Last month we were invited to visit the home of Lapierre bikes based in Dijon, France. Including an inside look at the assembly line and complete factory for Lapierre electric bikes. Having been working with Lapierre bikes for many years now, it was an opportunity we quickly snapped up when offered to visit the factory in France. It all began on an early morning before the sun had come up, we had been staying in a lovely place situated within miles wine field's, of course, what Dijon is also famous for (aside from mustard and bikes!).
On arrival, we had an introduction by Gilles Lapierre himself and a welcome presentation by Aurelien Boeuf, Lapierre's second in command. This was to follow with an inside tour by Florian Robin, Lapierre's export manager of the headquarters and electric bike assembly line. Inside the main meeting room, one wall was lined with signed jerseys from various team riders across all aspects of cycling - A nice touch! Inside Aurelien's office was past memorabilia from a previous role, lined up neatly on one wall for inspiration.
The factory tour started in the wheel assembly section, where each wheel is handbuilt then laser true'd before being checked again at the other end by a human eye. The wheels are then stored ready for assembly into the bike further down the line. The next stage see's a technician getting each set of handlebars ready with brake levers, gear levers etc installed onto the bar and stem. Lastly, the grips go on ready for the next stage. The previous picture set shows the road handlebars neatly lined up in size order. The factory had just received a big order of Yamaha batteries in (first picture), ready to be installed into the eBikes.
The neatly stacked frames and parts then go onto a dedicated technician to build the complete bike. We spotted some Lapierre Overvolt frames ready to be built up next. Then at the far end of the factory, Lapierre had a load of batteries fully charged for us and a mixture of carbon Bosch electric mountain of bikes prepared: 'Just pick one' - they said. After a nice lunch, we left the factory in the heart of the city and were quickly climbing up the tracks between the vineyards up to the peak to find the singletrack down the other side.
Mr Lapierre's son rode with us along with one of the team riders. It was a great chance to test the bikes in real conditions. The singletrack was rocky in places with quick drops into sudden climbs, a perfect setting for the Lapierre Overvolt electric mountain bikes!
Other areas of Lapierre's headquarters include the top secret quality control and testing areas which photographs are forbidden. Along with the back office team, guys in product testing, design and the support department. It's clear that Lapierre as a whole is built around the bikes and it's the people that make it all work. Born in Dijon in 1946 and is still based here today, generations of dedicated people pass down the secret to what is Lapierre.
The city is at the heart of production. All in all, a great trip with fantastic people and amazing bikes. Thanks to the Lapierre team for being so accommodating and the true hospitality - Keep up the good work guys. Learn more about the Lapierre Overvolt electric mountain bikes here - Lapierre eBikes.