Race tested: Lapierre Spicy 527 review

After plenty of riding and racing it’s time for Ben from MTBStrengthFactory‘s Lapierre Spicy 527 review.

Lapierre Spicy 527 review

  • 150mm rear travel via Fox Float CTD 
  • 160mm front travel via Rockshox Pike RC Fast Solo Air
  • 27.5″ wheels
  • Raceface, Shimano, SRAM components
  • Lapierre say 14.2kg
  • More info at lapierre-bikes.co.uk
  • £3099.99

Picking up the pace.

After a few months of riding and racing, it’s time for my Lapierre Spicy 527 review. Over the last few months the Spicy 527 and I have been picking up the pace a bit. We’ve been up and down the hills in preparation for the UK Gravity Enduro race season and spent plenty of time in the air up at Belmont Woods in Bristol! It has been ridden on pretty much every sort of trail you can imagine and mostly in the wet up until the last couple of weeks of fine weather.

“I am riding faster than ever before in my life which is in part down to how good the Spicy is.”

I have loved getting to know this bike and it absolutely rips. The 1198mm wheelbase isn’t staggeringly long but gives stability and confidence. It feels easy to commit to steep and technical lines whilst still being fun and fast on the mellow and flowing sections of trail. I honestly think that this Spring I am riding faster than ever before in my life which is in part down to how good the Spicy is.

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Standing up to the abuse

The bike has had a tough life, only receiving enough maintenance to get by without spending hours out in the cold with a hose and sponge in hand! Despite that, it has been impressively resilient to the abuse with the only casualties being a set of bushings and a few scratches from crashing!  4 months of wet, muddy, winter riding did put some strain on the bushings and play developed. I replaced the bushings myself and was surprised at how quick, cheap and easy the process was. The replacement parts are available online or through your local bike shop and didn’t break the bank.

“4 months of wet, muddy, winter riding did put some strain on the bushings”

A lot of my changes were just for personal taste. I swapped Lapierre’s 55mm stem for a Funn 45mm one and popped on some Marmite, thin-as-they-come ODI Aaron Gwin grips. I also got some Specialized Boomslang pedals in for review which are simply amazing.

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From there, things got a bit more technical. I bought a spacer kit for the Fox Float CTD shock and added a larger spacer. I found that the suspension felt a bit linear and I kept bottoming out … but the spacers really transformed the back end making it supple and nicely progressive. Be warned though, the spacer kits aren’t cheap and unlike the Pike (which provides volume reducer tokens free of charge) you have to spend £30 for a plastic disc! That stung a bit – but did improve the bike significantly.

Next, I changed to a 1×10 setup and got rid of the bash guard. The Spicy comes with an XT Shadow 2 x 10 setup which is fine but a bit rattly. I had a nightmare getting the SRAM cassette off and alloy free-hub body was heavily pitted from the cogs … but we got there in the end and the bike was lighter, simpler and less noisy for it. It’s worth metioning that the Mavic/Formula wheels are tough, sturdy but not hugely light. They’re great on the descents but would be the first place to look for major weight savings. That’s down to your riding style and your trails though.

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Short and bitter sweet race testing …

“A lot of which I attribute to this bike and the confidence and stability it gives me”

I managed 2 enduro races on the Spicy before this review, with mixed results as you will see. The bottom line is that I managed to get 16th in Masters at the Mini Enduro at FOD and 27th in qualifying in Masters at UKGE round 1 in Triscombe. Both of these are really good results for me and represent a great deal of improvement on last season, a lot of which I attribute to this bike and the confidence and stability it gives me.

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Final thoughts?

During the test I was really attached to the Spicy. It was a sturdy and confidence inspiring bike and it was pushing my race results in the right direction. I had to do some maintenance on it but the work was cheap and very doable at home. Some of the parts could have been lightened up but that was reflected in the price and added strength to the setup for gnarly riding. It would have been nice to see a 1×10 set up out of the box but again, that’s personal preference. 

From my time on the Spicy I would highly recommend it. We got on well together, we went fast and we had fun.

Read more about Lapierre’s Spicy 527 on their website.
For more bike tests and products check out our product section.

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