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.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.