The Pulsium is French company Lapierre’s endurance bike, and it has been given a complete update for 2018. We got our first glimpse at the new bike when it was put into action at Paris-Roubaix, but we can now reveal all the details of the new bike.
The Pulsium was first added to Lapierre’s range in 2014 and was novel in that incorporated an elastomer ring into the top tube, designed to absorb vibration. Manufacturers are conjuring up interesting solutions aimed at combating vibrations caused by riding over rough roads or cobbles, from Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler to Specialized’s Future Shock.
Lapierre calls its solution Shock Absorption Technology (SAT) and for this second generation version it has taken it back to the drawing board and evolved the concept. It’s now constructed from one part, instead of the previous three part assembly.
This, it claims, means it’s more effective at absorbing vibrations with less energy loss and has also enabled an improved carbon fibre layup for a sleeker appearance than before. There’s another important change, a new seat tube with a “flex zone” that contributes to the available deflection at the saddle.
Working with the FDJ team has provided the development team with loads of feedback, and it has addressed the one issue that always crops up with pro riders: stiffness. So Lapierre has optimised the shape and size of the down tube and chainstays, using its PowerBox idea, to increase lateral stiffness and reduce unwanted flex.
Putting numbers on the improvements, Lapierre claims the bottom bracket is a massive 40% stiffer, the 20% is up by 20% and the chainstays are 25% stiffer compared to the previous model. Those are some impressive claims and we look forward to putting the bike through its paces to see how it compares to the original.
The carbon frame has features carried over from the original, such as the Trap Door Technology that provides a place to stash the battery for an electronic Di2 groupset in the belly of the seat tube. The idea is to keep the weight lower in the frame for supposed handling improvements, as well as providing easier access to the battery for installation or maintenance reasons.
There’s a new fork with a steeper offset than the old bike (and now the same as the Xelius SL) which Lapierre tells us provides more direct steering for a more responsive ride feeling. It’s clear Lapierre has sought to narrow the gap between its road bikes so cyclists, professional and amateur, can swap between them seamlessly.
Geometry on endurance bikes differs from race bikes, and the Pulsium is no different in this regard. There are five sizes from XS to XL, and a medium has a 72-degree head angle, 165mm head tube, 378mm reach and 564mm stack.
The Pulsium will be offered with rim or disc brakes, with the only difference between the two bikes being slightly longer chainstays on the disc model and 12mm thru-axles at both wheels.
There will be nine models in the range from the 500 at the entry level to a full FDJ Ultimate team replica build. Prices haven’t been confirmed yet, we’ll update this article as soon as we get them.
We’ve reviewed the original Pulsium, and while we were largely impressed with it, we did find the handling a little unbalanced. Hopefully, the changes introduced to the new bike will address the issues we highlighted because there’s a lot to like, and it’s an interesting alternative to the more common choices in this sector. We’ll hopefully get a bike in for review very soon to find out.
More at www.lapierre-bikes.co.uk
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.