Seemed like when Diamondback introduced the 4C and 5C they lowered the component specs for the R2 and R3 to make it more linear from R1 to R5C but they didn't adjust the pricing. I'm definitely happy when I bought my '17 R3 but if I was in the market again, it wouldn't be as clear of a choice with the other direct to consumer options out there.The first year had some pretty good component specs: Release 1 had Monarch/Yari suspension and GX drivetrain, and was under $1200 with the various discounts in late 2016 early 2017. The Release 2 was an even better deal with a Pike fork, 1x drivetrain and a dropper post for about $1600. Oh well, different owners, different policy.
I will say that I recently had some good luck with the Diamondback Tech Support. I needed replacement bolts for the rear shock as the socket sizing was sloppy and was deforming from service. Tech Support said it would be $80 for the complete pivot kit. Took a few replies to get everything sorted out but they were slow in responding and 3 weeks had gone by till everything was sorted out. At that time, the rep said they were sending it out without charge due to the delay. Received the pivot kit shortly after. I'm not going to blame them for slow responses as we are living in the COVID world and they may be dealing with increased customer support traffic with less staff. Plus don't know what the change of owners has meant for the workers. Glad they took care of it in the end though. I checked the kit and Diamondback has fixed a few things in the pivot kit. All of the pivots now have a proper taper where my original upper pivot did not have a taper and made reassembly difficult (documented in this thread). The shock bolts are also slightly different and the hex sizing is correct which was my recent issue.