Landscape Magazine

LEADER 735 TR 2011

Francois ‘one arm bandit’ Roland tested for you the return of the model 735TR from Leader.

Alea jacta est! Leader Bike is back on the scene with the long-awaited 735 . Its position on the mar- ket puts it a notch above the 725, a frame that doesn’t cause quite the stir as in the Made in SF videos any better than on our quaint Belgian roads . Leader has managed to establish itself with relatively democratic prices for well-crafted bikes . Although manufactured in Asia, the frames that leave the factory are solid and sturdy, everything you’d expect from a track frame designed for city use . Indeed, Leader has given its bike a decidedly more urban twist and that’s also why we love them!

Getting back to the topic at hand, the 735 is there- fore the new aluminium jewel of the brand . For this test ride, I pushed the bike to its limits for over a week . Outcome of the race, it didn’t give in, quite the contrary! This bike is light, solid and the rigidity of the aluminium is well-supported by its short rear legs giving it aggressiveness and optimum acceleration . The 8 cm long down tube gives it a certain aerodynamic nature . You have to break 35 km/h to notice but, once it’s launched, the bike cuts through the air and remains easy to control! Just the same, you have to be careful with the air currents at some intersections, the lightness and size of the tubes gives it an annoy- ing tendency to take the cross wind . But after one or two surprises, this type of situation is quickly mastered . Aesthetically, we can only say that, as with the 725 2011, Leader has taken care of its welds . It’s the end of greasy TIG welds and hello to clean, neat and accurate work! This is not a luxury for a bike like this . Nonetheless, I would note that this effort made with the finish, although it constitutes a big step for Leader, could still be fine tuned . The welds of the dropouts remain quite large and are not filed down, a detail which, given the special care taken with the rest of the bike, remains a small issue.

As far new features go, we also noticed that a seat post clamp replaces the traditional version incorporated into the Leader we were used to with the 725TR.

In summary, this frame is visually a winner, its compact geometry and fairly long tubes give it an aggressive urban style that is highly sought after . It is not to be outdone as far as perform- ance is concerned either; a sturdy, responsive and energetic frame . The 735 will quickly be seen as the ideal companion for your quick spins about town or to swallow up the kilometres!

Leader offers its frame in matte black or while, size 51, 53, 55 and 58, for around $500!

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