Lapierre have announced their stake in the 2017 e-mountain bike market will be an update and a reimagining to their Overvolt range in the bizarre shape of the new AM Carbon model.
We mention 'strange shapes' and 'reimaginings' because the Overvolt AM Carbon - which will be available in three models (the 700, 800 & 900+) and three sizes - looks distinctly different to the majority of e-mountain bikes that are curerently out there.
Plus, it not only looks very different to its aluminium-framed predecessors, it's made of different stuff - Lapierre has made a 600g weight saving in the frame by opting for carbon, as well as the freedom to reimagine the Overvolt's shape.
The bike's standout feature is its allegedly amazing low centre of gravity. Lapierre have acheived that by rotating and relocating the battery, placing it almost directly above the Bosch motor.
It was Lapierre's decision to opt for carbon that allowed that rotation to take place. Upon first examination, those of you who are familiar with e-bike anatomy would have noticed the Overvolt AM Carbon's strange dog-leg shaped downtube and the bizarre battery placement.
This interesting design decision appears to have been made in order to consolidate and centralise the spread of the drive system's weight. The result is a visually condensed motor system, an exceptionally low centre of gravity, and a bike with supposedly phenomenal on-ground and in-air handling.
While the bike's flagship battery placement may be eye catching, but the Overvolt AM Carbon's spec sheet is certainly worth the majority of our attention.
Bosch's excellent CX Performance motor and 500Wh battery power all three AM Carbon models, while SRAM groupsets adorn the bottom brackets and chainstays of the entry level and top-of-the-range modles, and a Shimano set sits on the mid-range 800 model.
The 700 entry level model supports SRAM's 1x11 NX drivetrain, alongside a RockShox Yari RC fork and Mavic wheels; the middle child Overvolt AM Carbon 800 features Shimano's XT groupset, a RockShox Pike RC fork, and Lapiere's E-MTB eAM wheels; and the top of the range 900+ model carries SRAM's EX1 E-MTB groupset, RockShox's Pike RC fork, and eAM wheels.
RockShox Duluxe RT suspension sits fore and aft on all AM Carbon frames. You'll get 150mm and 140mm of travel out of them respectively.
If all of that doesn't spark a little bit of childish excitement in you, this video should:
In an interview with BikeBiz, a Lapierre spokesman said: “The e-Bike category is one we see huge potential in and one we believe it is here to stay. The Overvolt was a very important project for us and the aim was clear from the start... to make an e-bike that rides like a standard mountain bike.
"Reducing weight was not the key focus and not the reason we used carbon. Using carbon allowed us to shape the frame and achieve the required battery positioning to get that so important low centre of gravity. The fact that the frame came out lighter was an added bonus and helps to furthermore improve handling”