Customised colours and personalised spec sheets are this season’s zeitgeist


You can have any colour and spec you want as long as it’s black and Shimano XT: for a long time this seemed the mantra of bike brands, with little or no option to swap bits you didn’t like.
But things are changing, with everything from frame angles and geometry tweaks to shock tuning up for grabs on some bikes. Lapierre is the latest firm to join in the trend, bringing its Ultimate customisation programme to its mountain bike ranges.
Change the wheels, groupset, seatpost, saddle, shock and fork and even your crank length. We’ve just got hold of the first UK bike, custom tuned to be perfect for winter: new Shimano XTR 1×11 drivetrain, RockShox suspension, Reverb dropper post and mud tyres from WTB. It’s enough to make us drool.

Lapierre is not alone; here are three more brands that can…


Commençal’s ‘a la carte’ option lets you choose your bar and stem, suspension, drivetrain, brakes, seatpost, and extras like a pump, pedals and multi-tools. We like the Meta AM, where you can specify your bar width in increments of 5mm.


Project 1 lets you detail exactly which components, fork, shock and paintjob you want on a Fuel EX 29 as well as the Superfly hardtail and full-susser. There’s even an option to inscribe your name on the top tube like a real pro.


The website’s clunky but the bikes therein are certainly not. We love that you can customise any of the bikes in the range with Rose’s configurator, even the 26in wheel models. Our pick is the new Granite Chief specced with 785mm-wide bars.