Lapierre Aircode 500 (FDJ) Review

Lapierre Aircode 500  – Noted as the same frame as Tibault Pinot rode in FDJ to 3rd place in the 2014 Tour de France. The Lapierre Aircode 500 (FDJ)  is a beautifully painted frame, its so often now days that bicycle companies are moving more towards simpler color combinations. Lapierre pulls of a stunning show of French colors, that flow with the shape of the bike creating a beautiful looking machine.

lapierre aircode

Lapierre has been making bikes for over 70 years, and I had the pleasure of taking the Lapierre Aircode 500 out riding for numerous months before it left for a customer.

Specifications

I dont know what Lapierre was thinking when they put together the groupset specifications for this bike, it was an unusual combination of Duraace crankset and rear derailleur, matching with Ultegra STI shifters and Ultegra Brakes.

The Ultegra brakes was a nice combination of Dual pivot direct mount front brakes, paired with a standard ultegra brake on the rear. It reminds me of the Campagnolo combination of a dual pivot front brake and a single pivot on the rear. Because as we know, we need less power through the rear when braking than what we need on the front of the bike.

There’s not much to write about this groupset that hasn’t already been written – it performs faultlessly, precisely and smooth.

Lapierre Aircode 500

Handlebars and the stem was fitted out with ZIPP Service Course SL, a nice gloss finish combination and reasonably light weight alloy combination that doesn’t brake the bank account. Its not so often we see Zipp OEM on bikes anymore.. but this added a nice touch to the bike. Although as I wrote about the Scott Foil, it came with dual colored bar tape.. again? So that was the first thing i changed, moving to a white color allowing the color to flow more with the bike and to bring out the red and blue gloss of the frame.

The carbon Lapierre seatpost was also a quality item but one that I was surprised to see as I was expecting to see a profiled post, which is becoming more common on your typical Aero Road bike nowdays. Adjusting the aero seatpin was very simple and easy – providing that you have a torx key of course.

Ride quality

The Lapierre Aircode 500 is based slightly off their Aerostorm TT bike, giving slight aero gains. The handling of the bike rode smooth and relaxed. The frame didn’t ride as harsh or snappy as the Scott Foil, more dampening out the road vibration. It gave the feeling of wanting to accelerate but I felt the bike was being held back or slightly sluggish with more focus on comfort than stiffness or direct response.

Downhill is where the Lapierre Aircode 500 really shined, it took sweeping bends that was almost effortless and gave confidence in breaking slightly late into the corner. I found myself pushing a little quicker into and out of the sweeping corners on one of the few descents we have in Sundsvall. Overall the bike felt stable at speed and when descending, provide less nervousness handling than some of the other bikes I have ridden over the years.

Frame: Aircode Carbon

Fork: Lapierre Aircode Full Carbon
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
Rear Derailleur: Shimano DuraAce
Crank: Shimano DuraAce 53×39 172.5
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 11-28
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Pressfit
Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe
Tyres: Mavic Yksion Comp 23
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra (Direct mount front)
Handlebar: ZIPP Service Course SL 80 Beyond Black
Stem: ZIPP Service Course SL Beyond Black 6° 100mm
Headset: FSA
Saddle: Fizik Antares
Seat Post: Lapierre Carbon
Weight: 7.4 kg’s