Diamondback Bike Review: All You Have to Know Before Buying One

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Whether you’re ripping down a mountain, commuting to work, tearing up the tarmac or grinding through gravel—it seems Diamondback has a bike for every occasion.

But, does its quality match its versatility?

And although Diamondback has been around for many years—longevity doesn’t automatically mean reliability.

This Diamondback bike review reveals the incredible truth.

The Ultimate Diamondback Cycles

 

 

mountain bike

The Story Behind Diamondback Bicycles

Let me start this Diamondback bike review with some quick history.

Back in the heady days of the 1970s—kids in Southern California became tired of riding their cycles around the same old, boring, and uniform streets of their suburban hometowns.

Looking for a little more excitement, they began to sneak onto the dirt-racing tracks used by their older, motorbike-riding, brothers. And thus, BMX (bicycle motocross) was born (although the Dutch claim they invented it in the 1950s—despising any other country that dares to have been an innovator on two wheels).

At this time, these young trailblazers were using standard road cycles, which they customized for performance and handling. Manufacturers saw an opportunity and began to produce pure BMX cycles.

BMX bike

One such company was the US-based Centurion cycles, which, in 1977, decided it needed a cool brand name for their BMX line. Taking the sandy tracks as inspiration, and the inherent risk in the sport, Centurion named it Diamond Back—after the Californian rattlesnake.

Over the next few years, this brand changed from Diamond Back, to DiamondBack, and finally resting on Diamondback. Today, serious BMX aficionados speak of this company with reverence—considering it to be one of the forerunners of the sport, alongside Schwinn and SE bikes.

Always watching current trends, in the late 1980s, Diamondback began manufacturing mountain bikes. It perhaps gained the most worldwide attention when it formed its own competitive off-road cycling team, Diamondback racing (DBR). This was soon followed over the next two decades by the introduction of road bikes and then hybrids.

In 1999, the Derby Cycle Corporation, which owns the Raleigh brand, purchased Diamondback. Just two years later, they sold both brands to Accell—who eventually relinquished control of Diamondback to Regent, L.P. in August 2019.

diamondback bike review infographic

 

Diamondback Today

So, is Diamondback a good bike?

Many cycling experts speak of the innovation behind this famous brands’ cycles. Their most successful creation being the Knuckle-Box suspension, featured on the Mission, Sortie and Scapegoat lines.

With a wide range of cycles covering virtually every cycling field, including kid-specific models, Diamondback has moved away from its sole BMX roots to become a more generalized bike manufacturer.

I feel it’s important to stress in this Diamondback bike review, that this brand has established a reputation for quality—supported by perhaps one of the most comprehensive warranties of any current bike manufacturer.

It’s true, some of its two-wheelers, especially the Triathlon lines, are out of the reach of many people’s budgets. However, while it makes a number of cycles for professional use—Diamondback tailors-down numerous models to an impressively mid-range cost. It’s like owning a branded Ferrari—but at Ford pricing.

The Diamondback Range

Today, Diamondback has ceased virtually all production of BMX cycles—concentrating on the more popular road and off-road models—as opposed to freestyle riding.

Many cycle retro-lovers consider this to be an unforgivable sin—the brand abandoning it’s ‘baby’ that brought the company to worldwide attention.

However, those riders who have no time for nostalgia, simply see Diamondback adjusting to the increasing demand for more practical cycles. Hence, why it concentrates on mountain, road and hybrids bikes—niches that researchers suggest will continue to dominate the market.

The breakdown of the current Diamondback catalog is as follows:

Mountain Bikes

  • Full-suspension (dual-suspension)—front fork shocks and a spring in the rear frame.
  • Hardtail—a cycle with suspension only in the front fork, hence a ‘hard’ tail.
  • Fat tire—overwide tires (3-5 inches) allowing you to ride on sand or snow.

Road

  • Adventure and gravel—providing the capability of riding on both tarmac and off-road.
  • Endurance—for those who love speed and distance.
  • Hybrid—delivering the upright and comfortable cycling position of mountain bikes, combined with the lighter weight and thinner tires of road machines.
  • Triathlon—seriously high-end (you’re talking the high thousands of dollars) for athletes—typically with carbon frames.

And, because kids always want to (and should be) part of your cycling world—Diamondback has an impressive range of two-wheelers for the younger generation, in both mountain and road categories.

black bike

How Long is the Diamondback Warranty?

In addition to their build quality and reliability, Diamondback provides peace-of-mind with an impressive guarantee—something that’s worth stressing in this Diamondback bike review.

Not only does this manufacturer offer a full lifetime warranty on the cycle frame—but unlike many other companies, it also provides assurances on other parts, including:

Five Years Warranty

  • Suspension.

One Year Warranty

  • Forks.
  • Components (brakes, drivetrain, derailleur, etc.).
  • Paint and decals.
  • Labour.
  • Additional accessories.

Diamondback Bikes Reviews—The Ultimate Cycles

So far, in this Diamondback bike review, I’ve mainly concentrated on the brand.

I know what you’re shouting—but what about the bikes!

Don’t worry, it’s time to get down to the serious detail—the two-wheelers themselves.

With so many awesome machines, it’s been tough to select the best of the best. However, a combination of industry expert opinion, customer feedback, and my own insight—has allowed me to choose perhaps the optimum examples from this company.

Furthermore, I’ve made sure there’s an affordable cycle in this top list for every user—whether a casual weekend rider, mountain ripper or gravel guru.

 

Our Overview

Wheel size: 27.5 and 29-inch.

Weight: 34 pounds.

For precision handling—there’s possibly no better cycle in this Diamondback bike review.

An aluminum frame, increased stiffness in the suspension, and front and rear-thru axles—means you should achieve exact control, whether tearing up the mountainside or battling with street traffic.

And, when you’re climbing those steep inclines, I’m sure you’ll welcome the SRAM GX-X Horizon derailleur, with 24 speeds to make mincemeat of any challenge.

Furthermore, I feel the heavily treaded 2.5-inch WTB Nineline tires will provide reassuring traction—suitable for wet tarmac and greasy mud (with naturally, some air removed).

And, to avoid dangerously careering into obstacles, I suggest you’ll appreciate the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes that should provide reliable stopping even in wet conditions.

Pros:

 

  • Available in five colors.
  • An impressive hardtail cycle.
  • Ideal for clearing substantial obstacles.
  • Stainless steel spokes.
  • Silicone hand grips for a tight hold.
  • Comes complete with a tool kit.
  • Tubeless compatible rims for adaptability.
  • A top-end product but at an affordable price.
  • Includes pedals.
  • Ideal for the taller rider.
  • Choice of 16, 18 and 20-inch frames.
Cons:
  • It’s a shame that Diamondback didn’t hide the brake cables inside the cycle frame.
Our Overview

Wheel size: 27.5-inch.

Weight: 30 pounds.

When you’re not tackling the most extreme trails—full-suspension could be considered as overkill. Hence, if you like less challenging rides and use your bike on the road—I propose this hardtail will suit.

The low-slung frame allows for easy mounting and dismounting—whether navigating impossible obstacles on your runs or getting onto unscalable curbs.

The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes should deliver reliable speed control, while the SR Suntour 120 mm travel front suspension will take the heavy impacts out of your ride.

If you don’t need all the granny gears of the Diamondback Overdrive—you may instead appreciate the SRAM X4 derailleur on this model—providing a choice of eight speeds. Hence, sufficient to cope with all but the severest of inclines.

Pros:

 

  • Choice of 16, 18, 20 and 22-inch frames.
  • Double-wall wheels.
  • Aluminum frame.
  • Includes a tool kit.
  • Deeply treaded Vee Rubber Crown Gem Tires.
  • Flanged silicone handgrips to prevent slippage.
  • Responsive braking through the two-finger Tektro 2 levers.
  • Lightweight 14-gram stainless steel spokes.
Cons:
  • Not tubeless compatible.
  • Only available in one color.
Our Overview

Wheel size: 20-inch.

Weight: 28 pounds.

No Diamondback bike review would be complete without something for the youngsters—and for me, this unisex cycle will take their excitement levels to the max.

You know the issue—buy something for your kids, and within a few months, they’ve grown out of it. It’s even more annoying if you’re purchasing a high-quality item with a price tag to match.

Happily, this cycle, suitable for younger riders 44-54 inches tall (approx. 4-9 years), will grow with them, with its adjustable seat and handlebar tubes.

Safety and durability are at the forefront—key in a kid’s cycle. It incorporates a rear derailleur guard, steel frame to take everything your tikes can throw at it, and a six-speed drivetrain to enable them to keep up with you on hills.

Most importantly, it looks like a scaled-down adult bike—not a cheesy superhero branded ‘baby’ cycle. And if you’re a kid—that’s crucial.

Pros:
  • Designed with the younger rider in mind.
  • HL Zoom 40 mm travel forks to absorb impacts.
  • Adult styling but with children’s safety in mind.
  • Adjustable brake levers for smaller hands.
  • The best kid’s cycle in this Diamondback bike review.
  • Powerful caliper brakes to prevent accidents.
  • Robust high-tensile steel frame.
Cons:
  • Lacks a kickstand—useful on a child’s cycle.
Our Overview

Wheel size: 27.5-inch.

Weight: 30 pounds.

Full suspension cycles may take out all the bumps and humps—but sometimes, you just want to feel the terrain. If that sounds like your bag—this could be the ideal Diamondback cycle.

The front SR Suntour 120 mm travel suspension should take out those elbow and shoulder jarring impacts—however, being a serious hardtail, you can gain all the feedback you need through the rear rim—allowing you to adjust your style accordingly.

With a 6061 aluminum frame, this is a lightweight yet feature-packed cycle. Hence easy to maneuver on the dirt, but also effortless to mount on your car rack.

And, being compatible with internally routed dropper posts, you can slip in your own favorite saddle and bar for familiarity.

Pros:

 

  • Nine-speed Shimano Acera derailleur.
  • Low-slung geometry.
  • Custom-formed tubing for durability and a lighter weight.
  • Flanged 135 mm silicone grips.
  • Available in 16, 18, 20 and 22-inch frames.
  • Wide 2.35-inch tires.
Cons:
  • It can be challenging to set-up brakes before first use.
Our Overview

Wheel size: 27.5-inch.

Weight: 35 pounds.

If your rides are so extreme, you can’t accept anything less than complete impact reduction—I suggest this is the ideal cycle in my Diamondback bike review rundown.

This full-suspension cycle incorporates the renowned rear RockShox Monarch (184 x 44 mm) and a front Recon RL. Meaning those killer rocks aren’t going to wreck your hands nor unseat you from the saddle.

But, when you’re tearing down the mountainside, you need more than just force reduction—you need control.

For me, the Shimano MT200 hydraulic discs will not only provide reassuring and immediate control—but also being sealed will not be affected by any dirt and mud that are part of your rides.

Pros:

 

  • Hand-built four-inch aluminum frame.
  • Sealed cartridge bearings for a smooth ride that will not degrade.
  • Eleven-speed drivetrain.
  • Ideal for lovers of extreme terrain.
  • 2.35-inch tires.
  • Available with 16, 18 and 20-inch frames.
  • Choice of two colors.
Cons:
  • Brakes will need adjustment after the first few uses.
Our Overview

Wheel size: 24-inch.

Weight: 28 pounds.

If your daughter wants to join you on your dirt escapades―you may have found the perfect machine.

Styled for the younger female rider, this mountain bike has all the features of a more ‘grown-up’ cycle. I’m talking about a Shimano Tourney 21-speed drivetrain, a 40 mm travel HL Zoom fork, and dual cantilever brakes.

However, as Diamondback has angled it for smaller cyclists, you may find some reassurance in the high-tensile steel frame—offering more durability than an aluminum version. Furthermore, it boasts adjustable-reach hand-levers—to ensure that even the daintiest of fingers can control speed and stopping.

Pros:
  • Smaller size but with a large attitude.
  • Powerful brakes to prevent accidental mishaps.
  • 21-speed drivetrain.
  • Suitable for riders between 53-62 inches tall (8-12 years).
  • Linear pull brakes.
  • Feminine styling.
Cons:
  • The youngest of riders may find the steel frame a little heavy.
Our Overview

Wheel size: 700c.

Weight: 40 pounds.

If you’re searching this Diamondback bike review for the ultimate versatile cycle—I believe you may have found it.

This adventure bike is equally as comfortable on the road as on the trails. Hence, if you’re a weekday commuter and a weekend adventurer—I propose this cycle is for you.

It boasts dual-sport 700c wheels—narrow enough to zip through traffic on the streets, but wide enough and with sufficient tread to cope with uneven and wet, slippery terrain.

A 6061 aluminum frame reduces the weight—while high-tensile steel forks and forged dropouts provided strength—useful when climbing those high curbs.

The alloy linear-pull brakes should help you avoid both other traffic and nature’s obstacles—and, being adjustable, I suggest they’re suitable for both men and women’s hands—whatever their size.

Pros:
  • The most versatile of all the cycles in this Diamondback road bikes review.
  • Bold styling.
  • 700c tires for speed and grip.
  • Excellent as a commuter cycle.
  • Includes water bottle mounts.
  • Thumb-switch gear shifters.
  • Shimano 21-speed drivetrain.
Cons:
  • Only available with an 18-inch frame.
  • The inclusion of steel in this cycle’s construction makes it heavy.
Our Overview

Wheel size:  700c.

Weight: 21 pounds.

Should you be a competitive racer or someone who just loves to rip the road apart—I believe you’ll adore this road bike.

Everything about it screams speed—from the 18-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain, the lightweight 7005 aluminum frame, through to the aerodynamic dropped handlebars.

The Diamondback Podium tapered alloy forks reduce this bike’s heft—while adding increased handling and response—essential if you gained some serious velocity. And, moving that rapidly, you need the confidence of being able to stop when conditions require. I’d propose that the Tektro Lyra disk brakes will meet these demands.

Sleek styling, a curved and semi-dropped top bar, and a minimalist sport seat give this cycle an authentic road-racer aesthetic.

Pros:

 

  • The cycle includes pedals.
  • Undoubtedly, the fastest cycle in this Diamondback bike review.
  • Formed and butted tubing.
  • Color-coded rims and cogset.
  • Ergonomic handles.
  • Grip enhancers on the dropped handlebars.
  • Equation rims.
  • At 21 pounds, it’s incredibly lightweight.
Cons:
  • Riders new to road bikes may find the geometry, posture and saddle uncomfortable.

adventure bicycle sunrise

Diamondback Bike Review Conclusion

So, are Diamondback bikes good?

After reading this Diamondback bike review, you already know the answer!

The cycles from this giant of a brand are incredible—due to their build quality, excellence in numerous niches, suitability for professional use, and a lifetime warranty.

It’s almost unfair to pick one ‘best’ product—to be honest, it could go to any one of the eight in this article. However, if there’s one bike that would suit both the everyday rider and weekend trailblazer, then I’d go for the Diamondback Overdrive.

This mighty machine should cope with every incline with its 24-speed drivetrain, grip to any terrain through its mammoth 2.5-inch wheels, and stop on command with the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. And, at a price that isn’t going to make your bank manager cry—it’s perfect for the keen amateur.

However, it would be unfair for me not to give some of the other cycles a swift shoutout. I’m impressed with the adult styling of the kid’s Cobra, amazed by the impact-crushing Atroz, and slightly scared at the speed of the Century 2.

But, as Timberlake would agree, the bike that puts the Sexy Back into Diamondback—it has to be the Overdrive.

 

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