The 796R is our flagship road frame. Full carbon construction yields a road frame that is light, incredibly stiff, but still comfortable for the all day ride. The challenges of every frame builder are lugs, bonds and welds. But the hefty advantages of Full Carbon main tube construction usually comes with a headache of a price. So here it is, the impossible combination of weight, stiffness, comfort and price.
Strengths: well built, race/general warranty, COST, post purchase help and communication with leaderbikes, comfort, traditional geometry looks.
Weaknesses: Best to make sure your bike builder removes the rear hanger and locktites it into place, i don't think this is a factory job. not a weakness just beaware!
Great looker, excellent seemless construction, traditional geometry. Looks the bidness with the XXX lite carbon Bontragers, white Selle Gel Flight seat, black tao bottle cages and of course durace groupset. Total weight(complete, incl pedals just look keo classics, so there is a couple of extra grams to lose, and bike computer) is 7.4kg.
In a race, it is fast across the flats, quick up hills, handles well down hills. It's stiff and responsive in a sprint (not that i can sprint) and is willing to go when asked going up ( added to buy the XXX lites.
I was always told, a fast bike standing still, is still standing still, a bike needs an engine, if you are budget concious, then for the price i paid all up for this bike (5500 kiwi) you would struggle to get all these specs on a new bike for anywhere near that!
Bike Setup: Bontrager XXX lites, Durace group set, Selle Italia Gel Flight, Look Keo classics, 3T Bars, ITM stem, Leader carbon seat post, leader carbon forks, tacx tao bottle cages, vittoria corsa cx tubulars, shimano carbon brake blocks, sigma computer.
Strengths: Price, if the geometry works for you I'd buy it again, warrenty, stiffness, semi compact. the feel for the road
Weaknesses: none yet.
This is my first full carbon bike so I'm unable to really compare it to another full carbon bike but comparing it to my steel and carbon/alum and full alum bikes in the best this has felt the best to me (keep in mind the geometry were pretty different amoung them). I have a full DA set up w/ deda stem and bars, mavic ssc wheels w/ceramic bearings. Though it's not the lightest bike I've had, it's reasonable. I recently road it in solvang full/half century and I couldn't be happier w/ the performance.
Bike Setup: Full Ultegra
American Classic CR-420 wheels
Ritchey WCS Post, bars, and stem
Profile Design Carbon Stryke aero
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: August 11, 2007
Strengths: The frame is stiff when stomping on the pedals, but comfy for rough pavement and cobbles. It decends rock-solid at over 50 mph, and corners well in criteriums. The great dampening on rough roads feels like your rear tire is low, but it is not whippy.
Weaknesses: The Derailluer hanger is a little short, I can't get a 27 gear on the back for mountain climbing. Also, because of the front shifter cable running thru a hole in the BB, it shifts a little harder than I like. I ran a piece of teflon tube thru there and its fine. I found about a cup of water in my BB and lower rear wheel stays from riding in a couple rain storms.
I was really skeptical that a carbon frame could be had this cheap, or any of their aluminum frames also. But, the quality is there. I am amazed. Go to their site to find it.
Bike Setup: Full 9 spd Dura-Ace including Pedals,
Bontrager carbon seatpost,
Reynolds Ouzo Pro carbon fork,
Weyless carbon cranks,
Cane creek SL200 brakes,
Bontrager Race Lite wheels
Strengths: Longer life of lugged carbon construction.
No flex because of lugged carbon construction.
Excellent service--very friendly and upfront.
Comes in the right size! This is a particular in-between size that no other vendor has.
A short top tube that facilitates low handlebars (actually feels nice!) to stop backache. Yay!!
Its a team bike!
Weaknesses: The stronger, longer lasting version of carbon frames, whether Titus or Leader (and many more) shares the same tiny caveat. They're heaver, and this means that components will cost a bit more.
However, any Campy drive and some Rol wheels is enough to make it fly just fine. If you're going to cover it (or any of its peers) in Shimano, well that is going to cost a bit.
So, just use some sense and watch the weight. Since the Campy+Rol solution is actually inexpensive, then this weight issue really isn't a flaw at all.
So, no weaknesses whatsoever.
I went shopping at my local Trek store for a bike that fits without the backache.
That means top tube is to be a smaller figure than bike size.
The 1500 and 1000 WSD (fortunately a blue color) have the top tube shorter than the bike size (like Specialized Roubaix, but less price); however, they all came only in too small or too large.
They recommended the Leader 796R frame in size 55. That's right. The Trek dealer recommended the Leader frame for a person seeking a comfortable reach with performance.
I call Leader to verify the sizing as their advertisment instructs. They were very pleasant, matter-of-fact honest, and came through quickly despite the fact that they were quite busy.
Chris and Sal were top notch on service. It was like a phone call to Mayberry.
Come to think of it, their after-sales service was much better than pre-sales service. And, I really like that.
Similar Products Used: Scott, Giant, Trek
The Scott could not fit.
The Trek was very competent, but not specific to me.
The Giant had very crazy steering, but was almost as quick as the Scott (except in no particular direction).
The Trek WSD size 54 had my proportions, but was too little and the 57 was too big.
Bike Setup: A huge, but light, areo wheelset with smaller spokes on front than on back.
A reasonable 9x drivetrain (recycled).
A lightweight, but steel, bottom bracket
Crankset by TA and FSA (areo and NOT compact).
Scott CR1 forks and other parts recycled from the foul-fitting, yet speedy, Scott bike.
Terry gel saddle--a nice place to be
Salsa Shaft 250 seatpost
Planet bike Gel bar tape
Serfas SECA RS tires (WOW!)
One Michelin ultralight tube up front
Cane Creek IS2 headset
Jagwire cables which aren't really a "splurge" considering how well these work.
Kool Stop brake pads (keeps wheels new and works fine when wet)
Dura Ace XTR chain (costs 2x, lasts 2x, and less friction)
Minura tempered alloy water cages
all this means, simple, inexpensive, luxurious, and fast; which is what I want from a bike.