In pursuit of the ultimate enduro race bike, Lapierre has been refining the Spicy platform for a couple of years now. But working within the parameters of an existing design is never easy, so what better opportunity to nail it than a ground-up redesign for 650b wheels?
In addition to switching to bigger wheels, Lapierre has reduced the travel on the Spicy frame by 10mm to 150mm, to give the suspension an even snappier pedalling response under power — we suspect this move was also key in achieving the relatively short 430mm chainstay length.
Geometry-wise, Lapierre has added 10mm to the cockpit of the size large and dropped the bottom bracket height by the same amount on all four frames sizes, instantly addressing our two main gripes with the Lapierre Spicy 516. And it hasn’t stopped there. To help balance things out, and compensate for the bigger front wheel, it has steepened the head angle a touch to 66.5°. Interestingly, Nico Vouilloz uses an Angle Set to slacken it out again for the high alpine enduro courses that demand maximum stability — thanks to the zero-stack tapered head tube it’s an easy mod to make.
Standover clearance has also been improved, and the seat tower has been lowered to help accommodate 125/150mm dropper posts. Stealth routing for the RockShox Reverb post is bang up to date and other frame standards include ISCG 05 tabs on the BB for a chain device, and 142x12mm rear dropouts.
I rode the Lapierre Spicy Team on the downhill and enduro trails in Chatel, France, and the bike was an instant hit. The frame layout is great, the build kit is on the money and the e:i suspension — which automatically adjusts the shock’s compression damping based on real time feedback from the fork and crank — brings a level of efficiency to the pedalling that definitely offers an advantage for racing. It also meant that I never had to think about the shock settings when rolling off the chair lift and dropping in for another run. The bike felt solid, planted and manoeuvrable and on the really steep twist tracks where you are dropping into corners like G-outs I couldn’t help thinking that this is where the stronger 650b wheels really have an advantage over 29ers. In a full day of what was more bike park and DH riding than enduro the Spicy never put a foot wrong and I was blown away by how capable it was. In fact, my only complaint was that the back end was a little wide, possibly to accommodate the inboard location of the rear brake caliper, so my shoes rubbed on the stays. Lapierre have since assured us that the rear end will be 10mm narrower for production.
It remains to be seen if the new Spicy is the ultimate enduro race bike. It looks the part and if first impressions are anything to go on, it’s definitely a contender. Alan Muldoon
We Love: Balanced handling, great geometry and the no-holds-barred SRAM build kit.
We Hate: That you don’t get the outstanding RockShox Pike fork on the other, cheaper Spicy models.
Frame Carbon OST+ 150mm travel
Shock RockShox Monarch 3 RTS Relay e:i
Fork RockShox Pike Solo Air 160mm
Wheels SRAM Rail 50 650b, Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.25in
Drivetrain SRAM XX1 30t chainset, XX1 shifter/mech
Brakes Avid X0 Trail 200/180mm
Components Easton Havoc Carbon bar, Haven 55mm stem, RockShox Reverb Stealth, SDG Duster RL saddle
Sizes S, M, L, XL
Size ridden L
Head angle 66.5°
Seat angle 73.5°
BB height 339mm
Front centre 744mm
This first ride report appeared in the October edition of MBR