Lapierre X-Control 310 review

Flighty French fancy punches above its weight

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,500.00 RRP | USD $2,386.00
Lapierre X-Control 310

Our review

Lapierre’s X-Control 310 delivers a light, lively and fun ride, and it’s good value
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Lapierre’s X-Control range is down to three bikes for 2012, filling in an entry-level role beneath the new X-Flow bikes that occupy higher pricepoints. The 310 is the top model. On the face of it, it’s a slightly peculiar proposition, with travel, cockpit and geometry numbers that look like they belong to two or three different bikes. But everything comes together on the trail.

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Ride & handling: Agile and lively but slacker angles would make it even more fun

On paper the X-Control looks pretty racy (although it’s on the heavy side for a cross-country bike) but on the trails it’s very capable. It has 20mm more travel up front than at the rear and this makes a difference, allowing you to weight the fork and not worry too much about what the back end’s doing. The combination of generous cockpit length, short stem and trail-friendly 680mm wide handlebar makes an attacking, fork-first riding style feel like a very natural approach.

With 100mm of rear travel, setup compromises have to be made – you can have small-bump plushness but take some bottoming out, or tune for the big stuff and accept a stiffer, less absorbent feel out back. Lapierre’s shock forces further constraints – it’s not bad, but lacks the control and poise of, say, a Fox unit. We found that a stiffer setup worked best, reducing mid-stroke wallow and bottoming, but giving a less supple action over smaller bumps.

A firmer setup makes it livelier under power. There’s not much pedal feedback, and that works both ways – with nothing except the shock to hold the bike up under hard efforts, a softer setup can make it a bit mushy out of corners. A few more psi in the shock and the 310 becomes quite a ripper. It’s a steep-angled bike, but the mix of accurate steering, sorted weight distribution and suspension lets it cope with a range of trails. 

Frame & equipment: Shock limits performance; good kit for the money

The Lapierre comes with a 120mm fork to go with its 100mm of rear travel, which although not a unique setup, is fairly unusual. Rear travel comes from a short-link back end and an own-brand shock that sits vertically in the frame. Up front is a RockShox Recon Gold fork. 

The head tube may be conventional, but there’s a press-fit bottom bracket to bring things up to date. A wider bottom bracket shell gives scope for a wider down tube, and Lapierre have used a flared tube that’s flat on top and pointed underneath, like a boat hull.

Component spec is good for the money, with a 3×10 Shimano Deore/SLX transmission mix at the heart. The Formula RX brakes impress – the feel is quite firm but there’s plenty of power and they’re compact and light. Finishing kit is mostly Lapierre-branded. The X-Control comes in at 13.3kg (29.3lb), which is a very good weight for a £1,500 full-suspension bike.

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

Product Specifications

Product

Name X-Control 310 (12)
Brand Lapierre

Description 41, 46, 51, 56cm sizes
Saddle Selle Italia X1
Wheelbase (in) 43.7
Top Tube (in) 24
Standover Height (in) 30.3
Seat Tube (in) 20
Chainstays (in) 17
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13.2
Weight (lb) 29.3
Weight (kg) 13.3
Stem Lapierre Raid
Shifters Shimano Deore
Seatpost Lapierre Raid
Seat Angle 72.5
Rims Mach 1 Neo Disc rim
Bottom Bracket Shimano Hollowtech
Rear Shock Lapierre R, air, 100mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Headset Type Alloy 1.125in
Head Angle 69.5
Handlebar Lapierre Raid, riser
Grips/Tape Lapierre, lock-on
Frame Material SuperLite alloy
Fork RockShox Recon Gold TK, air, 120mm
Cranks Shimano M552, 42/32/24
Chain Shimano HG
Cassette Shimano HG62, 11-36, 10spd
Brakes Formula RX, 160mm rotors
Tyres Michelin Wild Grip (F), Wild Race'R (R), 2.1in