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Bikes
13.20.03
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2013 Leo SL
Buy it if : Your rides follow your changing moods: fast one day, long the next.
2013 Leo SL
Buy it if : Your rides follow your changing moods: fast one day, long the next.
Performance meets style
Speed with poise | I was skeptical when the flashy Leo SL first joined our test fleet nearly a year ago. I’d never ridden a bike from Canadian brand Devinci and wondered if this new high-end model would deliver on the road, even if it looked the part. The company’s stated goal in building the Leo was to make a performance bike that the average cyclist could take to the races or on a long ride like a fondo without feeling too beaten up afterward.

To achieve that goal, the company foldeda wide range of technologies into the frame. The most important of the bunch is Dual Core Fusion, a name that refers to the manner of the bike’s construction. It combines two frame cores: an upper (the top tube and seatstays) that provides vertical compliance, and a lower (the down tube and chainstays) that makes the bike laterally and torsionally stiff.

Such a bold claim required a thorough test, so I took the bike out for a 90-mile day that included a fast group ride, a training crit, and many hilly miles on the way to and from my house.

That first ride indicated that Devinci has struck an impressive balance. The bike was quick and responsive on the racecourse—I could feel the power of my pedaling going to the wheels through the lower frame. This made accelerations and out-of-the-saddle sprints or climbs feel efficient. I could also sense the bike’s compliance on choppy pavement, and especially in hard, fast turns, where it tracked predictably regardless of the surface.

I’ve since put in many more miles on the Leo and been consistently impressed by its pleasingly nuanced ride. The bike’s handling is quick enough for a crit, but never twitchy. My test bike came with Dura-Ace 7900 components, but it is available in six versions with a variety of drivetrain options to fit equally varied tastes and budgets, including the Ultegra 6700 model shown. While it’s not as smooth-riding as some bikes, Devinci has successfully created a fast bike that will keep your body comfortable even if you pedal long enough to thoroughly deplete your legs.

Buy it if :
Your rides follow your changing moods: fast one day, long the next.
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