A successful platform
Lapierre North America is bringing its highly anticipated new DH platform, including the DH Team and DH 727, into North America for 2015. The DH is Lapierre’s newest downhill World Cup race bike that is already carrying UCI’s top-ranked Team Lapierre Gravity Republic through the remainder of the 2014 World Cup season and is already getting them to the top of the podium, with Emmeline Ragot taking the top spot at Fort William.
Boasting 27.5″ wheels and a motocross-inspired suspension platform, the DH Team and DH 727 are newly designed with the latest French-bred gravity technology.
"The platform of the new DH is far-more progressive than previous models," said Stephane Lapierre, marketing assistant and 4th generation Lapierre. "This new DH platform uses a brand new technology; a link-driven singlepivot configuration that we call ‘Supra Link Technology,’ or SLT. The Lapierre DH bikes use a scissor-like linkage to activate the rear shock, which has 210 millimeters of travel and gives the bike really great responsiveness to small bumps. And on the other hand, gives enough ramp-up at the end of a hit to avoid harsh bottom-outs."
Built around the shock
As opposed to designing a frame and then adding a shock, the DH frame is built around the shock, giving engineers an inside-out approach to the frame’s wheel path. The Lapierre DH was created specifically around feedback from Sam 'Blenky' Blenkinsop, Emmeline Ragot, Loris Vergier and Loic Bruni, as well as the crew on Team Lapierre Gravity Republic.
Lapierre’s new DH bikes are getting an oversized axle directly at the main pivot, taken from the Zesty and Spicy all-mountain design, which adds stiffness near the bottom bracket area. To allow for track-specific tuning, the DH has an adjustable head angle between 62.5° and 64.5°. The length of the chain stays has been altered to allow suspension progression and the bottom bracket height has been modified to accommodate the larger 27.5-inch wheels. The frame’s reach has been increased from older designs to provide a longer cockpit and thereby more stable design for the higher speeds of current World Cup courses.
Both the Team and 727 are 100 percent Alloy Supreme 6 aluminum tubing. Internal cable routing maintains a clean look and keeps cables out of harm’s way. A tapered head tube and removable dropouts add to the DH’s race-ready appearance. OST+-inspired suspension axles on the new DH are larger, providing superior lateral stiffness. Custom chain and seat stay protectors demolish any noise from chain slap while similar rubber pivot protectors ensure sections of the frame within the chain’s vicinity stay protected. The down tube has built-in, removable fork bumpers that will keep both the frame and fork stanchions protected from one another. Rounding out the attention to detail of the DH is an integrated rear mudguard.
Two build options
The DH Team will be equipped with SRAM’s latest DH-specific drivetrain, XO1 DH 7-speed. The Team’s cockpit is stocked with Easton Havoc 35 millimeter / 800 millimeter bars on an Easton Havoc stem, along with the seat post. Easton’s Havoc 27.5-inch wheels come stock wrapped with Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35-inch tires. With Rockshox’s World Cup fork and Vivid Coil shock rounding out the suspension, the Team is designed for the speeds and lines taken on by the sport’s best. The DH Team will also be available as a frame kit.
The DH 727 is a more affordable option with the same World-Cup chassis as the Team. The drivetrain is a mix of E-Thirteen cranks, a SRAM X01 DH 10-speed rear derailleur and SRAM PG-1030 11-26 DH cassette. E-Thirteen LG1+ wheels comes with the same tires as the Team, Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35-inch. The cockpit stays the same as well, which is a nice touch to an all-too-often overlooked specs of a build. Rockshox’s coil-sprung RC fork and Fox’s Van R coil rear shock take care of smoothing out the toughest of DH tracks.
The Lapierre DH Team and DH 727 will be available at independent Lapierre bicycle dealers in January 2015.