Five years ago, LaPierre had the X Race lightweight XC bike. When they decided to reintroduce that model, they decided to produce to bring it out as a super lightweight 29er race bike.
At just 9.9kg (claimed) for the complete bike, it feels very light. That translates to 21.9lbs, and that felt about accurate from my simple grab and lift test. It’s designed as a marathon race weapon rather than a strict XC bike, which we’ll explain further down. The most visually striking element is the rear shock mount, which is an entirely new suspension design for them. I asked why this design rather than mounting it to the bottom of the top tube and the response was something like “Because we’re French, we want to be different!”
Kidding aside, it appears they did in fact want it to be different, and for good reason. Because it’s a pivotless rear triangle, there’s not an issue with the Horst Link patents owned by Specialized, so it’s more likely it’ll come into the U.S.
Internal cable routing for all cables, including the rear brake. Tapered headtube with a very, very short headtube height to keep the cockpit low and racy.
Bottom bracket is PF90 BB. Pivots use sealed cartridge bearings throughout.
The rear axle is a 142×12 rear, and the design uses a bit of flex built into the stays to make up for a lack of a rear pivot.
LaPierre sponsored pro Nico Vouilloz helped with R&D and he laid out the geometry for this bike. Head angle is 69.5°, and the chainstay is 446mm (17.56″).
The effective top tube length is 595mm for medium (other frame size ETT’s weren’t immediately available). For quick comparison, my Large Niner Jet measures about 615mm ETT. Because the head angle is fairly slack for an XC bike, the seat angle is more relaxed to keep the reach normal. Lapierre says the actual top tube is fairly short, as is the wheelbase. On paper, the combination seems odd for an XC bike. I sat on the medium and with about a 100-110 stem (eyeball measurement), the front axle visually intersected the middle of the stem, suggesting the bike was fairly long, yet it felt quite compact…the way a medium should feel for my 6’2″ height.
LaPierre is naming the sizes by seat tube height. The medium here measures 440mm from center of BB to seatpost clamp. Small is 410, large is 480 and XL is 520.
Given that they’re launching it at the world’s largest marathon mountain bike race, it could be that the geometry is really aimed at the Enduro crowd rather than shorter XC races. One of their sponsored U23 women will be racing it for the first time here today.
Three models all with carbon frames. Pricing is TBD. Will go on sale next April or May. we’re actually waiting on quite a bit more info from LaPierre on this bike, so look for this to be updated in the near future.