Finally my new bike is in place after a successful handover of my previous Zesty 714. The choice fell on the brand new Lapierre Zesty AM 527 with 650b wheels setup. So far is the impressions just excellent. What surprises me the most, is how good it climbs, it does so just fantastic.
To me climbing is as important as well ass descending With a bike, because my day to day rides always includes as musc ascending as descending, always. And usually not only easy climbs, but some really steep ones too. When I move my back to the front of the seat and pushing my arms Down to get as much contact and the weighting as efficient as possble for steep climbs, the bike just sticks to the ground, the front Wheel does not leave the track at all. The 650b Wheels adds the small additional efficiency (vs 26″) in the rolling neccessary to complete smaller and bigger obstacles on the trail when climbing. Descending is something I do with a lot more confidence with this bike than any other bike previously.
The wide back triangle have received a lot of negative feedback and all tests of the early prototype said it hoped this would change. At the first I actually that my shoe touched the wide back end slightly, however after some rides with my new Enduro Crossmax shoes I don’t touch the back end at all anymore, I adjusted my cleats a few mm closer to the crank, and after that, no problems at all. But I can imagine if you use wider shoes, and maybe if you have really big feet, you might face a problem with it, but if you consider the bike, just make sure you try it with your shoes. To me the wide backend add confidence and stability to the back end, and makes you really good during turns at high speed, its easy to break the bike down in the turns which allows to to keep the speed up and accelerate out of it. The bike is really stiff, the back triangle is stiffer than my previous full carbon Zesty 714, the Zesty AM 527 have got a aluminium back triangle now. It Works.
On straight singletracks, its easy to get up to speed, it accelerates very well, easy to pump forward, I feel the Fox CTD fork is good, but I almost all the time using the descend function, i feel the trail function becomes to stiff, would probably prefer to have that option a bit firmer. This is maybe better on the higher end shocks and forks, I think the Evolution forks and shocks from Fox have mechanical «Locks» inside, this might be the reason. I am considering upgrading them both.
The tires, Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.25 Evolution is a bit too hard for wet norwegian spring trails. I have already bought Hans Dampf Trailstar which I am going to set up tubeless. Actually I had my first small accident descending one of my local favourite trails in wet rainy conditions, blaming the tires I went down sideways because of some slippery roots and rocks, my left shoulder still hurts. I had a puncture too after that one, and without a 27.5 tube in my backpack, it was a long walk back home…..
The brakes, Formula RX has been performing well, even in wet conditions, but I have since the beginning used the Shimano ICEtech discs with them. That worked out well. Since I love the levers on the XTR Trail brakes, I have now changed the brakes.
The cockpit, a mix of Nico’s own handlebar made by FUNN in combination with a Easton 70mm stem, is ok. The handlebar is just wide enough with 740mm, I am considering changing to a even wider one, and a Shorter stem, I think a Shorter stem (which I used at my previous Zesty) will improve Control in the cockpit. The frame looks awesome, thats my opinion, despite the look of Lapierre’s official Pictures on their web site. The frame colours look even better in real life, the best frame design on the Zesty and Spicy range I think.
It is well equipped with XT Shadow + and SRAM cassette and SLX shifters. The brand New RaceFace wheelset is ok, approx 1800 grams and 25mm outer width and 21mm inner Width. RaceFace says a tubeless Conversion kit is available, I Wonder where, anyone knows? Will try NoTubes universal valves to see if it works. However, the price tag it comes With I expect a bit better equipment generally, and less mixture of Shimano and SRAM. I dont understand either that they put on a KS dropper post instead of the absolutely better Reverb. I have experienced the KS dropper post to fasten from time to time and requiring a hand to loosen it, this cant happen when I am in the middle of a Enduro competition. I Guess the frame do compensate though, because it is just awesome.