What Amazon did for books, Leopard is doing for bicycles. By sticking with Web-only distribution, this small Bay Areabased bike manufacturer is offering teched-out, full-carbon race bikes at unheard-of prices. The CL1 is constructed of uniquely ribbed carbon tubing and has radically shaped carbon seat- and chainstays, resulting in a spirited, almost springy ride. "It feels like the frame stores energy, then releases it with each pedal stroke," one rider said after a hilly circuit in Saguaro National Park. And with full-carbon lugs, exotic Euro decals, and a flamboyant paint job, the CL1 looks just as fast as it moves.Bonus: Loads of carbon add-ons, including crank, stem, bars, seatpost, and bottle cages.Bummer: Online-only sales mean you can't try before you buy, though a 30-day return policy helps. 16.8 lbs, 57.5 cm; www.leopardcycles.com
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