The not-so-minor details
Lapierre Zesty XM 427
Well thought out all-rounder.
We already love previous Zestys
Double chainring is not our pick.
Thin and non-tubeless ready tyres.
It’s time to get our Euro on with this raucous number from French brand Lapierre. Born from riding in the big mountains of the French alps, the Zesty is as all-mountain as it gets.
We’ve spent plenty of time aboard many bikes from the Zesty range, more commonly from the high end with its super-light frames and electronically adjusted suspension system. But this time around we’ve chosen a Zesty from the middle of the pack, a more wallet-friendly $4799 aluminium frame model to try. The Zesty comes in two flavours and multiple models for 2016, the AM and XM now both use 27.5″ wheels (no more 29er in the Zesty line), and the AM is the bigger travel version with 150mm and more aggressive geometry. This particular 427 model is available in both AM and XM versions, with a similar price and spec but very different character. It’s nice that Lapierre give so much choice.
For a more in-depth look at the 2016 Zesty AM and Zesty XM range, check out our overview, click here: 2016 Lapierre Zesty.
Before we get testing, let’s have a quick look at what is in store.
The Zesty XM 427 uses a Supreme 6 aluminium frame, 27.5″ wheels, 120mm of rear travel paired with a 130mm fork. A quick glance at the geometry chart tells us this thing is fairly neutral and relaxed, with an all-rounder character.
The suspension design is from Lapierre’s long time tried and tested OST four bar linkage which in our experience is seriously good.
It’s certainly a bold looking thing, with a fluorescent yellow paint job and curvy shapes that really stand out from the crowd. Lapierre know how to make bikes look good, this one is no exception. Take a close look at the finish and you’ll see what we mean, the stickers, paint and welding are immaculate.
The parts highlights
For the dollars there’s plenty of good kit to serve you well. A 130mm travel Fox 32 fork up front with three-stage lockout is sure to be a good performer (the Zesty AM 427 uses the bigger FOX 34 fork) whilst it’s been a while since we’ve ridden a 32mm leg FOX fork on a bike with more than 120mm of travel.
A dual-position RockShox Monarch RT rear shock uses the Debonair extra volume air spring, and it already feels super nice and supple.
The drivetrain is from Shimano with a double chainring up front and an 11-36T 10-speed range out the back. While we certainly prefer a single-ring drivetrain on just about every bike these days, Lapierre are no strangers to the big gear range, with their European market still asking for double chainrings as standard we don’t get much of a say down under unfortunately. Still, there’s plenty to like about more gears, less pushing!
Wheels come from RaceFace which we’ve not seen before, the 23mm wide rims and nicely machined hub shells look the part but the skinny width and wire bead Kenda Slant Six tyres are certainly no good for a tubeless conversion, we expect this to be a weak point of the bike.
A KS dropper post and Shimano brakes are proven performers, we’re sure glad to see them.
We’ll be cutting some laps on this rig over the next couple weeks, so stay tuned for our full review. Au revoir for now.