New Lapierre Prorace CF claims softail comfort in much lighter, XC-stiff carbon hardtail

Lapierre’s all-new Prorace CF carbon hardtail promises to mix race-ready stiffness, pedaling efficiency, and light weight with the comfort you’d usually only expect out of a bike with some rear suspension. Using the same 3D Tubular seat cluster as on their road bikes for years, the new Prorace separates the XC bike’s seattube from the seatstays to isolate the rider from rear wheel impacts.

Hardtail performance, but with the “spirit of a softail“.

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, riding

c. Lapierre, ride photos by Ugo Richard

The last generation of Lapierre’s Prorace XC mountain bike already promised to mix carbon hardtail speed with softail comfort, but relied on a SAT elastomer. But now, thanks to improved carbon and more engineered flex that has interestingly been adapted from their Pro Tour road racing bikes, the new Prorace is up to 225g lighter while also adapting to an evolution of more technical cross-country riding and racing.

What’s new – Tech details

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, displacement

The new carbon bike is all about being lighter, but its new 3D Tubular concept for the rear end has also allowed for tuned vertical flexibility so riders can push harder through rougher terrain with more traction & much more comfort. It’s totally the same concept on Lapierre’s Xelius & Aircode since 2015 – “dissociate the seatstays from the seat tube to improve their flexibility over a longer length and disperse vibrations and other shocks through the top tube instead of directly to the seat tube“.

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, 3D Tubular flex

It makes maybe even more sense on a lightweight XC hardtail these days, dropping the heavier and more complicated SAT elastomer of the previous Prorace, thanks to the benefits of better carbon & layup – but keeping the 27.2mm seatpost.

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, angled detail

A new premium ‘very hi-mod’ UD SLI (Super Light Innovation) raw material mix and a refined 300+ piece carbon layup over new polypropylene mandrels have boosted the Prorace’s stiffness:weight ratio. At the same time, they’ve allowed Lapierre to shed weight, provide more rider comfort, and increase the responsiveness of the new XC frame.

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, frame detail

The Prorace actually gets two different carbon layups – just the top model gets the lightest 845g UD SLI Team layup, while the remaining four bikes get a 970g UD SLI layup (raw size M frames, claimed). But even the more base level is “now the highest level of Lapierre’s carbon range”.

Updated XCO Geometry

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, riding

Lapierre gives the new 29er Prorace a complete geometry overhaul, catered more towards modern technical XCO racing, and dialed back to four stock frame sizes (S-XL).

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, geometry

The new setup features ~2cm longer Reach, 5-10mm lower Stack, 1.5° slacker head angle, 1° steeper seat angles, and 8mm shorter chainstays. With a 68° headtube, 74° seattube & 420mm chainstays… the new Prorace doesn’t go overboard, instead sticking with a modern XC race focus.

Lapierre Prorace CF – Pricing & options

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, 9.9 UD SLI Team layup

2022 Lapierre Prorace CF 9.9

The new Lapierre Prorace CF is offered in five complete bike builds – all spec’d with rigid posts, but dropper compatible. Only the 6500€ Lapierre Prorace CF 9.9 gets the lightest UD SLI Team carbon frame, combined with a SRAM X01 Eagle AXS wireless drivetrain, a RockShox SID SL Ultimate 100mm fork, and Lapierre carbon wheels.

The remaining four bikes all share the UD SLI layup, in an otherwise outwardly identical frame.

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, 5.9

2022 Lapierre Prorace CF 5.9

Lapierre Prorace CF 5.9 costs about 1/3 as much as the top tier bike at 2300€, with a build of  SRAM SX Eagle, Level brakes, a SR Suntour Raidon fork, and tubeless-ready alloy wheels.

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtails

2022 Lapierre Prorace CF 6.9, 7.9 & 8.9

At 2900€, the Prorace CF 6.9 steps up to a SRAM NX/SX Eagle mix, Level T brakes, and a RockShox SID Select fork. The 7.9 at 3600€ gets a SRAM Xo1/GX Eagle mechanical mix, Level TL brakes, a Fox 32SC Performance fork & DT X1900 alloy wheels. And the 4600€ Prorace CF 8.9 upgrades to full Shimano XT, a Fox 32 SC Factory fork, and the same Lapierre carbon wheels as the 9.9.

Lapierre Prorace lightweight carbon XC hardtail, photo by Ugo-Richard

LapierreBikes.com

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Jake Carlin
Jake Carlin
4 days ago

GT has been doing this for years, Lapierre is a rip off artists

Zach Overholt
Admin
Zach Overholt(@zachoverholt)
4 days ago
Reply to  Jake Carlin

GT’s Triple Triangle design was attached at the seat tube, and meant to increase stiffness not compliance. Other companies like Volagi have tried similar designs for compliance though.

Zahava Barwin
Zahava Barwin
4 days ago
Reply to  Jake Carlin

This looks more like a Trek supercaliber than anything else, just without the shock.

Rustilicus
Rustilicus
4 days ago
Reply to  Jake Carlin

And it was an old design when GT “ripped it off” from others.

Chunk
Chunk
4 days ago
Reply to  Jake Carlin

At least you tried.

Ryan
Ryan
4 days ago

Nice GT Grade Bro

Raoul De Villiers
Raoul De Villiers
3 days ago

Looks very similar to the Silverback Superspeed I designed quite a few years ago… And in our experience it does make it more comfortable having the seatube more free to move… Nice design. Bikes evolve, designs are often similar, so what… I think it’s great to have so many good choices of bikes out there!