First launched in 2014, the 2021 Aircode DRS is the third version of the French brand’s aero road bike.
Claimed to be stiffer, more aerodynamic and more comfortable than its predecessor, the Aircode DRS is disc brake-only and features levels of integration typical of the latest generation of race bikes.
The top-of-the-range Aircode DRS 8.0 model we have here is equipped with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and DT Swiss carbon wheels, and costs £6,300 / €6,999.
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Like most new high-end race bikes, the Aircode DRS features fully-internal cables, with routing via a proprietary stem.
Its frameset features aero cross-sections throughout and, in keeping with the trend towards larger tyres, the new Aircode ups clearances, although not by much compared to some brands – it accepts 28s where the previous model took 25s.
Claimed weight for the frame is a respectable 900g, a saving of over 80g compared to the old Aircode. This size large bike weighs 7.9kg complete, minus pedals.
Perhaps the bike’s most distinctive feature is the way the seatstays pass either side of the seat tube to meet the rear end of the top tube.
This lets the upper section of the seat tube flex more, and is a less extreme-looking version of a design Lapierre has been using for years on its lightweight Xelius race bike.
Lapierre claims the new Aircode is 12 per cent more vertically compliant than its predecessor, while more comfort is on offer courtesy of the tubeless DT Swiss wheels and Continental GP5000 TL tyres.
The Aircode DRS’s geometry is properly racy with reach and stack figures for this size large of 403mm and 557mm respectively.
The long front end is balanced by chainstays that are particularly short for a bike with disc brakes at 405mm (likely one reason the rear tyre clearance isn’t any larger), which Lapierre says helps the bike feel more responsive.
Both the Aircode DRS 8.0 and 7.0 come with Lapierre’s own carbon bars.
Unusually, these feature mounts on the tops to accept a set of carbon aero extensions, and Lapierre is kind enough to include these with the bike, a rare bonus that will appeal to roadies who dabble in triathlon or time trials.
Lapierre Aircode DRS 8.0 spec
- Frameset: Aircode DRS UD Superlight carbon
- Wheels: DT Swiss ARC1100 Dicut 50 carbon clincher
- Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2 52/36, 11-28
- Brakes: Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc
- Finishing kit: Lapierre Aircode stem, Lapierre Aero carbon 0° offset seatpost, Lapierre Aero UD carbon bar (420mm), Prologo Dimension Nack saddle, Continental GP5000 TL tubeless tyres, Acros headset
- Weight: 7.9kg (L)
- Price: £6,300 / €6,999