Diamondback Sortie 29er Full Suspension

3.46/5 (13 Reviews)
MSRP : $6499.99

Product Description

The Sortie29 Black has essentially taken the very best components in the world and built you a pro caliber race build. Featuring Diamondback's legendary Knucklebox suspension and EA90 29er wheels, the Sortie Black is ready to leave your op...

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Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Dmac a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: February 8, 2016

Strengths:    Cheap

Weaknesses:    Heavy. And the frame broke in 1 year.

Bottom Line:   
Top frame broke where it meets the down tube. I keep the tires on the dirt. I get rowdy but I'm not dropping in on rampage. So wtf. Diamondback sent me a new frame since I was under warranty. But now I'm like.... Are they safe?? And I'm wondering why the sortie was discontinued for 2016????

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by randy martin a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2015

Strengths:    ride was plush, but ultimately there can be no strengths for a flawed design that breaks and leaves you stranded 5 miles out in the desert.

Weaknesses:    heavy, diamondbacks unwillingness to stand behind their product.

Bottom Line:   
I bought my sortie2 slightly used but less than a year old. I had practically checked it over with a microscope and paid almost full retail price for it since it was in pristine condition. I rode it about 10 times before it broke in half right where the bottom and top tube meet. I am 50 years old and ride with a group of similar aged mechanical engineers. I only say this to show that I am not a young agro rider who will push a bike beyond its limits. Because I was not the original owner Diamondback refused to help me out even a little bit. They also acknowledged that they knew about the flaw that had caused the stress concentration. (Really?? and you're still selling them?) The few times I had ridden it I thought it might be a little heavy and sluggish, but had justified it thinking at least I have a very strong frame. I can forgive a company for making an honest mistake, but NOT for continuing to sell flawed inventory and for not even trying to make it right with people who lost a lot of money by buying their product.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by KermieVT

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2014

Strengths:    High quality frame
Great components

Weaknesses:    For the $$, none.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the 2014 DB Sortie 1. Price paid: ~$1500. Trails: Mostly NE single track, intermediate to advanced.

I first saw this bike online while researching my first FS bike purchase. I was intrigued by the unusual lines of the bike and the low-slung rear triangle...it just looked sexy... and right. I worried about buying it sight-unseen and un-ridden, but after reading the few reviews I could find and failing to find any 29er FS rig anywhere close as far as components for the price, I decided to take a chance. I could not have taken a better risk. I freaking love this bike! Like Tom Cruise loved Katie Holmes, even. Sometimes I just find myself staring at it, trying to figure out where the magic is coming from...

I am 5' 10" 130lb. I bought a Medium and I just fit with on a couple of cm's to spare in the saddle height area. I did not weigh the bike b/c I knew the Sortie was considered heavy by most reviewers. I immediately bought lighter tires with better grip (the stock WTB ones were not only heavy, but the rear end slid out a lot with them) and I weighed out the stock components before replacing them. Some, such as the stem, were lighter than the claimed weights of many higher priced "lightweight" products, so I left them on board. I eventually went with a lighter saddle, narrower handlebar (I have narrow shoulders and build), lock-on grips and a RF XC 2x crankset and BB. These changes shaved off several pounds in critical areas. I could tell a difference immediately and the bike now feels whippy and maneuverable.

As mentioned, the frame quality is exceptional and everything works just fantastic. I love the Fox fork and rear shock - with Boost valve. This bike just crawls up hills like a tank, especially when the rear is in descend mode, and the weight is a non-issue. I am not racing but I am not even sure it would matter in a race, since this thing just rolls up and over nearly everything and flies downhill like an arrow, stable and true - just awesome. I have no issues in tight, twisty turns and root/rock gardens are so much fun now. In fact, riding is just more fun than ever. Who would have thought that could happen after nearly 25 years of mountain biking??!

This bike has improved my riding abilities so much! My partner cannot believe how fast I ride now and how many obstacles and steep down/uphills I ride - with so much more confidence. In fact, she rode my bike and loved it. Then she sold her month-old brand new Giant Trance 27.5 and bought a Sortie 2. She loves it (I have seen her petting it and talking to it when thinking she was not being watched) and is no longer anxious about a "divey" front end and not being able to keep up. Two Sorties in the house are certainly better than one!

The weight? Meh. I don't even notice it and my quads are like iron anvils now.

Value? I could not find a better value. Anywhere.

Honestly, I know there are some bike snobs out there who look down their noses at the DB brand. But I remember a time when anyone who was a serious mountain biker wanted one and frankly, they are missing out on one sweet ride. After riding the Sortie, for the life of me, I cannot understand why more people aren't on them! They are simply that awesome. I would recommend to anyone, anywhere - try this bike. Don't be afraid. Try it. It's beautiful, well-made and will open up a whole new world of mountain biking to you.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ronnieron12

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2014

Strengths:    Full XTR Group, Fox Suspension, and EA70 Cockpit

Weaknesses:    Frame design,frame flex, horrible cheap tires and very tight rear clearance

Bottom Line:   
Its very hard to actually find anything written about this bike. I found a lot more about the Mason and the Mission. I bought the bike from Jenson for right over 2k, for that price the bike is awesome. To be objective as if I paid the full $4000 for this bike you could find better bikes for that much. This is the most flexy bike I have ever ridden. Most my beef with this bike actually take place in the rear triangle, TOO TIGHT TOO FLEXY. The wolverine tires they come with are horribly heavy and won't bead up tubeless well. The whole package in a medium weighed 34 pounds when I got it. $800 dollars in upgrades I'm right around 29 pounds. As for performance its very stable but a lot of the weight is in the rear not really well balanced. It does ride like it has endless suspension for a sub 5 inch bike. All in all its a bulldozer of an XC bike

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David

Date Reviewed: December 3, 2013

Strengths:    This thing is a TANK. With the weapons grade aluminum frame, Fox Full Suspension 29er you can roll through anything.

Weaknesses:    None so far.

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding this bike for about 10 months now and it is still as much fun today as the day I bought it. I have been down the some technical trails as well as fast fire roads and this bike eats it up. If your in the market, its a good buy, you wont be dissipated.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by aboutface102

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2013

Strengths:    1. Great groupset, at least for what I've been used to
2. Well built, hefty frame. Can take a beating comfortably
3. Low center of gravity gives amazing control through banks and turns, for a 29er
4. 120mm fox suspension

Weaknesses:    1. It is a bit heavier
2. Not the best for steep climbs (could just be me)
3. Brakes are a little weak

Bottom Line:   
This bike was a great choice for me because I like to be able to climb long distances for the long downhills. This bike does both well, especially the downhill part. I rode my friend's $5,000 Niner just to try the 29" wheels. I will admit that uphill the Niner was astounding. Light with a great pedaling geometry. But downhill the Sortie blows it away. 1" more travel, Low center of gravity, hefty frame. Not to mention for me it was $3200 cheaper! Not the best groupset but I didn't even notice, it shifts great. Only bad thing is the brakes, I will probably upgrade those next to XT. If you want a fun 29er and are poor, this is an excellent choice!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by PhxChem a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: December 17, 2012

Strengths:    Solid bike. Able to set-up stock suspension for a 270# rider. Stock wheels seem to be strong enough for heavy riders also. Rear wheel stays stuck to the ground during rocky ascents, giving great traction. No noticeable chain feedback from the suspension. Stock 180mm front rotors (the minimum for heavier riders).

Weaknesses:    Trying to find a bottom bracket for the 2012 model after breaking one. My left foot foot ever-so-sightly rubs against the rear "seat stay" (it' probably by bodies fault for that. A little tape made sure I wasn't rubbing off the paint.). Trying to adjust the front derailer stop crews while it was on the bike (interference with the "seat stay"). You'll need the stubbiest of stubby screw drivers to get in there. I have hit my chain ring (converted to bashgaurd) quite a bit on bouldery sections. Seems to happen (obviously) more often when I'm moving lower in my rear travel.

Bottom Line:   
Since the is my first full suspension bike, my review might be biased toward the "Wow, gee, I can rip through the chunk!!" factor.

The amount of bike for the price made this a great deal (bought the 2012 around the time the 2013's were coming out.

Coming straight from a hard tail, this bike feels like I'm cheating on rocky Arizona trails. It took some time to dial in the suspension settings since I'm not used to ANY pedal bob, but the Pro Pedal switch on the RP3 takes most of that out. Initially, I also felt that maybe there was a little flex in the rear. But since getting used to the bike (and checking the suspension bolts on a regular basis) I have not noticed the flex.

Within a week riding, I started to forget it was even a 29er. I ride in all the same rocky technical places as before and I don't feel like I've had to adjust my riding style to fit with the bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Black Canyon Trail

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Greg Mayer

Date Reviewed: November 20, 2012

Strengths:    The Fox Suspension, SLX/ XT shifters and Derailers, Coupled with Shimano hydraulic disk braks and thru axle make this a fun bike to ride..

Weaknesses:    A little heavy but not overly noticable.

Bottom Line:   
I have ridden this bike for the past 8 weeks on a variety of different trails, cross country and roads. It is a blast to ride and very comfortable. I would definately recommend this bike to anyone looking for a mid range awesome bike that will make you smile every time you ride it.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bballboy388 a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2012

Strengths:    Price, thru axels front and rear, slx and xt shifters and rear derailleur, and Fox front and rear suspension.

Weaknesses:    Wheels are a heavy and the brakes are a little weak in my opinion

Bottom Line:   
First off I had never ridden a 29er before this bike. My previous perspective is all coming from previous experience riding a few different 26" trail bikes and my background is primarily in Downhill.

I loved this bike! My first ride was a demo at my our local xc trails the day after doing a 30 mile mtn ride for my friends bachelor party on my soul matador. My legs should of been tired and I didn't really feel like riding but this bike just kept making the trails more fun then I had remembered. At first I figured the ride was just easier because the bike has a little steeper head angle and is lighter then my old bike so it was easier to climb. Then we started to descend and I was hitting the same lines I do on my old 26 that was set up with a 160 Rock Shox lyrick. The suspension design was really active and ate everything up but when we were climbing I hardly noticed it. On long steep climbs on extended road sections I sometimes use my pro pedal but not often. After that ride I knew I had to get one and I loved it so much I just convinced my wife to drink the 29" kool aid and we just purchased the 2013 model of this bike for her.

I think Diamondback is a company that is easy to overlook but over the past few years they seem to really be putting out a much higher quality product and investing back in the bicycling community and I am really glad I got the chance to demo this bike and now own it.

The stock build on this bike is on the heavier side and might turn off someone looking for a bike specifically to race but if you are looking for a bike that will be really fun and you can take anywhere I think this is worth taking a close look at.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Gambrill State Park, MD and Patapsco State park MD

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Performance Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Soul Matador, Specialized sx, Transition Bottlerocket

Bike Setup:   Only things I have changed so far are I put an xt crankset I had on from my old bike, got maxxis ardent tires, and swaped my bar and stem from my old bike over too. I plan on getting new wheels and brakes in the next few months but I might hold off on the wheels till I need to replace them.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Graybiker

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2012

Strengths:    Good standover for a 29er.
Fox fork and shock
Sturdy frame with lots of nice design features

Weaknesses:    Heavy frame - almost 7.5 pounds for a medium
Low bottom bracket - prepare to smack lots of rocks with your cranks
Heavy wheelset

Bottom Line:   
I live in Western Colorado and rocky, technical trails are standard fare. With the stock Fox Float 120 fork, the bottom bracket is only about 12 and 5/8 inches high. This really hurts your confidence in tight rocky sections as you anticipate banging your cranks on numerous rocks. I even swapped out the fork for a White Bros Loop 140 for raise the BB a bit. The tapered head tube and zero stack height headset keep the front end low enough that a 140 mm travel fork does not hurt the bikes climbing ability at all.

DB made some nice design moves with the frame: all the pivots can be tightened from the non-drive side, the cable routing is great with bolt on guides for all housing on the down tube and the geometry is spot on except for the bb height.

I find the rear suspension works well and don't have issues with bobbing, but I do switch on propedal for climbs and flats. I generally like the bike, but the low bottom bracket is almost a deal breaker if you ride tight trails with obstacles. I've swapped out almost all the stock parts for SLX/XT level parts and a Stans Flow tubeless wheelset. Bike weight now is 30 lbs 4 oz.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by marc a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2012

Strengths:    Climbs well
Descends prowlessly
Take abuse well

Weaknesses:    Heavy
Slow moving wheels

Bottom Line:   
Besides the weight and wheels the bike is a great ride. Live Park City, Ut. Bike handle everything from tight wind trails, lift served trails and long endurance rides(40+miles). The Sorti has not let me down. Getting it set up took a bit time, but once I got the sag set correctly. It rode great. I'm 6' 215lbs expert rider who been riding a hardtail 29er for the past 4 years, it did take some getting use to the rear suspension bob by adjusting my pedal stroke. Since I bought the bike 2months ago I've changed out the wheels and crank and drop a amazing amount of weight and it rolls much quicker now.
Overall the bike. is good-great out of the box. Change wheels and it goes right to great. The bike takes a beating and keeps on going.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   PRINCESS DI

Purchased At:   ONLINE

Similar Products Used:   Niner RIP
GT 29ER Hardtail

Bike Setup:   FOX FLOAT29

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by flyingsqrl a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2012

Strengths:    Rolls fast in the big ring
Rails medium and fast corners
Good at negotiating tight corners
Rolls over root and rock gardens
No front wheel flop on steep climbs
Fork stroke is great once past the compression damping
Rear suspension is plush
No Brake jack
Bottom bracket is a little low at 13" if you ride where pedal strikes are an issue
Good fit for longer torso, shorter torso may want shorter stem
WTB Vigo Saddle is good
Shifting is very good
Tires are very good in loam
Many of the negatives are easily addressed, tires and grips can be changed, wheels upgraded as budget allows

Weaknesses:    Fork has a little too much compression damping
Single rock and root hits are no different compared to a 26er
Heavy wheels and tires 10 plus lbs complete including cassette. WTB Speed and Wolverine.
Feels slow to get up to speed due to wheels and tires
Tires slide off embedded rocks
Grips are like holding onto a metal file
M445 Brake levers lack reach adjust, despite DB website claim
More pedal induced bobbing than others, up to 0.38 inch of shock stroke
Pro pedal reduces bobbing by about 33%, but harshens the ride noticeably
Loses the line at high speed on trails with consecutive hits, needs a thru axle fork

Bottom Line:   
Diamondback Sortie 1 29er
Rider is 6 ft 1 inch, 182 lbs, 32.5 inch inseam, 32 years of mountain biking.
This Sortie was a demo, ridden 50 miles or 80 km. Loaner from Outspokin Cycle in London, Ontario.
A friend rode the Sortie once, and mentioned most of the same pros and cons.
Review is accurate as of posting date, specs may change
Get the Sortie 2 for the thru axles
Bend the dog end of the front derailleur cable forward so it does not get caught between the tire and cross brace.
Get folding tires fit for your trails
Convert to tubeless

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   WCC Trail in Waterloo

Similar Products Used:   Ellswoth Epiphany, not a 29er, and 5 pounds lighter.

Bike Setup:   Size large, 33 pounds total weight, 72 psi fork, 145 shock, 3 clicks of rebound

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: May 28, 2012

Strengths:    1. stiffness
2. geometry
3. fox suspension/shock with 15mm thru-axle and 12x142 rear axle, and knuclebox suspension
4. tapered head tube

Weaknesses:    1. weight
2. quality of build from factory
3. geometry on steep climbs

Bottom Line:   
in 2011 I rode a Diamondback Sortie 3 (http://www.diamondback.com/2011-sortie-3) and the Diamondback Mission 3 (http://www.diamondback.com/2011-mission-3). These both gave me a baseline as a user/rider for the Sortie 29er, and gave Diamondback a baseline for the two types of bikes they wanted to base this bike on. It seems to me they took clues from both, and a little more from the mission than the sortie. This bike is low slung. good for a 29er, and i feel like i am sitting at the same height as the 26" sortie 3, which had loads of clearance, but was hard to rail with. it also has a tapered head tube and slacker geometry, harkening back to the mission 3. It also climbs more like the mission than the 26" sortie 3. if you get onto too steep a climb, the front wheel likes to lift for me. The bike is MUCH stiffer than the previous sortie, what, with the 12x142 and 15mm thru axle hubs. The read end does not have the flex problems and loosey goosey feeling that the 26 "sortie 3 does, which was the biggest problem other than the height off the ground of the 26"sortie 3. Now one thing every good mechanic should check, and that you should check if you buy it and build it is the that the linkage is torqued properly. one of my linkage screws began unscrewing after 5 rather short rides. It's all fixed now. The weight is a little bit of a problem, but getting rid of the crank and replacing the handlebar/stem, and even eventually getting some stan's or easton wheels could easily make this a fairly light bike for racing. It made a few weird noises at first, but, after tracking all of them down and adding a little grease here and tightening a few bolts that should have been torqued at the factory there, it's become a wonderful ride. 4 chilies because of weight, geometry, and quality of build, and because it's not seen heavy consistent action yet this season...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dark Mounrain, North Wilkesboro, NC

Purchased At:   EP from Diamondback

Similar Products Used:   2011 Diamondback Sortie 3 http://www.diamondback.com/2011-sortie-3
2011 Diamondback Mission 3 http://www.diamondback.com/2011-mission-3

Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

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