Making its debut on the cobbles at Paris-Roubaix under FDJ.fr this year, the Pulsium has a clear raison d’être — one look at the curved tubing and it’s easy to see where the majority of the vibration absorption comes from.
Lapierre says specific carbon lay-ups help with the damping effect, but it’s the divided top tube where it meets with the seat tube that really stands out.
This, according to Lapierre, allows flex in the seat tube thanks to the insertion of an elastomer ring within the bottom divide. Together, the power and absorption elements should give more grip and stability over rough terrain, along with better power transfer, which is aided by some key oversized tubing Lapierre calls ‘Power Box technology’.
This power element has been designed into tubing that suffers most from tensional stiffness — chainstays, bottom bracket, down tube and all the way up through the head tube and top tube junction. The result is a claimed lateral stiffness equal to the Xelius EFI.
“The Aircode will take the place of the Xelius”
The Aircode looks set to take the place of the Xelius as FDJ.fr’s ‘go to’ frameset. Using the same Power Box technology, this time in the form of a Kamtail tubing profile, the front end takes cues from Lapierre’s Aerostorm TT bike, with a narrow head tube and semi-integrated stem. Both brakes are now direct-mount, with the rear tucked under the chainstays.
Other details all contribute to the making of a swift bike, from using a mixture of high-modulus carbon fibres, which makes it strong and stiff in the right places, to the integrated seat tube and complete internal cable routing. The end result is a frameset with the same lateral stiffness as the Xelius EFI.
With up to six sizes available via certified bike shops, in a variety of specs, we’re just left with two known unknowns — when will they be available and how much will they cost? Seeing as the pros are only just standing astride them, we don’t anticipate these hitting the shop floor until autumn at the earliest.