Lapierre Bicycles Zesty 429 TR  2015 Mountain Bike Review

Lapierre Bicycles Zesty 429 TR 2015

Reviews / Trail Bikes

Lapierre Bicycles 237,893

At A Glance

We tested this bike last year, and in terms of the frame design and geometry the changes have been very subtle. In essence, the new Zesty is longer and lower, a growing trend among mountain bikes that adds stability and control to your ride. The changes are small though, so if you own last years bike don’t be despondent! Geometry is identical aside from the reach growing by 1mm and the stack shrinking by 4mm across all the sizes, we said it was subtle!

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What else is new? First up the bike, and in fact all 2015 models from Lapierre with the exception of just one, ship with a dropper post. On this model it is the excellent KS Lev Integra with 125mm of travel. We’ve long been fans of the KS posts, they last a lifetime and then some, we’re still running one that refuses to die even after 5 years of abuse and numerous trips to the Alps!

In addition to the new post, the cockpit has been updated to feature a new stem made for Lapierre by FUNN, it keeps the 70mm length of last year and is a perfect match for the Nico Vouilloz Signature handle bar, also by FUNN. In addition to this, Formula Brakes have been dropped by the brand this year and the Zesty TR 429 ships with the excellent Shimano XT brakes, which integrate with the SLX Shifters to give a really clean, clutter-free cockpit.

The other update of course is to the suspension, whilst the bike still comes specced with the same Fox 32 Float CTD Evolution fork and the Fox Float CTD Evolution LV shock the internals for those products have undergone a considerable overhaul by Fox themselves. It was no secret that Fox was struggling to keep up with some of the other brands over the last couple of years, but they have listened to the feedback and developed their product accordingly.

The new fork has an updated damping tune to increase the small bump compliance and traction, plus there is a new seal head which is there to eliminate stiction and make the fork feel plusher. There is also a new lubrication oil being used internally to further reduce friction and increase the performance of the fork.

The new 2015 Zesty TR may look similar on paper, but in reality there are some noteworthy upgrades and as such we were keen to swing a leg over and get riding!

The Zesty TR 429 is very capable downhill, very capable indeed!

On The Trail

The Trail Bike category is a hotly contested one these days, and it is filled with a bounty of offerings. The Zesty has been synonymous with this market for years now and this new bike will fit right in at your local trails with ease. It did the rounds with the test team and there was positive feedback in abundance, but the one thing that shone through was its ability to climb with prowess and speed, whilst offering excellent grip and a fantastically balanced rider position on the bike.

One of our lesser skilled testers was clearing climbs that had been his nemesis for longer than the Zesty has been around, much to his own surprise! The bike is much more than a climber though; the big wheels combine with the geometry to offer an impressive turn of pace through the single track and you’ll be grinning from ear to ear as you blast along.

The new fork feels much improved from the previous version and combined with the shock the bike feels alive as you pump it into the corners. Pointing it through some steeper and rougher stuff highlighted perhaps the only niggle we could find with the bike. Despite all the upgrades and improvements over last year’s model, it still ships with a non-clutch rear mech.

OK it’s a Shimano XT offering and it does its job of shifting the gears perfectly, but the lack of a clutch does mean the chain rattles about quite a bit when you start to hammer it. We only dropped the chain the once, but it’s such a small thing that could easily be improved with a slight upgrade.

Niggles over and ignoring the chattering from below, the Zesty 429 TR is very capable downhill, very capable indeed. The big wheels will see you rolling over the obstacles with ease and the bike feels planted and stable at speed. Like any trail bike it has its limits when the terrain gets really savage, but it can still punch well above its weight for a 120mm travel bike that climbs so well.

On longer rides you’ll really enjoy the easy pace and smooth ride, it’s the sort of bike you could ride all day on a marathon expedition, race round the local XC loop with a number on your back, and then hammer around the trail centre lighting up Strava as you go…

Overall

While the changes are subtle on the new bike, they combine with the upgraded spec to offer a definite improvement over the 2014 model. The updated suspension is a real plus, as are the dropper post and the Shimano brakes. What remains is the excellent pedalling and climbing capabilities coupled with a turn of pace through the singletrack that will inspire you to push harder and harder. Impressive grip and traction on the ups couples with fast pace through the single track and a planted feel on the downs, it’s almost the perfect trail bike!

Specifications and Geometry

Frame: Zesty Trail 29" / Alloy Supreme 6 Ost+ 120mm Rear Travel
Shock Absorber: Fox Float Ctd Evolution LV
Fork: Fox 32 Float Ctd Evolution O/C 29" 120mm 15qr Tapered)
Headset: FSA Orbit Carbon Top Cap
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Pressfit
Crankset: Race Face Turbine 36x22 170mm / 175mm
Stem: Lapierre CNC By FUNN Dia:31.8 E:70mm
Seatpost: Ks Lev Integra Travel:125mm L:385mm Dia:31.6mm
Handlebar: Lapierre Nico Vouilloz Signature By FUNN 6061db W:720mm R:15mm Dia:31.8mm
Front Derailleur: Sram X7 S3 36t
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT 10-Speed
Shifters: Shimano SLX 2x10 Speed
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic XT Black
Saddle: SDG Duster LP Custom
Wheel: Race Face 29" 15x100 / 12x142 + Laqr-12-E Thru Axle
Sprocket: Shimano10-Speed 11-36t
Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic Perf 29x2.25 57-622
Weight: 13,2 Kg

Lapierre Zesty TR 429 Medium

Seat tube 440mm
Top Tube 600mm
Head tube 100mm
Chain stay 446mm
BB Drop -35mm
Head angle 69°
Seat angle 74°

Weight w/o pedals 27.5lbs

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This review was in Issue 36 of IMB.

For more information visit Lapierre Bicycles

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By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

Tried this? What did you think?