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Bike we like: Lapierre Sensium 500 CP

23 Jan 2017

What is it?

Hot off the Cross-Channel ferry, we bring you the newly revamped Sensium range from French firm Lapierre. Ridden by top pro team FDJ, Lapierre bikes are racing thoroughbreds designed for high-end performance. At the top of the tree are the Xelius and Pulsium, as used by the likes of Tour de France hopeful Thibaut Pinot and Milan-Sanremo winner Arnaud Démare. But Lapierre also makes cracking bikes at the more affordable end of the market for mere mortals such as us. The Sensium is its all-round endurance bike, designed to take on everything from fast club rides to long, hilly sportives, and although it’s described by Lapierre as their ‘entry level’ bike, the entirely redesigned frame borrows top tech from its pricier siblings. The curved top tube and slender seatstays, for example, are designed for compliance, doing their bit to provide all-day comfort, while the Power Box technology brings an oversized down tube and bottom bracket area to proceedings, adding stiffness where it’s needed most for efficient power transfer. 

What about the components – how is it specced?

We’ve often talked about Shimano’s 105 groupset. It’s the perfect balance of performance and value, and it’s used pretty much in its entirety here, even down to the rear cassette, which comes with 11 sprockets ranging from 11 to 32 teeth, so you’ll be well set for even the toughest climbs. Disc brakes are the excellent Shimano RS505 hydraulics to match the crisp, reliable performance of the shifters. Finishing kit is mostly Lapierre’s own, while the Shimano RX010 disc brake wheels are pretty basic but can be relied on to do their job effectively. 

Does it have any other neat tricks up its sleeve?

This isn’t just an update on the previous model of the Sensium, it’s an entirely new frame, and Lapierre has put a lot of thought into the details, introducing some clever new features. Although the 500 model you see here comes with mechanical shifting, the frame is Di2-ready and uses Lapierre’s Trap Door technology to fit the battery lower down in the frame, closer to the bottom bracket, to keep the centre of gravity lower and therefore improve handling and responsiveness. It also makes it easier to access the battery – so no need to remove the seatpost.

It’s an incredible colour, but what if I don’t like yellow?

Well, we think it looks stunning – the black and yellow paintjob is certainly designed to catch the eye, the detail designed to highlight the curve of the top tube as it flows into the seatstays. But if you really can’t get on with its vibrant yellow hues, it’s also available in a more subdued but equally attractive blue and black colour scheme. 

Ok, so How much will this beauty set me back?

The Sensium comes in three models – the 500 CP seen here can be yours for a penny change from £2,200. For us, it’s the pick of the bunch, not just for that lairy colour scheme but also for its well-balanced choice of components on a high-quality frame that makes the whole package excellent value. If you want to upgrade to Ultegra, the mid-range 600 comes in at £2,699.99, while the Di2-equipped 700 at the top end is £2,899.99. Whatever you pick though will be prove a joy to ride. 

Frame: Sensium carbon frame
and full carbon fork

Groupset: Shimano 105 5800

Chainset: Shimano 105

Cassette: Shimano 105, 11-32”

Brakes: Shimano 105

Bars: Lapierre HB-CR12

Stem: Lapierre

Seatpost: Lapierre SP-3D1

Saddle: Selle Italia X1

Wheels: Shimano RX010 disc brake 

Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport, 25c

Price: £2,199.99

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