Entry point, UK-specific off-roader from the French brand
Lapierre Edge XM 127 is the entry point into UK-specific Edge range of hardtails. Designed in collaboration with Lapierre’s UK distributors Raleigh UK.
The range is split into the more recreational XM line of off-roaders and the more advanced AM bikes.
Lapierre Edge XM 127 review
The sub £400 XM 127 is based around Lapierre’s own disc specific Supreme 4 aluminium alloy frame; a frame it shares with the rest of the four bike XM range. This features hydroformed tubing to shape the tubing in such a way as to put the strength where it is needed. it also has a neat looking integrated headset with flared ends to strengthen the head tube.
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Cable routing runs along the underside of the top tube to keep maintenance as easy as possible. Interestingly the frame also has ports to allow the running of an internally routed dropper post if you so wish to upgrade in the future.
The geometry is moving in the right ways with a slacker head angle than usually found on entry level recreational bikes. Coupled with relatively long chainstays this provides a shade more stability, perfect for riders new to the sport. Annoyingly, despite including bosses on the underside of the downtime for a mudguard (does anyone use these anymore?), Lapierre has only provided one set of bottle cage bosses within the frame.
Plugged into the front of the XM 127 is a very basic Edge branded suspension fork. This provides 100mm of travel and in general it relinquishes this movement in a very smooth manner. However it suffers from a horrendous top out clunk when lifting the front end. This is so bad it can have a detrimental impact on riding as it jars the front end and prevents you wanting to unweight the front wheel over obstacles. It also seems that Lapierre has specced the fork with a relatively lightweight spring as it sat too far into its travel (sag) even with my relatively light 72 kilogram mass.
Shimano provides a complete drivetrain with a triple chainset up front and a seven speed freewheel at the back. This provides enough gear range to power the XM 127 up, down and around most terrain. In charge of gear shifting is Shimano’s one-piece Easyfire shift/brake lever, functionally it works well but really restricts rider control as the levers cannot be moved independently and the over-the-top style down shift lever is really awkward to use. Stopping is controlled by a set of Tektro cable operated disc brakes. These again function really well for mechanical brakes with little rubbing but did require two finger braking to stop effectively from higher speeds.
The Lapierre branded handlebar and stem are highlights of the spec with the handlebars being a decent 740mm width and the stem being a stubby 50mm job bringing a good level of control to the handling.
The tyres fitted to Lapierre’s own 27.5″ wheels feature a shallow tread pattern that allows the XM 127 to roll really well on hard packed trails and in the dry. They do become pretty skittish when faced with other surfaces and have a tendency to lose grip with ease so they would be the first things to swap out if you chose this bike.
Jump on the Lapierre Edge XM 127 and it becomes instantly clear that this is a bike more suited to well groomed bridleways and forest tracks than delving into technical singletrack and trail centres. The riding position feels very tall and short, pushing rider weight down towards the front wheel limiting the level of confidence you have with the bike.
Further to this the aluminium frame and narrow tyres transmit a fair amount of trail shock making the back end skit around and leading to a fairly uncomfortable experience on rougher trails.
Compounding both of these issues is the performance of the suspension fork. That top out clunk really does stop you wanting to unweight the front making you ride through obstacles rather than over them.
I had no issues about the functionality of most of the componentry though. The Shimano gears shifted without issue and noise, the Tektro brakes remained quiet and relatively predictable. The rear wheel went out of true on the first ride so make sure your bike shop check the spoke tension to prevent this from happening to you too.
If you're just looking for an off-road capable bike suitable for occasional, recreational riding then the Edge XM 127 might just fit the bill. But for the money there are other bikes that are way more capable off-road within the same price point.