The SpeedX Leopard is claiming to be the first ever “smart aero carbon road bike”. Sure, things like “carbon” & “aero” are appealing, as is the “smart technology” various phones and devices we’re already riding with. So why not just build it into the bike? SpeedX has done just that with the Leopard, with popular features integrated directly into the bike (including cables), at a price that might be the biggest attraction…
SpeedX put together a Kickstarter to get things going and set a $25,000 goal. If you question the demand of something like a smart carbon aero road bike, consider the fact that their campaign is currently almost at an astounding $1.2 million! The demand may be in part do to the price. Their 105 equipped bike starts at $1,299, and… get this. The Ultegra Di2 bike with carbon aero wheels and carbon bar is only $1,999! Now consider the built in “smart” accessories and you have quite a bit bang for your buck assuming the rest of the bike works out as planned.
The bike’s on-board electronics and GPS calculate all common metrics like altitude, distance, cadence, speed, slope, and even weather. It is compatible with any ANT+ device so it will read heart rate and power, too. The stem houses all of the electronics and battery that connects to sensors throughout the bike and everything will run for up to 800km/40 hours and takes only 30 minutes to charge.
The seatpost has integrated light that comes on automatically and it, like everything else attached to the bike, runs off ONE single battery. Translation: Only ONE single battery to charge. We hope to see more frame integration like this in the future because we would love to get rid of Trey’s homemade charging station.
As far as software goes, a built in program called XCoach analyses your performance and can compare it to others on a SpeedX smart bike, (no word on Strava sync/compatibility or if it will sync with your phone to give you notifications, but hopefully they’re in the know).
TRP’s TTV aero brake is tucked behind SpeedX’s fork out out of the wind. One of the more proven brakes on the market, SpeedX isn’t cutting corners here.
All cables and/or wires are internal leaving no exposed cables to dance in the wind, which keeps the bike looking simple and elegant. They advertise that only Trek’s and Specialized’s flagship bikes offer this feature so when considering all of the little features of the SpeedX Leopard, it seems they put quite a bit of thought into the bike’s design beyond the “smart” integration.
The Lambo stress-test isn’t something you see often, but maybe we’ll see more companies adopting this new (possibly very costly) method in the future. Here’s a video of them performing the “test”.
The only upfront obstacle to adopting the SpeedX Leopard is its limited frame and stem sizing. Though they do offer a good assortment of smaller sizes starting at a 42cm, the largest frame size they offer might not allow those of us above six feet tall to cram into the confines of the 57cm top tube. The second problem is choosing a stem length as the popular 110mm stem length isn’t available. The stem choices start at 90mm, then slightly increases to 105mm (which would be too short for me on a 57cm TT), and then it makes a giant leap to 130mm long. Since this is a very proprietary stem, you are pretty much married to one of the three odd sizes. They have a fit guide for you to use in determining your frame size so hopefully those interested can get pretty dialed in.