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Finally built up my bike thanks to this forums help(8 posts)

Finally built up my bike thanks to this forums helpdpazos
May 17, 2003 8:38 AM
My old 97 Cdale r1000 with Shimano 600 was on its last legs. Thanks to alot of info off this forum and reviews of this site, I put my new bike togther. I wanted to get the most bang but wanted to keep it under $1000. I shopped around long and hard and this is what I finally put together:
Leader 715R frame carbon fork and seatpost.
Ultegra Group
Rolf Vector pro wheelset
TTT forgie stem and bar
Vittoria Action pro tires
I used my old Koobi seat and look pedals

I was kind of hesitant about the leader frame but at that price it was too inviting. I must say I was quiet surprised on the tubeset and finish when I recieved it. The only think I did not like where the TIG welds that where not smooth. How it performs is another story that I will find out tomorrrow when I do my club ride. I will post on how it felt.
Once again, thanks everone for your insight and input it really helped me out alot in making my decisions.
BTW here is a picturedpazos
May 17, 2003 8:43 AM
Great looking bikeKeeponTrekkin
May 18, 2003 5:46 PM
There are a lot of cool looking wheels around, but I think Vector Pros have not yet been beaten.....
Good lookin' bike...rwebb
May 19, 2003 8:15 AM
How was the ride? How does the frame compare to you Cdale?
Good lookin' bike...dpazos
May 19, 2003 4:30 PM
Anyone out ther that's still riding 8sp 600 Ultegra stuff because you don't think there is much difference except another gear and a couple of grams lighter(that was me)... WRONG!! GO out immediatelly and get new components!!
Why did I wait so long to upgrade my components?
I don't know if it just that my old components were so worn out(I ad replaced the cassette and chain 500 miles ago), but my new ultegra group feels smooth and crisp. Major difference.

As far as the frame,I have put about 100 miles in the last two days. The bike felt really good. This frame is stiff well built and solid. The frame felt way stiffer laterally than my old cannondale. The bike just gets up and goes. Especially in the sprints and climbing.
The cannondale's ride was definately more plush. I think it has to do with the fork. I had a Kestrel EMS on the Cdale, that I could tell, had more compliance and the leader carbon fork has very little.
I would give the leader frame a 10 of 10 on performnce/value. This frame is stiff well built and solid.
The finish is a 7 of 10. I was expecting a five after reading the reviews about the sub par paint job and ugly welds, but when I got it the paint was decent and I actually liked the decals. The yellow was a little more orange than I expected but for $100, I'm not complaining.
The fork was much nicer than I expected and its finish was perfect. The same for the seat post.
Overall I would say, if you want a well built and stiff frame, performance is your #1 priority,you can sacrifice some finish and name recognition, your on a budget and dont mind the TIG welding, there is not a better buy. If you more interested in how you look you will have to pay some good coin to find a frame to out perform this one.
I am really happy with the bike. Definately surpassed my expectations by a long way.
Good lookin' bike...draxthedestroyer
May 25, 2003 6:02 PM
I too am building a Leader very much like yours except black. I just need a few more components before I can ride it and I am very happy with the quality. One question though, does your front derailler cable rub against the down tube where it meets the bottom bracket cable guide? I haven't installed my cables yet but it looks like it will rub.
re: Finally built up my bike thanks to this forums helpTNSquared
May 19, 2003 8:24 AM
Very cool. I've decided I'd like to build up a frame, too, although I am a relative newbie and have performed only minor maintenance on my bike. So if you don't mind I am curious about your experience.

Did you have alot of hands on bike mechaninc experience before you started this build? If not, how difficult did you find it, and what resources did you use aside from this forum?

Did you buy your components (aside from the pedals and saddle) at retail or did you cull through ebay and classifieds for used stuff at a bargain? If you went the latter route, how much do you think you saved and how long did it take to piece everything together?

Finally, what about tools? Did you need to purchase alot of bike specific tools or did you manage to get by with mostly general tools?

Sorry for the bombardment. I appreciate any feedback you care to share.
re: Finally built up my bike thanks to this forums helpdpazos
May 19, 2003 5:07 PM
I always did my own maintenance, but had never built a bike from the ground up. However I think I am pretty mechanically inclined from years of working on cars extensively.
As for components (especially after riding my used gear v.s new) I would reccomend buying new. Ebay prices aren't muchless than buying new through online retailers. I bought through supergo. Look for discount codes in the hot deals discussion board I found one for 20% off. I think I got better prices than what I could have gotten through ebay.
What I did buy used was the wheelset through ebay. There are alot of good used wheelsets but you have to be careful. YOu can get lucky or you can get burned. Look for wheels with low miles and light riders.
As far as tools, I bought a complete bike tool kit amd workstand from Nashbar a couple of years ago. The tool kit was around fifty bucks and the stand around $100. It has payed for itself in saved shop fees. I would reccomend buying these if your building up a frame. It will make your life alot easier.
What you need the most of is patience, be meticulous and ask if you don't know or are unsure and you should be fine. Also, there are a couple of bike maintence books that are great that you can pick up on to have as a reference.

Good Luck!