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  1. #1
    Totally Rad
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    Smile And I went with the Leader 626s...

    ...but still want a Turner.

    This is lame, but about 10 days ago, I had a dream that I bought a Leader 626s. This isn't too wierd, I always have dreams about specific bike models and components. Probably because I fall asleep reading bike mags, and because I'm a dork.

    Anyway, I've never seen one of these 626s's in person. The very next day I was on my way to Performance Bike for more tubes (I really, really need to put Stan's back in my tires). Outside was parked a white jeep with a Leader 626s on the back. So I got a close-up look. The thing is made well. The welds are good (looking anyway). The Cane Creek shock looks cheezy (and has gotten mixed reviews). But otherwise, seems good (not Turner/Intense good obviously, but...). So after looking the thing over for a while, I went home and decided to order one from Downshift cycles for $299 w/o a shock. For some unknown reason, I checked on ebay, and there was one for sale, in my size, for $299 WITH the shock. I bid. Noone bid against me and I won YAY! So now I'll have 2 Leader bikes.

    The plan is to take all the parts of my current Leader hardtail and move them over to the 626s frame, then as I replace those parts with new ones, slowly put the old parts back on the hardtail.

    I'll need to get a headset and FSA setback seatpost for the new frame (which is what the bike on the Jeep had as well), and a top swing front derailleur. Also, some schmoe backed out of his winning bid on my Manitou Black fork. So I have that to put on the hardtail for now.

    I'll be runnigng a 115mm Reba fork on the 626s, which has 5" of rear travel, but eventually I'd like a Revolution or Pike or whatever down the road.

    Complete buildup pics and ride report with photos will follow...

    The build list is:
    Leader 626s frame, red, 19"
    XT 6-bolt hubs, Mavic 819 rims
    Sram X0 derailleur
    ??? front derailleur
    Sram X9 shifters
    Avid BB7's (160 rear, 185 front)
    Sram 970 11-34 casssette
    Sram PC-99 chain
    M752 XT cranks
    Time Atac Alium pedals
    Rockshox Reba Race U-turn
    FSA setback seatpost
    WTB saddle
    Raceface Diabolus handlebar (trimmed down)
    ODI lock ons
    Not sure what headset, maybe Cane Creek Solos
    Not sure what stem, Thomson or Deuce.

    I'd like to swap out the brakes for '06 juicy 7's and get a manitou swinger air shock on there. But for now atleast I'll have a full sus rig.

  2. #2
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    Excellent choice!

    Although I must say I do have a biased opinion (as I'm sure you already know). Having read a lot of your posts, I know this was an agonizing decision for you. There was some stiff competition from some pretty big named bike companies. In the end, I think this bike is an outstanding VALUE. I've never ridden any of the high end bikes, but I do know that my 626S climbs like a scorched monkey, handles tight singletrack very well, and bombs down hills. As for your shock dilemma, I think the Swinger would be a very good choice. I have a PUSH'd Vanilla on my bike, but I looked seriously at the manitou before I made the jump with the Vanilla.

    Post some pics when you get it built and let me know how you like the ride. If the fit is right, I think you will be impressed.

    Oh, and lastly, I think we ALL want a Turner

    Best Wishes,

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
    Totally Rad
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    Last night I saw an old friend of mine who's family used to own a local bike shop that sold Leader bikes. He told me that when the shop closed down, they moved a bunch of bikes into storage, and he has a bunch of Leaders sitting in his garage! I need to go pay him a visit and check them out.

    Anyway, I won't have the frame for a few more days. But when I get it, I plan on answereing the following 2 questions that nobody has been able to answer for me:

    1.) Exactly why, mechanically, is a Chris King headset not compatible?
    2.) What is the efffective top tube length with a 100mm fork/130mm fork?

    It will certainly get a lot of testing, in SoCal and on my next Sedona trip in October.

    It will also be documented on the soon-to-be-purchased helmet cam!

  4. #4
    not so super...
    Reputation: SSINGA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Draisine Velocipede, PHD
    2.) What is the efffective top tube length with a 100mm fork/130mm fork?
    Did you mean to say headtube angle instead of TT length? The forks a-2-c won't change the TT length but will effect the Headtube angle.
    Nothing to see here.

  5. #5
    Totally Rad
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSINGA
    Did you mean to say headtube angle instead of TT length? The forks a-2-c won't change the TT length but will effect the Headtube angle.
    I'm talkking about the effective top tube length. The actual top tube length is published on the Leader website, but they don't tell you the effective length. With a very short fork (one that would never be used on this bike anyway), it would be possible to get the top tube to be exactly parallel with the flat ground. This would mean that the actual top tube length and effective top tube length would be exactly the same. But with a really long fork, for instance, the top tube would be lower at the seat tube than it would at the head tube. So now the effective top tub would "exist" a few cm higher on the seatpost. This also makes the effective top tube longer. Perhaps only by a couple mm.

    But the issue with this frame in particular, is that it's desigend to have a lower standover height, and it has an odd bend in it's seat tube. I want to see what the top tube length would be if it was a perfectly horizontal tube, but this length will change depending on the height of the head tube-end of the actual top tube, which in turn is controlld by the height of the fork and wheel, and bottom section of the headset.

    I guess what I should have said is "I want to find out waht the effective top tube length is". Because with changes in the fork length, there will probably be very little change.

  6. #6
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    CK Headset answer

    I emailed Jared at Downshift Cycles regarding the CK Headset question ane here's his reply:

    "The headset question is a difficult one to understand much less
    explain. It has to do with how the head tube is drilled. I personally
    have installed 5-6 different headsets without an issue, mostly FSA &
    Cane Creek. It iether has to do with the bearing cup thickness on a
    Chris King (which they don't necessarily follow industry standards --
    it's all apart of that whole snobbish thing, though they do make the
    best headsets out there I've been told) or it has to do with how deep
    the cups are. My guess is first and foremost the circumference of the
    cups. Chris King uses extremely thin cups that probably just slide up
    into the headtube with no resistance whatsoever to keep it in there.

    Why don't people takl about this being a problem with other frames? I
    have no idea. But the strange thing is that I've used several
    different headsets with no issue whatsoever, which you would thiink
    would come up eventually, but with over 200 626S frames, only King
    headsets have shown to be a problem and none others, so you tell me
    how to make sense of this whole thing. As far as I'm concerned, its a
    mystery. I almost feel like buying one just so that I can try it out
    myself, you know, to get a visual perspective on why King headsets are
    not compatible with the 626S frame."

    So there you have it. No real explanation, but some speculation as to why it does not fit. for what it's worth, I use and FSA Pig DH Pro on mine. So far it's been excellent, and cost a fraction of the CK.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  7. #7
    Totally Rad
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    That's almost a verbatim copy of what he told me. I appreciate his info for sure, but that's not enough info to satisfy my curiousity. I plan on taking a digital caliper to the bike shop and getting to the bottom of this with a king headset next to a Cane Creek. Seems like every other bike frame (that's not zero stack or internal) can use either a King or a Can Creek or any other brand. I must know...what about the Chris King makes it incompatible?

    I don't even plan on using a CK headset, I'm looking at the Cane Creek Solos (Tall). But still, I must know the answer.

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