One of the great things about having a bike shop in Bath is being able to try out new bikes on some of the most amazing terrain. So last Sunday we took out 2 new Lapierre Audacio road bikes for a 50 mile test ride along fast twisty A roads, bumpy rutted back lanes and up the big ascent of Burrington Coombe. We think we’ve covered all the terrain bases
The 2 bikes we were riding were the Lapierre Audacio 400 Tiagra 10 speed triple and the Ladies Lapierre Audacio Tiagra 10 speed triple. We’ve written before about the bikes aesthetic appearance so we won’t bore you with that again, anyway there are lots of pictures over on our Facebook page albums of the 2 bikes. We really want to give you out impressions of how they ride, after all that’s more fun than drooling over photos online of bikes!
From the moment I got on the bike cycling down the Upper Bristol road I was struck that the bike is very direct, you put a bit of power through the pedals and it responds instantly, accelerating quickly. This directness doesn’t compromise comfort, I think my first comment within minutes of riding was ‘wow this is more comfortable than my CAAD 9!’ The pencil thin curved seatstays are definitely doing their job here. This matches up with what the expert reviewers tell us about the bike. I deliberately threw the bike over broken up tarmac at the road edge, which isn’t hard to find in Bath. The bike sailed across it with no juddering, the carbon fork also doing its job admirably of smoothing the road up front.
We headed out along the cycle path to Saltford where we turned off at the pub to head onto back lanes towards Compton Dando. These lanes are very twisty and undulating so it gave me a chance to test how precise the steering was and whether the bike would be thrown off course by the bumpy nature of the lanes. The steering and ability of the bike to stay planted to the road and the chosen line really impressed me.
We then picked up faster and wider A roads heading out to Chew Valley Lakes. This would really give me the chance to test the speed worthiness of the bike, and how well it could be made to respond to steering input at speed on the flowing bends. I put my foot down on a nice twisty flowing wide open bit of A road just after Blagdon. The bike flew and I seemed to be able to get it to go faster and faster. As for steering I felt that it just went directly where I pointed it, skimming the edges of corners or more upright through the middle, neither a problem.
We then turned up Burrington Coombe, which we think we last went up on the Exmouth Exodus at night, being led up by one of the amazing riders (with one gear!) from the Bristol TDO’s! Burrington really is not terrible steep, but there are some little ‘ramps’ – steeper bits – up some of the twisty corners. I stood out of the saddle on these short steeper sections and the bike carried on dutifully with no hint of flex, the light weight of the bike at 9kg also helped ascending. The third little chainring was welcome on the last very steep hill after the cattle grid, a good thing to have for long rides in comfort!
All in all the bikes are pretty amazing, comfortable, fast, they corner well and go uphill fine as long as you can muster the energy! I’d say its more comfortable at the back than my CAAD 9 and the front end is slightly higher so while less racy is more suited to long sportives and rides such as this one. The only upgrade we made were to Conti Gatorskins just to ensure no punctures. In the future I am going to build some new wheels as the Shimano WH-R500 aren’t the lightest, I’m thinking of some Hope hubs with Mavic Open Pro silver rims and silver spokes, I just want to stand out from the black wheel, rim, spoke crowd!