Without a doubt, the Lapierre eZesty is one of the initiators of the light eMTB category. While the frame and spec have hardly changed from last year, the new FAZUA update provides a huge (and much needed) performance boost. But can the veteran hold up against the latest generation of lightweight eMTBs?

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Click here for an overview of the best light eMTB of 2020 – 3 super lightweight e-bikes in review

Lapierre eZesty AM 9.0 | FAZUA EVATION/252 Wh | 150/150 mm (f/r)
19.5 kg in size L | € 5,999 | manfacturer’s website

Since its launch in summer 2018, the Lapierre eZesty has been turning heads. With its silver-grey carbon frame and organic shapes, it was the first stock full susser with a FAZUA drive – and a very sexy one at that! The down tube of the € 5,999 eZesty houses a FAZUA Evation Drive Pack. As an early adopter of the FAZUA drive, the Lapierre has already undergone several upgrades. For a start, the lock of the drive unit has been revised. The update leaves a (somewhat superfluous) hole in the down tube, which is covered by a rubber plug. Moreover, the eZesty AM now comes with the free 2.0 firmware as standard. This improves the level of support and more clearly differentiates the support levels. As usual, the battery has a capacity of 252 Wh. It would have been great to see the same love for detail Lapierre’s engineers put into the frame design, on smaller parts like the external speed sensor and mudguard. While the latter protects the shock from dirt and mud, when the rear shock compresses it rubs against the tire and makes an irritating noise.

Lapierre eZesty AM 9.0 specs and weight

When Lapierre introduced the eZesty AM about eighteen months ago, eMTBs under 20 kg were still something of a rarity and mostly specced with light and thus more vulnerable components. That’s not the case with the eZesty AM 9.0. While it weighs just 19.5 kg, it relies on solid components which are perfectly suited to tough trail applications. Above all, the 150 mm FOX 36 Performance fork offers significantly more reserves than the “thinner” forks fitted to the Specialized and NOX on rough terrain. Out back, a FOX FLOAT Performance shock manages 150 mm of travel. A pair of solid and powerful SRAM Guide RE brakes take care of the braking and rely on a 200 mm rotor for both 27.5” wheels. The in-house eAM + wheelset rolls on 2.5” MAXXIS HighRoller II tires with EXO casing. Moving to the cockpit, the stem comes in different lengths depending on the frame size. A 35 mm stem is fitted on sizes M and L and a 45 mm stem on the XL frames. While the smallest frame has 760 mm handlebars, L and XL frames come with 780 mm bars.

Best fork in test
The FOX 36 Performance has 150 mm of travel. Aggressive riders should set the GRIP compression setting roughly to the middle. In this setting the fork is sensitive but still provides sufficient support.
Battle scars
When the rear suspension compresses, the tire rubs against the fender making a very irritating noise. However, you can trim the fender with a sharp stanley knife.
Enough room
There’s enough space in the main frame to accommodate a large water bottle

Lapierre eZesty AM 9.0

€ 5,999

Specifications

Motor FAZUA EVATION 55 Nm
Battery FAZUA Battery 250 252 Wh
Display FAZUA Remote B
Fork FOX 36 Performance 150 mm
Rear Shock FOX DPS Performance 150 mm
Seatpost LP 7075 Dropper 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RE 200/200 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX Eagle 1x12
Stem LP FULL CNC 35 mm
Handlebar LP 6061DB 780 mm
Wheelset LP eAM+ 27.5"
Tires MAXXIS HighRoller II 2.5"

Technical Data

Size M L Xl
Weight 19.5 kg
Perm. total weight 120 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 100 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

size specific cockpit components


Sensitive
The rear suspension works sensitively and provides good traction at the rear. Unfortunately, on technical climbs and with an aggressive riding style, the shock tends to sink deep into its travel.
Relict
FAZUA recently revised and simplified the click mechanism of the drive unit. Under the unsightly rubber plug there’s still the (now superfluous) opening that accommodated the lever of the old system before.
Reasonable braking power
With a 200 mm rotor front and rear, SRAM’s Guide RE brakes provide good braking power, decent heat dissipation and great modulation.

Lapierre eZesty AM geometry and sizing

The Lapierre eZesty is available in three sizes: M, L and XL. There’s no size S because it wouldn’t be able to fit the elongated shape of the FAZUA drive without compromising the handling of the bike. Unfortunately, this means that the eZesty is not an option for short riders. At 75°, the seat angle is the steepest in our test, at least on paper. However, the distinctive bend in the seat tube and the fact that the effective seat angle changes as you extend the dropper means that in practice, it is a lot slacker.

Size M L XL
Seat tube 430 mm 460 mm 500 mm
Top tube 606 mm 636 mm 666 mm
Head tube 130 mm 145 mm 160 mm
Head angle 65.5° 65.5° 65.5°
Seat angle 75.0° 75.0° 75.0°
Chainstays 435 mm 435 mm 435 mm
BB Drop 15 mm 15 mm 15 mm
Reach 443 mm 470 mm 496 mm
Stack 607 mm 621 mm 635 mm

Steep isn’t always fun, but as long as it’s downhill, the eZesty feels in its element. On steep climbs, the riding position is too tail-heavy.

Helmet Bell 4Forty MIPS | Shirt ION Scrub Amp | Shorts ION Scrub Select | Knee pads 7 Protection Sam Hill Knee

Lapierre eZesty AM 9.0 on test – plenty of comfort and safety

On flat trails, the eZesty feels like an armchair. The suspension works very sensitively and soaks up all bumps. The riding position is somewhat tail heavy and takes pressure off your hands which makes the bike suitable for long rides and tours, as long as the climbs aren’t too steep. Unfortunately, that’s when the shock starts sinking deep into its travel, forcing you even further back over the rear wheel. To achieve a better climbing position, we recommend pushing the saddle all the way forward (though even then the riding position is not ideal) and switching the shock into trail mode. This prevents the rear end from sinking but also compromises traction on the rear wheel, which then struggles to transmit the full torque of the FAZUA motor to the trail when riding in the highest Rocket mode. Technical climbs require good riding skills and active shifting of your weight, which means the eZesty is best suited for less demanding climbs on fire roads.

Downhill, the chassis of the eZesty and the FOX 36 fork provide endless traction. The rear end sticks to the trail and makes it easy to keep your line even with nasty wet roots and harsh braking manoeuvres. Together with the high front end and reliable brakes, the Lapierre inspires tons of confidence even in steep sections. Through open corners, the Lapierre feels balanced and is easy to handle. However, on quick direction changes and jumps, it lacks support in the rear end and requires more physical effort than its competitors. When riding flat trails with the shock in the open mode, you’ll have to load the front end a lot more than with the other two bikes if you want to get traction on the front wheel. You’ll need good riding skills and a clean technique here and is why we recommend riding with the shock in the middle position, especially on flowy trails. While this will affect traction in the rear end, it will also give you more feedback and support, especially when riding aggressively. If you push the eZesty through a berm, the rear end flexes noticeably and sometimes even causes the tire to rub against the frame.

Tuning tips: push the saddle all the way forward | trim the fender | volume spacer in the shock for more progression

Conclusions

The Lapierre eZesty AM 9.0 convinces with a sensible spec, great look and confidence inspiring handling, all at a very fair price. While the riding position and sinking rear end mar the climbing performance a little, other issues like the scraping fender are just utterly annoying. Downhill, the eZesty requires an active riding style for fast maneuvers, but in return offers top traction, control and great speed on steep terrain.

Tops

  • confidence inspiring
  • sensible trail-oriented spec

Flops

  • speed sensor
  • riding position
  • too little support for an active riding style

You can find out more about at bikes-lapierre.de

The test field

Click here for an overview of the best light eMTB of 2020 – 3 super lightweight e-bikes in review

All bikes in test: Lapierre eZesty AM 9.0 | NOX HeLIUM 5.9 All Mountain Expert (Click for review) | Specialized Levo SL Expert (Click for review)


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Words: Felix Stix Photos: Christoph Bayer

About the author

Felix Stix

Felix is chief of testing and undoubtedly one of the best test riders in the world. With a degree in sports engineering, excellent mountain bike skills, his love of technology and as a certified bike guide, Felix has everything it takes to make comprehensive and fair assessments of bikes. His legendary group tests are internationally known and feared, though they tend to be a bit longer due to his love of detail and technical deep dives. Every year, he reviews around 100 bikes, specialising in the subject of tires, motors and suspension, before putting on his skis come winter! His know-how is incorporated into each of our reviews, ensuring the quality of our work stays high!