Lapierre’s iconic trail bike gets a makeover along with next generation e:i electronic suspension. Christian Fairclough takes it for a spin

Product Overview

Lapierre Zesty XM 527


  • Lapierre has finally got the cockpit on the Zesty sorted and combined with the longer frames and revised geometry, the fit is better than ever. E:i is smaller and more user-friendly too.


  • Given the aggro attitude, the new Zesty XM would benefit from a stiffer fork, even if that bumps up the weight. We’re also mourning the loss of the Zesty 29er!


Lapierre Zesty XM 527 (2016) Review


Price as reviewed:


Need to know

  • All-new Zesty trail bike with 120mm travel
  • Longer top tubes, wider bars and shorter stems for improved fit and control
  • Full carbon and alloy options
  • Four frame sizes to choose from

Without a shadow of doubt, the Zesty was the bike that made Lapierre a household name in the UK. In recent years, however, it seemed to lose some of its je ne sais quoi. So it’s great to see Lapierre refocus the Zesty range for 2016.

Lapierre Zesty XM 527 profile 2016

Short on travel, big on attitude

The line is still split between XM and AM options, where the XM bike has 120mm travel, and the AM sports 30mm more and is aimed squarely at the aspiring enduro racer.

Both platforms get completely redesigned frames, and there are no longer any shared frame parts, so the geometry for each model is now optimised for its travel and intended use.

Watch Toby Pantling’s trail riding tips

The bike we’re looking at here is the Lapierre Zesty XM 527. It gets a 130mm-travel fork, and with its go-getter attitude — afforded by the relatively slack 67° head angle — it was easy to take the spindly RockShox Revelation to its limit and beyond.

Although, I should point out, most other 120mm bikes would have struggled to keep up with the Zesty on the high Alpine trails of the Portes du Soleil.

>>> Click here to find the best enduro bikes

Even though the frame still uses Lapierre’s OST+ suspension design, there are some key differences. The obvious one is that the shock extender yoke has been canned and the shock is now anchored to the underside of the top tube instead of the down tube, making space for a water bottle mount.

It’s not simply a repackaging exercise though; the leverage curve has also been tweaked to be more progressive and better handle big hits while the pivot locations have also been optimised for 1x and 2x drivetrains.

The Zesty confidently handled the Portes du Soleil

The Zesty confidently handled the Portes du Soleil

All very geeky stuff, but having size 11 feet, the biggest improvement for me is that the back end on the Zesty is now narrower, and I no longer rub my heels on the stays. The Ei design has also been improved. LED lights on the stem mount let you know, at a glance, which mode the shock is in, and even though I tried to outsmart it, the electronic brain always seemed to be one step ahead of me.

Christian Fairclough

Lapierre Zesty packshot XM 527 2016


Frame:Carbon OST+ 120mm travel
Shock:RockShox Monarch RT3 Ei Auto
Fork:RockShox Revelation RL Solo Air, 130mm travel
Wheels:Race Face Aeffect, Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x 2.25in tyres
Drivetrain:Shimano XT chainset, f-mech, r-mech and shifters
Brakes:Shimano XT 180mm
Components:Easton EA70 60mm, Vouilloz Signature 740mm, KS Lev Integra
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size Ridden:XL
Rider height:6ft 2in
Head angle:67°
Seat angle:74°
BB drop:-15mm
Top tube:750mm