We were pretty stocked about heading up to Mt Buller early this month for their MTB Summit, as well as the fact that we had a Lapierre Zesty TR 729 waiting up there for us.
Out on Buller’s Copperhead and Family Trails we got a first-hand feel for it, and we were happy campers.
Before we get to the Zesty, it’s worth filling you in on Lapierre. Huge in its homeland France, the Lapierre brand has been around for a solid 60+ years creating mountain, road, city and all-road bikes and has in recent years been turning its attention further around the globe. Lapierre produces around 110,000 bikes each year, and assembles about 100 of the highest end bikes each day out of their head factory in Dijon, France… These guys are into quality and detail.
The Zesty is like the jewel in Lapierre’s off-road crown. Prior to 2014, the Zesty was positioned as a genuine all-rounder MTB, sitting at around 140-150mm of travel. In 2014 though, Lapierre shook things up and segmented the Zesty into two models; the AM (27.5-inch wheels and 150mm of travel) and the TR (29-inch wheels and 120mm of travel).
The Zesty TR
Whilst the AM stayed true to a lot of its predecessor’s features, the TR took off in other directions and essentially superseded the Lapierre X-Flow model a new bike that was more fun and could also pedal.
The TR has become the great all-rounder; a terrific trail bike that still can handle all-mountain and will suck up marathon events. The 120mm travel and 29-inch wheels make for a great-rolling bike that isn’t over-travelled and its trail qualities mean it’s up for rough riding; this is the sort of MTB you’ll take out for a marathon one weekend, then back it up with an Enduro the following and it’ll look after you during both.
Speaking of looking after you, there is the option to go with the Zesty 729 e:i (patented technology from SRAM and the Accel Group, to which Lapierre belongs that basically means the shock changes automatically). We didn’t have e:i on the model we rode. I’m relative new to the MTB scene and I am not sure it would've have meant much to me anyway, but from what I’ve read this would be the kind of feature I’d probably aspire to; it’d mean I’ve taken things to the next level. Something to look forward to, maybe…
Still, e:i aside I found the Zesty TR to make for really smooth riding and handling – it was the kind of bike I felt would look after me in these early days, but give me plenty of room to grow into a better MTBer who takes on bigger challenges.
The 11.6kg carbon frame made for a really sweet ride on the climbs. I had no trouble getting it up the trails and it was easy enough getting it onto the car roof rack without a helping hand.
It’s a good-looking bike, too; classy curves and a matte paint job that isn’t going to polarise.
The 2015 range of bikes has been refined once again and they're landing as I type, plus the new colour ways apparently look even better than ever...
Thanks to Yarra Valley Cycles for the ride! Visit the guys for a demo ride on the latest Lapierre bikes in-store now.