By adding Fazua’s 250W motor and 250Wh battery, the Lapierre eZesty is a sub 42lb e-bike or a 33lb enduro bike that blurs the lines.
Lapierre eZesty review
If the 2021 eZesty AM LTD looks familiar, it’s because Lapierre has employed a two-year model cycle, so it is in fact identical to last year’s bike. Well, all but for one small detail: the price has crept up by £250, which isn’t bad given the current climate.
Like the analogue Zesty, the eZesty gets a full carbon frame and a claimed 150mm travel. The main difference being the large cutaway in the underside of the down tube that accommodates the Fazua Drivepack and 252Wh battery. The real beauty of the Fazua system is that the 3.3kg Drivepack and battery can be removed in seconds, leaving you with a perfectly capable 15.57kg enduro bike. With the battery and motor out, there’s no additional resistance when pedaling, and Lapierre even provides a blanking cover to stop dirt getting into the bottom bracket housing.
As 27.5in-wheel enduro bikes go, the eZesty is a little conservative when it comes to frame sizing. We measured the reach on the size L at 460mm, which is 20mm shy of the latest hard-hitting enduro bikes. The rest of the geometry is on point though, and swapping the stock 35mm stem for a 50mm is an easy way to improve the overall fit of the bike.
Lapierre lists rear travel on the eZesty as 150mm, but we measured it closer to 160mm. So maybe it should have been called the eSpicy? Not that we’re complaining, as you need more travel to maintain speed with the smaller 27.5in wheels. The action of the suspension is incredibly supple thanks to bearings at both ends of the trunnion-mounted Fox DPS shock. It’s too free even, and also quite linear. To calm things down, we ended up running the shock exclusively in the lightest of the three compression settings and switched to 0.2in volume spacer for 0.4in, trading some suppleness for increased support and control.
We had no such issues with the Fox 36 FIT4 fork. It doesn’t get the new lower casting with the lubrication channels and bleeders found on the 2021 forks, but it still props the front end up well and has a very usable range of adjustment.
Lapierre’s carbon 27.5in wheels and Maxxis EXO casing tyres help keep the overall weight of the eZesty in check. And unlike some carbon hoops, the wheels on the eZesty have a softness to them so they deflect rather than ping off roots and rocks. Still, we’d like to see a tougher casing EXO+ tyre on the rear to help protect the rim and reduce the risk of punctures. We’d also like a dropper post that worked consistently because even after replacing the cable on the 150mm Lapierre unit, we couldn’t get it to stay up without jiggling the cable outer. With SRAM Guide RE brakes stopping power is ample, but not quite as good as the Codes specced on the Specialized. Also, you don’t get the latest SRAM Eagle cassette, so your lowest gear on the eZesty is 32x50t.
The eZesty hasn’t changed, but the Fazua firmware has come on in leaps and bounds. Most notably the motor has way more support and offers a really intuitive pedalling motion. It still has three power modes – Breeze, River and Rocket – accessible by the handlebar remote, where Rocket mode now has some real boost to it. And while the updates to the firmware have had a positive effect on the pedalling dynamics of the the eZesty, they also seem to seriously curtail the range of the 252Wh battery. So much so, that we only managed to eke out 550m of climbing on our test loop in Rocket mode before the battery ran flat.
The Drivepack also rattled constantly in the frame housing when riding off-road, and occasionally the motor would cut out on hitting a bigger bump. Maybe the latter was just a loose connection, but fumbling with the remote to get the lights on again was almost as frustrating as the dropper post not working properly.
Lapierre was an early adopter for Fazua’s lightweight, lower-power e-bike system. And while the eZesty is a fun, capable 27.5in enduro bike, we found the range of the 252Wh battery to be a real limiting factor. Granted, using the lower-power modes can greatly extend the range of the bike, but there’s no need to do that with the Specialized Levo SL, which is lighter, more capable and doesn’t rattle. Given how easy the battery is to swap out on the eZesty though, we strongly recommend having a spare if you plan on using Rocket mode to shoot up the climbs with ease.