On our blog pages you'll find all the latest news, reviews and rider experiences from our athletes.
Fri, 19 Aug 2016 10:35:03
WHAT MOUNTAIN BIKE magazine have just published their AUGUST 2016 issue, featuring their annual “BIG BARGAIN BIKE TEST” article, featuring 24 bikes, ranging from £500 -£1500.
We submitted our HEIST 2.0 trail bike to this huge group test.
So what did they say in the test about the HEIST 2.0 ?
“A proper technical Hardtail”
“Controlled fork travel and handling to match”
“Excellent component spec for the price”
“A tough trail bomber with sorted geometry & spec highlights usually only found on more expensive bikes”
The bike also took top honors, receiving a 4.5/5 stars rating, as well as taking the “HIGHLY COMMENDED” rosette.
Read the review by following these links:
Fri, 06 May 2016 07:30:27
The Diamondback Lumis is an entry level cross-country / trail bike. Price-wise it sits well in the market at £1,500, offering good value for the components you get and a great look.
The Lumis Frame
Its lightweight construction is based around the carbon frame with 12x142mm bolt-through rear axel (and bolt-through front forks), delivering an attractive and robust foundation. The black and blue finish is sleek and stealthy and this particular colour way gives the bike a moody appearance.
The Advanced Compact Carbon Frame, constructed using proprietary high modulus carbon fibre layers, is light and looks slick. The frame is good and stiff with attractive indented curved rear stays and tapered top tube. The frame has certainly been designed with UK weather in mind, as the clearance between the stays and around the bottom bracket is excellent, and proved perfect for a long slogs through the mud!
The Rockshox Reba forks offer 100mm of reliable travel. I have ridden plenty of these in my time and they never fail to deliver. The latest version on the Lumis has a lock-out lever on the handlebars and a level of adjustment and sophistication that you will only have seen previously on top-end suspension forks. They also look mean with black lowers and stanchions, again adding to that very stealthy look.
The SRAM X9 2×10 gearing combined with the Diamondback 4 arm chainset creates smooth, precise and efficient gear shifting, and the chainset arms have been hollowed out helping to reduce weight. The surprise package is the TRP brakes, which are made by Tekro. The single piece calliper saves more weight and has an angle adjuster for clean frame alignment, with the brakes using old Shimano XT style pads so finding spares is easy. There’s a really good positive feel at the lever for traction control and felt powerful after bedding in.
The cockpit components are all very neat featuring the matt black Easton EA70 bars, stem and seatpost, offering good and precise control. Again these sit well with the black spec, especially with their minimal graphics, and it’s great to see a well-known brand finishing off a bike of this value.
The only real niggle was the rear hanger; the metal was very soft, which means the rear-derailleur can easily be knocked out of place and create problems with gear shifting. This is a minor thing that can usually be resolved by bending the rear hanger back into place, but it’s not ideal if you’re not a used to fixing your bike. That being said, for around £10, you could replace it for a stronger one and not have to worry about it.
I really enjoyed the feel of this wheelset on my local trails, they are a good fit with the spec and tick most boxes. They don’t have brass nipples for strength, but that is only minor quibble. They will more than meet the demands of most trails, but they’re not designed for big lads who take big jumps! The Alex Volar rims can be run tubeless which is a bonus. The blue anodized hubs are a slick touch, picking up the blue flashes on the frame. The tyre choice is very XC with Schwalbe’s Rocket Rons, but these are quick with low rolling resistance and still have great grip in loose and wet mud; the perfect all-rounder for pretty much any condition, and my XC tyre of choice.
The geometry is very upright delivering a conservative and rather formal ride. This makes it less racey and aggressive, and more suited to the mountain biker who enjoys the views over the red mist of chasing down your friends. It would also be the ideal off-road commuter, or for a rider who needs one bike to deliver both comfort on the road and fun in the woods.
The matt black and tapered tubes deliver a stealthy yet practical image, and the moody blues and blacks look tidy. It has a really good quality finish, the components are excellent for the money and well considered, and the whole package is generally very practical. In fact, it turned out to be pretty Roo-proof!
Diamondback are really making a come-back into the world of mountain biking and we are seeing some incredible viral videos of people doing incredible stuff on them, proving their abilities. The Lumis is a real head turner, has real appeal, a great price tag, and would suit a novice cross-country rider or a conservative trail hacker.
My advice is to commit to that trail with blind fury and let the Lumis pay you back with smiles for miles. You may need to buy some new slick cycling kit to look as good as the bike, but it’s sure to make you feel good as well as look good, pack you with some well earned confidence, smother you in fresh enjoyment, and leave you wanting more trails. Who wouldn’t want that?!
The Diamondback Lumis 3.0 retails at £1,500, with lower spec and prices available.
Wed, 04 May 2016 12:34:52
The Myers frame is as sturdy and as menacing as its big screen namesake (Michael Myers from Halloween), with large diameter tubing, a big tapered head tube, and a dropped top tube; all of which gives the whole thing a purposeful and aggressive look, that matches its intentions.
Frame and Spec
It’s really nice to see a threaded bottom bracket in this age of press-fit, and the rear bolt-through axle keeps the back end properly rigid; something that most cross-country bikes have these days, let alone a trail smasher. The geometry isn’t exactly radical, but it’s aggressive enough to be classed as a proper all mountain hardtail.
The Myers comes with an impressively good quality fork at this price, and although the adjustability and damping unit on the Rockshox Sector RL are basic, the forks are well controlled and smooth.
Another stand out component, and one that shows that Diamondback have their priorities in order, is the KS Lev DX dropper seatpost. A dropper post is something that any bike with all mountain aspirations should come with, and the KS is a good choice. The Southpaw remote is far superior to almost any other lever on the market, with a smooth action and brilliant flexibility of positioning. It does however work much better in the absence of a left hand shifter, where the shape puts it right where your thumb would sit.
The Diamondback branded 27.5? (650b) wheels wheels are sturdy and well-built, although pretty heavy. It’d be good to get some slightly wider rims, as I encountered a few problems with rolling the 2.4” tyres. Speaking of which, the Schwalbe Hans Dampfs are a good choice, being a good all rounder. They’re not the best in the mud, but roll impressively fast for a tyre of this size, and you can trust them during hard cornering.
The SRAM X9 drivetrain works reasonably well, although it’s showing its age in not being as slick as the latest SRAM or Shimano gruppos. The clutch mech allows an easy change to a one-by set up with a narrow wide chainring, should you want to ditch the front mech, and this also reduces trail chatter and the chances of the chain bouncing out of gear. The Diamondback branded crankset is stiff and solid and uses a Shimano bottom bracket, so replacements are easy and cheap. The shifting between chainrings isn’t as quick as that from the bigger brands though.
The Raceface handlebar and stem are good quality pieces, although on a bike with this much potential for aggressive riding it’d be nice to see a shorter stem and wider bar. I’ve had a lot of trouble with Avid brakes in the past, but the issues seem to have been sorted now, and the DB3 units, although basic, produce impressive power and modulation.
One of the few niggling little problems I had was with the matchmaker shifter clamps. While it’s a nice idea reducing the clutter on the bars by integrating the brake and shifter mount, in practice I couldn’t get the shifters in the right position to sit easily in reach of my thumbs.
The first thing I really noticed about the Diamondback after the first few pedal strokes was the length. It’s a tad short. Admittedly, I really should have been a size up, on the XL, but the geometry isn’t quite up to speed with the latest craze for longer, slacker, all mountain hardtails. However, it’s a problem that’s pretty easily solved by buying a size up, assuming your legs are long enough.
After slamming the saddle back on the rails to give the bike a bit of extra length, I set out into the hills, and was surprised to feel the bike rolling along without too much resistance. This is definitely not a light bike, and that’s to be expected at this price and genre, but the weight isn’t really noticeable on anything other than the steepest of climbs. The stiff frame, large volume tyres, and wide gear range mean you can winch yourself up pretty much any gradient, and technical rocky climbs are dispatched without fuss. Something that’s surprisingly unexpected for a bike that’s designed to go down hills, more than up them.
Once at the top of the hill, with the saddle dropped and the forks unlocked, the Myers reveals its true nature. It’s an absolute riot.
Once at the top of the hill, with the saddle dropped and the forks unlocked, the Myers reveals its true nature. It’s an absolute riot. The short chainstays and relatively short overall length make for a really playful bike, one that loves to turn any two bumps in the trail into a double jump, and I found myself whipping off anything in sight.
It feels balanced and happy in the air, and composed on the landing, and the forks will happilly suck up the sketchiest of drops or the dodgiest of landings. It’s really easy to get the front end up too, unlocking an easy path to internet fame (#WheelieWednesday anyone?). It corners brilliantly too, as the reasonably short wheelbase lets you tear around switchbacks with ease and drift it like a stolen rally car.
On chattery rocks and braking bumps the stiff frame does buck and rattle you around a bit, but the tyres do a good job of taking the sting out of that, and if you let it move around underneath you it’ll carry you through as quickly as most full suspension bikes.
That playful nature does come at a slight cost on the steepest and roughest of trails. The not-too-slack head angle, that had kept the front end in check on the climbs and quick corners, makes it feel slightly more nervous than other hardtails I’ve ridden. The same goes for the short reach, which gives you a bit less room to get your weight centred. It’s not the end of the world though, as so long as you keep alert, and keep light over the rough stuff, the Myers will get you down pretty much anything.
With some clever component choices, Diamondback have managed to squeeze an incredibly capable bike out of £1000, and while it’s not the most radical hardtail out there, it’s an utter bargain for some as fun and as capable as this. It may not be the go-to downhill hardtail, but it’s a damn good enduro hardtail that won’t drain you on the climbs, or drain your wallet for that matter!
I’d be happy pointing it down just about anything in the UK, and I’ve had a whole lot of fun doing so on the Myers. Buy it if you want to feel like a technical god in skill-sapping trails, or buy a size up if your need is more war-speed oriented.
The Diamondback Myers 3.0 retails at £1,200 but is currently on sale via Diamondback at £1,000 with 24 months 0% finance.
The original BIKESOUP review can be found here : http://www.bikesoup.com/magazine/review-diamondback-myers-3-0/
Mon, 18 Apr 2016 08:44:58
The following is an extract from a review TWO WHEEL BETTER recently carried out on our LUMIS 3.0 carbon XC trail bike.
You can read the whole review here TWB LUMIS 3.0 REVEIW.
The Lumis 3 uses carbon fibre as its frame material. All very fighter plane and F1 car, but it delivers a matrix of lightweight, strength, durability and design freedom, that makes carbon the go-to material for high performance bicycle frames. It bodes well for the Lumis 3, a bike which from its classical cross country race bike geometry could well ask you to drop the hammer on a climb or add another few miles to the ride. The frame isn’t a waif that’ll have you worrying about the odd knock, it’s built for the rough and tumble of real life mountain biking. It’s build with all the modern design cues. The rear wheel attaches with a through axle, the rear disc brake fits inside the left hand rear triangle. The bottom bracket shell is the new PressFit standard. The head tube is tapered – to accept a tapered steerer fork, which adds stiffness and steering precision. The tubes, such as the boxy carbon shapes which join both ends of the frame are sensibly proportioned to deliver a stiff, precise ride that will maximise the energy you put out.
The fork is a RockShox Reba RLT Solo Air 100mm travel, tapered steerer fork, with 15mm through axle dropouts for steering precision. The brakes are Tektro TRP hydraulic units which grab 160mm rotors. The transmission is largely SRAM’s excellent X9 series with the key change out item being the Diamondback Cold Forged alloy twin ring crankset. The wheels are Alex Rims laced tightly to Diamondback’s own sealed bearing alloy hubset and are shod with excellent 2.25in Schwalbe Rocket Ron EVO tyres – the gold standard for XC speed and traction. The finishing kit is frankly amazing for the money, the seatpost stem and low rise handlebar are all Easton EA70 units, again top quality gear and the sort of parts you’d normally upgrade to, fitted as standard! The saddle is a well padded yet racy looking Diamondback branded part. We’ve done the maths on the Lumis’s factory fit components and whichever way we add it up, you’re winning.
There’s a saying that if it looks right, then it is right. Well, a simple look at the Lumis 3 standing purposefully on the trail gives you an inkling that fun awaits. The book and cover match up as the Lumis leads you straight into a classic carbon hardtail ride. On anything resembling a maintained trail the fast rolling Schwalbe tyres just pick up speed and roll with a pace that makes you feel like a pro mountain bike racer. We lowered the bar a fraction and gained some more leverage which helped pin the front wheel to the ground on steep pitch climbs. Steering into the turns happens at the speed and with the timing that doesn’t shock or upset. Sure it’s a bit quicker than on a full scale trail bike, but XC rides like the Lumis 3 are supposed to be nimble and fleet of foot. Tight woody singletrack all day? Yes, please! The Reba fork demonstrates that RockShox are at the top of their suspension game as it very capably soaks up enough of the hits that you’re not left having to wince or do too much body English to get down the trail. We enjoyed having the slick shifting SRAM X9 gearing which was wide enough for us to hammer up and down the steep slippery hills. We never missed a shift either. Good stuff. We gave the Lumis 3 a good thrashing and it never wavered in its mission to give back everything we put in plus a side order of smiles. As for wheels size, there are three to pick when buying an MTB, and 27.5in is the middle sized of the trio. For pure, unadulterated cross country speed, we’d still go with the larger 29in size, but when trails are tight and point and shoot handling is of equal importance, the 27.5in wheel of the Lumis is the preferred choice. With some of the hole bridging roll-over of the 29in and some of the fast turning speed of the old school 26in. Honestly we never really had cause to give the wheelsize a second thought, the Lumis just got one with being a quality mountain bike ride.
Returning to the point made in the intro, you’re lucky to have the Lumis 3. In 1987, even in 2007, you simply couldn’t buy a bike made this well, spec’d this well – for twice the price. Plus back then, (especially in ’87) you’d have to tear down the bearings for a re-grease and fettle the rim brakes to deliver any sort of power, after pretty much every ride. Not here, and not now. Modern mountain bikes like the Lumis 3 are hassle free bikes which will spend next to no time being wrenched. Just what the rider in you wants.
The LUMIS 3.0 retails for only £1500
Fri, 11 Dec 2015 18:28:40
This Heist is a proper smash-and-grab job !
“While the frame is decent it’s the kit selection that puts the Heist’s ride on a different level. The 740mm bar and mid-length stem create a proper power-steering trail setup, and the Race Face logos are something to show off to show your friends.
Even with a quick-release rather than 15mm axle the RockShox Recon fork is a great find at this price, and the Performance compound Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres underline control better than we’d expected. Even the Shimano XT/SLX/Deore gears are great for the money, though the lack of a clutch on the rear derailleur becomes obvious on the first rough section. The own-brand through-axle double crankset and saddle are good quality kit too.”
Reassuringly expensive feel
It’s not just value for money that the kit boosts either – it also makes the Heist feel like a much more expensive bike out on the trails. The 740mm bar feels huge next to the skinny, old-school cross-country bars you find on many other rides for this sort of money, and got wedged in the trail handlebar tree gauge on the skinny alley between our workshop and the woods.
“Diamondback’s Heist 2.0 is an impressively equipped all-action trail hero at a bargain price
To read the full review, click the link below: