A comfortable, endurance rider from a brand with a racing edge. Tom Isitt gets to grips with the Lapierre Sensium 200CP
The Lapierre Sensium 200CP is pretty much slap bang in-between the race and endurance ends of the sportive spectrum as an all-rounder.
Lapierre has been making bicycles since 1946, and has supplied bikes to ProTour race teams such as FDJ. Stages of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia have been won on Lapierre bikes, so the brand has history and is well known as an early adopter of the MTB phenomenon, making some world-class off-roaders.
The Sensium is Lapierre’s endurance/sportive range, and the carbon-fibre frameset reflects that in its geometry.
The size L (nominally a 55cm) has a stack of 578mm and a reach of 383mm, giving an STR of 1.51. This is pretty much bang on what many designers think is the perfect ratio for a comfortable but still fairly aero riding position.
The seat tube angle is a relatively lazy 72.5 degrees, and the head tube angle is 73 degrees (the head tube itself is 180mm). All this adds up to a frame that is designed for comfort, but without sacrificing performance and handling.
As you’d expect from a bike costing £1,400, Shimano 105 is present and correct. What is slightly more surprising is that it’s 11-speed (5800, for those who like the numbers) throughout, so there has been no penny-pinching with the brakes or chainset. This is all good news because 105 is a good groupset.
Finishing kit is predominantly Ritchey Comp (handlebars, stem and seatpost), but with an FSA headset and Selle Italia X1 saddle. It’s all decent stuff, and pretty much what you’d expect on a bike at this price.
At 1,869g for the pair, the Shimano RS010 wheelset is not exactly light, and is another candidate for swift upgrade. With 20-spoke radial lacing on the front and a two-cross 24 on the back, these wheels are fine for winter training and should last well, but they’re not much to write home about.
When you get them spinning, they roll well enough, but the weight makes them feel a little sluggish and reluctant to get going. Once in motion, they roll perfectly adequately, and on the flat you barely notice the weight. The Hutchinson Equinox slick tyres give good grip and feedback.
There is a Goldilocks quality to this bike… not too hard, not too soft; not too hot, not too cold. There is a reassuring neutrality to it. The steering is unfussy, turning in precisely and holding its line well, and the lay-up of the frame ensures that most of the buzz and bumps from the road are ironed out before they get to the rider.
The 11-speed Shimano 105 groupset gives slick, precise shifting and the brakes offer plenty of power and feel.
The riding position is such that you can breeze along on the hoods admiring the scenery, but equally you can get on the drops and blast along when you feel like it.
A great all-rounder with a sensible selection of finishing kit, the Lapierre Sensium 200CP is a value for money sportive machine