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TECH NEWS

First Look: SpeedX Leopard and Leopard Pro smart road bikes

Check out the new carbon bikes with integrated computers and prices that look too good to be true

SpeedX came visiting road.cc yesterday to show us the initial two innovative bikes in its range, the Leopard and the Leopard Pro.

Speedx Leopard Pro.jpg

You may remember us reporting earlier in the year that SpeedX looked for funding for these two bikes on Kickstarter and achieved its target in two hours. SpeedX was looking for US$50,000 (around £35,500). 1,251 backers pledged a total of $2,319, 876!

Speedx Leopard Pro - down tube.jpg

SpeedX is aiming to fulfil these initial orders in the next few weeks before making the two bikes available to buy directly from www.speedx.com some time in July. The Leopard (the blue one in these photos) will be about £1,000 while the Leopard Pro (the black 'un) will be around £2,000.

Speedx Leopard Pro - drivetrain.jpg

The two models are based around the same T800 and T1000 carbon-fibre frame. The Leopard is built up with Shimano’s mid-range 105 groupset while the Leopard Pro gets Ultegra Di2 (electronic shifting) components. 

Speedx Leopard Pro - computer.jpg

We didn’t get the chance to ride either of the bikes but they certainly look the real deal. We should get a bike in for review in a few weeks, and the ride is what it’s all about, of course.

Speedx Leopard Pro - computer side.jpg

Go to our earlier story to find more details on the two bikes. 

One of the most interesting features of each bike is the Smart Control computer that mounts very neatly – almost seamlessly – to the front of the stem. It gives you your speed and cadence (thanks to magnetic sensors) along with time, distance, altitude, temperature, and more. The info is shown on a 2.4in display. You can scroll through the data by pushing a button at the top of the fork’s steerer tube, where the headset top cap would usually be.

Speedx Leopard.jpg

Downloading the SpeedX Cycling App (Android and iPhone) gives you GPS, speed, calorie and distance tracking. It also allows you to “communicate, compete, and share routes with cyclist from around the world,” and to share your progress and routes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Speedx Leopard - bosses.jpg

If you like, you can transfer your ride data to third party sites.

You can connect the Smart Control with ANT+ and Bluetooth devices: heart rate monitors, power meters, and so on.

SpeedX says that it lost money on its Kickstarter campaign. So why do it? First, to get the brand out there in the marketplace; an awareness exercise. The second reason relates to the app. SpeedX wants people to buy the bikes, use the app, and so tie themselves to the brand long-term. Plus, if you sign up to the app, that gives SpeedX the opportunity to offer you a range of upgrades and new products over time. That’s the way its business model works.

Speedx Leopard - chain stays.jpg

SpeedX is launching an aluminium Leopard later in the year – we don’t have a price on that yet but it will be cheaper than the existing carbon-fibre Leopards – along with a Mustang mountain bike. Each will come with an integrated computer; that’s very much part of the deal.

Speedx Leopard - seat stays.jpg

A higher level road bike will be made available via Kickstarter in August. We don’t have details on that one yet but we’re guessing it’ll be equipped with either Shimano Dura-Ace or SRAM Red, possibly the eTap wireless version.

Speedx Leopard - seat tube junction.jpg

SpeedX says that it plans to expand the range further and possibly sponsor a high level pro team in the near future. It’ll be interesting to see how things develop for a brand that is plainly hugely ambitious.

www.speedx.com

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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16 comments

Avatar
ch | 7 years ago
0 likes

I suppose the integrated computer might yield a fraction of a watt in lesser air resistance.  But even then, its just the headset - why not market the headset by itself?  Unless you are as big as Cannondale, compatibility allows a company to concentrate on its strengths.  

I could see a market for a stem with a built in (waterproof) location for a GPS unit + external battery - maybe.  

When buying a frame, warranty and expected company lifespan is pretty high up on the list of considerations.   Both these factors (warranty and expected company lifespan) are indirect indicators of quality - because you can't tell much about a frame just by looking at it.  An integrated cycle computer tells you nothing about the frame quality.

 

 

Avatar
matthewn5 | 7 years ago
1 like

Pointless integration of a computer that will be outdated in 12 months. Brand lock-in on a whole lot of normally cheap and interchangeable components. No thanks!

Avatar
fuzzywuzzy | 7 years ago
1 like

Nice enough looking (Canyon Aeroad style...) but if they think having an app is going to generate brand-loyalty/lock-in I don't think they know their market very well. I'm not even sure 99% of people looking for a bike like that want anything other than a Garmin these days anyway, plus they'd need to buy one anyway unless they also had one of these as their winter bike.

So it basically all comes down to how well it rides, how much they actually cost and what the customer service/warranty backup is like - none of this we know but I doubt I'll be blown away by the answers.

Avatar
mike the bike | 7 years ago
0 likes

 

My lady's new Emu leccy bike is a similar blue colour and everybody, men included, thinks it's ace.

 

Avatar
LarryDavidJr | 7 years ago
1 like

Like rix says, if you're tied in to more and more you'll end up having to pay-what-they-say.  And you can make a Garmin et. al. pretty much as aero as this if you need to, so why lock yourself in?

Avatar
rix | 7 years ago
2 likes

It looks over-engineered in all the wrong places. Proprietary square profile seat tube... so I cannot choose my offset. BMC ditched it a long time ago.

Proprietary stem.

Proprietary headset spacers.

No clearance for bigger tires.

It is crap

Avatar
Morat | 7 years ago
1 like

Should have stuck with the Blue and made it your own. There are too many black bikes around for black to have any impact.

Avatar
CyberTonTo72 | 7 years ago
1 like

ermm I think you might need to change the pricing a little after today   7 

 

Avatar
nemysys | 7 years ago
0 likes

We have a SpeedX Riders Group for anyone intereseted in the SpeedX bikes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SpeedXRiders/

​Mainly backers of the Kickstarter Campaign, who are all eagerly waiting for their bikes to be delivered.

Lot's of lively discussion and more images.

​The blue colour is not being produced - the Leopard and Leopard Pro are available in Black / Red, Matte Black and Black White.

 

Avatar
slamb2002 | 7 years ago
2 likes

We're going to integrate everything, but we're going to leave the junction box just dangling!?!

Avatar
DaveE128 replied to slamb2002 | 7 years ago
1 like
slamb2002 wrote:

We're going to integrate everything, but we're going to leave the junction box just dangling!?!

And hang a magnet on a spoke?! Really? Garmins don't need this any more. Really not very well integrated.

So they're losing money on the bikes and hoping to upsell you something later... monthly subscription just to get data off your bike computer anyone?

Avatar
shearer27 | 7 years ago
0 likes

I think that you've got your bikes and specs. muddled up. In the pictures it's the Black version that has the Ultegra Di2 and the Blue version has 105 yet you say the opposite?

Avatar
danthomascyclist | 7 years ago
6 likes

Completely and utterly gorgeous bike and amazing spec for 2 grand.

 

But their biggest USP, the integrated computer, is what would put me off the most.

Avatar
nmanfield replied to danthomascyclist | 7 years ago
1 like
danthomascyclist wrote:

Completely and utterly gorgeous bike and amazing spec for 2 grand.

 

But their biggest USP, the integrated computer, is what would put me off the most.

And the $299 shipping !

Avatar
schlepcycling replied to nmanfield | 7 years ago
1 like
nmanfield wrote:
danthomascyclist wrote:

Completely and utterly gorgeous bike and amazing spec for 2 grand.

 

But their biggest USP, the integrated computer, is what would put me off the most.

And the $299 shipping !

+VAT @20% and import duty.

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 7 years ago
2 likes

Why the sh*t name. Speed X. Planet X.

 

What's with the Crap X naming schemes. 

 

Think the bike looks ace, and value wise, well.. if it rides as good as it looks, then it'll be amazing. But please, Christ, put more than 2 minutes into thinking of a name. Posh it up with a proper bit of branding. Outsource the naming to a company if you don't have the creativity inhouse for that sort of thing.

 

All these start ups, so many make stupid, blazing errors right out the door. All because of a simple decision.

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