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2022 Lapierre Xelius SL3: Versatile race bike range gets new lay-ups and across the board refinements

French brand updates its pacy all-rounder with a host of adjustments making it lighter, more aero and stiffer where it's needed most

Will Strickson
17 Dec 2021

Lapierre has launched the third generation of its all-rounder Xelius SL road racing bikes with a host of changes that promise to improve just about everything.

The French brand – which produces the closest thing you'll get to a Raleigh road bike these days as its sister company – first released the Xelius in 2010 before the second iteration in 2015 introduced its signature triple triangle designed first seen on GT's mountain bikes.

This latest update to the Xelius has already been teased via the pro peloton through Groupama-FDJ and FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitain Futuroscope in the men's and women's WorldTour respectively and we got a couple of closer looks at David Gaudu and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig's race machines.

Now Lapierre has released the full details of the range – which it refers to as Xelius SL3 – with six models and two frame kits available.

Lapierre Xelius SL3 big changes

One of the bigger – but unseen – changes is an update to the frame's unidirectional carbon lay-up. A slight change to the production process means that less resin is needed and therefore weight is reduced.

The result is a newly labelled Xelius Carbon UD SLI frame – the latter being Super Light Innovation. Lapierre says it saves 232g compared to the existing SL2 Team Disc.

In the new range there are three levels to that: Lay-up Light at 725g, Lay-up Stiff at 745g and Lay-up Standard at 845g – all claimed figures. The Light option is for sizes XS to M only, while the Stiff variant is for L and XL.

There have also been several stiffness-related improvements, with a bigger downtube and bottom bracket as well as wider, asymmetrical chainstays and 1.5in headset bearings. Stiffness levels vary between the different lay-ups but you can probably guess from the naming which is stiffest.

Lapierre has also taken inspiration from its Aircode aero road bike to help give the Xelius – which thanks to its weight is used as a climber by the pros – an extra push on descents. To this end, there are aero profiles on the downtube, seat tube and seat stays, the fork and head tube have had a slight reshaping, the top tube has been given a steeper slope, and cables and hoses have been fully integrated.

Lapierre says its CFD modelling and wind tunnel tests have shown an average aerodynamic improvement of 8.5% at 0-20° yaw angles from the SL2 to the SL3, that apparently equates to around 7 watts at 40kmh, 12 watts at 50kmh and 22 watts at 60kmh.

Other changes include a new more compact and lighter seat clamp, clearance for 32mm tyres, a new smaller Trap Door for Di2 access, and a lowering of the overall centre of gravity through lower bottle cage and Di2 battery positions.

Lapierre Xelius SL3 geometry

Geometry changes have also been inspired by the Aircode thanks to feedback from Lapierre's pro partners, meaning improved aerodynamics and overall performance.

While reach has been lengthened, the frame has been made more compact. The top tube is very slightly shorter top tube on most sizes, and also slopes more, meaning more exposed seat post to flex over bumps, an important feature as the Xelius is what both FDJ teams use for the cobbled classics.

Lapierre Xelius SL3 specs and pricing

Lapierre Xelius SL 5.0

  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Lapierre Road disc Alloy
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Sport 3 SL 700×25
  • Saddle: Selle Italia X3 boost
  • Price: £2,699

Lapierre Xelius SL 6.0

  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: DT Swiss E1800 Spline32
  • Tyres: Schwalbe One Raceguard Tubeless Easy 700×25
  • Saddle: Prologo Dimension
  • Price: £3,199

Lapierre Xelius SL 7.0

  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2
  • Wheels: DT Swiss E1800 Spline32
  • Tyres: Schwalbe One Raceguard Tubeless Easy 700×25
  • Saddle: Fizik Argo Vento R5
  • Price: £4,399

Lapierre Xelius SL 8.0

  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2
  • Wheels: Lapierre Road Disc 38
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000 S TR 700×25
  • Saddle: Fizik Argo Vento R5
  • Price: £5,399

Lapierre Xelius SL 9.0

  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
  • Wheels: Lapierre Road Disc 38
  • Tyres: Continental GP5000 S TR 700×25
  • Saddle: Fizik Argo Vento R5
  • Price: £6,999

Image credits: Lapierre

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