With so many amazing enduro bikes available it can be difficult to differentiate between them, but the Spicy Team Ultimate has a couple of tricks up its sizable down tube.
Aside from the on-bike storage, accessed from the underside of the down tube (carbon frames only), its real party trick is the its ability to switch between 650b and 29in wheels.
Lapierre Spicy Team Ultimate frame
The Spicy has 170mm of travel in the 650b configuration tested here (160mm in 29er guise), controlled via a RockShox Super Deluxe RCT Coil shock.
Mounted between the upper link and the chainstay tips, this delivers an almost ‘bottomless’ feel. My medium frame came with a 400lb spring, which worked well for my 68kg weight.
The coil shock gives supple small-bump performance, though there’s still ample ramp-up through the stroke and plenty of bottom-out resistance.
Its placement does make rebound adjustment tricky, so you’ll need long fingers if you’re looking to do regular fettling.
The RockShox Super Deluxe RCT Coil shock works well but is tricky to access. Andy Lloyd
Geometry is on the conservative side in some regards and progressive in others. The medium size has a middling reach of 445mm but a slack head angle of 64.5 degrees and short 425mm chainstays.
Although the actual seat angle is pretty slack (67 degrees), the effective angle for shorter riders is close to 76 degrees.
Lapierre Spicy Team Ultimate kit
For over five grand I’d expect a uniformly high level of equipment, and while that’s true of most of the bike (there’s carbon in the places you’d expect it), there are a couple of parts that are a letdown.
The own-brand dropper post only has 120mm of travel and works okay but not brilliantly. It’s also very sensitive to seat-clamp torque.
I’d have also preferred SRAM’s Code rather than Guide RSC brakes on a bike designed for aggressive descending.
The latest 2020 Spicy is on Lapierre’s website now. You have to pay a cool £1,000 extra for the top model, but it does come fully clad with SRAM’s wireless Eagle AXS transmission and Reverb AXS dropper post.
Lapierre Spicy Team Ultimate ride impressions
The first thing I noticed about the Spicy was how apt the name is. It barely starts moving before it feels like it wants to take the fun route, over and across any line you’re willing to point it at.
The lively, poppy feel becomes apparent instantly, and it won’t back down as your speed increases.
With gravity on your side, the Spicy is a seriously fun bike to ride fast. Andy Lloyd
You’ll want to reach for the shock lockout when climbing to improve pedalling efficiency, although there’s still no getting away from the growl of the Michelin tyres on uphill fireroad drags.
On the plus side, they do deliver impressive levels of traction and confidence when you’re battering back down the hill.
With gravity on your side, the Spicy is a seriously fun bike to ride fast and throw from line to line. That’s partly down to its compact size, compared to some of its far lengthier counterparts, but also its low weight.
While it’ll appreciate a more calculated approach to line choice, it’s certainly not afraid of getting rowdy and remains composed even if your nerves don’t. If you’re looking for even more speed, consider a switch to bigger wheels.