As a road bike for longer rides and perhaps the odd sportive or two, the Audacio represents a very good buy. So while it might not be everyone’s perfect commuter, it is a fine speed machine for the money.
By Nigel Wynn
A modern road bike for an era when many people are opting for a drop-bar road machine as a daily commuter.
If your trip to and from work is relatively long and purely on tarmac, then the speedier nature of a road bike makes a lot of sense. (If only to allow you an extra five minutes in bed!)
The bold graphics and bright white and red paintjob look great, avoiding the lurid brashness of some other models at this competitive price point and includes entry-level Shimano Claris gears.
The Audacio’s frame is very nice. It’s an aluminium offering neatly finished and with the company’s slightly bowed seatstays, which Lapierre says helps to dampen some of the road buzz. The forks are carbon-fibre, serving up a side salad of the black stuff to the frame’s main course of metal.
Relaxed geometry creates a more upright position than more race-focused road bikes. Many manufacturers are moving in this direction with the popularity of sportives and leisure riding, where grinding your chin on the front tyre for four hours at 30mph is not deemed normal, or good for your back.
Lapierre has specced a full drivetrain of Shimano Claris components. This means you get Dual Control brake/shift levers and swooping lines to the drivetrain components that were once the preserve of Shimano’s far more expensive parts.
Shifting and braking from any position on the bars is easy, although we did find that we experienced the chain rubbing on the front derailleur cage when moving to the extremes of gears on the cassette. This could be trimmed out by diligent clicking of the front shifter after a bit of getting used to it. With a relatively narrow cassette ratio of 13-26 teeth, we also found that we were shifting up and down the chainset more than with bikes equipped with more sprockets.
The Promax brakes were passable enough, probably the weakest brakes in this test when put up against V-brakes and mechanical discs — but that seems a bit of an unfair comparison given the Lapierre’s pure road pedigree.
The finishing kit is all good, though, with Ritchey branded kit and a Selle Italia saddle, which we found to be a good shape although rather slippery against Lycra shorts. Often a poorly specced area at this price, the wheels were decent — Shimano Claris hubs matched to CFX rims and good quality Michelin Dynamic Sport tyres.Big tick for Lapierre there.
Although the bike’s all-in weight of 9.8kg is not particularly light for a road bike, in this company it is positively slender, being both the lightest and fastest bike by a margin. The trade off with high performance is a harsher ride than the other bikes. Narrow tyres and a stiff frameset mean you can feel every ripple in the road, and the less padded saddle and slim bar tape didn’t do much to aid bump absorption.
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