When the FDJ pro cycling team turned to Lapierre’s engineers to work on the latest iteration of the company’s time trial bike: the Lapierre Aerostorm DRS (Drag Reduction System), they had one goal: speed.
To achieve this goal Lapierre engineers set to work on improving the handling, braking and aerodynamics. Following two years of work by Lapierre engineers, FDJ technicians, and a Pulsaéro aircraft engineer, the project is complete and FDJ team riders have received their new steed.
The UCI approved frame will get its first competition outing at Etoile de Besseges, on 1 February. The bike will be released to the public in autumn 2016, and pricing and specification options will follow ahead of the release date.
- Handling: the geometry of the Aerostorm DRS has been completely reworked. The frames have been sized down, but with an increased top tube length, a steeper seat angle, and increased wheelbase. The results is billed as ‘an aggressive race geometry for a winning position on the bike.’
- Braking: a new custom made central pulling brake has been specially developed for the Aerostorm DRS, aimed at improving braking efficiency and aerodynamics. The brake is aligned with the frame and the narrow profile enables a smaller cover to reduce drag.
- Drag Reduction System (DRS): Airfoil profile tubes and a fully integrated cockpit aim to offer maximum efficiency and speed. The frame, fork, stem and handlebar are fully integrated and have been conceived as one in order to reduce drag as much as possible. CFD testing, sessions in the Roubaix velodrome and in wind tunnels were followed by road testing in autumn 2015 by Steve Morabito and Thibaut Pinot.
- Made using advanced carbon construction methods. Latex bladders and silicone mandrels combine together to optimise moulding pressure and structural strength.
- Rear triangle stiffness increased by 30% to optimise rider input.
- Weight improved to make it ‘one of the lightest TT bikes on the market’. (Version Team FDJ = 8.1kg in size M.)
- TDT (Trap Door Technology) – first used on the 2016 Xelius SL – this patent pending Lapierre technology is for placing the Di2 battery low in the frame with a quick and easy trap door to access it; and has been added following requests from FDJ’s mechanics. According to Lapierre, TDT makes the mechanics’ job faster and lowers the centre of gravity, making pedalling more efficient.
- A special guide in the seat tube has been developed for the outer cable casing, with an easily demountable cable stopper. This again aims to make maintenance easier and further improves the aerodynamics.
- Fully adjustable rider position: 3 different stem lengths (65/85/115mm), and a saddle position adjustable by 10cm.