Our 780 is really the best of both worlds. Constructed from aluminum bonded with carbon you get the extremely lively feel of aluminum with the body saving dampening of carbon.Whether you''re a crit specialist, double century super stud or you live anywhere in between, this is the bike for you. You can fill every one of your sick little riding needs without breaking the bank.
Example Size: 56c-t of st
Top Tube: 56cm, 22"
Head Angle: 74
Chainstay length: 40.5cm, 16"
Wheelbase: 99cm, 39"
Bottom Bracket: 68mm English
Front Derailleur: Braze-on
100% Shimano and Campagnolo Compatible
S’ design 3K Carbon Seat Stays with Double Butted 7005 T6 aluminum Alloy
Weaknesses: Easy to nick the finish (mine's in good shape). Name graphics are not exactly the "Lemond" or "Salsa," style I prefer, but no big deal.
Objective: Replace a Campagnolo Nuovo Record-equipped lightweight steel race bike with a modern bike with modern drive train; compact gearing for very steep grades; a strong efficient set of wheels built for a Clyde and sometimes-rough roads. And do it for under $2,500
Second objective: Comfort aging back (47) and herniated cervical discs.
Third Objective: Save on frame, spend on quality parts, fork and wheels. Close to custom fit, Campy groupset that I could transfer to the next bike after this.
780-R frames in my size were priced very well. It arrived very well packed with a cane creek integrated headset, seatpost clamp, barrel adjusters and the under bottom bracket cable guide. Only quibble —- the BB shell and headtube both had excess paint on them. Count on facing/reaming at least the headtube, for sure. The BB Shell was OK without extra facing.
An LBS did the necessary reaming/facing/installation work on the headtube, fork, integrated headset. The FSA Wing Pro handlebars and Specialized 4-way stem I ordered through the LBS.
After a long cold winter collecting parts and building it up it was ready to go in spring.
Wow. First ride and I thought I was back on a combination of the steel bike and a Cannondale Synapse I test rode on a demo day. Only thing was, the ride handling in the downhill turns was maybe even better. I'm no expert on handling, but this bike has an intuitive swooping quality.
The 07 Chorus/08 Centaur mix groupset (2008 Carbon UltraTorque 50-34; 13-29) is a delight to operate and totally tuned to the type of climbing I like to do. The shifting on the road is amazing. Tuning is relatively easy. The braking (Centaur brakes/Chorus shifters) is "brilliant."
With carbon seatstays, carbon fork and a Koobi saddle, Aztec Delta tape system, this bike really takes the edge of most rough cracked road surfaces, road buzz and whatnot, but still maintains an "alive" feel. Couldn't ask for more. And that's with 23c tyres (Serfas Seca folding) pumped up to about 130 psi!
My super-fit bodybuilder/cyclist friend (160 lb) who normally rides a vintage Pinarello steel bike about 40-50 miles at a clip had perhaps the most gratifying review. I expected a tough critique from the veteran rider, cos when he doesn't like something, his face gets "that look" and he lets you know. But no worries, there:
On three separate occasions he said, "it's one of the nicest, finest bikes I've ever ridden." "I can't believe that bike you built, that's like a $6,000 bike, it's unbelievable!" There's a certain truth to that, since the frame allowed me to build a custom-fit bike with a really high level part spec.
With carbon stays and fork, I make sure I baby this bike and keep sharp objects away from the carbon. It's basement-kept and cleaned and lubed regularly.
At 30 mph+ going downhill I make sure to pay attention and keep a secure grip, as I noticed it is easy enough to induce steering oscillation if you are careless with your line downhill. (Nothing is loose, and the wheels are true.) I wouldn't call it twitchy, but it does have a race geometry; not a touring bike by any stretch of the imagination. Just what I wanted for my B-level club rides and all the pleasure road riding I do.
Had to max out standover to get the top tube length I wanted.
Strengths: Plush ride, tracks well and had a predictable feel to the ride.
Weaknesses: Not stiff enough for those that want a sprinting bike, but still okay.
This bike was certainly more plush than my aluminum Trek 1200. It didn't sprint as well but was more comfortable after long rides. Unfortunately after 3+ years of riding it the headtube cracked. Sal at Leader bikes was nice enough, but they didn't replace the frame for free because I had the headset removed before I sent the frame and they claimed it was cracked when the headset was removed. Needless to say I was upset, but when you don't have money to take a company to court what do you do?
Strengths: Inexpensive, STIFF, light, good construction, and it fits me pretty well.
Weaknesses: Even with a nice fork I put on it, and the carbon seat stays, it can be a pretty rough ride on the back roads, but you really can't expect any differently from a huge aluminum frame. So it gets a 5 for what it is.
After out growing by older frame, i had a hard time finding a bike to fit me. It had to be a 63 or 65cm frame. That narrowed my search a lot, and to make it even worse, I was on a tight budget. I have been ripped off by online deals before, so I was timid here, but after reading reviews, I decided to take a leap and I tried out this leader frame. I am impressed. The frame is extremely well painted and the smooth welds make it look very clean. When it hit the road it performed very well. It is light enough so that I never think about it, but it is stiff enough that you rocket up the hills and know you aren't wasting energy. I was a little worried this frame wouldn't perform as well as my old one, (a used scandium, very nice) but it manuevers and turns extremely well for such a huge bike. I really couldn't be happier.
Similar Products Used: 2000 Sano Scandium with carbon seat stays
Bike Setup: 65cm Leader 780-R, full dura-ace 9spd, and Reynolds Alta Comp Aero
A nice build for a junior racer
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2007
Strengths: Frame is stiff where it needs to be but the carbon fiber bits smooth it out just fine. Predictable handling gives you a ride that you don't have to think about too much. Build set as good as they come.
Weaknesses: Like you have read elsewhere, the frame doesn't have the eye-catching splash as some others but I don't really care. If I want to impress someone, I will let them look at my backside as I drop them. And heck, with the $1000 I saved over a comparable bike, I can pay someone to be jealous!
After trashing my 25 year old 3Rensho classic, I was ready to enter the 21st century of cycling technology. For as much as I love downtube friction shifting, I figured it was time to shift on the hoods. I did a lot of online research and sort of stumbled onto Leader on e-bay. Grandpa says if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But reviews and research showed Leader to offer a package that is hard to beat. You can see the setup below. For less than $1500 this is an insanely good deal. Most other big name bikes with full Ultegra build kit go for at least $1000 more. I was a little wary to buy online but the folks there went to great lengths to work with me on fit. I ended up having to trade for a shortened stem and they handled it quickly and with ease. I had my LBS assemble it. They said the frame was straight but they did face the bottom bracket for me. The paint, welds and decals do not scream "Look At Me!" but that's okay. In short, the bike rides great. The oversized downtube makes it nice and stiff. It is plenty beefy around the bottom bracket and the outboard Ultegra bearings make it even more solid. I am a big guy (6'4", 200 lbs.) and there is no detectable flex when mashing in a sprint or climb. Aluminum is known for its stiffness but the carbon fork, seat stays and seat post dampen things pretty well. Geometry is on the quicker side from neutral but never squirrely. I have done a lot of centuries and some major climbs in NC and have no complaints. The Ultegra group shifts and brakes as well as anything out there. The Bontrager wheelset was true and ready to go out of the box. In short, Leader offered great customer service before and after the sale, the frame is a solid but not flashy deal, the build set has a reputation that speaks for itself and the price is unbeatable.
Favorite Ride: Provence/Mt. Ventoux (yes, I did it)
Purchased At: Leader
Similar Products Used: Former bike was 1982 3Rensho Super Record Export with full Dura Ace. Sweet. Old school still rules.
Bike Setup: Leader frame with their house brand carbon fork and seat post. Full Ultegra 10 triple build set (they don't throw in some other crankset or downgrade brakes), Bontrager Race wheelset with Continental rubber, Cane Creek integrated headset, Keo classic pedals, Deda Big Logo stem and bars. My holdover old school items that I just can't part with include Brooks Professional saddle (still the best!), Silca Impero frame pump with Campy metal head and of course, Benotto yellow cello bar tape. (Let's face it, most padded bar tape makes your bars look like an elephant's trunk!)
Strengths: Very stiff out of the saddle while sprint or climbing, VERY comfortable while going over standard road chatter, and very stable on high-speed descents. No issues with the welds that others have complained about and I do agree that they look just the same as those on more recognized frames. Heck, I love the look of beefy welds anyways. It'd be nice to have more color choices than blue and red, but the dark blue paired with black fork, stem/handlebar, seatpost and wheels/tires looks freakin' spectacular.
Weaknesses: The weight. Although I'm unable to precisely measure the weight, I imagine my 53cm frame is approaching 3.5lbs (give or take). Again though, for $220 I'd be a complete FOOL to complain about the weight.
I was originally fairly skeptical of the low price, but after reading reviews on it figured I'd be a fool to not try it. All-around, it's a FANTASTIC value and seems extremely well-constructed. I've put a few hundred miles on it since purchasing it on rides ranging from general flatland to extreme hills and high-speed descents. I have no complaints on it whatsoever other than the weight. For $220 though, I'd be a FOOL to quibble over the weight of the frame. The carbon seat stays paired with a Litespeed carbon fork soak up the road bumps unlike anything I'd expected. This is the first bike I've ridden with carbon as part of the frame/fork build and in my mind, there's no going back to anything else. I'd still love to compare it side-by-side with an all-carbon frame/fork combo and a Ti frame, but again, for the money, I'm extremely pleased.