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Old 04-12-06, 02:09 PM   #1
cu_texan
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Leader MTB frames?

Hey all, I'm looking to build a XC hardtail with v-brakes, shimano components, etc. and a light frame. I came across this on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Leader-Alumi...QQcmdZViewItem

The price concerns me. If in fact it is a nice frame, then this deal seems to good to be true. So I was just wondering if y'all had any experience with Leader frames or any input on on the quality, etc. Thanks.
-James
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Old 04-12-06, 02:28 PM   #2
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About a year ago I was looking at a leader frame off e-bay too. But, had the same concerns as you. Never heard of them, can't find out anything about them, and they are dirt cheap. I ended up not getting one. The one you are looking at is nice though. The ones I was checking out a year ago were fairly bland. If they had looked like that I may have bought it.
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Old 04-12-06, 02:35 PM   #3
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Looks very much like a rebadged Kinesis frame. Kinesis is a large OEM based in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Besides their US production facility which makes brands like Mountain Cycle, they have a huge plant in Taiwan that mfrs for many, many other brands. Looks like another small indie just contracted with Kinesis (or another Taiwan factory) to crank out some frames for them. You'll see similar things with Nashbar's, Performance's or fill-in-the-blank's house brands.
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Old 04-12-06, 05:12 PM   #4
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So are you saying its not worth my time?
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Old 04-12-06, 05:16 PM   #5
DiRt DeViL
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The guy that coaches a local road team and my kid got a sponsorship deal with them.

They're using their Aluminum road and track frames, honestly they look really nice and the feedback from the riders is positive. If I can get one for my kid I'll go ahead without hessitation.
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Old 04-12-06, 05:36 PM   #6
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Odd, I saw one today for the first time. I wondered if it was a quality bike, or a department store crapper. Couldn't tell because of the completely different components. Some said Department store bike, others were of higher level.
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Old 04-12-06, 06:41 PM   #7
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Anyone else have some input?

Maybe some other suggestions for quality frames $200 and under? Thanks.
-James
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Old 04-12-06, 08:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cu_texan
Anyone else have some input?

Maybe some other suggestions for quality frames $200 and under? Thanks.
-James
Anything in that price range is going to be similar. I was very puzzled at your post that went "so you're saying it isn't worth my time" in reply to someone advising you that this is how and where most frames in this price range are built.

It costs about the same to build a frame no matter whose badge is on it. Quality on these lower price Taiwan frames has gotten to be pretty good and consistent. IOW $200 will get you a $200 frame. The differences will be in cosmetics and geometry as specified by the OEM. That's the thing you need to look into. Does the design fit you and suit the type of riding you do and the other components you intend to use.

Here's a bad example, I bought a Fetish Discipline frame and built it up with a 85mm XC fork and then rode it on Florida's rooty, rutted, pig-damaged trails. Freeking disaster. Not Fetish's fault, mine for the component mismatch. Don't make the same kind of mistake. The discipline is a pretty darned good frame BTW and if you want a 20" I can sell you a lightly used one for a real good price. Just promise you'll put a modern 100-110mm trail fork on it and you'll be good.

The guys who make the frames are better at that than you are at designing a bike, so shop and compare. Make sure everything will work happily together and fit you and serve your purposes. I've never spent more than a few minutes even looking at a Leader frame, but they don't seem to suck and like I said are almost sure to be worth what you pay.

Ron
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