a Cross Country Rider
from Ashland, OH, USA
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2004
Strengths: good and solid frame, excellent Deore components and mostly name brand components everywhere else. Tires climb like a billy goat
Weaknesses: little heavy but this can be fixed with some upgrades in the future. Most of the weight seems to be from heavy wheels and the Judy TT shock (5lb shock!)
Tried the Tassajara and it was a great bike, but couldn't see spending an extra 400 bones on it. If you want a bike that will last you a few years but want to save up for that sweet ride you've always wanted than this is a great bike for that. I was thrilled with the price and the components I got for that price. I took it out on the "most technical trail in Ohio," Vultures knob, and it handled it well, especially after the new stem, which gave it a longer XC style feel and improved its climbing capability tremendously. It is responsive and solid, and the Judy TT will perform well in most riding situations. Before you replace the stem, try riding a wheelie on it, because it will pop up like a dream, thats why I had to replace it, it made climbing difficult because the front wheel comes off the ground real easy. This bike is upgrade worthy and should last years if taken care of. PS, don't buy if you like to shoulder your bike a lot, because the cables are on the underside of the top tube. I rarely shoulder the bike so it doesn't bother me. The WTB tires are exceptionally grippy and should really maul any little rodents that run out on the trail in front of you. The brakes are good, but the lever could be a little stronger, feel pretty flimsy when you compare them to the other strong components. Finally, If you buy it at Dick's like I did (only b/c it was soooo cheap) be ready to tinker with the derailleurs, shifters, and brake levers, and don't be afraid to shorten the handlebars a little bit, they come super wide. Enjoy this bike and ride it hard.
Favorite Trail: Vulture's Knob or Mohican St. Park
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Dick's Sporting Goods, on clearance
Similar Products Used: Motobecane 300ht, Giant Yukon (test rode), Gary Fisher Tassajara disc.
Bike Setup: replaced upright stem with a longer, flatter Kore Stem. Put my favorite racing saddle on and my clipless pedals. In the future will put a lighter rock shox and some tubeless tires. May even get disk brakes someday, but I'm a traditionalist, thats why I ride a hardtail. (and this one was dirt cheap)
This bike is great for and entry level rider. You get a great bang for the buck as compared to trek, specialized, etc. However, the bike is rather heavy for a racer. But at the time of purchase I didnt know I was going to race. The fork is a peice. And if you ride hard and race hard then teh deore components will eventually fail. But no better of a time to upgrade than when you break something. The wheelset is a peice too, especially if you ride hard, but its to be expected with an entry level bike. Oh and somehow I bent the seat post badly so I replaced it with a Thompson Elite. What it boils down to is this...if you want an entry level bike with entry level components at an entry level price...then you have got your bike. But don't get pissed when the mountain biking bug hits you and you realized you should have gotten a lighter quicker bike from teh start. But hey we all make mistakes.
Similar Products Used: soon to be jamis dakota xc with full xt
Bike Setup: stock with eggbeater candy s clipless and thompson elite seatpost
a Cross Country Rider
from torrington, ct, usa
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2004
Strengths: I have given this bike a beating and it has taken it very well. I ride hard and have blown out the Judy fork....soon to be replaced with a Manitou Black but I can't complain about this bike. The components are decent for the price.
Weaknesses: Brakes are a little squishy but who needs 'em anyways.
Great bike for the price. Would reccomend it for pretty much anyone. It is only my ability that has limited me, not the bike.
Similar Products Used: Old as dirt Univega Alpina Country
a Weekend Warrior
from Los Angeles ,CA
Date Reviewed: January 9, 2004
Strengths: Light frame for a beginner to intermediate cyclist,a solid responsive frame with good looks. It has a durable and confident feel of components. And of course the Price is right for what you get. Upgradeable beauty!
Weaknesses: Didn't expect top notch equipment, but would love to own a better fork, seat, and crank set. Pedals could use some advancement along with xt v-brakes over the tektro stuff. takes some getting used to the cables uner the tube, but I like the clean look.
Don't make a mistake like me and start listening to Bike shops that swear you're getting an awful bike. Diamondbacks are great bikes. The bike feels good, looks and feels more expensive than some of the higher end bikes I tested at pretentious bike shops. Just to rebel against them I bought a Costco Motiv bike compulsively thinking I could save a few dollars. (They won that battle) I took that heap of iron disgrace back to the store and started over. I researched bike set-ups and discoverd the Diamondback by accident really. To my surprise it had fair and decent components at a good price. Bottom line: Can't spend like P-diddy, but a few Bennie Franks in the pocket will get you a decent bike. Bike shops and MTB freaks might rag on you, but your rent is paid and you can always upgrade...slowly! BUY THE TOPANGA-WIN THE BUDGET BATTLE
Similar Products Used: Nothing ever! 1990 was last time I owned a heavy Sears Teal (yes) Teal ten-speed. I biked that monster my freshman year at the angst of my cheap father and worried mother. but I have to admit, it was better than being sandwiched on a bus and discovering the independence of cycling.
Bike Setup: stock, except some shiny alloy 20 dollar bar ends, cool grips for better stopping power, and soon a new softer seat for my "friends in the middle."
a Weekend Warrior
from Graham, NC
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2003
Strengths: Looks! Nice black / blue paint scheme. Great feel, not too heavy for weekend / daily neighborhood rides. Great bang for the buck with this bike, not the most advanced bike on the planet but definitely not an el-cheapo either. Also, comes with disk brake mounts for future upgrade potential.
Weaknesses: Definitely upgrade from the WTB SST-X saddle!!! I can't stress this enough!! It's a killer. Also, the Shimano front derailleur can be a tad noisy in certain gears. The chain hits it sometimes.
A great beginner or intermediate bike. I'll probably upgrade it one piece at a time but I will keep the frame just for its looks alone. RockShox Judy TT fork is fine for now. Also, I like the stability of it. For the money it just "feels" like a more expensive, more professional cycle. Whatever you do; if you purchase it from Dicks Sporting Goods make sure you have them double check the setup. Mine was setup terrible and in the first week the chain came off and half of the gears would not lock in. Finally I took it to a pro shop nearby and they set it up the way it should have been. Now all of the gears work, the brakes work MUCH better, and the new Specialized seat is awesome!
Similar Products Used: Specialized Rockhopper. Great bike but I couldn't see $200 more for it over the Diamondback.
Bike Setup: Stock except for Specialized Milano Saddle (1000 times more comfortable than stock WTB SST-X) and Serfas grips.
a Weekend Warrior
from Wilmington, DE, USA
Date Reviewed: August 20, 2003
Strengths: This bike represents a great value for the money. I couldn't find anything near it's price that was comparably equipped.
Weaknesses: Cable routing-----under the tube is a bad idea. You move the cables when you shoulder the bike and anytime you mount it on a bike rack. The stock stem has too much rise for tall riders. An after market stem is a must if you are anywhere near 6 feet tall.
I love this bike. A lot of people complain about the weight. I don't seem to have a problem with it. The Rock Shox Judy TT fork is fine for the weekend warrior rider. And after all I think that is who this bike's target audience was supposed to be. The bike is equipped with relatively high quality components on an upgradable frame. It could use a better seat, better cable routing, and depending on the rider a different stem. The seat and stem are easily changed. You would be hard pressed to find more bang for your buck than this bike. I ride almost everyday in one way or another and have yet to encounter any problems with this bike. That said, I ride light to moderate trails on weekends and then use it in an urban environment during the week. I didn't expect a full fledged downhill racer when I bought it, and therefore don't hold it to those expectations. This is an excellent beginner bike that can grow with you. Reliable, solid, economical, and upgradable in a good looking package. What more could you ask for from a bike under 500 clams?
Similar Products Used: secondhand, broke-down, junk....
Bike Setup: primarily stock with the exception of an underseat toolbag, bottle holder, and a new stem.
Date Reviewed: August 11, 2003
Strengths: Value, components
Weaknesses: Brakes, cable routing
My wife finally move up to this bike from her old Wal-Mart junk. I think this bike is definately helping her enjoy biking like that heavy, horrible shifting Mongoose junker never could. This bike is a great value, the only comparable bike for the price I found was the Raleigh M60, which is essentially the same bike but wasn't on sale like this one (Raleigh makes Diamondback, the M60 is spec'd identical and retails the same at $439). At $439 retail it is a good buy, at $330 it was a steal in my opinion.
I don't like the big brake levers and the rear one seems pretty smooshy even though it seems to be adusted correctly and stops well.
Also don't like the cables routing under the top tube. It's annoying to have the cables on the bottom side where you would shoulder it.
Minor gripes, most who would buy this bike would not be bothered by these weaknesses. The upright riding position makes this more of a touring bike than an off-road bike anyway. It's perfect for my wife. It's not a racer by any means but is capaple of moderate off-roading.
Compared to others in this price range, 5 chilis, great initial impression on this bike.
Similar Products Used: nothing. only had cheap department store bikes.
Bike Setup: got male seat; you know, the kind w/ the groove down the middle... and some foot straps as well.
a Weekend Warrior
from Milwaukee, WI USA
Date Reviewed: July 3, 2003
Strengths: Great components for the price. Light frame and good paint job.
Weaknesses: The seat is terrible. One ride and it had to go. Replaced with a nice gel seat.
Great bike for the price. I ride it nearly everyday on paved trails and off road. So far it is much better than my Trek. I would recomend this bike to anyone who doesn't mind spending 400 bucks for a bike. The light frame makes for a nice quick ride and the adjustable shock is helpfull on the trails. Overall great bike.