Even before the presentation, we tested the main version of the new Lapierre Prorace, exactly CF 9.9, with the top of the team Prorace USD Sli framework.
A component composition that, although not the highest of the range in the group, sacrifices only a few grams of weight, without affecting efficiency and reliability.
A great novelty for the new Prorace is the 3D tube, that is, the seat tube separation from the seat remains. Lapierre says goodbye to the SAT elastomer system (which we’ve never been able to try unfortunately) and relies on a relatively simple idea to give more comfort to that front.
In addition, the seat post is 27.2 mm in diameter to ensure minimal vertical flexibility, which is why it is not telescopic.
Carbon processing is interesting. We report what Lapierre says.
New, lighter, and stronger Torayca unidirectional carbon fibers make up this frame built with more than 300 carbon parts. Thanks to these fibers, it is possible to reduce the thickness of the pipes wherever possible and necessary to save weight.
This new level obtained in carbon fiber frame design, called UD SLI, is now the ultimate expression of the Lapierre range.
In addition to the new fibers, the process is accompanied by a new rigid polypropylene mandrel that provides greater stability during the winding phase of the carbon layers (laying) and better compression of the carbon layers in the mold.
Measured weight of the L test bike without pedals, bottle cage and tires (TLR) with camera: 10.150 lbs.
Lapierre Proras engineering
If the 455mm L in size is short and somewhat conservative, on the other hand, the 68-degree head angle winks over the desires of the shrewd biker. However, agility is ensured by the short (420 mm) chain mounts.
Once fitted and installed, it was essential to find the correct position and feel comfortable right away, starting with the reference saddle height and setback. Mark complex geometric shapes without extreme or fanciful solutions.
The wireless transmission is set to single shift, but it was easy and instant to download the Sram AXS app and set the multimode shift via command recognition and shift from the smartphone via Bluetooth.
From the first pedal strokes, the Prorace immediately established itself for what it was: a pure front with fairly classic demeanor. Interaction at the highest levels with speed changes, excellent preparation for climbing even steep slopes as long as it is smooth. In these conditions, the performance feels almost like that of a racing bike.
On the other hand, the Prorace is very demanding, despite the precautions of a 27.2-seat tube, which Lapierre intends to ensure greater flexibility and comfort, and a 2.35 tire setup, usable with lower pressures than those in smaller sections and thus able to discourage breakouts,
The Prorace replays every major obstacle encountered, making pedaling more stressful and less profitable when you lose ground. Downhill, this interaction is less pronounced, generally standing on the pedals and cushioning with the legs, but here, too, more clarity is needed in any case to maintain the correct speed and trajectories. Not only does the fairly sustainable setup, 100mm, Rock Shox Sid SL Ultimate fork help ease the ride, which on the other hand is very accurate and fun in the flow sections.
The 2.35 Maxxis Recon Race tires are very smooth, have good lateral grip, especially progressive, and do not give the feeling of suddenly giving up in tightness, while in traction and braking, especially on slippery, they always have great difficulty.
The transmission Sram AXS, although not in the top-of-the-range version, with which it gains a few extra grams without losing efficiency, really works like a clock in terms of variable gearing even under stress.
The buttons on the control are very sensitive and if you do not want to inadvertently change them, it is better not to keep your finger on the controls, but to hold the handle completely manually. No problem with the battery life which was still well charged at the end of the test for about a month.
The Sram Level TLM brakes attached to the Sram Centerline 180/160 power-stop discs don’t shine, but that’s nothing new. At least different discs, perhaps more demanding in terms of pad consumption, can definitely improve their performance, and it’s not designed for a DH bike anyway.
The 740mm handlebar like handlebar mounted, as on any front in general, appears to be the best and most consistent solution for the use the bike was designed for.
A very important accessory missing in the writer’s opinion is the handlebar swivel lock which would be very useful, since on both sides of the swivel, control and brake levers, which rotate more than 90 degrees, they affect the horizontal. Protection, even with only an old tube at the point of impact, is a highly recommended solution.
Lapierre Prorace is the classic racing interface. It resists the telescopic temptation, being not a model designed for the great difficulties and long difficulties of the slopes, the heights are the terrain in which they express their characteristics best. To give a route reference, it would be perfect on a track like Monaco who recently graduated from European champion Thomas Bedcock. With a good grip, the short and very technical sections are clearly not a problem, but in the long run the driving is more demanding and therefore more stressful. With a 52 rear such a bike could risk a 36 chainring, although already with the 50 then with the 51 the 34 became standard on xc bikes
Participation can, in the opinion of the writer, suggest a major version not higher for the set of components, but higher for functionality that can keep prices less subject to inevitable criticism.