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Lapierre thoughts - new bike being considered

MossopMossop Posts: 13
edited April 2015 in Road buying advice
Hi all, looking for some feedback and views on a bike I am considering please.

It's a Lapierre Aircode 300; and I have the opportunity to get myself an ex-team ridden (not FDJ) one at a very good price and just wondered if anyone had any thoughts on this particular bike or the quality of Lapierre bikes overall?

The bike is full carbon, weighing in at 7.4kg and comes with full Ultegra 6800 groupset, MAVIC KSYRIUM EQUIPE WTS wheels, FIZIK ANTARES MG saddle and ZIPP seatpost, handlebar & stem.

I have demo'd one myself on 3 occasions from my LBS (albeit only around 10-15 miles at a time) and overall I really like the bike;... however, on the last ride I crashed on a fast'ish descent :( (thankfully not too badly, I just got the usual road rash and bruising) and the seat stay of the bike cracked/snapped!!! I was travelling at about 25mph and didn't hit anything other than the road and only slid a metre of so; and couldn't quite believe the frame had broke!

This will be my first foray into the world of carbon bikes (current is a 2013 Forme Longcliffe 3.0 upgraded with Ultegra shifters & derailleurs, Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels, Deda Stem & handlebars,etc, etc) and I have to admit that seeing how easily the Lapierre broke has put me off it somewhat :-(

Is this the norm on Carbon bikes and something I should prepare for from any manufacturer? or is this just the quality of Lapierre bikes?

Many thanks in advance.

Posts

  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,979
    I'd be very cautious when considering buying an ex-team ridden bike. Yes, your getting a race proven frame and kit, but it's likely to have been used and abused. I remember reading 'The Secret Pro' piece in Cyclingnews (I think) and they said they wouldn't touch one with a barge pole - a quick jet wash is considered maintenance.
    Teams swap the bikes over pretty regularly. I got a training bike in the middle of last year and I just got another one the other day at training camp. There is a bike I only use for training. It’s a training machine and that’s it. I leave it at home and don’t bring it anywhere else. It’ll never be raced.

    I shouldn’t be saying this, but there’s one rule about training bikes – never buy a used training bike from a Pro. They never get serviced or looked after. As I write this I’m looking at mine right now and it looks beautiful, but give it a few months and she’ll be pretty battered. We ride to a gas station where I’ll just give it a spray every few weeks with a pressure washer, not a proper clean with degreaser and bucket with soap & water.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Mossop wrote:
    I have demo'd one myself on 3 occasions from my LBS (albeit only around 10-15 miles at a time) and overall I really like the bike;... however, on the last ride I crashed on a fast'ish descent :( (thankfully not too badly, I just got the usual road rash and bruising) and the seat stay of the bike cracked/snapped!!! I was travelling at about 25mph and didn't hit anything other than the road and only slid a metre of so; and couldn't quite believe the frame had broke!

    Bet your LBS was pleased about that! The are sometimes referrrd to as Crapierres, so there's a thought.

    Ultimately it depends on the price. If your getting a decent group set and wheels in good condition for a modest amount such that the frame is effectively free then it not much of a gamble - if the frame cracks then buy a new frame and swap the kit over to it.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    Mossop wrote:
    ...
    Is this the norm on Carbon bikes and something I should prepare for from any manufacturer? or is this just the quality of Lapierre bikes?
    ...

    I think it's basically true of any carbon bike - the material has strength in the directions and locations that it's designed for, but much less so for 'unexpected stresses'. It's a high-tech material that has many benefits for maximum performance, but not for 'rough usage' durability. I'm sure a carbon bike can have a long lifetime if it doesn't get crashed or abused, but what might be 'cosmetic damage' to a metal frame could be fatal to carbon.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
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