We’ve just returned from Chatel in the Portes Du Soleil, France to attend the launch of Lapierre’s new ‘big mountain’ range of bikes. First up we’ll cover the 160mm travel all mountain Spicy, which has been tweaked for 2011 to further improve on a package that we already liked.
Here’s a quick video overview:
For 2011 the Spicy gains a tapered 1.5 to 1 1/8th headtube to enable the new generation of stiff but light long travel single crown forks to be fitted, with a semi integrated headset to keep the front end nice and low. Combined with new, wide and low rise 710mm handlebars the front end is very precise and although the bike sometimes felt overfaced on the steeper and more technical downhill runs it was still easy to accurately pick a line through steep, rooty and muddy sections.
When the gradient backed off to something more suitable for a 160mm travel bike the Spicy became a joy to ride. The back end has gained the new all mountain standard 12×142 Syntace rear axle and the additional stiffness helps the bike fire out of berms and track well through rocky sections or braking bumps. In fact, on most sections of the Chatel Bike Park the Spicy felt much faster as well as more involving than it’s longer travel sibling, the 180mm Froggy.
The OST suspension platform remains unchanged, which is just as well as it works nicely and combined with a Boost Valved Fox RP air shock running a fairly hard compression tune it felt lively rather than soggy and coped with big hits just as well as trail chatter. Another change for 2011 is the move away from press fit bottoms brackets and back to threaded – this means you can run a Hammerschmidt as well as being able to fit a wider range of chainsets.
The Spicy 516 test bike that we rode came kitted with the latest Fox 36 FIT Vanilla fork with the Kashima coating, which for 2011 is strictly for aftermarket forks only, but the production 516 will come with an open bath TALAS R.
Along with the top end 916, the 516 comes specced with a double chainring and chaindevice setup, and Lapierre are aiming firmly at the enduro racer market with this bike – in fact the Spicy 916 is Nico Vouilloz’s choice for his enduro racing excursions. The 916 gains a carbon rear end and Supreme 6 alloy front triangle to shave weight over the 516 and will come with a SRAM X.0 2×10 drivetrain, a Crank Brothers Joplin post with remote and top line (although non Kashima) Fox 36 TALAS RLC FIT forks with the new two position travel adjuster.
For the less flush (or flash) here will also be a more affordable Spicy 316 that still has a Fox 36 fork and Float shock and a basic 216 model using a Rock Shox Domain fork.
As ever, the Spicy range has some nice features, including internal cable routing for uppy-downy seatpost remotes, the neat little sag-o-meter that removes the guesswork from setup and also new for 2011 is the E Type direct mount front mech, direct post mount rear brake and ISCG tabs for chaindevices.
Prices are unavailable for the time being but expect a slight price rise over last year’s to reflect the better specifications.