Nothing says ride me in a punishing Pacific Northwest rainstorm like white rims, bar tape, and saddle. I took the Lapierre Xelius 400 out for a quick ride in the rain today before the Seahawks played Chicago. This post is an initial review.
Stiff and Compliant?
Like all mid-to-high end carbon bikes yes the bike is stiff and compliant. It also flexes. Lapierre makes Grand Fondo style bikes. That means a bike that performs for a clientele who ride fondos and charity events. It’s built to race, but also comfortable on long rides. The first Lapierre I wrote about did this, as does the Roubaix, the Museeuw I ride, and more. Flex in this context is not bad. It’s a characteristic and does not mean mushy like a noodle or unstable and whippy.
An example of the flex I noticed, is when pedaling, the rear brake cable moved with my body. The bike was transmitting my pedaling motion up into the bars. That’s a bike you don’t describe as “wooden,” but lively and active.
Expect to feel the road with this Xelius. All of it.
At home on the path, races, tours, and events.
You’ve Got Personality
If bikes have a personality, this one is anxious and busy. One ridden by a cyclist that talks nonstop on a ride, promises to keep it together, and then drops the group at the next rise in elevation. The bike is distinctively different then others I’ve ridden. It’s French and wants to go fast. When it does, take care with it in the corners, on rough road, and descents. You can win a Livestrong ride with the Xelius, as long as you stay in control.
Attractive paint and graphics with curious touches like a thumbprint on the top tube and a chicken on the chainstay.