8.19.2010

Leader 722TS review

I have been riding this Leader frame for about a year and I think I can give a good review of it at this point. Leader Bikes made a huge mistake in their 721 by fucking up the rear triangle so that you couldn't slam a 23c tire on a 700c rim into the dropouts without it rubbing on the seat-tube. Big, big mistake. So with that basically destroying their reputation they are trying to slowly get back to being a respectable company.

The 722 is their steel Pista offering - Kawasaki Double Butted CroMoly Teardrop thin pulled tubing. It is a gorgeous bicycle, mine is the black gloss powdercoat version with Tange steel fork. It has tight geometry, and unlike previous models has a perfect rear triangle, allowing up to a 28c tire to be slammed in the drops without hitting the seat-tube. Like all Leaders, it has a long top-tube, allowing you to ride a size smaller frame than you would for road while retaining an aerodynamic position and good placement over your crankarms for efficient power transfer. I am clocking in at about 190 lbs there days and there is no flex whatsoever in the frame, be it in the BB cluster, the head-tube, or the chainstays.




The powdercoat finish has held up extremely well (this is my street bike, not my track bike) to the rigors of daily riding, and I have yet to see any rust marring the several scratches on the frame I have acquired. Aesthetically speaking, the bike is very pleasing with clean lines, very nice welds, and a good, classic track appearance. Although the tubing looks classic and round, it isn't, it is the teardrop aerodynamic Kawasaki tubeset, very high quality. The dropouts are gorgeous, built with a very nice filigree consisting of thin, yet strong tubing and dropouts which looks as light as air, yet are extremely strong.



I bought this bike as my Urban Commuter, something steel which could be dedicated to totally mashing through the streets, off curbs, through traffic, and of course, stopping safely at stop signs. This bike has been down 9+stair drops as well as 4-5 foot ledges, huge banks and wallrides, down ledges with pedal grinds. This is a great deal as i picked it up with a fork for just a bit over $350.


I built this bike up as a commuting/ trick machine. I just really like being able to cruise the city at normal to fast speeds (unlike with a BMX) then stop and hit features when you come across them. It's a never ending scavenger hunt for sweet spots; and the really awesome ones, well, you remember those and come back to them time and time again. I ordered the black frame with a murdered-out build in mind and it has turned out as just that, except with the blinged out gold rear hoop (which is sometimes replaced by a black B43) and the brake (which comes and goes depending on what kind of riding i'm doing) It won't barspin, but I'm not too into doing those kind of slow tricks anyways - I'm much more into gaps, stairs, and blasting airs off everything I can find. So far, jumping this across a channel on a bank formed by a stairset has been the most fun I have had!!!




Although I don't normally like doing this, here is the build list:




    Overall, a great Build. It is worth noting that I broke 2 cranksets on this bike. The first was a Sugino RD which I ripped the chainring in half when I was trying to skid stop - when it broke it took several of the spider arms with it, just straight up sheared the forged aluminum off. The second was the origin8 knockoff of the Sugino RD and the crank is fine, but i tore the chainring off and literally bent it in half. This one happened as I was accelerating from a stop into a sprint start. This Andel crankset has been bombproof, I love it, and the chainring is CNC'd - a thick, burly, solid ring which you can easily do stalls on, let alone not worry about it breaking. Ever. No matter what you do to it.

    This bike had 46x16 gearing for a long time and I just went to 46x17 for the extra hill climbing ability since I am on vacation in a hilly place and could only take one bike, so why not make it the most simple yet high quality bike I own? Plus I can still descend quickly - spin to win!!!!!
    Big thanks to Leader for excellent customer service. 5115 bikes in New Orleans for being the best damn bike shop in NOLA, and Mike's Bikes, oh and Bayou Bicycles, great shop also. Go out and Ride!!!!!!

    2 comments:

    1. whats the top tube c-c length on the 53cm?

      ReplyDelete
    2. how tall are you?

      ReplyDelete