Lapierre Shaper 900 review£1,499.99

Lightweight flat-barred road bike

BikeRadar score3.5/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

Lapierre's Shaper bikes, introduced for 2010, are part of their range of fitness machines. Designed for a ‘ride with friends, or just to stay in shape’, according to the French company’s spiel, they combine flat bars with aluminium road bike-type frames.

The 900 sits at the top of a range that starts at £500 for the Shaper 100 and encompasses eight bikes, including two women-specific models. Its £1,500 price makes the 900 far from cheap, but it does get you some very decent components and a very classy-looking aluminium frame and carbon fork.

Ride & handling:

The 900 weighs just 8.7kg (19.1lb) without pedals. Not only does it fly along on the flat, but the combination of that light weight and a triple chainset means you can tackle hills comfortably.

However, out of the saddle you can feel the bar flexing – an oversize bar and stem combination would definitely help here  – and while it’s definitely fast, the ride quality makes it one for smoother surfaces.

The combination of a stiff and efficient aluminium frame and oversize seatpost means you can feel every bump and rut on the road.

There’s plenty of clearance for mudguards even with 28mm rubber fitted, and as well as mudguard eyelets there’s a braze-on for a rear rack, so when you’re not out for a fitness ride you could tackle some light touring.

Shimano’s deep drop calliper brakes mean you’ll have no trouble stopping safely. If you're looking for a well equipped, flat-barred bike then the Shaper 900 is certainly worth considering.

Equipment:

The chainset and rear derailleur are from Shimano’s excellent Ultegra 6700 groupset, while the wheels are the sort of thing often found on racing bikes costing much more than this.

The Racing 5s – from Campag spin-off Fulcrum – are designed for general use and in our experience you should get a lot of hassle-free miles from them.

Tyres are Continental’s Grand Prix 4 Seasons. These are based on Conti’s GP4000 design but with extra layers of protection for year-round use – and it’s good to see 28mm tyres rather than ultra-skinny models specced on a fitness bike.

Simon has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and more seriously since his time at university in the Dark Ages (the 1980s). This has taken in time trialling, duathlon and triathlon and he has toured extensively in Asia and Australasia, including riding solo 2900km from Cairns to Melbourne. He now mainly rides as a long-distance commuter and leisure/fitness rider. He has been testing bikes and working for Cycling Plus in various capacities for nearly 20 years.
  • Age: 53
  • Height: 175cm / 5'9
  • Weight: 75kg /165lb
  • Waist: 33in
  • Discipline: Road, touring, commuting
  • Current Bikes: Rose SL3000, Hewitt steel tourer
  • Beer of Choice: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Location: Bath, UK
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