click here for MTBR Leviathan product review page
Price: $1725 with DT Swiss upgrade
Frame Weight: 5.1lbs
Bike weight (as tested): 25.8lbs
BB height (measured):
Rear shock: DT Swiss HVR 200
Rear travel: 3″
Effective Top Tube
Head Tube Angle
Seat Tube Angle
A Word From the Manufacturer
The Leviathan 3.0 is a 29″ bike design based off our 26″ XC race bike that I developed back in 1999. The design was refined and refined until I used the basic construction and adapted it to the Leviathan. The major difference is that I changed the concentric pivot of the swingarm. With the raised axle position of the 29″ wheel, the swingarm angle was too steep and caused the wheel to come too close to the seat tube causing clearance issues. The Revelation, and now the Leviathan 3.0, are bike frames that are designed to be as light as I could get it for the purpose of XC racing and all around XC riding. The short travel keeps the bike efficient and very responsive to power input, as well. Our method of construction on this frame has proven to be light, durable and stiff. Applying this design to the 29″ wheel format enabled us to have a full suspension 29″ wheel bike that doesn’t suffer such a big weight penalty that most people associate with big wheels.
The Leviathan 3.0 is best suited for XC and endurance racers or XC riders who want a bike that is really light and easy to climb and ride farther.
The Leviathan also is now available in a 4.0″ version which is still an XC bike but gives you a bit smoother ride. The 4.0 gains about 3 tenths of a pound over the 3.0 but the extra travel makes it a more all around bike for XC riders who aren’t as serious about racing.
(click on image to enlarge)
- lightweight frame
- great climber
- responsive ride
- suspension travel gets harsh quickly
- seems to experience pedal bob
- Swingarm does not seem very robust. It seems thin and small and is held on by a long, small bolt.
- The rear DT Swiss shock clicks when in stable platform mode. Damping seems hard to control
The Lenz Leviathan is a light weight yet stable bike. Climbing seems to be this bike’s forté. With its light weight and efficient drivetrain, it is easy to pedal the bike up long fire roads and technical singletrack. The steering is not too quick and is easy to control on the steepest ascents.
On very tight singletrack, this was not the most agile steering bike. In the smooth swoopy trails, the Lenz felt right at home. Steep descents and log piles were not a problem at all with this bike.
The 3 inches of travel was a little bit rough. It moved pretty nicely in the first inch of travel. But it quickly ramped up and was quite stiff after that. I wasn’t all that pleased with the DT HVR shock on the bike. Damping was not so easy to control. Also, when the stable platform was cranked up, compressing the shock had an obvious clicking sound.
This bike benefited from a Mike Curiak build treatment. It had incredibly light wheels, a nice 29-tooth middle ring and a Salsa 140 gram flat bar to name a few. These resulted in a bike that weighed in under 26 lbs.
During the first three rides, the bike creaked quite a bit. It turns out that the rear skewer needed to be tightened quite a bit to prevent the rear hub from rubbing against the anodized finish of the frame. It’s a simple fix but worth noting since we didn’t experience this same issue with any other frame.
If you need a race bike, whether short or endurance races, this might be the right bike for you. The Leviathan – complete – is built up to 25.5 lbs only. This 29er seems to climb with ease and it gets around singletrack very well.