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Lapierre released their first example of a Shimano Steps E8000 based eMTB for 2018 – the Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano. The test was held in conjunction with their Bosch integrated 27.5 + product launch. The Shimano based 29er E-Bike is considered a production prototype, which still has a few cosmetic details to be finalised. Our testing location in Valberg, a few hours north of Nice, was ideal to try the new Shimano and 29er combination. We spent time riding and testing with both systems, making sure we understood as much as we could about how they rode. Interestingly, Lapierre previewed their first example of a custom “Snake Power” battery system for the Shimano eMTB.
- Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – In Brief
- Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – Product Profile
- Motor & Battery
- Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – Hands On
- Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – On The Trail
- Conclusion – Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano
- Video: Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano in Action
- About the test
- More Information on the Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano
Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – In Brief
This bike is ideal for exploring natural trails in the wilderness.
There are not many high-end 29er long travel bikes on the market at the moment. The closest we have tried, is based around Specialized’s Turbo platform. Therefore, Lapierre has the opportunity to define what a good 29er e-bike should be. Using a custom Snake Power battery and slimline down-tube, Lapierre have achieved a very svelte looking integrated design, but still with 500 Wh of power storage. Performance on the trail was superb and confirmed to us, that a 29″ E-Bike is probably ideal for a huge spectrum of riders.
Price: TBC Sept/Oct
Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – Product Profile
- Frame: Lapierre Overvolt Shimano Supreme 5 Alloy Boost
- Fork: Fox 36 Float 29 E-bike performance series / Travel 140 mm
- Shock: Fox DPX 2 / 140 mm
- Shifter: Shimano XT
- Derailleur: Shimano XT
- Cassette: Shimano 11–46 T
- Cranks: Shimano Di2, 34 T
- Brakes: Sram Guide RE Disc 203 / 203 mm
- Wheels: Lapierre eAM+ 35c
- Tires: Tested with Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29″ x 2.6″
- Hubs: Lapierre TRYP30Boost / front 15 x 110 mm – rear 12 x 148 mm
- Seat: LP by Velo
- Seatpost: Lapierre Dropper Post
- Bars: Lapierre
- Stem: Lapierre
- Motor: Shimano Steps E8000
- Display: Shimano
- Battery: 500 Wh
- Power: 250 W
- Weight: 24.31 kg
- Price: not available right now
Motor & Battery
The slimmest integrated 500 Wh Shimano battery-solution.
This is where things get interesting. Lapierre have ditched the Shimano battery in favour of their own patented battery design called “Snake Power”. It’s a 500 Wh unit, that is flexible in design and allows the user to load the battery in and out of the down-tube via a side port. The operation takes about 30 seconds and is very easy to do. This has allowed Lapierre to design a slimmer down-tube, than which is possible with the off the shelf Shimano integrated battery design. Lapierre is only the second company to use a custom battery with a Shimano motor. Although the Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano has a magnet, the frame is ready to accept a disc mounted speed sensor, when Shimano have made 200 mm center lock discs available.
- Motor: Shimano Steps 8000
- Battery: 500 Wh
- Power: max. 250 Watt
- Display: Shimano Steps 8000
Easy to load the battery, no rattles on rough tracks.
We played with the Snake Power battery a few times and have to say we found it to be particularly easy to load into the bike. To remove it, you need a technique, that allows the battery to move slowly out of the tube. The fit is tight, which avoids any rattles or noise. The port is then locked with a key.
Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – Hands On
For the sport side of E-Biking, this is the bike to consider.
Shimano have had a bit of a stranglehold on the E-Bike market this year. The compact motor and ability to have super short chainstays has appealed to numerous bike producers. The Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano is particularly well-thought-out with a four-bar linkage rear suspension design, which is ideal for pedalling and is great at keeping the rear wheel under constant traction with the ground. This, combined with the roll-over advantages of the 29er wheel-size and 140mm of travel – with the possibility to mount up to 160 mm on the front – means, that this is a go anywhere, do it all bike that can be pushed further than one might expect.
Lapierre have mounted a well-thought-out component package, that, in our opinion, combines one of the best suspension packages currently on the market with an excellent, reliable, natural feeling electric motor. For those looking for the trail/marathon/explore/sport side of E-Biking this is the bike to consider.
The 29er has shorter chainstays than the Bosch 27.5″+ system, which should give snappy handling on the trail and be a perfectly balanced bike with extra manoeuvrability on tight corners and switchbacks compared to other systems on the market. The down-tube uses a dual skin walled cross-section to maintain rigidity and strength despite its slim lined design.
It has to be considered, that this is a final production prototype, that, Lapierre said, will have some “changes to the cosmetic of the bike”. Final details will be made available in September with the actual bikes being available in January or February.
Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano – On The Trail
Fundamentally, the bike rolls well in technical climbs.
We headed out for a day of riding single trail, Enduro trails and bike park lift assisted trails. The killer clincher was, that Nico Vouilloz was our guide for the day. He guided us up some tricky single trail climbs, that showed how well the 29er wheels popped over technical trail obstacles. The Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano rolls really well with the rider, absolutely not struggling to maintain momentum.
In combination with the Shimano motor, which gives a very natural pedal feel, the bike feels like you are riding a non powered MTB. The extra stability in sketchy uphill corners was well demonstrated by the 29″ wheels. Plus we found technical trails, that cross the fall-line of the hill, were easier to ride. Grip on climbs is excellent, there was very little wheel spin, despite some pretty steep loose gradients. The Shimano in this sense is dissimilar to the Bosch variant. There is no turbo boost kick up the trail, it feels like you – the rider – rides up the hill.
Body position was a good compromise between comfort and attacking the trail, leaning more towards a trail bike than an enduro bike. There is plenty of room in the cockpit, with a reach, that maintains the riders balance without being too compact – ideal for long distance pedalling and uphills. Fundamentally, the bike rolls well in technical climbs and corners really well giving stability to the rider.
Do everything and anything pretty well with reserves for the odd difficult descent.
We rode a large variety of trails, with a highlight being a trail from the Enduro World Series a few years ago. Of all the trails we rode, we understood, it’s not a park bike. It works on lift accessed bike park style trails, but it’s really at home on natural French or Italian style rocky enduro trails. The 29″ wheels gives extra security and roll over on descents compared to the 27.5+ Bosch bike. It pops well off rocky steps and is surprisingly easy to corner. On one section we had Nico Vouilloz directly behind us. He ended up being impressed with our handling skills on some tight steep switch backs. To be honest, on that occasion we felt, that the bike was really helping us significantly, allowing us to corner and stay upright, where others were having to walk. Getting Kudos from one of the greatest mountain bikers of all time, though – no matter how it came – was satisfying.
We didn’t jump the bike much, but when we did the landings were smooth. The suspension works incredibly well and is well-balanced between the back and the front. We went for a medium setting on the sag and found, we could probably go a bit softer, which would be getting into the sofa comfort zone. Tight fast corners were a bit too loose in the dry, with mounted 2.6″ Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires. We would like to try a tyre with a stiffer side wall – our feeling with these Schwalbe tires is always slightly insecure, when it comes to cornering at high loads and/or high speeds.
The perfect exploring machine …
Experience made it clear, that this bike is the ideal trail machine. We liked the length of the bike, but it would/could be better for more aggressive riding, if it had a slightly longer reach. Although it’s a trail machine, it’s capable of doing more with its fairly long 140 mm of travel. Explore, ride or descend – we had a lot of fun onboard.
Nico had a bike mounted with 27.5+ tyres and seemed to be testing all kinds of concepts. It seems, that this is the bike to have, if you are someone, that likes to play with wheel setup and different bike settings.
Conclusion – Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano
Lapierre have created a pretty awesome trail riding machine, that with the 29er wheels rolls over literally anything and is manoeuvrable at the same time. The natural feeling of the Shimano motor package and the Snake-Power battery gives a compact, lean looking, integrated design, that is rolling along on one of our favourite suspension setups. Look to the hills and head to the horizon with this bike. When the going gets tough, then the 140 mm suspension will keep you floating through it. This is one of the better “do it all bikes” at the moment. We can’t wait for the production version early next year and getting some more miles on it.
- 29″ wheels with 140 mm of travel make sense
- Good suspension feel
- Natural bicycle feel with the Shimano motor
- Not good for enduro riding on steep descents or in bike parks, feels too nervous for extreme speed
- Delivery dates are quite late
Video: Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano in Action
About the test
We tested the Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano here:
- Location: We tested in Valberg on lift assisted bikeparks and shuttle assisted runs, exploring enduro trails to get the most out of the trail system in a short time. Valberg is located in south-eastern France close to Italy at about 1700 m altitude. It has a huge range of trails, including park and wild explority trails. It has been a stop on the Enduro World Series.
Tester-profile Alex Boyce
- Name: Alex Boyce
- Height: 183 cm
- Weight (with riding-gear): 95 kg
- Inside leg: 88 cm
- Arm’s length: 69 cm
- Torso: 67 cm
- Riding style: soft, jumps preferred, every terrain, Uphill in turbo-mode
- What do I ride mainly: E-Bike, Enduro, Gravel.
- Preferred suspension: Responsive and direct steering, Plus-Tires
- Preferred geometry: Wide bars (800 mm), long frame, chainstays mid-length
Is this another 29er, that’s going to create more arguments about wheel sizes?
More Information on the Lapierre Overvolt AM 729 i Shimano
Text & Edit: Alex Boyce | eMTB-News.de
Photos: Alex Boyce, Matt Wragg, Manu Molle
Lapierre Overvolt AM 927 i Shimano
- 0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- 150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.
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