We’re always interested when the likes of Lapierre launch a new bike. In the French brand’s case, it’s the family-run ethos of a business which has proudly been tied to the FDJ WorldTour team since 2002 that we find most intriguing.
On the one hand, despite being owned by the Accell Group alongside other brands including Raleigh, Van Nicholas and Diamondback, Lapierre retains something of its comforting French authenticity, and on the other you have an operation concerned with providing the very best bikes to both its pro athletes and wider clientele. In fact, it’s the latter the Dijon-based brand is keen to stress the most when we become among the first people to ride the new Pulsium.
As we told you last week, the Pulsium has received an overhaul, with input from Arnaud Demare, a top ten finisher at Paris-Roubaix, designed to give the race endurance machine more bite to accompany the distinctive looks and compliant ride of the original, first introduced in 2015.
At the launch, we’re told the updated look of the bike, which now bears a closer resemblance to the Xelius race bike, runs more than skin deep, with stiffness bolstered through an overhauled Powerbox area (that’s the chainstays, downtube and headtube area to you and me).
Moreover, Remi Gribaudo, Lapierre’s engineering head honcho, stresses the Pulsium is significantly stiffer and therefore more responsive than its predecessor. Numbers quoted are a “40% improvement in the bottom bracket, 25% in the chainstays and 20% in the headtube.”
He also explains the fleet of bikes made available for us journalists at the launch are the ‘Ultimate’ versions that the pros use, which just in case you haven’t read our launch story, means that they’re actually heavier than the standard models. That’s owing to the requirement for extra material to provide additional race-worthy stiffness, while weight isn’t the be all and end all for an endurance bike like this, according to Lapierre.