Lapierre’s flagship road Xelius SL is one bike that sees continuous evolution, even if not always obvious. The long time pro tour, stage racing carbon road bike gets lighter, more aero, and better integrated with rim or disc brakes. The new bike has even already won a French national road title, and a couple of stage wins in the recent Vuelta.
2019 Lapierre Xelius SL light, aero carbon road race bike
In the days of ever more specialized bikes for flat sprinting days and steep mountain stages, the Xelius SL is a rare bike that promises aero advantage and climber-ready lightweight.
Frenchman Anthony Roux rode the new bike to a 2018 National Road Champion title on the new bike in Mantes-la-Jolie, praising its versatility, “because depending on the choice of the wheelset profile, it is a high-performance bike both in the mountains and on the flat, during sprints or on hilly courses. This is why I preferred to take this new Xelius SL on all stages of the Giro 2018 and the French Road Championship 2018.”
Xelius SL Tech Details
Lighter in 2019, the new Xelius SL gets update with a more aerodynamic design again for the new year. Those NACA & Kamm tail profiles were inspired by Lapierre’s Aiscode SL aero bike to speed the Xelius SL dow the descents. The Xelius also gets smoother integration with a lower profile headset cover, revised seatpost clamp hardware, and re-optimized internal cable routing ports.
But while it is light and aero, the bike also retains the unique flexing seat cluster design that brings with it all day comfort as well. That amounts to what Lapierre cals the Powerbox stiff lower spine of the bike. and the 3D Tubular seatstays which curve past and around the seattube to isolate the front and rear triangles.
Now composed of a mix of five UD carbon fiber types from 24T-80T, the new Xelius SL shaves another 80g off the first generation of the SL, while maintaining the same stiffness. Looking inside to the hidden improvements, the use of a new internal latex mandrel allows Lapierre to improve the accuracy of the molding process for the monocoque front triangle, eliminating excess resin and requiring less carbon to maintain consistent strength. No official weight claim from Lapierre on the frame, but they allude to the fact that it is <900g for the hi-mod frame-only that the team race and that should be later available as a frameset.
Lapierre still thinks of the Xelius SL as a light climbing bike for tackling the mountains. But their idea is that if you climb a big pass, you don’t want to lose time on the descent on the other side. And worse yet if you are the fastest up the climb, only to lose the spring at the end of a long stage. So the Xelius continues to become an even more balanced all-rounder.
The bike features a 1.5″ tapered carbon steerer, a PressFit BB86 bottom bracket, and a standard round 27.2m seatpost. The rim brake bike features a direct mount brake on the fork, with a traditional single bolt brake on the seatstay brake bridge. The Xelius SL carries over Lapierre’s patented Trap Door Tech location of a Di2 system battery in an easily accessible pocket in front of the bottom bracket to keep weight low.
2019 Xelius SL updated Geometry
2019 Xelius SL Disc light, aero disc brake carbon road race bike
Even though the latest Xelius SL was first developed with rim brakes to serve the immediate needs of the FDJ team for road racing, Lapierre put all of the same effort into a disc brake version of the bike as well. It’s still up in the air how long it will take a French road team to embrace disc brakes now that the UCI has given the OK for road racing, but Lapierre is ready for the move.
The new Xelius SL Disc gets all of the same improvements as the rim brake bike, with weight savings, updated geometry, and aero gains. The big difference is that the Xelius SL Disc uses its own heat resistant High TG resin able to handle the higher temperatures put into the frame & fork by disc brakes.
It also builds in a bit more clearance for 28mm racing tires, while also shortening the chainstay length by 5mm to just 410mm (bringing it within 5mm of the rim brake bike.)
Of course the disc brake bike also opts for flat mount disc brake calipers and 12mm thru-axles at both ends.
2019 Lapierre Xelius SL Spec, Pricing & Availability
The new top level Xelius SL is available in five complete bike builds with rim brakes, including one women’s model, and two complete disc brake builds, all of which get climbing-friendly road compact or mid-compact gearing and 11-28 cassettes.
The top-level 5000€ Xelius SL 700 is a high performance build without going over the top. It features a Shimano Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, a tubeless Mavic Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL clincher wheelset with Yksion Pro 25mm UST tires, and a claimed complete weight of 7.22kg.
If Ultegra isn’t quite enough for your halo bike, a Xelius SL 900 Superlight is apparently also in the works. No idea on pricing, but it will include a SRAM Red eTap groupset, and AX lightness ultra light carbon wheels, seatpost, stem & bar, plus eeBrakes. We’re pretty sure if you have to ask, it’s already out of your price range. And despite a UCI approved frame sticker, it will surely be too light to race. A standard Xelius SL 900 should also come with a Dura-Ace group at some point as well.
The next tier bike is actually the 4200€ Xelius SL 700 FDJ team replica with it’s tricolor team paint scheme. At essentially the same weight (+10g), it also gets Ultegra Di2, but with a low profile alloy DT Swiss PR1400 wheelset and Continental GP 4000 tires, presumably so you can swap in your carbon tubular for racing.
The 2800€ Xelius SL 600 share the same light frame & fork but goes with Ultegra mechanical and a DT P1800 alloy wheelset at 7.65kg.
The 2000€ Xelius SL 500 dials it back to a new 105 groupset and Mavic Aksium wheels at 8.06kg claimed, and is available in both a unisex and a women-specific model that sahre geometry but differ in contact points.
2019 Lapierre Xelius SL Disc Spec, Pricing & Availability
Jumping back up to the top-tier disc brake bike, the 4500€ Xelius SL 700 Disc gets an Ultegra Di2 electronic shift/hydraulic brakeing build with a 21mm internal DT Swiss ER1400 wheelset with 28mm GP 4000s and a claimed weight of just 7.45kg.
The 3000€ Xelius SL 600 Disc saves money with a mechanical Ultegra groupset, keeping hydro braking of course, and gets a more budget alloy Mavic Aksium Disc wheelset with Conti UltraSport 28mm tires for a claimed weight of 8.47kg (all weight claims in size M.)
All of the new 2019 Xelius SL models can be ordered from Lapierre dealers, or you can even order direct from Lapierre’s website and have it sent to your local dealer shop. All models are available now, although not all sizes are currently in stock.