Specialized called: they want their top tube back
  • 2 1
 Yep, i was like that looks like familiar.
  • 9 4
 Lawsuit in 3..2..
  • 5 0
 The way the shock is tucked in it looks a lot like a Cannondale Scalpel as well.
  • 2 0
 I was thinking it looked like the Trek Supercaliber.
  • 2 1
 shhh...it's actually the '16-18 Epic frame
  • 14 0
 Orbea called, they want their Oiz back...
  • 6 1
 Given how often this brand bails on markets, I wouldn't waste money on a bike that might not be supportable in spares in 3 years.
  • 3 0
 I just can't get past how the cable for the remote rear lockout is sticking out in the 2nd photo. All that internal routing to have the cable sticking out and hitting you in the leg when you pedal.
  • 7 0
 It's not sticking out. Or am I missing something here?
  • 3 0
 Aren't you mistaking the black decal for a cable? In the 3rd pick you can see it coming out of the middle of the top tube.
  • 5 2
 LaPierre-French for bikes made of papier mache Design looks good-would avoid until they've been out a few years and proven not to crack at the sight of some decent quadriceps muscles
  • 5 0
 They lost all their appeal around 2010, fragile, and then missed the neo geo turn and poor build for price killed them. The fake "French brand" marketing they rest on with wide lbs market is simply dead here . Lapierre bikes are rare in the wild today!
  • 2 0
 If I understand them correctly, the slightly 'pre-loaded' is what I've observed on all my flex stay bikes (Spark, Spark RC, Epic Evo). When the shock is taken out the rear triangle sits about a quarter of the way into its travel - its default position. The rear triangle extends into its full travel posiiton as the shock is inflated. Therefore, when I sit on the bike, it goes back into its default position.

Note that removing air from the shock while it is still attached won't put it in the default position because the shock will still have air in the negative chamber.

Corrections/confirmations from others welcome.
  • 2 0
 This top-tube shock mount design always make me think of a cobra hood. Lapierre should just go in hard on some snakeskin graphics.
  • 4 0
 Scrolled to pricing……then headed to comments
  • 4 1
 That golden bronze color sure is pretty.
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of my 2001 Klein Attitude Race with (Aztec Gold-paint job)
  • 3 0
 That is a good looking bike!
  • 4 0
 Looks like an oiz
  • 4 0
 Oiz't does
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: that made me chuckle
  • 3 0
 Looks like a sess.... wait... 2017 Epic....
  • 3 1
 XC bike with world's heaviest, ugliest dropper (TranzX +Rad)
  • 2 0
 Available in Canada, but not USA? WTF
  • 21 0
 Available in the US as the The Peter XR
  • 3 0
 Better than an Ellsworth
  • 12 14
 Maybe it’s just me, but as slick as these race xc bikes look… I find myself imagining them w a drop bar. It seems like the goal the dropper post + sus fork + big wheels gravel bikes builds are trying to get to.
  • 103 2
 Don't imagine that. Think about something else.
  • 3 0
 Not full sus but that's basically a Salsa Cutthroat. They even had a model that came stock with a 100mm fork. XC geo, boost, 29x2.4 tyre clearance, top tube lengths based on drop bars and geo based on a suspension corrected rigid fork.
  • 17 0
 dude's been looking at too much Radavist
  • 9 1
 If you started a business that offered conversion kits to take XC bikes to gravel bikes you could print money. Ask people to send you their handlebars and stuff then make even more money when the trend switches in 18 months and sell all that stuff back to them.
  • 1 0
 @mattg95: btw, is it just me that get the vibe that most people on The Radavist never really ride?

Except when it is Lael Wilcox, she's nothing short of a legend
  • 2 0
 @Arierep: that's rather accusatory, i assume you have plenty of evidence to back this up, i love their site and even ride my bike
  • 1 0
 @sirbikealot: that's rather accusatory as well, my comment as mostly tongue in cheek. I check their website on a daily basis so for sure can't say I don't enjoy it as well
  • 1 0
 looks exactly like a salsa rustler top tube!
  • 1 0
 XC FS design convergence is fully here. yawn.
  • 1 0
 110mm of travel. Is like the Goldilocks of travel.
  • 1 1
 Why don't XC bikes run longer chainstays to help with front wheel steeps on climbs?
  • 1 0
 I’ve heard people say short chainstays are what help “fast” bikes feel light and snappy when pedaling hard. If they’re longer the bike might feel sluggish because of the longer wheelbase and people won’t buy it because it feels slow.

Also I figure that people are generally standing up when doing climbs during a race which I’d think let’s adjust their body weight around the bike easy

Maybe? It’s early morning at work and I’m rambling
  • 1 0
 @Artikay13: all I know is 425 CS suck when climbing steep stuff.
  • 2 2
 Looks like an epic
  • 10 0
 And 20 other bikes.
  • 7 0
 The xc race bikes have all boiled down to single pivots with flex stays. Epic, Blur, Scalpel, etc.
  • 6 1
 @AndrewFleming: Exactly. NS Synonym, Fezzari Signal Peak, Vitus Rapide, Kona Hei Hei, Merida 96, Trek Supercaliber (sorta)... Soon only Giant (Maestro) and Pivot (DW) will have XC race bikes without linkage-driven single pivot + flex.
  • 5 0
 @Jshemuel: The 2022 Giant Anthem ditched the Maestro.
  • 1 0
 @nozes: Ah, thanks for the update
  • 1 0
 @nozes: still a 67.5 HTA though...
  • 3 0
 @Jshemuel: Fezzari still has a rear pivot.
  • 1 0
 @Spencermon: I stand corrected. Could have sworn it didn't. Thanks
  • 1 0
 @Jshemuel: Mondraker f-podium and Mondraker f-podium dc really isn't single pivot bike.
If you count it as xc and down country bike.
  • 1 1
 yt izzo core 2 or 3
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