We can’t wait to get this bike out on the trails. The revised X-Flow 712 looks, quite simply, superb, and promises to ride just as well thanks to technology developed in conjunction with the brand’s team of super-fast young downhill racers and Nicolas Vouilloz (ten times World Champion in case you’d forgotten) who has a major and instrumental part in the company’s entire range of bikes.
Notable changes from 2012 include a longer front-center, slightly slacker head-angle (to 67.5degrees) and the fork travel is increased to 130mm from 120mm.
For now, here’s a quick glance over the bike. This one is in fact UK distributor Hotlines’ Martin Astley’s personal steed (hence several small component changes – tyres, bar/stem and dropper post), but we’ve got one of our own to test out so keep your eyes peeled for a full write-up very soon.
2013 Lapierre X-Flow 716. The components on this are top-notch, the frame construction equally so. 2012 was the first year for this particular line of bikes and for 2013 they have been vastly improved.
Let's start at the top then. Nice graphics, full carbon frame and some internal cable routing all help with the X-Flow's sublime and sleek looks.
Internal cable routing for the million-and-one gadgets and gizmos of 21st century MTBs.
The fork is one place where the X-Flow changes for 2013. Up 10mm from 120mm to 130mm.
Formula brakes really cannot be faulted.
120mm of silky smooth rear travel provided by the Kashima Fox Float shock with CTD (Climb, Trail, Descend) adjustment.
This is where the magic happens. The 'Pendbox' design was originally developed through Lapierre's downhill bike. According to Lapierre, the system is the "most efficient anti-pedal kickback system to date".
Lapierre's Pendbox design. Does it work? Certainly.
XTR 2x10 crankset and XTR Shadow rear mech with Martin Astley's custom chain guide.. This is made by Bionicon and has nothing at all to do with Lapierre, but apparently it works a treat. Anyone remember DCDs?
Martin's chainguide again. It shouldn't really be necessary with the clutch-equipped rear mech, but is there for peace of mind anyway.
The CTD shock along with the 130/120mm travel, great pedalling efficiency and superlight frame make this bike, on paper at least, a perfect UK trail bike.
For 2013 the bike has a longer front-center, increased stiffness around the BB and the head-angle is slackened to 67.5degrees. All of these changes will help to make the bike more stable.
According to Martin Astley, it’s a Nicolas Vouilloz design and therefore “the suspension is unreal”. Vouilloz is famed for his tinkering and attention to detail where suspension is concerned so you can bet that he aint lying. The spec list is drool-worthy with such highlights as: XTR crankset, Kashima coated fork and shock, Mavic Crosstrail wheels and XTR Shadow rear mech.
The kit-list probably ought to be high-end stuff though as the retail price is set at £4, 299.99.
You can find more information about the X-Flow 712 at: www.lapierre-bikes.co.uk
If you like the look of it, come back soon! for the full review.
All photos © Andy Lloyd.