by Mark Alker
July 13, 2009
First of all lets list the full Lapierre range from light and fast to big and beefy…
- Race Pro – Carbon hardtail
- x-control – Full suspension xc (race & marathon)
- Zesty – 140mm travel xc/all mountain
- Spicy – 160mm travel all mountain/freeride
- Froggy – 180mm freeride
- DH – Downhill/freeride
Now, lets rule out the bigger bikes from the Spicy upwards as they get mostly redesigned graphics and new Fox Boost Shocks, so no major design changes – just tweaks and upgrades. Pics below though.
The major changes are with the Race pro, X-control and the Zesty.
The Race pro…
The 900, 700 and 500 models each get a redesigned carbon frame that includes full carbon dropouts, cable stops, BB bearing seat and headset. The front triangle is now a complete monocoque design and the rear triangle uses carbon with the weave and fibres varying depending on the ‘tube’ useage. The result is claimed to be better comfort but mostly it weighs in at a paltry 1040g for the medium frame, which shaves 70g off last years frame weight, which is mostly down to the elimination of the seatstay bridge entirely. The claim is that the new frame design and careful use of carbon fibre direction in the rear triangle means that the frame is just as stiff as last years model despite the lack of a seatstay bridge.
What I can tell you though is that the Pro Race 900 is amazingly light at a fraction under 19lbs excluding pedals!
Shorter stem – 100mm down to 90mm and slacker head angle (1 degree) to 70 degrees. The whole aim was to produce a much more comfortable ride while still retaining the proper XC useage. What it has in effect done is widen the scope of this bike from what was essentially a full suspension XC race bike to a race bike that can also double up as a good all day (marathon) bike that doesn’t give you back ache and numb palms after a weekend out with your mates. Plus, the X-control itself comes in two ‘flavours’. For the true racer there’s the version that comes with 100mm RS SID Forks or for the slightly more all day racer/endurance rider there’s an extra 20mm available with the Fox F-Series 120 fork.
The new Zesty frame gets a 5mm shorter top tube (590mm) – again, a comfort and all day riding adjustment. And the big news is obviously a full carbon Zesty! This adds to last year’s range where a carbon back end was found on the top-end models. The new carbon Zesty is now carbon all the way.
So along with the slight geometry tweaks all aimed and broadening the appeal of each model, what else is new for 2010?
There is a new all carbon frame in the Zesty armory that weighs in at a whopping 500g less than last year’s all alloy frameset. Plus, all models come furnished with the new Fox forks and shocks with most featuring Fox’s new Boost and FIT technology suspension systems. See our Fox story here for all the tech details. The essential upshot of the new Fox forks means you can leave that platform lever alone for longer, which is great news for riders like myself who persistently find them selves activating it on the climbs and them completely forgetting to knock the bloody thing off for the DH. Fit and forget lovers will be pleased 🙂
Overall, the lighter, faster XC bikes all wind up a combination of lighter weight and more comfortable rides while still maintaining their race pedigrees. Any race heads missing the sharper handling of last years 71 degree head angled X-control will undoubtedly find that the ability to ride for longer with better suspension will more than make up the seconds lost.
Here Mark rides the X-control with SID forks. We think he likes it.