Legendary Italian bike brand Olympia have unveiled what they describe as their lightest and most versatile disc brake road model yet, called the Leader. It's designed to be a premium all-rounder, with some aero credentials but lighter than most of the competition.
The frame comes in at 850g in a 54.5cm size, and Olympia say it reflects all the best of their know-how. The three types of Toray carbon used are T1000, which is included to increase rigidity and strength; M40J, designed to absorb vibration; and T800, a middle-ground option that should balance out the properties of the other two, so to speak.
Olympia have used their EPS technology (no relation to the groupset off of Campagnolo) with a latex double mould to build the frame. This process involves an internal mould in foam polystyrene that is then covered with latex, and the carbon fibre is supported by the structure. Then the entire mould is heated, inflated and then hardened, and when the latex material is removed in the final phase, a perfectly smooth finish can be obtained. This, say Olympia, results in a more compact, lighter and more rigid layup, with improved responsiveness.
The maximum tyre clearance is 28mm, which should be plenty enough for an all-out race bike, and as is standard nowadays on disc road bikes it's 12mm thru-axles and flat mount calipers front and rear. All the cables are fully concealed on the versions with electronic shifting, and on a build with mechanical shifting the only cables you see run from the stem to the downtube.
The Leader is available in a choice of black/silver, black/red or black/blue colourways, with Shimano and SRAM AXS eTap build options available. We've not seen it pop up on Olympia's website yet, but will be updating with pricing and availability info when we get it.
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.