Bosch is (currently) the most established e-bike motor provider out there, and with an existing relationship with Lapierre, is maintaining that reputation with its new “Overvolt Bosch i” range, which comprises five new alloy bikes.
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- Lapierre adds Shimano motors to its e-bike range, plus AM 729i first ride review
The new Bosch-powered Overvolts have taken inspiration from the well-received Carbon Overvolt and Lapierre’s non-powered Spicy and Zesty bikes — along with a healthy dose of input from Nico Vouilloz, Lapierre's multi-World Championship winning rider.
As such, the weight is held low and central in the frame for better cornering and stability, while the geometry has been tweaked to give a shorter back end and longer front, mirroring trends in non-powered enduro bikes.
This means there’s a 66-degree head angle, mated with a 73-degree seat angle. The reach (Large) is 444mm and the rear centre (chainstays) is 460mm in its shortest setting — there is a chip in there to allow you to swap between 27.5, 275+ and 29” wheels.
Lapierre has a four-bar linkage suspension design, which is uses on a number of its trail and enduro bikes, called OST+ and it’s here on the Bosch Overvolts too. We’ve always got on well with this system, so it’s good to see it here.
Lapierre has also worked with Bosch on the battery and will be one of the first to offer a new lower-profile battery, which still packs 500Wh of power.
The new battery is called PowerTube, giving 500Wh of power from the lithium-ion cells. Its lower profile means Lapierre has been able to integrate it easily into the down tube for a much sleeker look than previous alloy Overvolts.
The battery is held in a cradle that drops down from underneath the down tube for easy removal and it can be charged either in or out of the bike.
Also new from Bosch is the E-MTB mode, which is found on the Lapierre. This mode is much more reactive to pedal inputs, so gives a more natural feel to the power delivery — the harder you push, the more it gives.
It sits between the Tour and Boost modes, offering from 120-300 percent power assistance, based against the power you put in.
Lapierre has developed a couple of neat touches for the bikes, which will be available aftermarket.
First, there’s a neat rubberised cover for the Bosch head unit to give it a little more scuff protection in crashes.
There’s also a neat chain guide / chainring cleaner made from alloy, which bolts onto the motor around the chainring.
We’ve found in the past that this area is prone to clogging and chainsuck, so would like to see how this performs in longer term testing. It’s compatible with all MY18 Bosch motors from any bike manufacturer.
The top range Overvolt AM 900i will come with 2018 RockShox Pike RC and Super Deluxe RC3 shock suspension. The drivetrain comes mostly from SRAM — a new GX-e shifter only allows one gear shift at a time (like EX1) to lessen the chance of chains snapping during shifts under power. This drives an X01 mech over a 11-46t SunRace cassette.
SRAM Guide RE brakes bring the bike to a halt, while it rolls on Lapierre’s own wheels. These are 35mm wide internally and support 2.8” wide Maxxis High Roller front and Rekon rear tyres with Exo casings.
Lapierre has paired a Fizik Gobi saddle with its own dropper post.
The 700i shares much of the 9001, but with a slightly lower spec drivetrain and finishing kit, along with a Deluxe RT shock rather than the Super Deluxe RC3 found on the top model.
Next is the 600i, with a Revelation RC fork and Deluxe RT shock.
The Revelation has the same chassis as the Pike, but with the simpler Motion Control damper.
An NX drivetrain lowers cost again, as does a cheaper dropper and finishing kit, though the rims and tyres are the same as the top-spec bike.
The base model Plus bike, the 500i retains the same rims and tyres, but gets a Shimano Deore drivetrain, a Suntour Aion fork and Deluxe R shock.
The 29” version of the bike has 120mm of travel controlled by a Recon RL fork and Deluxe R shock. There's a SRAM NX drivetrain and non-series Shimano M425 brakes. The bike rolls on Lapierre rims and Maxxis Ardent 2.4” tyres.
Prices are currently TBC, while availability will be from October-ish.
I rode the Overvolt AM 700i for a day on what can only be described as some incredible trails in the Valberg resort north of Nice, France.
The terrain is steep and technical, with the climbs dominated by big rocky steps and loose pitches. The descents varied from slow, tight loose rocks to fast and flowy but very loose singletrack.
The first thing I noticed was the sheer goat-like climbing ability the bike had.
The new geometry places you right in the middle of the bike, so body weight shifts only need to be subtle to find the right balance between front end accuracy and rear wheel traction.
Speaking of traction, those tyres (run at around 18psi) have bags of grip.
The new E-MTB mode complements your power inputs well, meaning it’s very easy to control traction — due to the fact I was able to manage the amount of power going to the rear wheel.
With 150mm of travel I didn’t have to hold back too much on the descents either. The front wheel struggled a little with the loose-over-hardpack conditions, as would any tyre, but over loose rocks and bedrock or down steps, there was plenty of confidence to be found.
The new Pike is controlled and accurate, thanks to the new internal air spring architecture and improved Charger 2 damper.
A word of warning though, the plus tyres in these super rocky conditions are a touch fragile and in my group of riders we suffered a fair few rear punctures. Personally, I prefer the 2.5” Maxxis WT tyres that we saw on the Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay.
While the shape of the bike isn’t super progressive, the shortened rear end is definitely a good thing to have compared to the Carbon Overvolt — as is the extra length up front.
While I like the new E-MTB mode on the Bosch motor, the control unit, placed next to your grip, doesn’t offer much feedback, so you often need to look at the screen to see if you have changed mode.
I also like the GX-e shifter. It's always a bit nerve wracking banging through gears at the best of times, so being limited to just one at a time means I wasn't worried about accidentally over-shifting a little, especially when under power.
Yes, it takes longer to get down the block, but with power assistance, dropping a ton of gears at once is a less frequent action anyway and I never really missed the option.