Diamondback Mountain Bike Brand Review
If you are just getting into mountain biking, you have undoubtedly run across the Diamondback Hook. All of the mountain bike review sites have it as one of their top bikes.
I was walking through the parking lot of our local mountain bike park and I was amazed at how many Diamondbacks there were. I knew they were popular, but it is a little weird to see the influx of their bikes.
However, it makes sense. One guy buys one and rides the snot out of it, and the next year his two friends buy one and then their two friends, and pretty soon you have a full take-over. For being an online brand, they have to hold up to the real-life riding conditions so that word of mouth can grow their brand.
The Hook is one of the most popular ones that you see kids saving up their money for and investing in. You have 120mm of travel on the fork with 160mm mechanical disc brakes and it is about $200 less than what you pay for a comparable mountain bike brand at the bike shop. As Dave Henly from DavesCheapBikes.com says, the Diamondback Hook are a solid, entry-level mountain bike for the money.
But is the brand to be trusted? Are there any Diamondback reviews out there from real riders? Has anyone tested the brand? I mean, get dirt on the tires and trash it!
I’ve done some research, but I recommend checking out Dave’s Cheap Bikes for more info. Dave seems to know his stuff and works in a shop so he sees a lot of the local repairs that come through. That gives you a pretty good sense of what is working and what isn’t.
For starters, they have been around for awhile. They started in California in 1978 and currently operate out of Kent, Washington.
Owned by the Accell group who also owns the Raleigh brand and sells bicycles around the world, Diamondback is becoming a major player online at the mid-range price point.
One of their claims to fame is the knuckle box suspension system.
This system is super low maintenance. The hard core riders will only need to disassemble and clean it once a year. Compared to many lower-end full suspension frames, this one is quite easy to work with.
Frankly, the knuckle box isn’t as beneficial for stopping pedal bob as some of the other systems out there, but, for the money, it does an excellent job. It is a large improvement over many of the earlier frame designs.
The unique feature of the knuckle box is that it tends to rest against the frame until you hit a bump, at which point it pivots. Which gives you the best of all worlds.
I enjoy working with Diamondback. We’ve had people bring their bikes into the shop to have them work on them and, on brand new frames, sometimes we have warranty issues.
Their customer service is very responsive and helpful. I’ve reached out to them both by phone and by chat, and every time I get a response.
With many of these bike companies you just leave multiple voicemails and hope that they eventually call you back. Not so with Diamondback. They are a legitimate company, and they want their customers to feel proud about their experience.
As you would imagine, normal wear and tear are not covered by the warranty. So, if you get a flat, you are out of luck. And if you ruin the frame’s bearings by dropping off a 16-foot wall (you ok, bro?), you’ll likely be fixing those yourself.
However, they take care to make an excellent product. Most of the moving parts are going to have either a 1-year warranty from Diamondback or they’ll have a warranty from their original manufacturer which is also typically one year.
Rigid frames have a lifetime warranty, and full-suspension frames come with a 5-year warranty which is more than enough to reveal any major defects.
Are Diamondback Bikes good?
My experience is that their designers are more simplistic than brands like Trek or Cannondale. But when it comes to quality, these bicycles hold up as well and are compatible with all of the high-end components just like any bike from your local bicycle shop would be.
Buying it online does mean that you have to figure out how to assemble and adjust the bike yourself, (be patient! is my advice) but otherwise, it can be an excellent way to save money on your next bike purchase.
My only tip would be to tighten the crankarms to spec. Too often I’ve seen bike shops miss this on even high-end brands and the square taper bottom brackets get rounded and ruined and require replacement. Diamondback has stepped up their pre-shipment inspections, adn I wouldn’t expect any problems, but I’d probably still address this one area.
Diamondback strives to create an affordable bike that they can sell direct to the consumer, and, in my estimation, they’ve achieved that goal. Their bikes are fun to ride, engineered with proprietary innovations, easy to find parts for and repair and backed by a solid customer support team.