The current trend in road cycling is aero, often at the expense of practicality and aesthetics. Love it or hate it, the pursuit of marginal gains has driven the cycling industry into a new aero revolution.
Lapierre has now stepped up to the plate and delivered the Aircode. Developed in conjunction with World Tour team FDJ who demand nothing but the best, the Aircode delivers in all areas of performance.
The Aircode doesn’t have the initial appearance of most other aero road bikes; it retains the smooth lines and signature French style we have come to expect from Lapierre. Whilst looks are always a matter of taste in my eyes, this is one of the best looking bikes of 2015.
Throughout life we are always told “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” However, the clever heads behind the Aircode showed complete disregard to this when it comes to ride quality and performance.
This bike genuinely delivers the comfortable ride we have become used to from the Xelius, whilst creating a frame that cuts through the air with ease and the Power Box frame technology takes care of getting all those watts on the road.
Climbing on the Aircode is reasonably uneventful, the bike performs as you would expect any modern road bike to. This is not to say it’s a bad climber, after all Thibaut Pinot rode this bike to a Tour de France podium. It’s just when the road points down that things get exciting, increasing the fork offset to 50mm has created a more stable ride at speed, add this to the direct mount front brake and stiff frame and believe me; you will struggle to throw this bike into corners fast enough.
Perception is always a funny thing, but the Aircode feels fast on flat roads begging for you to give it a little more power to get that air rushing through your hair.
On this particular model the Aircode 500, the specification list gives a mix of Dura Ace and Ultegra components for drive train, Zipp cockpit, Lapierre’s own carbon seat post and Mavic Kyrium Equipe wheels. To the untrained eye, the Dura Ace cranks and rear derailleur give Dura Ace street cred at an Ultegra price point.
The one thing that is lacking across the whole Aircode range is the standard wheelsets, the rest of the bike seriously outperforms the wheelset and it’s dying for an upgrade. After all what’s the point of an aero bike without an aero wheelset? It’s for this very reason that a lovely set of Zipp 303s has been put on this particular bike.
After having spent some serious hours on the Aircode over the past few months, it is equally suited off the front of the bunch in a local criterium as it is on an epic ride through the hills or countryside.
Lapierre has truly created a gem of a bike, delivering the aerodynamic performance that is demanded by the fastest riders in the world, whilst also giving a ride quality that will have you enjoying countless hours in the saddle.