Lapierre Pulsium 900 Ultimate review

French comfort special

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £6,599.00 RRP

Our review

Lovely comfort-infused ride with stable handling – the GT of superbikes
Buy if, You want a superbike that will be as at home on alpine climbs as it will on cobbles or back lanes
Pros: Composed handling, great spec
Cons: Not the most agile of superbikes
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Lapierre’s original 2015 Pulsium introduced the company’s Shock Absorption Technology (SAT), which interrupted the top tube with a combination of three elastomers to damp road vibrations and offer comfort over cobbles; it was developed with the FDJ team for the Classics.

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The latest generation bike for 2018 strips back the elastomer to a single piece, while increasing the compliance over the previous version and lightening the overall frame. Lapierre also claims that a combination of the new frame design — curvier and more slender than the previous model — has increased stiffness through the bottom bracket, head tube and chainstays to make the bike a more capable racer’s machine.

The balance of the bike has also been considered, as Lapierre felt that mounting the Di2 battery inside the seatpost put weight at the top of the bike, which it claims can upset the feel.

Geometry isn’t super aggressive, but it’s definitely a race bike
Ben Healy / Immediate Media

The Pulsium, and Lapierre’s other range-topping race bikes, get the company’s ‘Trapdoor technology’ design. A removable door sits under the bottom bracket shell to slide in your Di2 battery. Putting mass at the bottom, Lapierre claims, will also improve handling and help you save energy.

The bike is shaped for a ride position at the racy end of things. It’s comfortable when riding up on the hoods and aggressive enough when down in the compact drop of the excellent Zipp carbon bar. The cockpit is completed with Zipp’s top of the line all-carbon SL Speed stem for just the right amount of exotica on a premium bike.

Sculpted stays add comfort
Ben Healy / Immediate Media

On the road Lapierre delivers what it promises — a fast-accelerating race machine. The gearing of 50/34 and 11-30 cassette, which new Dura-Ace allows for, marks it out as a bike put together for the climbs, the low overall weight and light Mavic Ksyrium carbon SLC wheels (1,390g a pair) also make the 900 a mean ascending machine.

The stiffness through the bike’s lower half means it responds to hard climbing and sprinting efforts with superb immediacy, and not how you would imagine a bike infused with comfort-giving flex in its design. Over rougher surfaces you do get plenty of buzz-nulling compliance.

The elastomer allows for a certain degree of flex
Ben Healy / Immediate Media

Like the other Di2-equipped bikes here, the Ultimate never puts a foot wrong in the shifting stakes, and the Dura-Ace rim brakes combine superbly with the Ksyrium’s new iTGMax brake track, which exudes a pleasing hum while never getting screechy like the Exalith brake track. The wet weather brake performance of the Ksyriums is up with the best rim brakes around, and overall I came away seriously impressed with these latest Mavics and the tyres they’re wrapped in.

Dura Ace is the go-to group on a top-end build
Ben Healy / Immediate Media

All of the confidence-inspiring braking and grip from the tyres make the Pulsium a decent descender. Up front the Pulsium smooths out the roughest of surfaces through the front end but can get knocked off line from harder ruts and potholes.

We enjoyed our time riding the Pulsium around the village of Peille in France
Ben Healy / Immediate Media

The Ultimate 900 can mix it with the best when it comes to sprint responses, but it’s more a bike for endurance riders than speedsters. Where Lapierre should be praised is for putting together a superbike with all the trappings of top-end components and chassis at a price that’s a lot less than its rivals.

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BikeRadar would like to thank Brittany Ferries, the Commune of Peille, France, and Kieran Page at La Maison des Activities de Pleine Nature de Peille for their help and support during our Headline Bikes test.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Pulsium 900 Ultimate
Brand Lapierre

Available Sizes XS S M L XL
Rear Tyre Mavic WTS Yksion Griplink & Powerlink, 25mm
Frame size tested XL
Wheelbase (cm) 102
Top Tube (cm) 58.5
Seat Tube (cm) 50
Chainstays (cm) 41
Wheelset Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SLC
Trail 6
Stem Zipp SL Speed carbon
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Seatpost Lapierre carbon
Seat Angle 72.5
Saddle Fizik Aliante R3 Kium
Rear Wheel Weight 1450
Rear Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Bottom Bracket Shimano press-fit
Headset Type FSA
Head Angle 72.5
Handlebar Zipp Contour SL carbon
Front Wheel Weight 1050
Front Tyre Mavic WTS Yksion Griplink & Powerlink, 25mm
Front Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Frame Material Pulsium carbon
Fork Offset 4.5
Fork Pulsium carbon
Cranks Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 50/34
Chain Shimano
Cassette Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 11-30
Brakes Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9100
All measurements for frame size tested XL