2011 Lapierre Sensium road bike - First look

Light and stiff, yet comfortable

Lapierre's second-tier road bike, the Sensium, has undergone major changes for 2011, benefiting from technology trickle-down from the French company's top end Xelius model.

While the Xelius is a full-on super-stiff race bike, the Sensium has been designed with comfort as well as performance in mind, and looks like it could be ideal for sportive and club riders.

The monocoque front end is made of unidirectional high-modulus carbon fibre, with tapered head and seat tubes, a curved top tube and oversize bottom bracket area continuing the stiff-but-light theme. Internal cable routing keeps things looking clean.

At the rear, a "C+" elastomer insert at the seatstay bridge is designed to soak up road buzz, while slim, curved seatstays should also do their bit to damp vibrations and provide a more comfortable ride. Chainstays are longer than on the Xelius (412mm rather than 408mm) for improved stability at speed.

Lapierre reckon they've managed to add this vertical flex "without sacrificing any of [the Sensium's] dynamic characteristics". The new frame is actually a few grams lighter than last year's bike.

The model show here is the Sensium 400, which is claimed to weigh 7.8kg (17.2lb). For £2,449.99 you get a carbon fork with alloy steerer, Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels and SRAM Force transmission.

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