At a glance
The Pro Race is the XC hardtail offering from Lapierre and higher up the range comes in a full carbon fibre frameset but we were only let loose on the aluminium version. The 300 is the second from bottom in the line up but still comes well stacked!Buy XC Bikes on
Having been testing some pretty exotic bikes this issue the Lapierre is a much more traditional looking bike but it is still a thing of beauty. It comes in a lovely brushed alloy finish that really does look great; the red and black graphics finish it off a treat with white grips and saddle to give it that final polished look.
Made from double butted 7005 alloy the tubes have a soft diamond shape that is accentuated in the chain and seat stays, both have swooping S bends to give a little compliance and make room for ankles.
The frames geometry is a proven 71º head angle matched to a 73º seat angle with an effective top tube of 585mm and the industry standard 425mm chain stays.
Fox supply the suspension in the form of their Fox 32F RL open bath fork which offers 100mm of travel.
The gearing is a Shimano affair with their excellent SLX shifters firing a SLX front mech and an XT rear, the chainset is also SLX.
Brakes come courtesy of Formula; the Pro Race 300 gets RX stoppers.
A Lapierre 100mm stem braces Lapierre lo rise 640mm bar which has Lapierre white lock on grips.
A San Marco Ponza saddle in white sits atop a Lapierre seat post.
Wheels are a sensible set of Mavic Crossride shod with a narrow set of Hutchinson Python 2.0 tyres.
Our 46cm test bike weighed in at 23.8lbs without pedals on our scales.
On the trail
With such proven geometry it is no surprise that the Pro Race 300 just feels right, the cockpit is spacious and there is just enough length to stretch out when it is time to motor.
Heading out through the local country side was a pleasure as the miles slipped under the wheels on a variety of terrain, the frame does have a little vertical give built in but a bigger set of tyres would offer more float without compromising speed.
Once at the races the bike was at its best, laterally stiff it smoothly converts your efforts into forward motion and the Fox up front found good traction when the front end was being driven hard through turns.
Bursts of speed were instant and the bike fairly scampers up short climbs giving you a chance to pass anyone on a wallowy full susser.
Out on more technical trails the Pro Race handled sweetly on the tight stuff, the balance is good and it is easy to move your weight around so that you can tackle the odd rough section but you will get rattled about if you try and pin rough ground, a good line and good skills are what is needed then, but that is an art in itself and still enjoyable.
This bike looks great, feels great and rides well. It is a good all rounder and sensibly priced
The rear can feel a little harsh, this is hardly surprising as it is a 100mm race orientated hardtail but I am surprised that Lapierre specced such narrow low profile tyres. A little more volume would make it a tad more forgiving.
This bike sits somewhere in between an entry-level XC bike and a top end bike. With its good looks and excellent geometry this bike is certainly worth a look and if carbon is not your thing then this could be ‘the one’… The geometry is the same both lower in the range and higher so whatever your budget it is worth checking out the Pro Race range of your looking for a dependable hard tail that will do the job on the trails and at the races.Buy XC Bikes on
This review was in Issue 6 of IMB.For more information visit Lapierre Bicycles
By Nigel GarroodNigel 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!