Diamondback 2006

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Here’s a sneak peek at the 2006 Diamondback range from the DB showroom at the headquarters of importers Raleigh. The range is a mix of old names attached to new bikes and all-new stuff. Diamondback’s always been a brand better known for solid, good value bikes than headlining innovations, and the ’06 bikes look set to continue the trend. And there’s nothing wrong with that…

db06_response_sml (13K)

The hardtail range is packed with familiar names from Diamondback’s past, although the name of the entry level (£199) Outlook now reminds us more of a rather bloated and wobbly email client than a bike. The Response (pictured) is the fourth of eight hardtails and the cheapest bike with Diamondback’s hydroformed double-butted frame – the frame on the cheaper bikes looks the same but isn’t butted. There’s a 120mm Suntour fork, mostly Alivio transmission and, impressively for a £399, hydraulic disc brakes. OK, they’re only Quad single-piston jobbers, but still…

db06_apex_sml (12K)

Second from top in the hardtails (there’s just the XT-equipped Axis above it) we have the Apex. The frame’s the same as the Response, but your £799 gets you a 130mm Manitou Splice Super fork, LX transmission and brakes, outboard-bearing Truvativ cranks and WTB Motoraptor tyres.

db06_xsl_sml (11K)

We can’t help noticing that DB’s XC/trail full suspension bikes appear to be inspired by a couple of other well-known short-travel single-pivot platforms – there’s more than a hint of Santa Cruz Superlight here, and a whiff of Cannondale Rush too. The hydroformed front end reminds you it’s a Diamond Back, though. This is the 130mm travel XSL, which manages to get a Manitou Metel coil shock, Suntour fork, Deore transmission and Quad twin-piston hydraulic brakes into its £599 price tag. There are cheaper ones in the range, too…

db06_xtsmoto_sml (12K)

For those after a bit more bounce and heft, DB has a couple of freeride bikes to offer you. This is the range-topping £1,799 XTS Moto. The 7in travel single-pivot frame is largely the same as that found on the £1,199 XTS, but the Moto gets a 1.5in head tube to help it to hang on to a 170mm travel Manitou Stance Blunt fork. The Metel RP shock is also from Manitou. A sturdy wheel package carries Kenda Blue Groove tyres and there’s a full Shimano Hone groupset.

There’s a UK Diamondback site at www.diamondback.co.uk although it’s not terribly up to date – we’re sure that the new bikes will find their way on there shortly.

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