Here's which DB MTB you should stick on your shortlist
Diamondback UK concentrates on hardtails and eMTBs. Diamondback does however have full suspension eMTBs in its UK line-up.
Diamondback started way back in the seventies as a BMX brand. It wasn’t long before it cottoned on to the burgeoning mountain bike scene and released its first proper mountain bike, the Ridge Runner in 1982. Over the years it has built on this heritage and produced some of the most iconic bikes of the nineties.
Diamondback’s website is pretty easy to navigate with all bikes lumped into two simple categories, either Off-Road or Electric. Interpreting the models is also super easy, with Diamondback utilising a simple numerical naming system; the higher the number, the better the model.
What type of mountain bike are you looking for?
Chances are you already know what style of mountain bike you want. Whether that be hardtail, full suspension or e-bike. If you don’t yet know what type of mountain bike you want then head on over to our feature What to look for in a mountain bike. Once you do know what type of bike you’re after, read on…
What type of riding are you interested in?
Let’s make one thing clear, all mountain bikes are versatile, adaptable and capable of many differing types of riding. That’s what makes them the best sort of bike! So don’t worry that you’ll never be able to go to a bike park if you buy a XC bike. Having said that, you’ll have a better experience if you buy a bike that best suits the type of riding that you do the majority of the time. Don’t buy that downhill beast if you only ride uplifts three times a year and spend the other 49 weekends slogging it around the local woods.
If you can’t really answer what type of riding you’re interested in, or the answer is something along the lines of “er… normal mountain biking please” then you’ll be best served with a trail bike. If you like the thrill of climbing and lung-bursting XC racing, get a cross country bike. If you only ride shuttle/uplift assisted downhill tracks, get a gravity/DH bike.
With your bike type chosen and your riding type chosen, all there’s left to choose is a budget. Choose one and stick to it.
As mentioned above, Diamondback brings in three hardtail ranges divided into Sport, Expert and XC Trail. The budget and beginner friendly Sync range sits under the Sport category, Expert hardtail is covered by the more trail oriented Heist with its longer travel suspension fork and XC Trail features the carbon framed Lumis.
Made up of three models, each is available in both a standard frame or ‘womens’ dropped top tube frame version. The Sync features an aluminium frame, 27.5″ wheel size, suspension fork and disk brakes. Starting at £385.00 for the Shimano Tourney equipped Sync 1.0, it represents an ideal first foray into off-road riding. The geometry is relaxed and the riding position is upright so making it perfect for tow paths and non-technical trails.
The Heist is a proper trail oriented mountain bike. It features a (relatively) slack and modern geometry to make it stable and responsive on steeper, technical trails. Coupled to a 120mm travel suspension fork, all models having a 1x drivetrain and the top two coming with dropper seatposts; the Heist should prove a viable partner for trail centre exploring. The Heist range starts at £575.00 for the Shimano Deore equipped Heist 0.0. It tops out at the Heist 3.0, with it’s higher quality bolt-thru and BOOST compatible frame, RockShox Recon Silver fork and Shimano XT/SLX 1×11 drivetrain for £1000.00.
If going fast in a cross country stylee is more your thing then Diamondback has you covered with the Lumis. The only carbon fibre framed bike range, the Lumis features the sort of geometry and riding position suited to cross country racing.
Somewhat curiously Diamondback produce two different 140mm travel full suspension eMTB ranges, the Bosch motored and Horst link suspension Corax plus the higher priced, Shimano Steps motored and VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) suspension driven Ranger. To suit less technical riding there is also the hardtail Corvus.
The Corvus hardtail features a 27.5″ Plus compatible aluminium frame with modern BOOST spacing and thru-axles. Diamondback use Bosch’s reliable CX motor and an easily accessible external battery to provide the power. Both models feature 100mm travel suspension forks and Shimano 1×11 speed drivetrains.
Corax provides 140mm of rear suspension thanks to its Horst link suspension design. This is matched up front with a 140mm travel suspension fork. As with the Corvus, a Bosch CX motor and external battery provide the drive. The Corax is also a 27.5″ Plus design. Using the wider 2.8″ tyres to provide more traction and cushioning, as is needed on heavier eMTBs.
The top of the range Ranger uses a high-end aluminium frame with a semi-integrated battery mount. Providing 140mm of rear wheel travel, it uses a more complex VPP suspension design to ensure a different ride quality to the Corax. Diamondback has used a Shimano Steps E8000 motor and battery system to provide the added assistance on the Ranger.
Diamondback in the US and other countries
If you happen to live outside the UK (and especially in the US) then Diamondback does actually offer a much wider spread of bike models that you can choose from.
The first range of Diamondback full suspension bikes. The Atroz has 120mm (4 inches) of travel front and rear. But the best bit is the three model Atroz range starts at just $699.99
The Catch is a 130/130 trail bike running on 27.5″ plus sized wheels and tyres. You get 148 Boost spacing and bolt three axles to keep things future proof. Like the Atroz there are three models in the range. The starting point, $1,899, Catch 1 features a 35mm stanchioned SR Suntour Aion fork, Shimano Deore 1×10 drivetrain and Maxxis Minion DHF tyres.
The Release also features 130mm of rear wheel travel, but that’s about where the similarities end with the Catch. Diamondback this time plug a more capable 150mm travel fork into the front of the Release. Probably the most noticeable difference is the Release also comes with a carbon frame, making it the most desirable of the range. The Release 5C Carbon is the top end bike and features a Fox 36 Float fork and Fox Performance Elite Float DPX2 rear shock. SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, a wheelset with Race Face ARC 30 rims and Novatec hubs. SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors. A KS LEV Integra dropper post and Race Face Aeffect R cockpit. All for $4,799.
On the hardtail front Diamondback produce a multitude of individual models plus a couple of small ranges. All of which barring the Overdrive and El Oso use 27.5″ wheels and predominately run the larger plus sized tyres (2.8″ width and above). If you want a fat bike with it’s bump eating 4″ tyres then the three bike El Oso range is where to look. For cross country riders and racers it’s the 29″ wheels Overdrive that you need to be looking at. Diamondback also produce two female specific hardtail models in the form of the Lux and higher end Rely.