The big news from a rather rainy Les Gets, France is that Lapierre will be releasing a new bike for 2012: the X-Flow.
The X-Flow is a cross country / marathon bike that uses the same Pendbox floating bottom bracket system that was introduced back in 2010 on Lapierre's downhill bikes. This time though, the floating bottom bracket style configuration only needs to deal with 120mm travel in a bid to "totally isolate pedalling efficiency and shock absorption for improved performance" as Lapierre put it.
The use of the Pendbox system means the French company are covered by the same patent that covers their downhill bike, and its introduction has allowed the engineers to produce a slacker head angle along with a lower bottom bracket when compared to its closest counterpart, the X-Control.
This should then translate to a more stable ride with even less pedal-induced bob. From the short amount of time we’ve spent on it, the X-Flow certainly seems to be a more capable bike than the X-Control.
What will come of the X-Control? Well, it’s set to continue for 2012 but keep an eye on potential changes to pricing.
The X-Flow will be available in three full carbon models and four alloy versions starting with their 312 alloy version, all the way up to the 912 full carbon bike. All frames feature custom Fox tuned suspension, tapered head tubes, internal cable routing and cable guides and routing for a height adjustable seatpost.
Updates to Zesty and Spicy
The other big news is the changes being made to Lapierre’s OST platform that can be found on the Zesty and Spicy ranges. Now referred to as OST+, Nico Voullioz has been working the Lapierre engineers hard to get more out of the platform. The final result is intended to produce a more desirable leverage ratio curve, making the initial part of the stroke more supple, offer better support in the middle and increasing its progressivity towards the end of the stroke.
Other significant changes to both Zesty and Spicy ranges include a new carbon linkage, new internal cable routing, shorter chainstays (now 425mm rather than the previous 438mm), lower bottom bracket and slacker head angles. The Zesty now measures in at 67 degrees while the Spicy becomes 66 degrees, both of which, along with the other changes, leave these two more stable than ever.
Initial impressions certainly show that both models can now deal with harsher terrain in a more competent fashion while maintain their ability to carry speed well.
The Zesty range will consist of three alloy models and three full carbon models while we’ll see two alloy versions of the Spicy, and only one full carbon model of this 160mm beast.
The Froggy will continue to use the OST platform but does now include a smaller frame size for 2012 as well as improved mud clearance at the back end. The three models feature improved and updated geometry to increase their stability and fun factor.
Lapierre’s downhill bikes will remain largely unchanged for 2012.