Lapierre Overvolt AM729i
So here it is, Lapierre’s new offering the latest Overvolt AM729, the ’29 part being the wheel size, Lapierre offer all the range in both 27.5 & 29 with 160mmm/140mm respectively.
I saw Nico Voullioz testing the Shimano powered bike at Roc D’Azur in Oct last year, and was told that his influence and Lapierre’s in-house design team had created something special, so was keen to get out and ride one as soon as possible. Thanks to Gareth, and Mike at Raleigh UK for giving me opportunity to ride it even if it was straight after a full weekend racing Enduro, hopefully it will as good as everyone say’s it will be!!
This is the first time Lapierre have offered a Shimano powered bike in their range with a new 500wH battery, past Shimano powered motors in other manufacturers bikes have been the 350wH battery, so it brings it in line with Yamaha and Bosch motors so it is going to be exciting to see how it performs.
This 729 model comes with the following spec:
Here at True North Adventures we have some amazing point to point Peak District guided epics that can be completed in the day, or they can be done as multi day rides where we arrange all accommodation, logistics and catering so if any of this looks interesting just have a look at our website.
The Peaks is always a good test for an e-bike due to the shear amount of varying terrain and elevation change on tap, so we went out and tested the Overvolt to see how far we could get across the Peak District before needing a bit of a charge. Starting from Chinley our aim was to get over to Sheffield on our route taking in all the best riding spots in the Peak District with a distance of 67km.
Heading out over Kinder towards Edale, the view from the top of Jacobs Ladder was just awesome and just goes to show what the Peaks has to offer.
Setting off straight away I noticed how smooth the motor was, in all the terrain I covered all I needed was the Eco mode, there’s enough assistance there for all but the steepest climb which went to help the battery life as I wasn’t flicking in out of modes like other motors with 4 or 5 options. Shimano has just an Eco, Trail and Boost mode.
Off battery, the motor and bike is amazing, there’s literally no resistance and it can be ridden fairly easily past 15mph, I was cruising along the roads and the DH sections without the battery and it felt very normal bike like, your still peddling a heavy rig but this is one of the best i’ve tested so far.
Bike feel, well all I can say is this is the first e-bike I have managed to manual properly, the weight seemed to be really balanced, the battery being a whole lot lighter and distributed in the down tube went somewhat to feeling like a normal bike. Riding downhill the bike was really planted and quick to react. The bike is probably suited to a more aggressive rider and someone wanting to really push and ride it, probably not best suited to a beginner just getting into riding an e-bike. But like all e-bikes there is a good amount of momentum and weight of which speed can be gained at an alarming rate, the old technical skills and braking basics really come into play to prevent a high speed incident.
Getting ready to decent ‘The Beast’
Ok, so how far did we get? Usually on our Trans Peak Enduro routes we are able to carry our compact chargers and add a dose of charge over lunch to add back in enough to complete the ride but I wanted to see how far it went. Due to the shear amount of climbing we didn’t make Sheffield, we did however make it to Hathersage in the Hope Valley and the bike managed a total of 44.5km over an amazing 2272m of ascent. There was probably another 5km left in the tank for a gentle get me home scenario but we were getting the train back so no drama.
44.5km over 2272m of ascent
Come on Train!
View over Ladybower
More rocky decents…Mmmmm
Overall I really enjoyed riding the Overvolt and was a near to a normal trail bike as i’ve got testing out a number of bikes, its got a smooth motor with no resistance at all, simple and powerful modes which are easily changed through the DI2 type shifter. Suited to a more aggressive riding style but heaps of fun.
Lapierre UK have currently got the new models at their demo events. Check out the website for locations and dates and go give one a blast. or why not visit PedalFest 2018 and test out all Raleigh UK range. We’ll be there giving guided rides, tips and tricks on e-bike skills.
Lapierre has taken the design of the frame to a new level with features and design such as:
- Reduced chain stay length, this gives the bike a more playful feel, even with the 29 wheel the bike is really quick to turn and react, you need to be a little more on top of the bike as it does change direction quickly for an e-bike.
- Increased external steerer tube diameter for steering response
- Water bottle mount nicely positioned on downtube
- Improved cable routing – No rattles
- Design of lower shock position means to restriction on top tube, the frame design helps protect shock bushes from mud.
- The crank axis point has been mover further back to help improve handling and response
- New snake battery, frame doesn’t have to be designed with a large hatch and bolted connection. Access through the small side port.
Suspension Travel & Wheel Size
This is the first full 160mm travel range, offering a great all-around Enduro / Freeride / Trail Center setup for a one-bike-does-it-all kind of vibe.
All models are available as either a 160mm travel 27.5+ wheel setup or a 29″ 140mm travel set.
Frame Design & Geometry
A whole new geometry setup has been created for the new 2018 Lapierre Overvolt eBikes.
This includes a new shorter back end, the weight has been placed further down offering more agile handling and the bottom bracket has been pushed as far back as possible so the traction is on another level.
New ‘SnakeTech’ Battery Tech
Whilst on the frame, the battery has been contained within the down tube offering a stronger, more rigid design. The battery can be inserted via a port on the side meaning the downtube retains its rigidity without needing a long exit for the battery.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike, both ways are possible due to the ‘SnakeTech’ design which allows the battery to bend as you insert it into the channel. A first of it’s kind!
For more information take a look at: Lapierre UK Website