Leader Bike LD-515 XC Hardtail

4.56/5 (25 Reviews)
MSRP : $249.00


Product Description

Ideal for the weekend warrior or for the competitive NORBA veteran. Bomb-proof design and good old fashioned Leader Bike know-how brings you this elegant rock of a frame. Comparable to frames in typical $1000 retail bikes, we bring you a great frame at a great price. Many improvements using 6061 double butted tubing in recent years have allowed us to offer you this best buy.
  • Example Size: 18" (c-t)
  • Top Tube: 22.1"
  • Head Angle: 71
  • Chainstay length: 17"
  • Wheelbase: 41.8"
  • Bottom Bracket: 68mm english
  • Seatpost: 27.2mm
  • Front Derailleur: top pull
  • 100% Shimano and Sram Compatible
  • International standard disk brake


  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by David a Cross Country Rider from Las Vegas, NV

    Date Reviewed: September 8, 2007

    Strengths:    Mine is the LD-510H which is supposed to have a few upgrades to the older model. Light frame but also very strong. You can't beat the price for the craftmanship, Good Job Leader.

    Weaknesses:    Argggg, I hate the zero stack. Took me a little while to find one at my LBS.

    Bottom Line:   
    Even with my bottom of the barrel components, this frame rides very nice with a little flex(which i like) Uphills are a breeze. Leader please dump the zero stack. I don't really nitpick but 7 Leader stickers on the frame is too much IMO. Ditch the two on the seat tube and maybe even the two on the rear.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Cottonwood Valley

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $109.00

    Purchased At:   Ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Trek, Ironhorse, Diamond Back....

    Bike Setup:   Deore,SRAM, Tektro disc, Cheap Suntour crank, Cheap RST Fork. M424 pedals, No Name stem and bar. 29 lb.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by SKV from Fair Lawn

    Date Reviewed: September 9, 2006

    Strengths:    Light, durable, cheap


    Weaknesses:    A little flex on the tail, knobs on front fork may touch the frame when you carry bike

    Bottom Line:   
    After 2 years and 1500 miles I can speek. The frame is rock. I can chase road bikes as well as take on Ringwood and Ramopo mountain trails. Seller provided good support over the phone and doesn't count time.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Ramapo lake & cannon vall

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Price Paid:    $100.00

    Purchased At:   eBay

    Similar Products Used:   Fuji hardtail , iBex full suspension

    Bike Setup:   Regular shimano XT/LX mixed. Avid disk brakes (life saver), Siguno 600DX crankset 26-36-46 (cheap,lite, give extra torque)

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Robert a Weekend Warrior from San Antonio

    Date Reviewed: July 10, 2006

    Strengths:    Solid, good feel, good geometry, not heavy (though not featherweight), and CHEAP!

    Weaknesses:    Has permanently hosed any major Bike company from getting my business again.

    Bottom Line:   
    I originally bought this on ebay in fall of 02 to start a Single speed project. After a year and a half or so of gathering parts, finally started on the building phase of the project. Got the bike together and lo-and-behold the Single speed that I had thrown together felt better, rode straighter, climbed almost as well (slightly hampered by lack of gearing choice) and performed better down-the-hill than my "good" bike. Well that got me thinking. So after cannibalizing the right shifter, and Derailleur; picking up a SRAM cassette, and swapping a few other parts (SD-7s for SD-3s, etc); The Leader is a monster (climbs, descents, straight-and-level). Really, with the Fisher, I felt like the bike was the limiting factor in alot of my riding. With the Leader... I'll need to find another good excuse as to why I suck ;)

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $100.00

    Purchased At:   eBay

    Similar Products Used:   heavily modified 98' Fisher Tassajara

    Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Z1 X-fly, Raceface Diabolus headset(the 02 model didn't need the zero-stack), Truvativ Stylo SS (front deraileurs are for chumps!), XTR rear deraileur, XT Hubs w/ Sun Mammoth rims, 2.3 IRC Kujos, Avid SD-7's, Time ATACs. All the unimportant stuff that doesn't move is all cheapo Sette stuff off of pricepoint.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by DAVID a Weekend Warrior from SAPULPA OK

    Date Reviewed: March 17, 2006

    Strengths:    PRICE. GOOD SOLID FRAME. QUICK STEERING RESPONSE.

    Weaknesses:    FUNKY HEAD TUBE REQUIRING A ZERO STACK HEADSET.

    Bottom Line:   
    CAN'T BEAT IT FOR THE PRICE. I PAYED 90. DOLLARS FOR THE FRAME AND TWENTY DOLLARS SHIPPING. BUY THE HEADSET FROM LEADER WHEN YOU BUY THE FRAME, I COULDN'T BEAT THEIR PRICE. FAIRLY LIGHT WEIGH. GOOD RIDER INPUT. GREAT SERVICE FROM LEADER BIKES. LOCAL TREK BIKE SHOP COULDN'T BELIEVE IT. I PLAN ON RACING IT IN ARKANSAS AT THE OUCHITA CHALLENGE INSTEAD OF MY FULL SUSPENSION.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   TURKEY MT. TULSA OK

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $110.00

    Purchased At:   EBAY LEADER STORE

    Similar Products Used:   SPECIALIZED STUMPJUMPER HARDTAIL

    Bike Setup:   SID SL FORK. XTR DRIVE TRAIN. MAVIC WHEELS WITH SPECIALIZED HUBS. PARTS CAME FROM OLD STUMPERJUMPER. BIKE WEIGHS 24.5 LBS.




    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Brian Baitis a Cross Country Rider from Centennial, CO USA

    Date Reviewed: August 14, 2005

    Strengths:    Cool Homeade tube shapes. Different from the run of the mill.
    Uses Easton Tubing. Nice ride, comfortable geometry, confident handling.


    Weaknesses:    A little heavy, but that doesn't matter as much as the ride. Needed to use special Crane zero stack headset.

    Bottom Line:   
    More than worth the price. Just try it and you will like it. I had a cannondale F600 with the same components and it was lighter, but I am more confident in this bike uphill and down hill. Great deal on a great frame.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   deer creek canyon

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $135.00

    Purchased At:   price point

    Similar Products Used:   cannondale F600, Jamis Dakota AL

    Bike Setup:   Leader 515H frame, new LX cranks, XT front and rear, XT rapid fire shifters, avid mechanical disc brakes, skareb elite fork, American Classic 350 disc wheelset.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Josh a Cross Country Rider from Mentor, Ohio

    Date Reviewed: August 3, 2005

    Strengths:    Actually, this is now the LD-516-HD, but I'm willing to bet they are nearly the same bike. Strengths; Super Light weight, and cheap money.

    Weaknesses:    Unfortunately, yes, it IS a mass-produced Taiwanese made frame. Sal, at LEADER BIKE is solely a middle man, who has an exclusive distributorship with (whoever makes the frames) and employs a few helpers to assist him with shipping and logistics. Period. Regardless of what anyone else will tell you. But is mass-production really a weakness?

    Bottom Line:   
    The bottom line is that this is a great frame and an excellent price. If you care less about the name on the bike and more about how it rides and what it costs, this is the bike for you. A lot of people are stuck thinking that for a product to be good, it has to be expensive and have a recognizable name.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   all of them

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $150.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Early model Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo hardtail.

    Bike Setup:   Truvativ Crank and Bottom bracket, Shimano cog, SRAM X9 Shifters and derailuers, Avid brake perches/Shimano brakes, Mavic wheelsets/panaracer tires, Easton bars and stem, Cane Creek ZERO STACK headset, and Clarks cables all around.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by James from La Mesa, CA

    Date Reviewed: June 12, 2005

    Strengths:    Price, weld quality, durable, solid. Telephone customer service is great.

    Weaknesses:    Uses kooky zero stack headset, not very standard. E-mail tech support is horrible (they never reply to e-mails), so just call them on the phone.

    Bottom Line:   
    I broke my Trek Fuel riding down the final downhill stretch of the Cuyama Loop. (Trek has since changed their design to eliminate a poorly placed joint). When I got the warranty replacement, I decided to sell it (as I couldn't trust it not to break again).

    All I could afford was a hardtail frame. I didn't want a taiwanese mass produced frame, so I gave Leader a shot.

    It arrived fast, and was well packed. I assembled the bike with no problems.

    After putting it together I noticed that the top tube is a bit too short for my tastes (Tho the seat tube is the right height). So I bought a longer stem, not the best for steering performance. But everyone is sized differently, this frame may fit you PERFECTLY, I'm 6'1".

    The tube shapes are a bit primitive and "home made" looking (not a lot of compound radius tubes, crazy bends, etc). But I think it gives it a more "boutique" hand-made look. Which is exactly what it is. For '05, the down tube is now all funky and multiple sizes/diameters, more like a "production" bike.

    I have taken this bike to Sedona, AZ twice now and ridden it through most of Boynton Canyon, Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock. No problems at all! This frame is VERY sturdy, and I'm about 200 lbs. Granted, I don't huck it.

    Rocks hitting the frame don't seem to damage the paint. The only major missing paint is from cable rub on the head tube, I forgot to put a patch there, and it wore through.

    I like the fact that's it's made here in San Diego, and it's made REALLY well. I've had it for about 18 months with no complaints, and I ride about 4 or 5 days a week.

    Leader's have a simpler look than mass produced bikes, no graphics other than the simple logo, and I like it that way.

    If it had a longer top tube, and used standard headsets, it would be PERFECT.

    Still, I plan to buy a Leader 626s 5" travel suspension frame (and swap out the cane creek shock).

    But I'm definately keeping this frame as well. I love it.

    4 Chilis because of the headset design, otherwise would have given it 5.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Cuyamaca Loop/Cathedral Rock

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $135.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel 80

    Bike Setup:   Thomson stem/post, SRAM shifters/derailleurs, XT cranks, WTB saddle, MAVIC/XT wheels, AVID mechanical disk brakes.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Pete a Cross Country Rider from New Zealand

    Date Reviewed: April 26, 2005

    Strengths:    For this price you can't go wrong. Good solid construction that appears will last a while.

    Weaknesses:    Its not a weakness but just be aware. Get the Cane Creek headset and go to the Cane Creek website for the instructions on how to install it. Otherwise you could end up going back for a second frame!

    Bottom Line:   
    I needed a replacement for the Trek that I use for commuting and had all the parts from the wrecked NRS 1 so I was looking for a suitable frame, at the right price. Unfortunately last year it would have cost US$250 to ship it to New Zealand but USPS have now changed their size restrictions to be in line with Europe it now cost $70. The guys at Leader couldn’t have been more helpful and it arrived within 5 days of placing the order.

    Now I have a great commuter bike that I can keep up with the roadies on. It just needs the slicks replacing when I want to go off road. Highly recommended, don't hesitate.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $99.00

    Purchased At:   Leader

    Similar Products Used:   Trek iron bedstead that is now 9 years old
    2001 Giant NRS 1
    2004 Giant NRS 1
    2004 Scott AFD Pro


    Bike Setup:   All the parts from the 2001 NRS 1 after it got crunched last year.

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Doug a Cross Country Rider from Hollister, CA

    Date Reviewed: March 25, 2005

    Strengths:    Availability,price,geometry, not your standard run-of-the-mill frame. Frame is lite, appears to be faily well designed/manufactured (with the exception of the finer points...see product weakness). Snappy and responsive with very little noticable rear flex.

    Weaknesses:    This model (LD 516H) according to Leader is designed to use a Zero stack headset. Although I had the zero stack installed it did not appear that it was machined for it. The BB theads had to be retapped and all surfaces refaced.
    My biggest peeve was their cable brackets (or whatever they're called) that are welded to the top tube. They're designed to accomodate only 2 of the 3 cables properly. The center cable has to be cable tied in place (designed for hydo type brakes?).


    Bottom Line:   
    Good bike to build up as a frame-up project. Whether your a newbie or an experienced rider this may be the frame for you. Light responsive, reasonabably priced and unique...not to mention well designed and built.
    My original plan was to build this bike for around $1K. After doing endless searches and investigating the + and - of "available" options and bling-bling, the bike ended up closer to $1.5K (don't tell my wife!!!). So far I'm pleased with my creation and hope to be riding the Leader well into the future.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $130.00

    Purchased At:   Pricepoint

    Similar Products Used:   Bontrager Ti, Shimano 9 speed XTR groupo, Richey clipless pedals, Rock Shox Judy XC fork.

    Bike Setup:   Leader LD 516H - 17" Mountain Frame - BLK, IS headset,Race Face Evolve XC ISIS Crankset Blk 108mm,04 Rock Shox Psylo XC w/ U-Turn-Disc, Sram X.7 Rear Derailleur & X.7 Trigger Shifter, SRAM X GENERATION FRONT DERAILLEUR,Avid Speed Dial 7 Levers, Avid Flak Jacket Cable Set, Avid Mechanical Disc Brake 185mm, XT DISC/SINGLETRACK WHEELSET,SRAM Powerglide II PG-970 9-Speed Cassette 11/34,SRAM PC-69 9 Speed Chain w/ Power Link, IRC Mythos XC Racing Tire Kevlar Blackwall and SHIMANO PD-M536 PEDALs.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Bob from Boynton Beach, FL

    Date Reviewed: February 27, 2005

    Strengths:    Light weight very well made frame. I hear complaints about the paint, but the paint job on my frame is excellent

    Weaknesses:    Had a problem with the headset fitting the frame

    Bottom Line:   
    On the local trails in So Fl, I prefer this bike to my full suspension bike. I dont go hucking big drops etc. nothing more than 2-3 ft. This bike is light and climbs the hills here very well. The geometry is such that compared to my Jamis, you sit closer to the front of the bike so I had to be careful the first few times I rode that I didnt endo. With this bike I can keep up with my 2 sons again (15 and 18 yrs old).

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Oleta

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $99.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Similar Products Used:   My other bike is a Jamis Dakar XC Comp full suspension

    Bike Setup:   XTR front and rear derailuer, XTR cassette, XT shifters and V brakes, truvativ stylo team cranks, carbon handle bars, easton seat post, sette saddle. Weighs in at 23 lbs including pedals.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Bernard a Cross Country Rider from NH

    Date Reviewed: January 26, 2005

    Strengths:    Price, stiff, strong, accepts discs, came fully prepared. Interesting paint scheme, accept two water bottles. hand welded.

    Weaknesses:    Well, mine was clearcoated, many complained about it not being but mine waas indeed. THe paint still could be better, it easily chips off. Needs Zero stack headset

    Bottom Line:   
    Well i was on a budjet when i got this frame and i wanted to finish up my XC build so i was looking on ebay and saw this, i was very suspicious. 99 dollars is not a lot for a frame. I decided to try it, not expecting super nice stuff but it would do the job. Well was i in for a surprise, this frames great! The paint colors are interesting, some like it and some dont. I asked for black and red if they dont have black so they sent me a combo. I like it personally. Anyways some might complain about the weight but still, it is not THAT heavy. THe frame is definantly burly, you can really see the connections have extra metal there to ensure a strong frame. The rear is also very stiff, which is good. To my surprise, the frame was already faced and threads for the BB chamber already present. I was confident i would have to have my lbs face things for me. It accepted the discs fine, though i run V brakes now.
    Also nice, it holds not one but TWO water bottle cages for those longer rides.
    One weakness however is the paint, though it was clearcoated like it said in the item description, and the decals are not pealing off anything, i find the paint is easily chipped off. Although i can't complain and wont mark them down for this, but i would not have minded paying 20 dollars more for high quality paint.
    The service of Leader bike was nice, my derailleur hanger was sent bent and they promptly sent a replacement no charge.
    The only con that i think is worth noting is that you must run the zero stack headset with this thing, leader bike will sell one for 35 dollars so i got that. Well we know cane creek will never be out of business now! I would have a classic headset instead, many more options.
    Overall i would recommend this frame to all. Its amazing for the price. Don't let the price steer you away either, i am very happy with this frame and would buy another any day.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $99.00

    Purchased At:   Leader bike store on ebay


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by todd a Weekend Warrior from South-western CT

    Date Reviewed: November 21, 2004

    Strengths:    Great geometry, silly light, nice blend of triangular and round tubes, silly cheap, quality construction, great welds.

    Weaknesses:    Rear disc brake tabs were slightly off, but a quick tweak on the vise took care of it. None other so far.

    Bottom Line:   
    This is my first XC bike build, and being on a budget made my choices slim. For $99 everyone that I showed was impressed with it's weight and build quality. My only grips were a\the slightly tweaked back disc brake tabs the fact they sent me a frame with a non-oversized head tube by accident, so their suggested headset didn't fit. I guess it was a special order frame and I "lucked out" by getting it. I used a FSA Pig headset instead of the zero stack Crane Creek and it works fine.

    I ride on average twice a week and have slowly worked my way up to 3-4 footers. I weigh 230lbs and the frame hasn't skipped a beat. It's taken a few digs and so far I couldn't have asked for a better frame. I get a few comments on "Follow the Leader" but it's all good because that's not a problem with this frame. I chose good components so if the frame does go I'll have a high end bike with a new frame, but not the case, I'm already there with the 515.

    Buy this frame... it's 100% worth it!

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $99.00

    Purchased At:   Ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Diamondback Apex SE

    Bike Setup:   Raceface Prodigy DH crank/bashguard, Judy XC 100mm shock, SRAM X7 trigger shifter/r-d, Rhynolite/XT hubs, Ringle Evolution stem/handlebars, XT f-d, Panaracer Fire Pro XC 2.1 tires, Hayes 9 hydrolic disc brakes, Welgo platform pedals, FSA Pig headset, ODI lock on grips, Cloud 9 seat (the best!)

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by elray from the midwest

    Date Reviewed: October 3, 2004

    Strengths:    light, stiff, responsive, comfortable, cheap (how can something be all 5?)

    Weaknesses:    none - graphics and paint chipping is not a weakness in my book

    Bottom Line:   
    Wow. There's no reason not to buy this frame. You get a light, responsive, comfortable bike that isn't available at the trek store down the street. You can't go wrong. I recommend it for anyone.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $100.00

    Purchased At:   ebay

    Bike Setup:   Trail bike-ish: Manitou X-Vert fork, Avid mechanical discs, riser bar, fat tires

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by David Putman a Weekend Warrior from Austin

    Date Reviewed: July 18, 2004

    Strengths:    Cheap Strong Light and all around exellent Great paint job..

    Weaknesses:    0 stack headset that Leader said should be used does not give enough distance away from the frame ..Example the front fork uppers hit the frame when you turn the handle bars all the way around .. Not a big deal but the alluminuim cap the covers the schrader valve to add pressure to my fork hits the frame and so does the dapner adjuster. I had to place a lizard skin carbon chaffing patch to cution the blow if my forks tried to spin around... If any one has a question about this email me and I will email you a pic, Its kinda hard to exsplain.

    Bottom Line:   
    Get one ..awsome bike onece built I weigh 250 and have not had one problem with it in a few hundred miles of trails I have put on it .. They have a new full suspention that looks awsome with I think I might get , So when I do I will let you know how it goes ....

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   NorthShore- Grapevine TX

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $99.00

    Purchased At:   Leader bikes Ebay

    Similar Products Used:   Spec Rockhopper, Motobcane 500HT

    Bike Setup:   SRAM XO shifters,x-9 Rear derailer, LX frnt, Cane Creek aeroheat wheels,LX crank ,Rock Shox Duke race fork, Hutch tires,egg beaters candy....

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Andy Saunders a Racer from Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Date Reviewed: June 11, 2004

    Strengths:    This is a GREAT frame for the money. I'm an old-school weight weenie on a budget, and the frame is exactly 3.8lbs for my 17" model. I took a chance buying it, and just love it. It's not superlight, but very durable and stiff, yet not too rough. It tracks great, climbs like a goat, and when rocks fly into the downtube, no problems at all. NO frame flex that affects riding at all. I race locally here in BC, rough trails, it's just great. No stunts for me, the bike is 21.5lbs right now with avid discs. I just love it! Service and shipping was awesome, no trouble, bike was wrapped perfectly.

    Weaknesses:    Nothing.

    Bottom Line:   
    Buy it if you're like me. A lot better looking and feeling than a similar priced frame from Supergo etc. No problems at all with clearances, headset install, etc. I still can't believe you can buy this bike at this price. It's also nice and smooth on the rough even though I run a 1.8 Trailblaster on the rear for weight. Super super bike.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   North Shore (no stunts!)

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $99.00

    Purchased At:   Leader Bike USA on EBAY

    Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Rocket 88, Dean Scout Ti, Rocky Mountain Vertex.

    Bike Setup:   XT, XTR, Avid Discs (Mech), 317 rims, Thomson Seatpost, 21.5lbs.

    Reviews 1 - 15 (25 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

     




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