The 120mm-travel Zesty XM 327 now comes in a women’s-specific version. Given Lapierre’s claims of a long front centre and a wider cockpit, we were intrigued to find out if it’d be the trail-eating machine we hoped it would.
Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W spec overview
- Shock: RockShox Monarch RT
- Fork: Fox Float 32 Performance
- Brakes: Shimano hydraulic BRM506
- Tyres: Schwalbe Tough Tom tyres (27.5×2.25)
- Handlebars: Nico Vouilloz Signature Alu6061 W: 680mm
- Saddle: Selle Royal Vesta Lady MG
Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W frame and equipment
For its women’s line, Lapierre has created different frames. The Zesty W isn’t radically different to the men’s Zesty, but top tubes are shorter across the size range.
The shock is mounted to the top tube, rather than the down tube as on earlier Zestys, which negates the need for an extended yoke and means it can be attached directly to the suspension linkage. Lapierre’s four-bar OST+ (Optimised Suspension Technology) platform dishes out 120mm of rear wheel travel, controlled here by a basic RockShox Monarch RT shock.
Other tweaks include a narrower rear triangle, although we still rubbed our calves on the seatstays with every pedal stroke.
We were surprised to see a 680mm bar on the Zesty, especially on the size large frame. This is ridiculously narrow by today’s standards, regardless of the gender of the rider. The transmission and braking are reliably taken care of by Shimano Deore kit (plus an XT rear mech). Sadly the same can’t be said for Schwalbe’s Tough Tom tyres, which feel flimsy at speed and puncture easily.
Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W ride impression
Despite its spec shortcomings, the Zesty proved to be a lively and responsive ride. The 67-degree head angle is slack enough to inspire confidence on the descents and the 615mm effective top tube put our 5ft 4in tester in a properly pedalling-friendly position. The 1,165mm wheelbase is also decent for a 120mm-travel trail bike and helped keep things stable at speed.
That 120mm is delivered with control and precision. The OST+ back end tracks the ground well, handling both small bumps and bigger hits with ease. The Zesty W is a good pedaller too, proving itself efficient uphill, with limited pedal bob — although a steeper seat angle (it’s 73.5 degrees as standard) would help on the climbs. Any bob we did notice could be eliminated by using the ‘pedal’ setting on the RockShox Monarch shock, which pretty much locks it out.
We left the Fox 32 fork in ‘open’ mode throughout testing and were impressed by its supple yet supportive stroke. Although it’s primarily an XC fork, we only felt like it was getting out of its depth on really big, repetitive hits.
The Zesty W’s geometry makes for a fun trail bike, but at 14.6kg / 32.18lb she’s a hefty one for quite a lot of dollar. It’s also worth remembering that the equivalent-spec men’s medium size bike has a shorter seat tube, a longer reach and steeper seat angle, and they’re numbers that we feel make more sense, both for fit and ride quality.
Lapierre Zesty XM 327 W early verdict
A bucketload of fun, but we wish it had the geometry of the men’s version.
|Name||Zesty XM 327 W|
|Fork||Fox 32 Float Performance, 130mm (5.1in) travel|
|Frame Material||'Supreme 6' aluminium|
|Front Tyre||Schwalbe Tough Tom K-Guard 27.5x2.25in|
|Handlebar||Lapierre Nico Vouilloz Signature, 680mm|
|Rear Shock||RockShox Monarch RT|
|Rear Tyre||Schwalbe Tough Tom K-Guard 27.5x2.25in|
|Seatpost||KS CRUXi (dropper)|
|Stem||Easton EA50, 60mm|
|Wheelset||Formula hubs on Mavic EN321 rims|
|Frame size tested||L|