Dijon boffins bring improved grip to the Lapierre Zesty and Spicy…
From Dirt Issue 114 – August 2011
Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Various.
A full house rocked up at the Bellevue next to Les Gets town hall for Lapierre’s 2012 product presentation. Fortunately we’d had a night off the booze and were soon having to deal with talk of a range of Zesty’s and Spicy’s with massively improved suspension over previous years. Shock tune and poise was always something we had an issue with on these bikes, even though the Zesty has been top of our trail bike list for several years now, it’s just that it benefitted massively a custom tune and off–set shock bushings.
It always felt that the Zesty could make more of its available inches and now with changes to the leverage ratio curve and hydraulic settings they have achieved this. We bashed the hell out of an entry level large 314 for eight hours over some downhill runs and felt the increased sensitivity at the beginning of travel was well balanced with the transition through the range and having more support near the end of stroke. The Zesty now feels like it has more travel for definite.
Lapierre say the Zesty is now slacker and lower too, it’s certainly livelier with the shorter chainstays. The Spicy is slackened from 67º to 66º whilst the Zesty goes from 68º to 67º. Wheelbase on a large Zesty is 45” and on the Spicy 46”. Compared to the old bike, well I’d raced a two year old Zesty in the Alpine Battle only a few days prior and, well I guess it was an entry level 2012 bike I rode did feel slightly more squirmy than my custom 65º head angle carbon 914. We look forward to doing a head to head when the new bikes become available. Still, not a bad bike that 314 for the money, and one that deals with braking bumps much better than previously.
The Spicy now becomes more Enduro friendly. The totally new carbon frame (the Spicy 916 is 400g lighter and even our mid range 516 certainly feels the weight loss on the hill), the new Spicy rides much better than earlier models. All Spicy bikes now come with internal cable routing and an adjustable seat post. Grip is also improved like the Zesty and so too the sag range of the bikes.
Negatives? A few web comments noted the seat tube/top tube untidiness on the alloy bikes, along with cable routing, but these are minor compared to the overall performance gains. Surprisingly most people were into the new Pendbox design 120mm X Flow for the two–day camp.