Lapierre is the family name and the family business: cycling is definitely in the blood. Started in 1946 by Gaston Lapierre in Dijon, France, Lapierre bikes have earned a reputation the world over for being quality, innovative, beautiful products. Gaston Lapierre ensured the name would live on, not only on the bike itself, but through the family’s continued connection to the business that started out as a small bike shop in the heart of Burgundy.
In 1960, Gaston passed the reigns on to his son Jacky, which would later be taken on by Jack’s son Gilles in ’96. All the while, Gaston made sure that the men of the family would stay closely connected to the bike; that they would take a hands on approach. They all spent time working within every area of the business, from welding, to threading wheels and research and development — a hands-on tradition that is carried through the development process of Lapierre's high end models which are assembled by hand.
This astonishing attention to detail has gained Lapierre bikes a certain reverence among cyclists the world over. But it’s not all about aesthetics - Lapierre bikes also win races.
In 2003 Lapierre signed a three year contract with 10X World Downhill MTB Champion Nicolas Vouilloz who would work closely with the research and development team with the goal of creating new and innovative technologies to give Lapierre the edge over the competition on the world mountain biking circuit.
That’s not to say they hadn't already made some advancements of their own. Throughout the 1980’s Lapierre bikes dominated the mountain biking scene sponsoring multiple successful teams. Lapierre was ahead of the pack in their support of a sport that would boom throughout the 80’s and 90’s, focusing much of their efforts off the beaten track.
It wasn’t until the 2000’s that they began to expand their focus into the world of road cycling and developed their own line of high-end road racing machines. Funnily enough, they got good at it pretty quickly and secured a strong partnership with team Française des Jeux in 2002; one that would last the right through until today (2015). Working closely with FDJ riders enables Lapierre to create bikes that are in part designed by the riders themselves. Rather than building a bike and then giving it to FDJ to ride, they supply FDJ with prototypes that are then reworked based on feedback from the ride. Designs are improved upon and technologies are implemented in their other models.
Check out our review of the Lapierre Aircode 500 right here!
However, Lapierre has never strayed from the unbeaten path. They have continued to develop revolutionary technologies for mountain bikes since they first began supporting the growing industry in the 80’s.
In 2012, after five years of working closely with RockShox in the R&D process, Lapierre released the first bikes with the e:i shock system, an electronic suspension system that adjusts the level of damping based on real-time feedback from the trail.
The Lapierre Zesty TR 729 e:i can handle anything you throw at it...
Over the years, Lapierre have expanded their operations to three manufacturing facilities in France, enabling them to continue to produce performance level products for both the road and off-road markets, but also for other sectors of the cycling industry as well.
In 2013, Laiperre developed and released their Overvolt range of electric mountain bikes that not only opened up the world of off-road riding to a whole new group pf potential riders but revolutionised the way that mountain bikers are riding trails. E-mountain biking is a market that is growing more and more every day.
Cyclcross is a cycling discipline that has been hugely popular in France and throughout Europe for a long time now and one that is making its way to Australian shores in a big way. Lapierre is never far from the forefront of cycling development, their cyclocross bikes win races and look amazing even when they're completely covered from stem to chain stay in mud.
If you are just looking for a good bike for the daily commute, look no further than one of Lapierre’s specially designed commuter bikes: comfortable, and quick on their feet, these bikes will have you to work in no time. Hand-made French quality construction means that maintenance is kept to a minimum.
For the young riders out there, Lapierre designs a range of bikes suited to their favourite types of riding, whether it’s on the road or on the dirt packed trail.
Check out the huge range of Lapierre bikes at BikeExchange's massive online marketplace