SpeedX Leopard and Leopard AL: aero road bikes that seem too good to be true

Updated: Carbon frame, integrated GPS and sensors, a super-low price…

Back in June 2016 we were shown the SpeedX Leopard, and it seemed too good a deal to be true. A carbon aero race frame with full internal cable routing, an integrated GPS computer with various built-in sensors, Shimano 105 groupset and more for just… £1,299 / $1,699? That can’t be right, surely. We've just heard about an aluminium-framed version of the Leopard, plus an endurance model called the SpeedX Unicorn. We’ll have our hands on SpeedX Leopard review samples soon.

In case you’ve forgotten, the SpeedX Leopard is the bike that smashed its Kickstarter funding goal of $50k a few months ago, on the back of claims that it’s the “only smart aero road bike with the ability to help you train and track your progress in real time”. What we didn’t realise at the time is just what a stunningly good deal it’ll be – if it lives up to those claims, and rides well.

The SpeedX range

Grrr
Grrr

The SpeedX team visited BikeRadar in our Bristol offices this week, bringing three bikes with them: the SpeedX Leopard, Leopard Pro and Mustang. The Leopard Pro is a higher-spec version of the Leopard road bike, and the Mustang is a hardtail mountain bike. All three are in production now.

Here's a look at the hidden aero brakes, from TRP
Here's a look at the hidden aero brakes, from TRP

The Leopard frame weighs 1.2kg and was designed with aero testing in the Harbin Institute of Technology’s wind tunnel, in northeastern China. It comes with full internal cable routing, hidden aero brakes and an impressive lifetime frame replacement guarantee. 

In terms of geometry, the SpeedX Leopard has got a fairly tall head tube at 170mm in a 57cm frame, with a 73-degree head angle and 1,008mm wheelbase. This places it more towards the endurance than full-on race bike end of the spectrum. We’re getting one in to test later this summer, and will share our thoughts as soon as we can.

The SpeedX Leopard AL goes on sale in September 2016, and will presumably be even more affordable than its carbon cousins
The SpeedX Leopard AL goes on sale in September 2016, and will presumably be even more affordable than its carbon cousins

There will also be an aluminium version of the SpeedX Leopard available, called the Leopard AL. It will go on sale in September 2016 for an as-yet-undisclosed price, though we expect it to come in even more affordable than the carbon-framed models.

The SpeedX Unicorn will be aimed at the endurance road bike market, and is available for pre-order from October 2016
The SpeedX Unicorn will be aimed at the endurance road bike market, and is available for pre-order from October 2016

Finally, there's also the SpeedX Unicorn coming, which is more of an endurance road bike model, built on a stunningly light 780g frame. It comes with an integrated power meter and rear LED, Smart Control computer and hidden aero brakes. The Unicorn is expected to be available for worldwide pre-order from October 2016, for delivery from late 2016.

The smarts

The integrated out-front computer has a respectable 320x240 resolution, and apparently lasts an incredible 40hrs
The integrated out-front computer has a respectable 320x240 resolution, and apparently lasts an incredible 40hrs

So what’s so smart about these SpeedX bikes? Well, all three models get the integrated out-front computer, with a number of sensors dotted around the bike, including GPS, cadence and wheel speed. There’s also ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart, so in combination that integrated computer can tell you all sorts of things, including speed, distance, time, heart rate, power, grade, cadence and more. It’ll also alert you to incoming phone calls and texts, if you want.

Here's that rear LED light
Here's that rear LED light

There’s also an integrated rear LED light, which comes on automatically when a light sensor in the stem detects darkness. The battery powering it all lives in the seat tube, and SpeedX says it’ll last for up to 40 hours, depending on usage – a big claim, considering many GPS bike computers last less than half that. It also only takes 30 minutes to recharge, according to the brand.

SpeedX specs

This is the SpeedX Leopard aero road bike, with integrated GPS bike computer and sensors
This is the SpeedX Leopard aero road bike, with integrated GPS bike computer and sensors

Let’s run through the specs then: starting at the top, the SpeedX Leopard Pro road bike comes with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 drivetrain, including a semi-compact 52/36t crankset, Fizik’s Arione R7 saddle, and hidden TRP TTV brakes. It has a variety of SpeedX’s own finishing kit, including 50mm carbon clinchers running on 23mm Vittoria Rubino tyres, a SpeedX carbon handlebar and seat post, the integrated stem with computer, and a frame made from a mix of T1000 and T800 carbon for extra stiffness around key areas. This costs £2,000 / $2,499 / €2,499, and comes in seven sizes 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, 57 and 59cm.

The other road bike, the SpeedX Leopard, comes with the same frame, integrated stem/computer and brakes, but has lower-spec Shimano 105 drivetrain with a compact 50/34t crankset for easier hill climbing, alloy SpeedX handlebars, Selle Royal saddle, and Novatec 40mm clinchers running on 23mm Vittoria Rubino tyres. It costs £1,000 / $1,399 / €1,399, and comes in the same seven sizes as the Leopard Pro.

The SpeedX Mustang, currently the only MTB in the range, is a hardtail made from a mix of T8000 and T700 carbon running on – yes really – 26in Novatec wheels and paired with a RockShox XC 28 suspension fork. The groupset is Shimano Deore, stopping duties are provided by Tektro HD-M285 disc brakes, and finishing kit includes a SpeedX alloy handlebar and seatpost, saddle, and the integrated GPS computer. It costs £650 / $800 / €800, and will come in three sizes: 15in, 17in and 19in.

So that’s all the info we’ve got for now – we’ll report back on how these bikes rides as soon as we can.

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