My bike is Army Green. The front has been upgraded to Marzocchi 200mm Drop Off Forks. A lighter spring has been installed on the rear shock to improve travel on account I'm not a heavy weight. A 800mm wide handlebar has been fitted along with Schwalbe Big Betty racing tyres. This is a very capable downhill bike at a fraction of the cost of its fancy rivals. This bike can handle battle scars, it may not win the race, but it might win the war.
Purchased At: this guys house he was moving the next day!!!!!!!
Similar Products Used: haro x7 big hit
Bike Setup: not sure havent checked i got it today
a Weekend Warrior
from Newark, Delaware, USA
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2006
Strengths: suuuper pillowey shocks, monster truck tires (2.6 inch, shops here in delaware dont even stock them! must be special ordered to replace), everyone envys it, front and back have adjustable travel (nice for getting to/from trail). Also adjustable return speed, which i dont mess with much. brakes are STRONG and have actually flipped me over the handlebars on a flat road. (my fault). the brakes are good!
Weaknesses: handlebars too wide, seatpost too long, but that can be fixed with a hacksaw. cant clear rocks&logs over about 8" on flat surface. fork bottoms out easily. my fork actually makes kind of a bubbly swish sound... maybe its a problem just with mine? its not a speed machine. accelerates slowly b/c of tires, size, and weight... but what do you want, its a freeride bike. if its too heavy, just work out more.
a steal for what i paid. good components. my chain is too long for some reason... aftermarket? who knows, i bought it used. front shocks may have to go to be a serious freeriders bike, hence the missing chili pepper on overall rating.
If you can get this bike in good shape for less than $850, i say go for it!
from livingston Montana usa
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2004
Strengths: The diamond back xts has a very high quality frame, but for the inexpeirenced riders, you have to make sure you check your drop out bolts. The phsylo is a good fork for the combanation of trail riding and jumping, it seems to suit this bike well.
Weaknesses: The phsylo fork and the fusion coil can't take large flat land hits, though it does well, i have bottomed mine out before, if you upgrade to a stiffer spring then it will take all the abuse you give it. The drop out bolts aren't equiped with the lock tight liqiud, so from agressive trail riding and what not I have had two of them vibrate out.
This is a great bike for combination trail and free riding. it lacks the suspension for agressive down hill, but that can always be upgraded. this is the greatest full suspension bike for people to start out on, most begginers will want something lighter. The physlo coil must be upgraded if intended for heavy freeriding use like I use if for. It has a great frame, and if you need upgrading idea's take a peek at the xts moto, it has the same frame, just better components.
Bike Setup: Truvatin Husselfelt Isis drive crankset, but I have put on a race face bash gaurd.
Date Reviewed: November 13, 2003
Strengths: very strong frame. good component group.
Weaknesses: magura julie levers include plastic as a primary source of material. WHAT!?
great bike. for the price i paid its def. worth the upgrades. if your looking for a great trailbike for less than the big names than look no further than the xts or the xts moto. im givin it 5 outta 5 right now cause it hasnt done me any harm so far.
Similar Products Used: 99 nx 8.1(only other real bike) various stiffy bikes (no suspension) schwinn, gt, trek, ross
Bike Setup: stock. one change bashguard instead of third chainring. looking to change that soon though (new forks and such)
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 30, 2003
Strengths: Near-indestructible frame. Ajdustable-load front and rear shocks. Big, beefy tires. Overall no-nonsense look. Components chosen for durability.
Weaknesses: A bit heavy. Pedals scrape too easily when riding over rocks. Frame can't accommodate multiple water bottles.
Overall I am extremly pleased with this bike, especially at the price. I could not believe how well it handled flat or downhill runs over rocky trails in my area. I used to have to steer around rocks to avoid rattling my teeth. Now I don't even look down, I just enjoy the scenery and ride over them without thinking about it.
The bike is a bit heavy to pedal uphill, but I can still ride up hills that used to make me dismount because rocks don't stop me anymore. It does take a lot of energy though, and I don't know whether this bike would be the best choice for a smooth singletrack with significant elevation gain. The granny gears are plenty low, but even with a mechanical advantage you're still lifting more weight.
Minor point: the pedal rotation brings the pedals lower than what I'm used to and they tend to scrape if the downstroke hits bottom when you happen to be riding over a huge rock. (the rock usually comes out worse than the meaty pedal does though) I'm getting used to allowing for the shorter clearance now.
I especially like the ajdustable-load front and rear shocks, with adjustable return dampening on both. This arrangement lets you configure the bike for the terrain. I had to download the owners guides to both shocks and spend some time figuring out the controls, as it wasn't obvious to me which setting is best for what terrain. Several people have noted that they had to switch out the springs on one or both shocks, but the stock loads work fine for me, I weigh 175. Pedal bob is indetectible on the trail, and can be eliminated for road use by dialing the rear shock into the preload range.
Other reviewers have also noted that the seat doesn't go down very far. This is true, I have to use the lowest setting, but it would not have been a big deal to saw off a portion of the seat post.
The other thing I really like is the 27 speeds. It took me a few rides to figure this out, but basically the middle ring is all you need for a trail ride, with the inner ring being for the rare short steep uphill, and the outer ring being purely for any road segments. Unlike my previous 21-speed bike, all you have to worry about is one shifter. Less to worry about = a more enjoyable ride. The deraileurs are very smooth and solid.
I would have liked to put more than one water bottle mount on the frame, but there's only room for one, so I had to go buy a Camelbak (one bottle doesn't even get you to the trailhead in Phoenix).
Bottom line, if you want a beefy, indestructible bike for under $1500 that ought to last ten years and that can handle mega-rocky trails with no sweat, but don't need to make a fashion statement by color-coordinating with your neon spandex, this one fits the bill.
Similar Products Used: This is my first full-suspension bike. After a lot of research, I chose the Diamondback XTS over the Trek Liquid 90 and the Rocky Mountain Carve.
Bike Setup: Stock 2003 with stock Psylo XC and stock X-Fusion, only non-stock components are Avenir saddle and Camelbeerkeg mount (gotta stay hydrated).
a Weekend Warrior
from Kansas, by way of Colorado
Date Reviewed: September 30, 2003
Strengths: Pricepoint, durability, decent mix of components.
Weaknesses: Grips, and a few select pieces of componentry. See bottom line.
OK, admittedly when you think of Mountain Bikes, Diamondback isn't exactly the first name that comes to mind. I felt the same way when going about purchasing my first full suspension bike about 6 months ago. I had been riding a rigid GT that I had possessed for almost 9 years and had ridden it to within an inch of its life. I immediately went out looking at all the BIG names, which included their BIG prices. I almost totally overlooked the XTS, but saw it in a window of one of the LBS's and thought, what the hell, I'll ride it just to say I rode everything. I had been test riding bikes for some 2 weeks, and this one just seemed right for me. So, what it boils down to, as it should for anyone looking for a new bike......PERSONAL PREFERENCE. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, or what THEY like. You have to take your butt out and put it on as many different seat posts as you possibly can and see what feels right for you. Yeh, so maybe I take a ribbing from my buddies about my bike at the trailhead, but eventually, everyone is coming over asking to take it for a spin, then coming back and saying they were actually really impressed with it. Bike beauty and performance is in the eye (and the arse) of the beholder.
That being said, I will move on with more informative correspondence. You must first understand that although some consider this an entry-level bike because of price, Diamondback was attempting to produce as high end of a bike as they could and still meet a pricepoint, which in this case is the $1400-1200 price range. This means cutting corners and skimping on a few things. The XTS does come with some decent componentry, but a few things do need attention.
Start with the grips. I ditched the stock grips before I even had my bike assembled. Some ODI lockers did the trick nicely for me.
The LX Deore shifters, front and rear derailuers are fine as far as I'm concerned. I click the shifters and the chain moves.....isn't that all that needs to happen?? Until I kill them, or they die, they can stay on the bike.
I noticed on my first day of hard riding that I had already destroyed about half the teeth on the big chainring, so I ditched the two big chainrings, subbed a Mountain Speed DH ring, with a chain guide and their fatty bash guard, problem solved.
Stock rear cassette was giving me fits from day one. Horrendous chain skip. LBS was clueless, and all of my tinkering proved fruitless. Finally, a decent LBS (not where I purchased) discovered there was a mismatched cog in my cassette?? WTF?? Anyway, replaced with XT 9-speed, problem solved. Replaced hunk-o-chit chain with an SRAM PC-99 at the same time. Shifting is now silky smooth.
Another troubling issue was the rear shock. X-Fusion Glyde Super. Who the hell has ever heard of this thing?? Yeh, me either. Anyway, I decided to kill it before I replaced it with a Romic, but it has refused to die. I did upgrade the spring to a 750#'er and it has actually not been a bad performer. Nicely adjustable, and after the spring replacement, it offers a nice velvety ride with limited pedal bob.
The Rock Shox Psylo XC up front is not a bad fork, but it came with the medium springs and I'm 200 lbs, so X-Stiff springs were immediately installed. This made it so much nicer when I was doing drops off the roof of my house to impress my 3 year old!!!
Two of the truly bright spots on this bike are the cranks and the brakes. The TruVativ Hussefelt cranks are just flat out beefy. Not flashy and pretty, just super-strong and functional. The Magura Julie Hydros are just awesome. For a little set of $100 brakes these things are just phenomenal. They never squeal, they modulate well, and they will flip you over the handlebars if you crank down on them. I've done some unintentional front wheelie stands that looked really cool from a distance, but scared the crap out of me. They work really well, nuff said.
The wheels and tires are fine as well. The WTB wheels seemed to have endured the extreme punishment of my weight off of many drops over 8'. I'm pretty sure they are still round and roll OK. Once again, that is the point isn't it?? The tires are definitely big. I have had more than a few people say my bike looks like a monster truck because of the rather large footprint of the tires. They have worked nicely for me, as I have been doing more XC stuff lately. They get me where I need to go and back, you can't ask anything else.
The rest of the bike is completely acceptable, and the frame is as aesthetically pleasing as it is strong. With its low profile grey paint job and very little flair on the rest of the bike, it conforms to my motto of, "Walk softly, and carry a big freakin hammer!!"
So, who is this bike for?? Who knows?? Maybe for you, maybe not. But let your butt and your gut decide, not your ego. I had plenty of money to spend on any bike I wanted, so truthfully money was never an issue, and that is how it should always be. Ok, so maybe I didn't ride an Ellsworth, or an Intense......but I also wasn't looking to spend 3,000 bucks on something I was going to take in the forest and slam into trees!! I didn't want a museum piece that I was going to be afraid to get a scratch in the paint job, or some dirt on my titanium components. I wanted a brute. And yes, other bike makers produce bikes that fit that description as well, but this is the one that called my name. Go find one that calls you too, but don't overlook the little names, sometimes you stumble on what you were truly searching for.
Sorry to have rambled on....but I hope maybe this helps someone. Catch ya on the trails. If you have any questions, please drop me an e-mail.
Similar Products Used: Test rode all varieties of Giant, Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, GT, and even Tomac.
Bike Setup: '03 XTS with following upgrades: ODI locker grips, Mountain Speed LRP w/34t chainring, chain guide and bashring; XT 9-spd rear cass.; SRAM PC-99 chain; Cateye cordless computer; assorted bike and gonad protection devices.
a Weekend Warrior
from Richmond KY U.S.
Date Reviewed: September 18, 2003
Strengths: it is built like a tank. I have bent one bolt but, broke nothing yet. The crank is super stiff, the pyslo xc is awesome after I replaced the springs. Comfortable postion for freeriding. Great u-turn adjustablilty up front.
Weaknesses: had to replace the spring in the pyslo to Xtra firm, the hub are way to slow, too much resistance, stock tires are too big for cross country, though great for freeride. A little bit heavy, but that's a price you have to pay for durability.
Takes what you can throw at it. If your in in to jumps and drops this baby shreds. If your looking for a good hill climber you might want something a little different.
Similar Products Used: It's the first of its kind.
Bike Setup: replaced tires with wtb motoraptor and a panaracer dart in front. xtra firm spring up front in the pyslo xc.
a Weekend Warrior
from BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2003
Strengths: Solid mid-range package
Weaknesses: Stock tires are a joke
I am reviewing the 2002 XTS-2, which is no longer being offered in favor of the XTS for 2003. Same frame but a lower spec on parts. The XTS-2 (which I picked up for song-replacement cost of the fork alone is around CDN$450.00)is a great starter bike for getting into full suspension without going broke. The frame is light and well-balanced for most free-riding. The higher spec on the XTS can only add to the excitement. Unfortunately, fanatical brand loyalty for local bike companies like Norco & Rocky Mountain keeps out a lot of the competition, Diamonback included.
Strengths: Stirdy, great mix of xc and freeride ability
this bike rocks. not too big for uphill and xc but also great for dh and free ride. i was looking for something in between a dh bike and a xc bike and this is it. perfrect for anyone looking for a bike that is versatile enough to do anything.
a Weekend Warrior
from salt lake city. utah
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2003
Strengths: component setup, brakes, front and rear suspension, handles excellent
Weaknesses: maybe a couple lbs heavy
this bike rocks. I was looking for a freeride bike that could climb well and also be tough on the downhill. This is the one. Its not as heavy as a downhill, and it climbs great. I waste my buddies up the trail on their xc bikes. Although it is a little heavier than a xc bike, it handles great and has absolutley no problems. The best part about it is the downhill. This thing takes bumps and drops like its nothin.
Ive heard some say the fork is too soft and bottoms out, but for me its perfect. I weigh about 165 lbs, and the rock shox xc holds me up great. If your heavier you can just change the springs on it. I was a little worried about the x fusion rear susp, but it has also been awesome. I put a lighter spring on in for my weight and it adjusted perfectly.
Magura brakes are awesome, stops on a dime. Ive had no problems whatsoever.
Ive taken a few falls but this bike has held up alot better than my body. One tuff bike.
If youre looking for a freeride that can do anything, this bike is the way to go. Also a great price for the line-up its got.
Strengths: great looking frame and color choice. brakes pull like someone dropped the anchor. the shocks make this bike super plush (like riding a pillow). the parts spec is simply amazing (magura, rock shox, easton, truvativ, shimano deore, fsa, wtb, sram). for being an FR bike, it's actually quite light. the tires have the biggest footprint i have ever owned and have more than enough bite for what i plan to do.
Weaknesses: the seat post is a bit on long side and the WTB saddle could be a little more comfortable. however this bike wasn't necessarily made for three hour bike treks :)
this is the plushest bike i have ever ridden. period. the front and rear suspension soak up bumps w/ no complaints. the brakes on this bike bite hard and strong (even though they aren't burnished in yet). Kenda makes an awesome tire. The kinetic dh tires are surprizingly well-mannered and quiet on the road despite their off-road prowess. one thing i will have to do is buy some fenders for this bike because the kendas like to throw alot of mud. the only real gripe i have w/ the bike is the fact that the seat post is too long and the wtb saddle digs into the crotch area. other than these small pains, i think Diamondback has made one of the best bikes on the market.
Similar Products Used: tested a rocky mt. edge and fanatik and had a d'back X-10
Bike Setup: completely stock
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2003
Strengths: Frame looks awesome. The color is great and unassuming. Any bike with this kind of component spec for this kind of cash should be near the top of anyone's list. i haven't riden it yet, but in another day or two, we'll see what the bike can do. Has wider tires than the Moto (and the Moto is the downhill bike!)
Weaknesses: haven't tested it yet.
Diamondback has a great reputation for building bikes w/ great specs and not charging an arm and a leg. They are also known for their sturdy construction (despite some recent set-backs). I think anyone w/ the money should invest in this bike. For what u get (Magura hydro brakes, Rock Shox, Truvativ, Kenda, WTB) this bike is actually a steal. If someone from Diamondback decides to read this, KEEP BUILDING THIS BIKE!!
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