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TDU 2017 Tech: Jeremy Maison’s FDJ Lapierre Xelius SL – updated

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FDJ (Francaise des Jeux), the French National Lottery, is a long-standing sponsor of French cycling. The FDJ team manager is Frenchman Marc Madiot, a multiple winner of Paris-Roubaix and Grand Tour stage winner. Assigned to this particular bike is Jeremy Maison, a second year professional with the team who came up through the French amateur ranks; he was with VC Toucy from 2007 – 2014 and CC Etupes in 2015.

Lapierre, the French bike company, has supplied the team with bikes for several years. The 2017 Lapierre Xelius SL receives updates in the form of a lighter SL carbon layup and slightly shortened chainstays – good for acceleration and climbing. The team is expected to debut the disc brake version of the Xelius during the season, but for now, click on through to see the rim brake version of Jeremy Maison’s Lapierre Xelius SL, and a closer look at the Dura-Ace power meter crankset

Jeremy is extremely proud of his Lapierre – he gladly handed it to me to be photographed, and expressed gratitude to the team mechanic.

The unique seatstays of the Xelius SL connect directly to the toptube for a claim of lighter weight and less stress at the seat cluster.

Lapierre claims the design allows for a little more flex for comfort at the saddle, but without compromising drivetrain or handling stiffness.

A French-themed Fizik Aliante saddle tops the Shimano / Pro branded seatpost.

Shimano has been a long time supplier to the team and the two actually work very closely as a development partnership, and such relationships come with perks.

Jeremy’s Xelius SL is one of the few team bikes I’ve spotted sporting the latest R9100 series Dura-Ace crank. And if you look closely, you’ll see that it is not just the new crankset, but the new Shimano dual sided power meter that FDJ has been testing for the last year.

On the non-driveside crankarm is the label, Prototype, as this is the preproduction power meter with electronics incorporated into each arm. We’ve covered it a bit before at its introduction, but no one has any yet, except for FDJ since they’ve been testing it is a few iterations.

A K-Edge chain catcher prevents the unthinkable from happening.

The venerable 9000 series Dura-Ace clipless pedal.

The rest of Jeremy’s bike is kitted out with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 series components and Pro branded cockpit parts… and handlebar tape.

Note the stem length – 123mm – and the spacers above and below the stem. The mechanic has left a little wiggle room for handlebar height adjustments.

K-Edge also supply the team’s computer mounts.

Heat shrink is the preferred method among professional team mechanics for keeping wired electronic drivetrains tidy.

Dura-Ace Di2 9070 series rear derailleur; 11-25 and 11-28 cassettes are the popular choice at the 2017 Tour Down Under.

The Continental Competition ProLTD tubular tire dominated the pro peloton in 2016. Things have changed in that regard, but FDJ remains loyal. For those who are not aware, the ProLTD tire features a latex inner tube and is not available for public sale – pro issue only.

Shimano Pressfit bottom bracket.

Lapierre – designed and engineered in France since 1946.

Dura-Ace 9000 series brakes.

Shimano eke increased performance out of their rim brakes with every new generation. The 9000 series brakes are stellar.

Elite’s Custom RacePlus bottle cages are a popular choice among all of the WorldTour teams.

Lapierre Bikes


Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

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Mike
Mike
6 years ago

It’s nice to see how civil Volagi is in response to the Xelius design, as opposed to another company’s reaction to Volagi. If you Google “Lapierre Xelius Volagi” there’s a link to a discussion on Volagi’s Facebook. The photo in that link shows new vs old Xelius (left to right). Has Volagi’s design patent expired?

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike

……or does patent law not apply since the Lapierre was designed in France?

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Out of curiosity… I assume you’re referring to the seat stays…. How then does Volagi’s patent contend with the GT triple triangle design?

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

GT’s triple-triangle design has the seatstays connected to the seat tube, whereas the Volagi and Lapierre seatstays do not touch the seat tube, going around them and connecting to the top tube. GT’s seatstays are effectively shorter than normal, connecting lower on the seat tube rather than attaching to behind the seat collar region of a more conventional frame design. The Volagi & Lapierre seat stays are effectively longer, from rear hub to top tube. The GT has a more rigid design, Volagi & Lapierre’s is more compliant.

patrick
patrick
6 years ago

Gorgeous. I wish it were easier to snag a Lapierre in the ol’ US of A. The di2 Aircode SL from 2016 is beautiful.

Cheri Villines
Cheri Villines
6 years ago

Had a Lapierre dealer here for a short while, they can’t get them anymore. Seems you have to go to Canada, Since Lapierre doesn’t have shop owners to tick off in the U.S., I would think it would think they could help themselves by selling direct. Probable a pipe dream on my part, but would love to be able to get one easily in the U.S.

Ananzo
Ananzo
6 years ago
Reply to  Cheri Villines

Aren’t they an Accell brand? Same story with DB and Raleigh.

MaraudingWalrus
6 years ago
Reply to  Ananzo

They were distributed in the States by Accell NA, but they are no longer.

Czechmate
Czechmate
6 years ago

Nice pics. The crankset is the power meter version (FC-R9100-P as stated on the non-drive crank), not yet released by Shimano.
Interesting to see that is also paired with the older generation 9070 front derailleur… according to Shimano this combination shouldn’t work due to changed inner/outer chainring spacing. Thanks for posting these pics up BR…

bill lumbergh
bill lumbergh
6 years ago
Reply to  Czechmate

Although shimano is advertising the spacing as different I’ve had zero issue running the 9100 FD with a non-9100 crank. i’m guessing it could be better on all 9100 but the difference is too small to significantly impact performance.

Ananzo
Ananzo
6 years ago

While you guys are making changes to the website, you should make it so when you are on the home page (or other post lists) that when you click on the image for the post it goes to the post instead of just the image. You are probably losing traffic this way, and it’s just annoying.

Rich W.
Rich W.
6 years ago

Can someone offer insight as to the seemingly random stem lengths. I seem to remember reading something about Sky picking and choosing certain stems because of slight variations in length. Does the production line for 120mm stems really spit out stems that vary by up to 3mm (or more)?

thesteve4761
thesteve4761
6 years ago
Reply to  Rich W.

Rich, yes, alloy stems vary by +-3mm. It is not uncommon for pro team mechanics to make sure they pair up the individual stems used on a rider’s various bikes to make sure all have the exact same length. In my experience with one specific brand, over 4 years of working with teams, seeing stems up to 5mm off of labeled length was not uncommon.

mike
mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Rich W.

Shimano started making their Pro stem in 1mm increments for Team Sky, they are made that way, it is not a production variation, guess they are making them available to FDJ also.

thesteve4761
thesteve4761
6 years ago

At least the chain is clean.

Antipodean_g
6 years ago

Great pics and oh my that is sexy 🙂

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