Leader Bike LD-526H XC Hardtail

4.78/5 (9 Reviews)


Product Description

Leader bike ups the ante on mountain frames with the performance enhanced 526H. Masterfully welded hydro formed aluminum ensures precise handling, quick acceleration and awesome durability. Ability to run a 160mm travel fork, fully disc brake ready, built with gussets galore. The LD526 gives a whole lot of bang for the dollar, resulting in a superior all around buy for 2006.


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Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by George a Weekend Warrior from Canada

Date Reviewed: September 17, 2011

Strengths:    Light, Compact

Weaknesses:    No hydraulic line guides on top tube. Paint Scratches easily

Bottom Line:   
For the price I am extremely happy with this frame. It has held up very well for the last 2 years and I do not regret buying it at all. Dollar for dollar it is as good, or better than any frame out there.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Don Trail

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Trek, Rock mountain

Bike Setup:   Mavic 717,Sram XO Shifters and Rear Derailleur,Sram X9 Front Derailleur,Race Face Evlove XC Crank,Shimno XT Disc Brakes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by idinomac a Racer from Ely,MN. USA

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2009

Strengths:    1st off was the price. the crafty frame not only does it look good, it feels good while riding.(I tore down my Giant NRS 2005,& put everything on this Leader frame.)
7-15-09 was the first mtb ride. this bike handles grate.
I would bet that this frame if put in a jig its spcs would be right on.


Weaknesses:    wow! none...

Bottom Line:   
This is the BEST HANDLING BIKE I HAVE EVER HAD.
I do 24 hour racing I wanted to go back to a hard tail I need a bike that can climb my nrs had way to much flex.
I my thank differntly affter I do a 24 on a hard tail.
I set up my bike with the 2 rings up front becuse I don't use the 44t chaine ring that much in a 24 race & it's very technical up here where I live. I will say this I use to race motocross in so Calif. I brought gearing with me every where I raced. So gearing your bike for the type of riding your doing is one very inportain thing. I have 22t,24t,26t lower chaine rings & 32t,34t,36t middle rings,
and a 44tooth outer thats in my tool box.

So hears the real bottom line. you have better like or love your components.

the people at Leader bikes are grate.

Dinomac

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Afton, MN.

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $250.00

Purchased At:   Leader, Bikes.

Similar Products Used:   I have had lots of bikes, here are a few..
the giant NRS 2005. I ended up changing everything on!!
rock hopper,a cannondale that was a good bike,


Bike Setup:   Sram X9, with 11x34 rear cog,raceface elv cranks I put a 24t X 36t with a bash guard up front. A Rockshox tora 318 solo air. avid bb7 brakes.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob Adams a Weekend Warrior from Delafield, WI

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2008

Strengths:    -Geometry
*This frame just FEELS right. I am 6'2", 215lbs and was looking for a TOUGH HT frame that could handle a long travel fork. The 526H fits the bill nicely. Slack enough to feel stable when bombing the descents, yet still has the tightness I am looking for when leaning into the handlebars during a brutal climb. Also, even with 160mm of front wheel travel I have yet to notice any low speed flop or sluggish steering.

-Looks
* Flat Black, hydroformed tubing, and welds that look like a stack of dimes :) WHats not to like?

-Quality
* The forming on the downtube and chainstays is pretty, and functional. The welds are equally impressive looking, and the oversized head-tube is a nice touch. ALso the ability to run a 2.5" is great.

-VALUE
* For the price, this frame has the quality, features, and ridgidity you would expect from a frame costing twice as much. Plus, the guys at Leader are great guys to deal with and take tons of care in packing, shipping, and helping with any unforseeable problems. Not to mention a great no hassle replacement warranty.


Weaknesses:    -no ISCG mount
-provided seat collar could have been QR :) (just nitpicking)
- Oversized HT leaves limited headset options... Not a big deal to me, but for those King loving bling addicts, it may be an issue.


Bottom Line:   
If you are looking for a high quality, no bullsh*t hardtail, then make sure to give the 526H a thought. It is a tough, light, and stiff frame that does wonderfully in blurring the line between XC and Freeride.

For $~250 shipped, I dare you to find a nicer AL hardtail.


5 chilis all around.

probably not the last leader frame I will buy!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   John Muir

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $230.00

Purchased At:   LeaderBikeUSA.com

Similar Products Used:   1999 Fisher Tassajara

Bike Setup:   19" 526H.
RockShox Domain 318IS
XT drivetrain
XTR 8 spd lever/shifter combos
BB7 Brakes (203mm fr)
Bontrager King Earl WHeelset
WTB MutanoRaptor 2.4s

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin Terrell a Weekend Warrior from Auburn, Washington

Date Reviewed: April 10, 2008

Strengths:    Absolutely no flex, Size (Plenty of space), Sharp looks

Weaknesses:    Aluminum Tubing, Tire clearance

Bottom Line:   
After 2 years of riding, I still stand by most of my original review. (See my other post below) However, I managed to snap the top tube on my LD-526H last week while wheelstanding. It didn't break at the weld but instead just in front of the weld connecting the seat tube to the top tube. Since the day I built the bike, I'd noticed a slight creaking sound when cranking up hills or reefing on the bike. I thought this was due to an old bottom bracket I'd installed, but I now suspect it was the frame all along. The noise went away now that I had the frame repaired. This is probably a one-off problem and it doesn't help that I tip the scales at 230 lbs and 6'-4" tall. I emailed Leader and they said I could ship the frame to them with my proof of purchase and they'd weld it up for free. However, after considering the cost of shipping and having to strip down the bike I had a local welder repair the frame as well as weld in a gusset under the top tube.
I still say the LD-526H is an excellent frame for the price and it handles like a dream. I'm glad it's back under me.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $240.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4500, Trek VRX300, Kona Shred, Schwinn Rocket 88

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi All Mountain 1 fork, Single Track rims, Panaracer Fire DH Pro 2.3, Blackspire chain guide, Cane Creek headset, Bontrager Race Lite stem w/FSA FR-270 bar (full length), FSA Carbon Seat Post, Selle Italia Flite saddle & Avid BB7 brakes (8" rotor front)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Shawn a Weekend Warrior from Goose Creek

Date Reviewed: September 29, 2007

Strengths:    stiffness, weight, acceleration and customer support

Weaknesses:    can't find one

Bottom Line:   
Outfriggenstanding bike, I originally bought a Mongoose bike with all the components that I liked off of ebay, didn't like the frame and after doing much research and talking to the guys at Leader I decided to give this frame a shot. It was only 200 so if I didn't like it I could buy another and make at least half of it back by selling the frame. I recieved the frame very quickly and the first thing I noticed was how light it was and the beautiful lines of this frame. I spent the next couple of hours ignoring my wife and putting the bike together then her and I went for a small ride. I immediately noticed the wonderful response the bike had, where ever I wanted the bike to go it went there. The next morning I went to Marington plantation which is a small 12.5 mile trail near my home, simply put, this is the best bike I have ever ridden. Everything is right, the angles, the stiffness and flex, everything. I can't say enough positive things about this bike. It has reduced my time on that 12.5 mile trail by about 5-7 minutes and I get all kinds of comments on it. My next bike will also be a Leader, but I will keep this one and build a FS. If any of the people from Leader read this, thanks for building a great, reasonably priced frame

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything dirty

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $199.00

Purchased At:   directly from Leader

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale, Gary Fisher, Mongoose (not the cheap ones) and Trek

Bike Setup:   Rock Shox Tora, Sun Rims w/ Shimano hubs, XTR f/r dérailleurs, Truvativ blaze crank w/Ritchey SPD pedals, Sram 970 cassette, Deore dual hydraulic levers and Deore 6" disc brakes, FSA XC 140 stem w/ carbon bar, Leader seatpost w/ WTB pure v seat and WTB zero stack headset, ORI lock-on grips, Kenda Nevagul tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin Terrell a Weekend Warrior from Auburn, Washington

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2007

Strengths:    Absolutely no flex, Size (Plenty of space), Sharp looks, Quality construction

Weaknesses:    2.35" tire max (I'd like to run Maxxis Hook Worms 2.5")

Bottom Line:   
You can't do any better for price v's ride. This is an excellent frame, both to look at and to ride. I use my LD-526H to commute to work (16 miles w/an 850' climb) during the week and to ride the local trails on the weekends. I was looking for a hardtail bike I could build to handle anything I would throw at it (Considering I'm 6'-4" & 232 lbs). On the open trail the bike handles great but ride some twisty singletrack with some elevation and this bike really shines. It's incredibly stable. I've made a few mistakes with this bike that my past bikes would have made me pay for, however it just sucks it up and asks for more.

Even though they state the bike will accept a 2.35" max, I've found that you can get away with a Maxxis Holy Roller which is a 2.4" tire. You might find, like I did, that the extra tire volume is nice to contrast the rigidity of the frame on your back.

Buy a Leader LD-526H. You won't be sorry.

B.Y.O.B. and Go ride!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Single Track (Pick One)

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $240.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4500, Trek VRX300, Kona Shred, Schwinn Rocket 88

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi 160mm All Mountain 1 fork, Single Track rims, Maxxis Holy Rollers, Blackspire DS-1 chain guide, Cane Creek headset, Bontrager Race Lite stem w/Bontrager 31.8mm bar (full length), Cane Creek Thudbuster post, Selle Italia Flite saddle & Avid BB7 brakes (8" rotor front)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Clay Spradlin a Weekend Warrior from Greenbrier, AR U.S.A.

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2007

Strengths:    Light, very stiff!! great looks

Weaknesses:    paint is a little thin, but I havn't had any problems there yet.

Bottom Line:   
I was not sure about this frame when I was looking at it. There were no reviews of it at the time. It looked like a nice frame and for 200 bucks, you cant beat the price. I took a chance and ordered it and I'm so glad I did. This frame rocks!! I'm 6-4 235lbs. and this frame has no flex, I cant believe how stiff it is. I chose the 526-H rather than the 516 frame because of my size, granted I dont do any big jumps or drops, just trail riding, but this thing has held up great. Everywhere I go people ask me about this frame. Forget the "big name brand frames" get this one and save some coin! you wont be disappointed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Cadron Park Settlement

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $199.00

Purchased At:   direct from Leader

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Leader 526 frame, 2007 Fox F100RLC Fork, XT everything else, Mavic Crossride wheelset.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Logan a Cross Country Rider from Houston, Texas

Date Reviewed: February 14, 2007

Strengths:    Great color and graphics. Hydroformed frame allows for strength where it's needed. Strong frame yet still on the light side. Customer service is great! This is still a small company so you get to know the people there like Sal.

Weaknesses:    Paint (who cares). Having trouble with the front derailleur set up. Seatpost.

Bottom Line:   
I am very please with this bike. It handles wonderfully on single track. It's not so damned nervous like the other XC bikes I've owned. I can run a long travel fork up front which helps smoot out the ride. I feel like the bike fits me better as I have a short inseam of 31" compared to my 5'11" height. This is because of the low top tube. I also noticed that my back does not hurt any more after an hour of riding.
This is a great all around bike as I can run some jumps, rail the single track, accelerate out of the turns, and go uphill or down hill with gusto! I ride mostly XC and would not hesitate to race it if I felt like doing a race.

When I first got the bike and set it up, the seat post crown broke on me. I called Leader, sent them pictures and they sent me a new one with a free T-Shirt. During the build process they were extremely helpful as well and more than happy to answer any questions that I had.

Great Bike, Great Customer Service. Who cares if it's not a "sexy" brand name. If you can get the same quality and better service than the big names, for less money, why not go for it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rocky Hill Ranch

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Leader Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Trek 970 Steel. Cannondale M900.

Bike Setup:   Manitou Minute 1:00 fork (adjustabel travel rocks), XT hubs, mavic wheels, Shimano XT shifters and derailleurs, Avid Mechanical discs, Race Face Evolve Crank, FSA 110MM stem and Ritche bars, time ATAC pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CoDy McKibben a Weekend Warrior from Canaan,VT,USA

Date Reviewed: September 23, 2006

Strengths:    This Frame rides so smoothly. It is crazy light, and has a more aggressive geometry than a regular XC bike. To top it all off, it has super sweet looks.

Weaknesses:    This frame is the picture of perfection for me, but if you are getting one, make sure to get the correct size headset, because the tube on these frames is oversized.

Bottom Line:   
This is an amazing frame, and is an amazing deal, for any price I could have paid. This frame is light, durable, responsive, smooth and damn good looking. It is perfect for the trials riding I have been doing, while still handling fantastically on the single track. If you are into any of this kind of riding, this is your bike. It may be a bit more aggressive than a casual rider may desire, but is perfect for anything else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Just Gimmie a Place to Ride!

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain Trailhead. Cannondale Chase 1

Bike Setup:   Leader LD-526H frame, Marzocchi MZ Race fork, Shimano Deore components, Marzocchi M saddle, Crank Brothers Mallet C pedals, Alex rims, Maxxis High Rollers.

Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

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

 

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