Lapierre has an all-new road bike range for 2013 and here are the highlights…
Lapierre is the French brand that sponsors the Francaise de Jeux-Big Mat pro team, winners of two stages in this year’s Tour de France with Pierrick Fedrigo and Thibaut Pinot.
The Xelius EFI is Lapierre’s all-new high-end race frame as ridden to those stage victories back in the summer. The frame is a high modulus carbon fibre monocoque with a tapered head tube (1 1/8in to 1 1/4in) and a press fit bottom bracket.
There are five different Xelius EFI models in the range, each available with either a standard or a compact chainset. The Xelius EFI 400 FDJ, for example, comes with a Shimano Ultegra groupset, Deda cockpit and Mavic’s Ksyrium Elite S wheels, and the frame has a Francaise de Jeux paint job. This one is £2,599.99.
The top model is the Xelius EFI 800 at £4,999.99 – let’s call it five grand. For that you get a SRAM Red chainset and Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL wheels. Lapierre say that you’re looking at a weight of 6.7kg (14.7lb), which is just below the UCI’s legal race limit.
The Sensium stays in the range for 2013 but there are two entirely new frame platforms. The 100, 200 and 300 get the same new entry-level carbon frame. Again, you get a tapered head tube and a press fit bottom bracket along but the ride position is a touch more upright than on the Xelius EFI. The top tube is just a touch shorter and the head tube is a little longer.
One of the key models is the £1,299.99 200 that’s built up with a Shimano 105 groupset. We’re going to get one in for review shortly so we’ll find out how that new frame performs on the road.
The Sensium 400 and 500 get an interesting new frame too. It features Lapierre’s new Eraser technology that consists of a polymer insert on the seatstays that Lapierre reckon dampens vibration 25% more than the Xelius. They say that it doesn’t alter the lateral stiffness.
As well as increasing comfort, the idea is that the Eraser technology improves the handling and performance. That makes us think a little of the Zertz inserts that Specialized use on the seatstays and forks of their Roubaix bikes. Although it’s a similar concept, it’s a totally different design.
The Sensium 400 looks like an interesting proposition. It comes in a Shimano Ultegra build with Mavic Aksium wheels for £2,099.99. All of the Sensium models have internal cable routing and they’re Shimano Di2 compatible.
In the sub-£1,000 market, Lapierre’s aluminium Audacio range has always been popular with enthusiasts. These bikes share the same fairly relaxed geometry of the Sensiums. The £799.99 300, for example, comes with a 7005 alloy frame, an alloy/carbon fork and Shimano’s new Sora groupset.
Lapierre’s Ultimate custom bike build programme is interesting too. You go to the website and spec your bike – the groupset, wheels, saddle and so on. The price and weight will be calculated automatically as you go, and you get to see the bike as you build it up.
Both Xelius and Sensium frames are available through the Ultimate programme in a variety of finishes. You can build some seriously good looking bikes through the Ultimate programme.
Then you can either print off the spec or mail it to your local Lapierre dealer who will order the bike for you and eventually take delivery of the bike. Every Ultimate bike is assembled by Lapierre’s top mechanic in Dijon.
For more details on the range go to www.lapierre-bikes.co.uk.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.