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Despite carrying Thibaut Pinot to third place overall as well as the best young rider of the 2014 Tour de France, the Lapierre Aircode SL has been reworked and improved. Just over 100g has been stripped from the frame and fork, the weight coming from a reduction in layering through the seat tube and head tube. In order to maintain a high level of rigidity and performance the head tube, down tube, bottom bracket and chainstays have much wider profiles and more layering, making the whole area stiffer and therefore optimising power transfer. The Aircode SL has also undergone extensive Fluid Dynamics and Wind Tunnel testing to ensure its aero game is strong.
The Lapierre Xelius SL and the Aircode SL share the same power box design. Wider head tubes, down tube, bottom bracket and chain stays result in a stiffer area and greater power transfer. The Xelius is also made up of far stiffer fibres then the Aircode SL, making it a great climbing option. The interesting rear triangle was implemented to cut the weight of the frame and to also allow for some flex, offering a more compliant ride.
The Lapierre Aerostorm and Aircode SL have both undergone extensive aerodynamic testing. For starters both bikes were modelled using 3D specific software to assess performance with the rider on board. Digital calculations for CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) were then done, followed by wind tunnel testing to ensure nothing was left to chance. After all that the riders then got a chance to test the bike out and give their feedback! One of the aero features is the Kamm Tail profile, which works very effectively regardless of wind direction, minimising turbulence and maximising airflow. Integrated brakes and seat post round out the frame’s clean look.
Thanks Graham Watson for the great photos.