For 2015, French bike specialist Lapierre has completely reworked its E:i shock suspension system as well as simplifying it. The system is offered over a diverse range of models, including our test bike, the Lapierre Zesty TR 829.
Even after a quick first look, we like the 120mm 29er bike with its stylish frame and many clever details, such as the integrated downtube protector and elegant cable routing.
The heart of the bike is formed by a RockShox suspension system made up of a SID fork and Monarch shock equipped with the new E:i shock auto-system. In contrast to its predecessor, the bike now comes without a vulnerable handlebar-mounted display — instead a three-colour LED fitted to the side of the stem informs the rider of the current suspension mode.
The riding position on the 120mm travel Zesty is relaxed and comfortable. In spite of the upright position, the front wheel doesn’t have a tendency to rise when tackling steep climbs; instead, climbing is relaxed. The electronic suspension system is a part of this and firms the shock within split seconds thanks to the integrated pedalling and motion sensors — maximum efficiency is guaranteed.
As soon as the gradient points down, the rider pedals less, or the fork sensor registers an impact, the servo motor immediately opens the shock compression damping circuit and gives full travel. This system works so well that the chassis can even react to trail undulations and after-corner accelerations — we were impressed!
The rest of the parts on the € 4,999 all-round bike don’t make any compromises — everything is well chosen and high-end. The 2×10 SRAM X0 drivetrain allows you to tackle the longest of climbs, and the Guide brakes do a great job stopping even on the longest of descents.
For bigger rides we’d recommend fitting a 180mm rotor at the rear.
In spite of the big wheels, the handling is exceptionally agile and playful; the bike only reaches its limits at high speeds and on really rough trails. The suspension takes the hits well in the open mode. The RockShox SID fork stays up high in its travel, and like the rear shock has a nice level of end-stroke progression.
E:i Shock Auto-System:
The servo-motor for automatic adjustment sits on top of the RockShox Monarch shock. The battery is now much slimmer and allows a water bottle to be fitted.
The new E:i shock auto-system does without a display, and is as a result much more intuitive and simpler to use. It is now well-protected on the side of the stem, and fits well with the bike’s overall lines.
The downtube of the carbon front triangle has an elegant protector which keeps damage from rocks at bay.
The wide transition from the seat- to chainstays means that to swap the brake pads you have to remove the rear caliper and then re-adjust the brakes.
The seatstay-mounted sag indicator makes suspension set-up easier, as you can measure current negative travel from the saddle.
The new Lapierre Zesty TR 829 impressed the testers with great handling and parts that leave no need for upgrading. Thanks to the new E:i auto-system, the rider has even more time to concentrate on the essentials — having fun on the trails!
Price: € 4.999
Weight: 13.05 kg
- Fork: RockShox SID RL Solo Air
- Shock: RockShox Monarch E:i RT3 R
- Drivetrain: SRAM X0 / X9
- Brakes: SRAM Guide RS
- Handlebars: Lapierre Nico Vouilloz Signature 720mm
- Stem: Lapierre CNC 70mm
- Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2,25″
- Wheels: SRAM Roam 40
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Size: S / M / L (Tested) / XL | Top tube:620mm | Seat tube: 74° | Chainstays:446mm | Head tube: 69°| Wheelbase: 1166mm Reach: 442mm | Stack:622mm | Wheelsize: 29″
Text & Photos: Christoph Bayer
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