Nico Vouilloz is heading to the first round of the Enduro World Series at Punta Ala aboard a prototype alloy Lapierre Spicy Supreme 6 27.5″ mountain bike.
It’s a 60XX alloy that they’re using on their mountain bikes as of 2013 on hardtails, but they’ll be pushing the lighter material to their full suspension bikes for 2014. And in that range, you’ll find this bike.
Nico’s a SRAM Blackbox athlete, and while many of these parts have since been announced (new Pike forks, for example), these could be new wheels from SRAM. Originally, they looked like they might be some blacked out Easton prototypes, but Lapierre’s folks suggested he’s running on SRAM hoops. These are blacked out, but look like the new Roam wheels. However, those tires…
The Spicy uses their OST+ (Optimized Suspension Technology) design, which is similar to a Horst Link but carries their own patent. More on that in an upcoming factory tour post from Lapierre, but the key difference is the wheel path.
Everything on Nico’s nicely color matched, including ODI grips. Even the XX1 cranks and derailleur get matched decals. And those new black stanchions are just beautiful…waiting for the day Rockshox puts those on the shocks, too. These photos are of the first build, but word is he’ll be racing with the e:i electronic automatic suspension set up co-developed with Rockshox last year.
The Schwalbe First Ride prototype on the front looks different than anything in their current lineup. The 2-2-2-3 block center combination isn’t found on any of their existing models but the size and shape are consistent with their all-mountain treads. The side knobs have a consistent shape with the double siping of their gravity treads, so looks like a mashup aimed at extremely aggressive riding.
The rear looks similar to the new Rocket Ron, but (from this pic) with center knobs that are shorter and more tightly spaced. However, the side knobs look taller and bigger than the current Rocket Ron, so these “First Ride – Schwalbe Develoment Program” demarcations could mean they’re both new tires being tested. We can certainly see the appeal of a fast rolling tire like this second one with more aggressive bite in the corners for the exploding enduro market.