In the final part of the Lapierre ‘big mountain’ bike launch we have the Froggy. It’s a 180mm bike that is designed to be the best compromise between a full on downhill bike and an all mountain bike, with more pedalling uphill and trail riding ability than the DH but happier on the kind of big, steep and techy trails that would unsettle a Spicy. Indeed, it looks a lot like a bigger brother of the Spicy, using the same OST suspension design but coupled to a coil rear shock and with an even longer travel single crown fork up front.
For 2011 the Froggy gains the same Syntace standard 12x142mm QR rear axle as found on the Spicy, internal cable routing for an adjustable seatpost in the top tube, plus a direct post mount rear brake. We test rode the Froggy 318, which was a capable bike on the downhill trails of Chatel Bike Park and while not as comfortable in the rough stuff as the DH it certainly gave the user a little more margin for error than the Spicy did on the same terrain. Sadly a naughty euro journo ‘borrowed’ the new 180mm Fox 36 equipped 518 we were due to ride, but the Rock Shox Domain forks of the 318 were perfectly adequate if a little unrefined and the bike held up to some very steep, rocky and fast riding without feeling out of it’s depth.
However, the payoff for the increased big hit performance of the Froggy is in it’s bulk and when the trail flattened out the extra travel worked against you, not accelerating out of corners as well or being able to be thrown around as easily as it’s smaller brother. Still, there will be some people who find a place for a bike like this – if you tend to ride a lot of bike parks or trails that require a lot of travel but need the steering lock of a single crown fork over triple clamps (or just like pulling X-ups) then it will suit you to a T. It is possible to pedal the Froggy uphill, but it would be a mistake to think it doesn’t involve a much greater degree of suffering than on a Spicy.
There will be two complete bikes in the range; the top end Froggy 518 which will come with the brand spanking new Fox 36 Van RC2 FIT, DHX RC2 rear shock and a single ring and guide setup or the more affordable 318 which will come with a Rock Shox Domain R fork, Vanilla R rear shock and a twin ring setup with an E.13 DRS. A frame only kit is available which will use the new Supreme 6 alloy, which is said to be stiffer and lighter due to an improved fine grain structure.
Again, there are no prices available yet but expect a slight increase over last year’s models.
Finally, here are a few shots of the new Zesty – it’s not due to be launched until Eurobike so we don’t have anything in the way of interesting technical details for you to look over, but you’ll probably agree it’s a rather good looking bike.