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Review: Lapierre Zesty Trail 829 e:i

Lapierre Zesty Trail 829 ei
Lapierre Zesty Trail 829 ei
Lapierre Zesty Trail 829 e:i

The Lapierre Zesty Trail 829 e:i has been updated for 2015, its second year in the ultra-competitive trail category. The major modification is a refined e:i system. The display screen on the previous version of the electronic suspension is gone. You now scroll through the settings via a single button located beside the stem/ steerer tube interface. The suspension status is displayed by a multi-coloured LED light. The small, cylindrical, 25-hour rechargeable battery now attaches to the bottle-cage mount and allows you to get a bidon in and out.

Components SRAM XX1 and X01
Suspension 120 mm RockShox SID RL Fast Solo Air 29″ fork, RockShox Monarch e:i
Wheels SRAM Roam 40 29″
Sizes S, M, L, XL
Price $7,400
Website lapierrebicycles.com

As with the previous version of e:i, you have three manual settings. On the new LED display, green means open, yellow means medium and red means locked. In the automatic setting, which is the most fun, the shock will stay firm when you pedal on smooth terrain. When you hit a bump, the system will switch to the medium or open setting instantly depending on the severity and frequency of the hit. If the system doesn’t sense pedalling, the shock defaults to the open position, ready for the upcoming feature that convinced you to stop turning the cranks – likely a twisty, rough or steep section of trail. I used the auto setting the most off road. It gave the most efficient and comfortable ride with the least amount of thinking required. The system only reacts to fork movements caused by bumps, not from movements above. When you’re pedalling out of the saddle, you can shove the fork side to side and the rear shock will remain in its most efficient setting.

Along with the new e:i, the bike gets the RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post. On my local trails, I never found myself needing to lower my saddle in steep, technical situations, likely due to the confidence-boosting 29er wheels. The bike is spec’d with a suitable 720-mm wide, low-rise bar and 70-mm stem. I tested a medium frame instead of my preferred large size, so I opted to run a 110-mm stem. This swap gave me the room I needed to be comfortable with no ill effects on the handling.

As for components, the bike is entirely outfitted with SRAM and RockShox. I was pleased with the power, modulation and lever feel of the new SRAM Guide RS brakes, rivalling anything I have used in the past. The 1×11 setup did take time to get use to. You’ll have to change the shifting techniques you developed running 2x or 3x systems. The spread across the 10–42 tooth cassette can have you overshooting the ratio you are looking for if you shift more than one gear at a time. The Roam 40 wheels impressed me with their acceleration, while the new Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires supplied tremendous traction, digging deep on the climbs or under hard braking.

The Zesty Trail 829 is a fantastic performing mountain bike with some superior technology onboard. You can leave the suspension settings to the experts and simply enjoy the ride.