Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W first ride review£2,250.00

One for the girls, but does it measure up?

The 120mm-travel Zesty XM 327 now comes in a women’s-specific version. Given Lapierre’s claims of a long front centre and a wider cockpit, we were intrigued to find out if it’d be the trail-eating machine we hoped it would.

Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W spec overview

  • Shock: RockShox Monarch RT
  • Fork: Fox Float 32 Performance
  • Brakes: Shimano hydraulic BRM506
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Tough Tom tyres (27.5x2.25)
  • Handlebars: Nico Vouilloz Signature Alu6061 W: 680mm
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Vesta Lady MG

Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W frame and equipment

For its women’s line, Lapierre has created different frames. The Zesty W isn’t radically different to the men’s Zesty, but top tubes are shorter across the size range.

The OST+ back end tracks the ground well, handling both small bumps and bigger hits with ease

The shock is mounted to the top tube, rather than the down tube as on earlier Zestys, which negates the need for an extended yoke and means it can be attached directly to the suspension linkage. Lapierre’s four-bar OST+ (Optimised Suspension Technology) platform dishes out 120mm of rear wheel travel, controlled here by a basic RockShox Monarch RT shock.

Other tweaks include a narrower rear triangle, although we still rubbed our calves on the seatstays with every pedal stroke.

We were surprised to see a 680mm bar on the Zesty, especially on the size large frame. This is ridiculously narrow by today’s standards, regardless of the gender of the rider. The transmission and braking are reliably taken care of by Shimano Deore kit (plus an XT rear mech). Sadly the same can’t be said for Schwalbe’s Tough Tom tyres, which feel flimsy at speed and puncture easily.

Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W ride impression

The women’s Zesty is shorter than the men’s version but otherwise similar
The women’s Zesty is shorter than the men’s version but otherwise similar

Despite its spec shortcomings, the Zesty proved to be a lively and responsive ride. The 67-degree head angle is slack enough to inspire confidence on the descents and the 615mm effective top tube put our 5ft 4in tester in a properly pedalling-friendly position. The 1,165mm wheelbase is also decent for a 120mm-travel trail bike and helped keep things stable at speed.

That 120mm is delivered with control and precision. The OST+ back end tracks the ground well, handling both small bumps and bigger hits with ease. The Zesty W is a good pedaller too, proving itself efficient uphill, with limited pedal bob — although a steeper seat angle (it’s 73.5 degrees as standard) would help on the climbs. Any bob we did notice could be eliminated by using the ‘pedal’ setting on the RockShox Monarch shock, which pretty much locks it out.

We left the Fox 32 fork in ‘open’ mode throughout testing and were impressed by its supple yet supportive stroke. Although it’s primarily an XC fork, we only felt like it was getting out of its depth on really big, repetitive hits.

The Zesty W’s geometry makes for a fun trail bike, but at 14.6kg / 32.18lb she’s a hefty one for quite a lot of dollar. It’s also worth remembering that the equivalent-spec men’s medium size bike has a shorter seat tube, a longer reach and steeper seat angle, and they’re numbers that we feel make more sense, both for fit and ride quality.

Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W early verdict

A bucketload of fun, but we wish it had the geometry of the men’s version.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Rachael has been biking since being introduced to it by her boyfriend as his good idea for a 'date'! MTB'ing quickly grew into a hobby and a passion. Rachael's competitive nature and strive to improve her riding has led her to race national and world enduro series races.
  • Age: 31
  • Height: 161cm / 5'4
  • Weight: 57kg / 132lb
  • Waist: 28in / 71cm
  • Chest: 32in / 81cm
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains, long descents and contrastingly fast, local, loamy, forest trails
  • Current Bikes: Marin Attack Trail
  • Dream Bike: The list is endless and ever changing! Currently she wants to try out a Mondraker Dune and a Yeti Beti!
  • Beer of Choice: A fruity cider!
  • Location: Bristol, UK

Related Articles

Back to top