Teams riding Lapierre:
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 Pulsium was built as Lapierre's endurance bike, but such is the performance of it, Thibaut Pinot has been riding it around on road stages. The bike shares similar technology to the Aircode SL, but a rather different rear end. The seat stays connect straight to the top tube rather then the seat tube, enabling a more compliant ride whilst maintaining super stiffness through the lower half of the frame. The seat tube allows a small amount of movement, almost like suspension to smooth out the road.
Power Box technology is included (lower part of the frame, dedicated to power), so that nothing goes to waste. Already proven on the Xelius EFI, it gives the bike exceptional rigidity for full-tilt acceleration.
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.