First Look Friday: Lapierre XR 729, Luvhandles grips and Thule VeloCompact

First Look Friday is an introduction to the products that we are currently testing for review. This week we're featuring the Lapierre XR 729, Luvhandles soft grips and Thule VeloCompact bike carrier.

Lapierre XR 729


Lapierre XR 729 1.jpg

The Lapierre XR 729 is a carbon cross-country orientated mile cruncher. The first thing you notice on the XR 729 is that the shock is hidden in an odd protruding seat tube to accommodate the single pivot suspension design. I've grown fond of the striking look but don't expect to squeeze two water bottles within the front triangle.

 

Lapierre XR 729 2.jpg

Expecting a full blown XC bike, we were a little stumped when a custom built XR 729 with a 120mm Pike and dropper seatpost arrived in the office. The only component that was stock (according to the Lapierre website) was the wheelset and tyres. After the first ride, however, it all made sense but I'll leave those details for the full review.

 

Lapierre also produce the Lapierre XR 729 e:i which uses an electronic shock to adapt automatically to the terrain. This models retails for R82,995. Custom builds of the mechanical suspension bike can be arranged. You can view all the 2016 Lapierre bikes at www.lapierrebikes.co.za.

 

LuvHandles


Luvhandles was started by twin brothers late last year who were tired of paying too much for bike components such as grips. So they set out to find a high quality silicone grip to sell directly to the public at a reasonable price.

 

Luvhandle Grips 1.jpg

 

A neat feature of their online offering is that it allows you to select the colour of your grips and plugs separately. They say this results in almost 50 colour combinations, perfect for the matchy-matchy builders.

 

On first look the grips and plugs appear to be top notch but I'll have to see how well they with stand up to some abuse on my wide tree bashing handlebars. A set of Luvhandles grips and plugs currently retail for R120.

 

Check out their online store for more details here.

 

Thule VeloCompact


Thule VeloCompact 1.jpg

 

The Thule VeloCompact comes in a two or three bike configuration. The VeloCompact is a relatively new addition to the line up having been released in 2015. It promises to be light weight and compact. The carrier attaches to a tow bar and has a tilt mechanism so that you can access a hatch type rear door.

 

Thule VeloCompact 2.jpg

 

The VeloCompact retails for R8,999 in the two bike configuration and R11,999 for the model that can carries three bikes.




26 Comments

MarcBurger, Feb 19 2016 11:51

The Luvhandle white grip name "Dirty White Grips".

Win

GLuvsMtb, Feb 19 2016 11:52

Has anyone successfully transported 3 mountain bikes on that Thule rack? I love their products, but wish that the spacing between the bikes was just 2cm wider to make it a bit easier to actually get 3 bikes on a 3 bike bike carrier.

rock, Feb 19 2016 11:56

always thought we were paying too much for silicon grips.

 

kudos to luvhandles 

Meezo, Feb 19 2016 12:00

you could get silicon grips from alixpress/alibaba for $0.99 however minimum order quantity is something like 1000, but at R20 for a pair, if you got a capital its well worth it

Pieterlab1, Feb 19 2016 12:11

Has anyone successfully transported 3 mountain bikes on that Thule rack? I love their products, but wish that the spacing between the bikes was just 2cm wider to make it a bit easier to actually get 3 bikes on a 3 bike bike carrier.

Yes, I have one and I don't have a problem transporting 3 bikes at all. The trick is to correctly space the Thule arms so that the bikes don't touch. If that doesn't do the trick, the sell spacers to keep the bikes away from each other, but I haven't had a need for those.

Meezo, Feb 19 2016 12:16

you could get silicon grips from alixpress/alibaba for $0.99 however minimum order quantity is something like 1000, but at R20 for a pair, if you got a capital its well worth it

 

sorry, take nothing away from luvhandles, actually planning on ordering me a set or 2 or 3!

 

it was a statement to backup the fact that grips are so flippen expensive!

rock, Feb 19 2016 12:32

mixing and matching grips and end caps is a nice touch, haven seen that before,

 

black and orange would be my choice.

 

black-orange.jpg

raptor-22, Feb 19 2016 12:41

Loving lapierre bikes geometry options across all bikes

Koei, Feb 19 2016 12:44

I'd love to get my hands on a pair of luvhandles (sorry). I do hope they are better than the cheap variant offered by Ryder...

raptor-22, Feb 19 2016 12:51

Ryder is does not have a high percentage of silicone rubber, in fact I think it's only an outer coating and not a silicone rubber extrusion

banna, Feb 19 2016 01:23

Erm... that Lapierre is certainly not er....subtle....

Hairy, Feb 19 2016 03:20

Erm... that Lapierre is certainly not er....subtle....

I find it rather intriguing

Luvhandles, Feb 19 2016 03:44

I'd love to get my hands on a pair of luvhandles (sorry). I do hope they are better than the cheap variant offered by Ryder...

Hi Koei, our grips provides the perfect combination between comfort and grip! Unlike some of the other brands which lack the needed density for a comfortable grip . Go over to our site if you're looking for more details www.luvhandles.co.za

Matchstix, Feb 19 2016 03:53

Where are you guys based Luvhandles

Meezo, Feb 19 2016 03:59

Where are you guys based Luvhandles

 

on the handlebars :ph34r: :whistling:

JXV, Feb 19 2016 04:00

Loving lapierre bikes geometry options across all bikes

Innovative. Can't help feeling that whole frame would be miles stiffer if they just extended the divot in the seat tube to brace against the down tube....and mount the bottle holder on top.

Hairy, Feb 19 2016 04:05

Where are you guys based Luvhandles

 

 

on the handlebars :ph34r: :whistling:

not on the hips .....

Luvhandles, Feb 19 2016 04:21

Where are you guys based Luvhandles

Hi Matchstix, our main distribution centre is based in Cape Town and we are in the process of setting up other channels throughout SA. Saying that.. we ship anywhere in SA door to door for R35!

Matchstix, Feb 19 2016 04:27

Do you allow pick up as as option?

NickGM, Feb 19 2016 04:39

Wow - that suspension arrangement on the lapierre...not sexy at all. 

cadenceblur, Feb 19 2016 09:01

Takes three mountain bikes, but it's not light! Awesome rack though. Will look into the spacers, first I hear of them, any idea if cost?

raptor-22, Feb 19 2016 09:44

Innovative. Can't help feeling that whole frame would be miles stiffer if they just extended the divot in the seat tube to brace against the down tube....and mount the bottle holder on top.



Wouldn't be able to comment till I have slung my legs over one

Wimpieva, Feb 19 2016 10:19

I am fortunate enough to have the Lapierre XR 729 (2014, thanks Craig) and a Santa Cruz Tallboy 2C (2015).  Santie is a bit easier, because I lack the technical skills.  The Lapierre is the 1x10 for training and my PB on long climbs is on Lettie.  Took a while to get the setup sorted, but now I have a hard time to decide which lady to take for a ride.

CAAD4, Feb 19 2016 10:24

That Lapierre is Hot! Loud and Proud!

madbradd, Feb 20 2016 06:57

The Luvhandle white grip name "Dirty White Grips".

Win

 

And the names for the different thickness grips.... Less Luv, More Luv and Much Luv!

 

I think my bike needs More Luv!