Bomb proof spec and it looks great too
A discreetly housed battery and bombproof build offers all-day action on Lapierre’s latest e-rig, the Lapierre Overvolt AM700i electric mountain bike.
Lapierre AM700i need to know
- 150mm travel, aggressively shaped 27.5 Plus e-bike
- Integrated Powertube battery and updated motor technology from Bosch
- Four different builds available all in S, M, L and XL sizing
- Custom Lapierre developed e-bike components and full SRAM groupset
It was mid-way through 2016 when we were presented with Lapierre’s innovative Overvolt Carbon. With an unconventional frame layout that placed the battery on top of the motor, rather than on the downtube, combined with race-focused enduro geometry, it was instantly one of the top handling e-bikes on the market. Fast forward twelve months, and Lapierre has launched four more new ebikes, creating one of the most comprehensive e-mtb ranges to date.
I got the change to ride the AM700i earlier this year and it’s Lapierre’s latest Bosch powered, aluminium framed trail weapon. It’s got 150mm travel front and rear with 27.5 Plus tyres for maximum traction. In terms of its position within the four strong AM range, it sits just below the top spec bike, with two more affordable builds beneath it.
The ‘i’ in the model name emphasises a focus on integration, not a rip-off Apple product and hopefully with much better battery life. It’s the primary design ethos for all of Lapierre’s ebikes going forward.
So how does the ‘i’ in the AM700i translate to the bike? Housed neatly within the down tube is a Bosch 500Wh Powertube battery. It’s for brands wanting more than a battery pack plonked on top of the downtube. By using a large cut away in the underside of the oversized downtube tubing the battery now clips into position from beneath the frame. Thanks to this integration, you end up with a silhouette of a bike that almost appears ‘normal’, and better still; it leaves ample space for a bottle cage.
Hardwired to the battery is the Bosch Performance CX motor, featuring the updated E-MTB mode that replaces the old Sport mode of previous generations. It’s designed to optimise the amount of power the motor dishes out by constantly adjusting the power output to seamlessly match what you put in.
And it works. I found that the E-MTB mode was able to adapt remarkably well to the changes in power demands, and I was happy to relinquish control of the power and concentrate on riding. During our all-day excursion in Valberg, France, battery life was never an issue either, and the new mode also means you’re less likely to leave it in Turbo mode and drain the juice too quickly.
Some to geometry has been adopted from the Overvolt Carbon. The steep 73° seat angle and slack 66° head angle allow it to be manoeuvred with incredible confidence, whether its up or down the mountain. But that’s not to say the geometry hasn’t continued to evolve. There’s increased length in the new front end to improve the fit of the bike, while the addition of an XL size gives Lapierre’s lasted e-mtb even greater reach.
Lapierre has worked on the opposite end of the bike too. The chain stays now measure 15mm shorter, giving a marginally snappier feel in the corners. Equally, at 470mm, they’re still plenty long enough to prevent wild front-end lift when scaling silly steep ascents.
The AM700i is great addition to Lapierre’s Overvolt range. It’s a sold platform with good geometry that stands on the shoulders or the original Carbon Overvolt. The real star of the show though is the 160mm travel Overvolt AM I Shimano equipped range, with Lapierre’s flexible Snake Power battery technology concealed inside the downtube. Unfortunately those bikes won’t be making an appearance until spring 2018.
Lapierre’s E-bike specific components
One of the biggest criticisms levied at the Bosch system is that the small driver cog gets clogged with mud and the motor has a fit, and then cuts out. The motor won’t fire up again until you clean the mud out. To stop this happening Lapierre has come
up with the Anti Chain Suck (ACS) device.
It’s a small piece of machined stainless steel that bolts on to the motor and surrounds the driver cog. It effectively scrapes mud off the chain and ring to prevent it clogging in the first place. It’s a neat solution and one that UK riders will no doubt appreciate during the damp winter months.
As well as being fitted to the new bikes, they will also be available separately for owners of different brand e-bikes with Bosch motors.