Lapierre’s Zesty has been a benchmark bike in the mid-travel, full-suspension market for some time now. We took their full carbon 714 model for a spin to see if they are still setting the standard – or pushing the bar even higher.
Ride & handling: Offers enough control to be thrown at anything
It certainly doesn’t take a lot to get the sprightly 11.84kg (26.1lb) of Zesty shifting rapidly. Hit the climbs and spin in the middle ring and you’ll notice a bit of pedal bob, though, especially on longer, slower slogs.
It seems this is the trade off for that supple initial suspension stroke but of course, thanks to the ProPedal lever on the RP2 shock, any bob can easily be tamed.
The big news here is just how much traction is on offer when the climb gets technical. Tricky, root-infested embankments become rideable even when conditions are slippy.
Punching up through the gears and increasing the speed, the Zesty continues to impress. Tight, challenging terrain can be handled with conﬁdence and composure, and faster, rougher trails simply make you want to ride the bike faster. Big hits and heavy landings never seemed to unsettle the Zesty.
As the undulations encourage more aggressive riding, the 714’s more chuckable, playful nature really shines through, letting you carve turns and launch drops with conﬁdence. It’s just that capable.
The Zesty 714 really is screaming out for a wider bar though, and possibly even a dropper post – both would really help make the most of this capable machine.
Frame & equipment: Outstanding suspension and aggro geometry
At the heart of this full-carbon beauty sits the OST+ suspension system. This offers a supple grip inducing initial stroke and enough end-of-stroke progressivity to really let you push things hard, making the most of the 140mm (5.5in) of rear wheel travel.
The head angle has also been tweaked with a lean towards more aggressive riding. It now measures 67 degrees while the shortened chainstays help keep the feel of the bike snappy and playful.
The tapered head tube helps with steering precision up at the front while the beautifully shaped carbon tubes help to ensure stiffness in all the right places without weighing things down unnecessarily. There’s also routing for a droppper seatpost, which is a nice touch.
Shifting is taken care of by a Shimano SLX/XTR mix, which proved reliable and problem-free throughout. The Lapierre own-brand bar, stem and post combo isn’t bad quality by any means but for this sort of cash we’d have expected to see the bike sporting something from one of the more high-end brands.
The 680mm bar is also somewhat out of its depth on a bike this capable. Anything over 700mm would certainly be a big improvement. Considering the routing is there, it would be great if the 714 came with a dropper post – it would really top this little beast off.
The full-carbon zesty 714 is a confident bike – you’ll be in safe hands on it: Russell Burton/Future Publishing
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.