Diamondback 2006 - Bike Magic

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Diamondback 2006

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…

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…

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.



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…

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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