2013 Lapierre Xelius Ultimate Frameset
The French connoisseurs @ Lapierre have been at the very top of the road cycling game for over half a century, and their invaluable experience with the highest level of the sport has led to a strong range of road & mountain bikes for 2013 that highlight meticulous design and innovative technologies. The Xelius Ultimate frameset is no exception, and it features a complete redesign for this season that highlights a number of improvements over the FDJ Team bike from 2012 that shows its continuous march up in the performance stakes. Lapierre have shifted their carbon construction to a new method that sees a solid silicone mandril to mould each tube over. Extremely high pressure is applied both externally and internally that compresses the carbon into a dense state that voids it of any excess resin or carbon off cuts. The result is a smooth internal wall for the carbon that although you can't see from the outside, helps minimise excess weight and reduces the potential for stress risers that cheaper frames can suffer from. Also updated is the move to a tapered head tube with an internal headset to get the desired low handlebar position, as well as a pressfit bottom bracket that removes alloy cups from the equation and replaces them with press-in bearings that are lighter and allow the engineers to widen the BB shell for more strength and a stiffer junction with the oversized downtube. 100% Carbon dropouts, cable stops and headset inserts reduce the need for gluing in alloy components, and all contribute to the staggering sub-900gm frame weight. The EFI construction refers to the split personality of the Xelius frameset, with the lower half (chainstays, BB, downtube & headtube) all being oversized and receiving a specific carbon layup schedule to provide the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio. The upper portion of the frame (seat stays, top tube & seat tube) are all profiled for maximum vertical compliance that minimises vibration feedback from the bitumen before it reaches your contact points on the bike. The end result is a frame that oozes lateral rigidity for razor sharp cornering, maximises BB stiffness to put every Watt from your legs to the rear wheel and is still able to smoothen out rough Aussie backroads so that you can ride longer with less fatigue.
The Lapierre EFI frameset you see here is actually a different model compared to the Xelius complete bikes. Whilst sharing the same moulds and geometry with those frames, internally the Xelius 'Ultimate' frame switches to a higher grade of carbon fiber that features a greater percentage of UHM fibres. Using more 'Ultra High Modulus' carbon fiber allows the Lapierres engineers to reduce weight of the complete bike by some 200 grams, which equates to around a 15% drop in total mass. This is achieved whilst maintaining the same strength and stiffness characteristics as the regular frame, resulting in a very high level of ride quality and performance that is drawn upon by the ProTour teams for the toughest races around the world.
Originally we decided to bring Lapierre into My Mountain to complement our comprehensive range of Trek bikes. However, the prestige behind the name, the high quality construction as well as the designers clear attention to detail has lead to a sweeping response from cyclists all over Melbourne wanting to get their hands on either a complete Lapierre road bike or a frameset to complete their dream build. While other European brands such as Colnago, Look & Bianchi create some similarly high-quality carbon road bikes, it could be argued that you're actually getting more R&D with a Lapierre and in most cases, at about half the cost that those other brands are trying to charge for their frames. Although there is a range of perfectly well-specced complete bikes available from Lapierre, sometimes you just want to do it your way, and with the Xelius frameset, you can do exactly that. Whether it's Campagnolo, SRAM or Shimano running gear, Mavic, Fulcrum or Shimano wheels, you can piece together your dream bike with exactly the right parts to suit your budget and riding style. And with the 860 gram Xelius Ultimate EFI Frameset, you've got the perfect foundation for a high quality, lightweight race machine.
From Lapierre: • A 20% gain in lateral stiffness at the headtube.
"The DNA of the Xelius EFI frame lies in its total efficiency. Strong and aerodynamic, we tested the frame continuously in Magny Cours (Nevers), with its wind tunnels normally reserved for Formula 1. These tests proved we achieved a 2% aerodynamic gain in comparison to our 2012 Xelius. Its intelligent structure better transmits the rider’s energy through the frame stiffness, translating to greater power. This represents:
• 10% torsional rigidity at the bottom bracket.
• 7% lateral flexion on the rear triangle.
Thanks to the stiffness and aerodynamics, EFI lets you save 4% energy based on the same performance. Strategic stiffness and light-weight combine with a comfortable ride: maximum precision and efficiency is guaranteed. The EFI frame + fork kit is 80g lighter and considerably stiffer than the previous FDJ Team model."
The Lapierre Xelius Ultimate Frameset features:
- Unique upgraded frame construction over standard Xelius complete bikes
- Full Carbon EFI Frame
- Unique F40 Unidirectional HM & VHM Carbon Fibers
- Higher blend of UHM Fiber reduces weight by up to 200gm
- Monocoque Construction
- Tapered Head Tube
- Full Carbon LP Fork by Easton
- PressFit Bottom Bracket
- Replaceable Rear Derailleur Hanger
- 100% Carbon Dropouts, Headset Cups & Cable Stops
- Internal Cable Routing and Di2 Compatible
- Colour: Matte Carbon w/Red Detailing
- Frame Weight: 860 grams (55cm Size)
- Medium: Suits riders between 5'7" and 5'11.5"