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We knew Lapierre had been working on a brand new design for their new DH bike, and the heavily taped-up prototype we spotted a month ago left little doubt that the "PendBox" suspension system of the previous generation was headed for retirement.

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Today, Lapierre unveiled it's new DH to the world, and it's clear that the departure from the old model is complete. The new DH is made from aluminum, sports a single-pivot, linkage-driven suspension platform and rolls on 27.5" wheels. These choices were made by Lapierre's World Cup DH race team after what is said to be extensive testing of multiple options.

Team Lapierre at the Fort William launch of the new DH - photo by Sven Martin.

Whilst he is not riding DH competitively anymore, Nicolas Vouilloz plays a key role in the development of all new gravity and trail bikes at Lapierre (in addition to killing it for Lapierre on the EWS tour!) Sven Martin checked in with Nico at the launch of the new bike in Fort William to hear first hand what were the key elements that went into the design of the new ride - listen in below!

2015 Lapierre DH - photo by Dave Trumpore.

A quick glance at the geo chart of the new bike reveals that Lapierre has bucked the recent trend towards longer TT/Reach and short stays - the numbers here appear quite conservative at 445mm for the chainstays and a somewhat short 429mm of reach on the size L. Lapierre does state they they wanted lots of tire clearance which may partially explain the longer stays, although we'd assume handling came first by a mile on the list of criteria behind that choice, as even with 27.5" wheels the chainstays could be a lot shorter. With a slack headangle Lapierre probably also wanted to avoid creating an oiltanker-like wheelbase to ensure that the new bike will remain fun to ride everywhere, which explains the conservative reach measurement.

Gobs of space for the rear tire - photo by Sven Martin.

In terms of suspension, the new platform dubbed "SupraLink Technology" by Lapierre, has been designed to provide good small-bump compliance with a strongly progressive leverage ratio towards the end of the 210mm of travel available. Lapierre says this is a direct response to the ever-rougher tracks and the more aggressive riding style of today.

MX-style linkage for a very progressive leverage ratio curve - photo by Dave Trumpore.

By choosing a single-pivot design and what appears to be a beefy swingarm and a sturdy main pivot construction, Lapierre are aiming for stiffness and strength over the intricacies of a virtual-pivot design. The pivot placement is said to be "DH-specific", which should translate to excellent bump absorption and suspension "neutrality" at the (relative) expense of pure pedaling efficiency. With the pivot very close to the top of the chainring and almost centered over the BB, there are little to no anti-squat characteristics here - anti-squat would typically help pedalling efficiency but would also increase the effect of chain forces on the suspension.

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Single-pivot simplicity does not mean that Lapierre cut any corners with their new bike - there are lots of small details on the frame that should all add up to one impressive package. Built-in guards and internal cable routing should help keep the bike quite, while the adjustable head angle will allow riders to dial in their preferred geometry, starting from a very slack 63.7 degrees that is adjustable by 1 degree in either direction.

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Lapierre DH Highlights

Certainly a big departure from the PendBox days - photo by Dave Trumpore.

  • Single-pivot kinematics specifically developed for downhill.
  • 210 mm of travel.
  • A suspension curve that maximizes sensitivity on small shocks and becomes ultra-progressive at the end of the travel to avoid bottoming out.
  • A unique linkage system for an optimal suspension curve.
  • A main pivot point position that limits the impact of pedaling on the suspension.
  • New oversized axles inspired by OST+ for increased stiffness, better reliability and easy maintenance.
  • New removable compact rear dropouts.
  • Simplified internal cable routing.
  • Adjustable head angle (63,7° +/- 1).
  • Conical headset for greater stiffness.
  • Wide clearance of the rear wheel for better mud clearance and more freedom in tyre choice.
  • New chainstay and seatstay protections, rubber protection for the pivot (from chain slap).
  • Fork bumpers on the downtube.
  • New rear mudguard.
  • Available in October, pricing TBA.

Ready to roll - photo by Dave Trumpore.

Lapierre DH Geometry

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Build Kits

The build kits are DH-specific, with a BoXXer Air/Vivid Coil combo on the Team version and a BoXXer Coil/FOX Van combo on the 727. Both versions get SRAM's X01 DH transmission, with a 7-speed rear cluster for the Team and a 10-speed version on the 727. The Team version gets the full Easton Havoc treatment including wheels, while the 727 turns to e*thirteen for rims and cranks. Schwalbe's Magic Mary rubbers are mounted on both versions in UST form.

DH Team

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  • Frame: DH Alloy Supreme 6 MULTIBUTTED 210mm Rear Travel
  • Fork: ROCK SHOX BOXXER WC FAST Solo Air 27.5’’ 200mm - Short crown - Gravity logo
  • Shock: ROCK SHOX VIVID COIL 240x76
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH SHORT CAGE 7-SPEED
  • Components: EASTON HAVOC
  • Saddle: SDG CIRCUIT TI DH
  • Rims: EASTON HAVOC 27.5’’ 20x110 / 15x150 XDriver
  • Tyres: SCHWALBE MAGIC MARY UST 27.5x2.35 VSC Front / TSC Rear

DH 727

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  • Frame: DH Alloy Supreme 6 MULTIBUTTED 210mm Rear Travel
  • Fork: ROCK SHOX BOXXER COIL 27.5’’200mm - Short crown - Gravity logo
  • Shock: FOX VAN R COIL 240x76
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH SHORT CAGE 10-SPEED RED
  • Components: EASTON HAVOC
  • Saddle: SDG CIRCUIT TI DH
  • Rims: E13 LG1+ EXALITE 23C 32H 27.5’’
  • Tyres: SCHWALBE MAGIC MARY UST 27.5x2.35 VSC Front / TSC Rear

The new DH will be available in October, pricing yet TBA.

Catch the Bonus Gallery from the launch of the bike at Fort William, courtesy of Sven Martin.

More information at: www.lapierrebicycles.com

Photos by Dave Trumpore and Sven Martin.

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