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Devinci Leo 2

Price: $5,999
Weight: 950g (frame)
Components: Dura-Ace
Frame and Fork: Leo monocoque HM Carbon
Geometry: 72/73 (head/seat)
Sizes: S, M, L and XL (tested large)
Comments: New and definitely improved.

Founded in 1987, Quebec-based Devinci Cycles has evolved with the times. During the late ’80s, the bicycle industry was experimenting with different metals and design at an aggressive pace. No longer was the classic steel frame considered essential, as they were put out to pasture by the introduction of aluminum frames. The weight and rigidity of a frame was now of paramount importance. It was during this time that Devinci entered the industry with some decent frames, albeit with less exciting packaging and marketing. But its bikes were worthy and they soon became a mainstay in Quebec and later throughout Canada, and now the world.

in 2005, Devinci created its own state-of-the-art lab to properly test its frames. Devinci realized that from aluminum to carbon, these metals needed to be thoroughly tested, and it has tried to perfect its product.

The introduction of it’s Leo line this season has been the culmination of many hard years of research and design by this Canadian company. This was definitely a sexy line of carbon road bikes that Pedal magazine was eager to test.

With three models being offered we opted for the Leo 2, which runs a close second to the top model, the Leo 3. The Leo 2’s frame is identical save for the paint job, with the difference being in the components, as the Leo 3 has definite upgrades with a Time crank and Zipp 303 tubular wheelset.

My Leo 2 arrived in mid-May, and the 950g frame looks like the inside of a nightclub, with a superb red-and-black combination highlighted by a touch of yellow on the seat tube. With a monocoque HM carbon frame (HM for high modulus), along with beefed up head-tube and bottom bracket, the frame looks like pure “fast.” A wonderfully aero Devinci monocoque fork accentuates the lines of the bike, combined with a very modern-looking font with the decals, leaving the impression that you’re looking at a work of art. Truly, Devinci has done its homework and created a bicycle to be appreciated.

The Leo 2 is fully dressed in Dura-Ace components save for a FSA K-Force Mega EXO crank. The reason why these bikes aren’t being “spec’d” with Dura-Ace cranks is a mystery, but the FSA rides and looks just right with the Leo 2. A V2 Vector stem and V2 Gyro aerobar grace the front of the ride and a V2 Fusion SL carbon seatpost with a Selle Italia SLR XP Trans Am seat grace the back.
Completing the ride are top-of-the-line Mavic Kysrium ES wheels, which blend beautifully with the colour scheme. Available in four sizes from small to extra large, I tested a large, which would be anywhere from a 57cm to 59cm bike.

As with all of the carbon bikes I test, the ride is wonderfully smooth as you glide away from your starting point. It accelerates with ease as any bike less than 1,000g would, but the big difference is the stiffness. That beefed-up bottom bracket has the ability to transfer your power into the drivetrain and the force drives straight ahead. Standing up and applying increased torque on the bike confirms the initial sensation that the frame has excellent rigidity and strength. On steep pitches or quick sprints, the bike performs admirably, making the most of your efforts. There is very little flex in the V2 combination bar and stem when sprinting, and great stopping power with the Dura-Ace brakes. On descents, this bike carves like an Olympic ski racer – the feeling is pure confidence.

May is a month for long training rides, and I put the Leo 2 through a number of 100-kilometre group rides. Carbon has the ability to dampen, and the Leo 2 is no different, offering up a comfortable ride without sacrificing any performance. From climbing to sprinting to just cruising, this bike will answer to whatever you throw at it.

The Leo 2 is a stealth racing machine that looks and acts the part. Devinci has answered any skeptics by creating a ride that can compete with any carbon bike in its price range.

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