Lapierre chose the Fort William World Cup to show off the new Lapierre Team DH bike to the collected throng of photographers and reporters. Midge bites aside the conversation was oiled by a free beer and we awaited Nico Vouilloz to unveil the bike and talk us through its development.
If there was one person who can get things right when developing a new bike then it’s Nico, he has worked with the team to develop a bike that will grow and be moulded into it’s perfect form over the next race season or two.
That’s the only time you are going to hear the word mould uttered here, Lapierre have stuck with aluminium. Although confident of their Enduro and Trail bikes being popped from a mould the development principle Nico has put in place is only really viable in the non-ferrous.
The idea behind this bike is that the team will be able to change and develop it and refine each part of it before Lapierre think about investing in a carbon version. The focus for the French brand is their race team and doing the best for them. Changing the geometry chart will come about through time and race testing. Lapierre have a range of different heights on their team, Emmeline Ragot is 5’2″ and will be riding a small prototype at this weekend’s race. Sam Blenkinsop and Loic Bruni are at the other end of the scale, 6′ and 5’11” respectively with Loris Vergier in the middle at 5’9″. This isn’t going to cater for the tallest of rider
Adjustability will come in the form of headset cups, different linkage options and dropouts that will alter the length of the back end. Production bikes will only get an adjustable head angle but the refinements the team make using their bespoke parts over the coming season will be used to alter the production bikes.
Aside from the development angle, Vouilloz cited the feeling that an aluminium bikes gives over a carbon one. The reactivity and and feedback through a downhill bike is an important factor and right now Lapierre feel aluminium is the right stuff for the job. Super light downhill bikes don’t seem to be high on Nico’s agenda too, the consumer is going to crash and the twisting forces imparted by triple clamp forks are a threat to the integrity of a frame. He would prefer to have a frame that will last and building this one from aluminium makes sense to him and Lapierre.
It’s more important to have a dynamic bike with the right weight distribution and the main pivots in the right place. The feeling is light, easy to manual and the feeling is the important thing. Nico Vouilloz
The suspension is taken care of through a linkage driven single pivot design. As we thought you might be interested I asked the ever friendly Boris Beyer to bounce on the new bike and see what this new Supra Link Technology looks like when mobile.
63.7° (+/-1) Head Angle
Frame weight: 4.3kg
Small – medium – large
210mm rear travel & 200mm front
UK Availability October
Want more Lapierre? Try these links: