Lapierre Sensium 300 CP £1599.99

Carbon road bike at low price

BikeRadar score 4/5

The Sensium 300 CP is a completely confident all-rounder, with a carbon fibre, Di2-ready frame at the lower end of our Bike of the Year price range.

Frame & equipment: Classy Di2-ready frame with great kit

Cycling Plus tested the lower-priced, '200' version of the Sensium on its launch, and at £1,200 we said it was one of the best road bikes under £1,500. The 300 CP shares the same hi-mod carbon frame, with a new tapered head tube, internal routing and Di2-ready fittings. This really is an impressive collection of carbon tubes for the price.

Component-wise, the 300 isn’t too shabby either. The full SRAM Apex, in its optional white finish to match the frame, looks great. It comes in full WiFLi, combining a 50/34, press-fit compatible chainset with a massive 11-32 cassette – that’s a gear combination that will enable you to climb walls. 

The wheels are Mavic Aksiums combined with Aksion tyres. As we’ve mentioned numerous times before, this is a competent, classy, well-made and hardwearing wheelset often found on bikes much pricier than the Sensium.

The geometry is slightly biased towards the racer; it shares the same sorted steering numbers as the impressive pro-level Lapierre Xelius. They’ve added 10mm to the head tube and taken 5mm out of top tube’s length to satisfy the sportive crowd, though. 

Thankfully, for the more comfort-orientated rider, the position is easy to adjust, as Lapierre give you plenty of spacers on the steerer to adjust bar height. The quality, slender frame is comfortable enough and takes the sting out of the road impressively well, helped by the Ritchey bar and San Marco perch.

Ride & handling: Sharp and competent

The top tube and riding position don’t compromise what’s essentially classic road geometry, and the wheelbase is race-length too, adding up to a bike with handling that’s just what we’d hope for and expect. It’s sharp without being twitchy, so it reacts rapidly to the most minimal of inputs but never feels unbalanced. 

The Sensium gives you plenty of confidence through corners and S-bends. The WiFLi gearing also supports you in a bid to attack any climb; if you go at it full on you’ll be safe in the knowledge that if you push yourself to the edge the 32T sprocket will bail you out should you run into trouble.

The 300 is a well-put-together bike at a great price, and the frame is ready for any upgrade you’d ever want to throw at it. The ride comfort and handling also tick the right boxes.

This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2013 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 273, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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