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  1. #1
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    2014 Diamondback Sortie 1... Legit bike?

    Hi there, new to the forums here. Just hoping for some opinions.

    I've been riding a 2011 Trek Cobia 29er since I purchased it new in 2010. It's a hard tail with OK components and a 100mm rockshox fork.

    I've recently had the urge to get into the full suspension game. I mainly ride local singletrack with some technical areas. equal amount of climbing as decending. Some medium sized drops, etc... Everything you find in New England singletrack trails.

    My goal was to stay under $2000 and obtain something with Fox suspension and decent components that I could gradually upgrade later.

    I'm short and ride a 15.5" frame so finding used is difficult, and just now I stumbled accross a local deal for a 2014 15.5" Diamondback Sortie 1. At first glance it meets all of my criteria, Fox suspension, SLX components, Trail/singletrack design.

    My only mental hurdle is buying something Diamondback makes. The Brand Diamondback reminds me of my BMX bike in 1991 that was a clunker. It seems that they're still not a major player in the bicycle market unless you shop at walmart or ***** sporting goods.

    So here's where I'm interested in your opinions. Is the diamondback sortie lineup legit? Any of you riding one? What are the pros/cons? Are the decals removable?

    For those of you unfamiliar, here's the specsheet:
    Diamondback Bicycles - Sortie 1 29

    I'd really LOVE to get a brand new TreK Fuel EX 7, however the price tag is literally $1000 higher than this diamondback with similar components!

    Thanks for your opinions!!

  2. #2
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    Looks fine based on spec/geo on paper. Geo looks more XC than AM,but I've found that big wheelers can get away with a steeper head angle. I have no first hand experience on the particular bike, but I wouldn't hesitate to check it out if I was in the market for an alround FS29".

  3. #3
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    In my opinion "Damondback" is very much a legitimate brand. I have a friend who bought a Diamondback Overdrive which is a hardtail with more race geometry but a very nicely built bike with high end components. Keep in mind that many frames made in the Far East come from a handful of factories, built to spec. and branded differently. Are you aware that there is a Diamondback Forum on this site? Perhaps you should look there for opinions and consensus.
    The trouble with having an open mind is that people will insist on trying to put things in it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    In my opinion "Damondback" is very much a legitimate brand. I have a friend who bought a Diamondback Overdrive which is a hardtail with more race geometry but a very nicely built bike with high end components. Keep in mind that many frames made in the Far East come from a handful of factories, built to spec. and branded differently. Are you aware that there is a Diamondback Forum on this site? Perhaps you should look there for opinions and consensus.
    Thanks for the link, however I thought asking in a general forum would be more effective. I didn't want replies to be biased one way or the other. General reviews seem to indicate the bike is a tad on the heavy side which isn't a deal breaker for me. I just want to make sure I won't regret getting a Trek! Thanks!

  5. #5
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    you should rest easy knowing your bike is made from "weapons grade aluminum..."
    2014 Nail Trail 29er

  6. #6
    29ers Forever
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    Trek probably has a better warranty, dealer network, and customer service. Diamondback makes high-end bikes, but the company is not well known. Their prices are low, and their component specs are not the best as a result. Their mid range bikes still have low-end components. But they make cool bikes, like the Mason and the Mason FS, 29" wheeled 140mm travel bikes.
    But those bikes are not enough reason to buy a no-name brand just because. If you can, take the Diamondback on a test ride, if you like it, then buy it, it won't be a piece of crap.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

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  7. #7
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    ^^ I read on the forums a few months ago where a guy bought an Overdrive Carbon bike, and on the website they had a small typo where the handlebar was listed as the EC70, but the bike comes with the EA70... Guy called customer service and asked if it was a typo, and they apologized and sent him an EC70 bar. I'd say that's pretty good customer service.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie View Post
    In my opinion "Damondback" is very much a legitimate brand. I have a friend who bought a Diamondback Overdrive which is a hardtail with more race geometry but a very nicely built bike with high end components. Keep in mind that many frames made in the Far East come from a handful of factories, built to spec. and branded differently. Are you aware that there is a Diamondback Forum on this site? Perhaps you should look there for opinions and consensus.
    I had an Overdrive and it sucked.

    However, mine was a lower end one too and the higher end ones have a different frame than the lower end ones. So maybe they put more quality in his frame.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  9. #9
    29ers Forever
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawks01 View Post
    ^^ I read on the forums a few months ago where a guy bought an Overdrive Carbon bike, and on the website they had a small typo where the handlebar was listed as the EC70, but the bike comes with the EA70... Guy called customer service and asked if it was a typo, and they apologized and sent him an EC70 bar. I'd say that's pretty good customer service.
    Wow that is good customer service!
    I've had a similar thing happen to me with RockShox (although not identical). I had a RockShox Recon Silver fork under warranty that my LBS sent in to replace. RockShox had no Recons left for warranty purposes so I got a Sid.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

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  10. #10
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    Short rant... Diamonback Bicycles have been around since the late 70's. They started with BMX bikes and in the 1990's began producing mountain bikes. The Knucklebox suspension design on the first Mission and Sortie frames was their own and not some off the shelf catalog frame.

    Most of the crap reputation floating around today stems from the fact that they were bought and sold several times to corporate giants. This ensured a constant supply of low end bikes to sporting good stores like Dick's. Their high end bikes are a completely different animal.
    The cake is a lie.

  11. #11
    Just Wanna Ride!
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    Work with a guy that bought a Sortie and got a chance to ride it a few times. Was really impressed with the ride. I was riding a SJ FSR 29er at the time and the ride was actually very similar (geometry may have been a little quicker). Rear suspension pedaled well with propedal on and it soaked up the rough stuff very well. I'd say it's a great value.

  12. #12
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    Got back into the game after 10 years with a prodeal on an Overdrive Pro HT and it served its purpose...I had a blast and got hooked again. My general observations are this....they are usually a lb or 2 heavier than the bike that is $1K more (but similar components) based on frame and mostly wheelset. Although the wheelset was completely tankish and heavy...they were stiff and I took that bike off of 4 foot drops with no issues. LOL I did a free ride day with our local crew on my 120mm HT 29 while they were rocking 7-8 inch 26ers (overkill) on a nice man made featured trail and did all but one drop which was about 7 foot. They were staring at me a bit at times but I didn't give a crap. Ride your own ride.

    If you can get in the game within your budget, the bike fits well...then I would say go for it. Sure, there are negative perceptions out there about the brand, but as long as you are shredding and having fun then go for it man.
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the replies guys... seems like a good deal considering I can pick one up for $1750... You don't find FOX suspension on bikes in that price range!

    I've been bouncing back and forth between this guy:
    Jamis Dakar AMT Mountain Bike 2012 > Complete Bikes > Mountain Bikes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    And the Diamondback Sortie 1. The Jamis has nicer components, OK suspension (I'd prefer fox) and its a 26er... the Diamondback has preferred suspension, 29er, worse components.... TOUGH CALL!!

    I'll let you know how it pans out.

  14. #14
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    Well... I gone and done it. Picked up a Sortie 1. I like the bike, components seem pretty good except for the shifters which I may upgrade to XT.

    On the topic of weight... its not light. I weighed it at 34.8 pounds. that's 4 pounds heavier than most of the competition... Hopefully I can get on a trail this weekend and see if I feel that extra weight. If I do... it might have to go back to the store.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2014 Diamondback Sortie 1... Legit bike?-img_20140416_214932.jpg  


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuch View Post
    Got back into the game after 10 years with a prodeal on an Overdrive Pro HT and it served its purpose...I had a blast and got hooked again. My general observations are this....they are usually a lb or 2 heavier than the bike that is $1K more (but similar components) based on frame and mostly wheelset. Although the wheelset was completely tankish and heavy...they were stiff and I took that bike off of 4 foot drops with no issues. LOL I did a free ride day with our local crew on my 120mm HT 29 while they were rocking 7-8 inch 26ers (overkill) on a nice man made featured trail and did all but one drop which was about 7 foot. They were staring at me a bit at times but I didn't give a crap. Ride your own ride.

    If you can get in the game within your budget, the bike fits well...then I would say go for it. Sure, there are negative perceptions out there about the brand, but as long as you are shredding and having fun then go for it man.
    Same here... Of course being in the industry allowed me to do a little homework. I swapped out the bars, post, stem, seat, and wheels. Dropped 4lbs off the bike. Carbon bars, carbon post, seat, and stem saved me a pound. The stock wheels/tires were 2lbs. heavier than my new Easton Havens. Those SL7 wheels are like tanks! Going UST tubeless saved me another pound.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dills84 View Post
    Well... I gone and done it. Picked up a Sortie 1. I like the bike, components seem pretty good except for the shifters which I may upgrade to XT.

    On the topic of weight... its not light. I weighed it at 34.8 pounds. that's 4 pounds heavier than most of the competition... Hopefully I can get on a trail this weekend and see if I feel that extra weight. If I do... it might have to go back to the store.
    I promise, if you are comparing apples to apples, the DB is not 4lbs. heavier than another bike in it's class(same frame size, same price, same travel, etc).
    I would buy 2lbs, cause sometimes there's nearly a pound to be saved just by switching tires.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawks01 View Post
    Same here... Of course being in the industry allowed me to do a little homework. I swapped out the bars, post, stem, seat, and wheels. Dropped 4lbs off the bike. Carbon bars, carbon post, seat, and stem saved me a pound. The stock wheels/tires were 2lbs. heavier than my new Easton Havens. Those SL7 wheels are like tanks! Going UST tubeless saved me another pound.
    All good points. I'd hate to dump that much money into a brand new bike but its good to know there's options. Do you have any idea what the frame weighs by itself? I'd love to get the bike under 30 lbs!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawks01 View Post
    I promise, if you are comparing apples to apples, the DB is not 4lbs. heavier than another bike in it's class(same frame size, same price, same travel, etc).
    I would buy 2lbs, cause sometimes there's nearly a pound to be saved just by switching tires.
    My basis of comparison is the Trek Fuel EX 7. It weighs 30.5 pounds off the shelf and has a similar build kit. Its also the bike I almost bought before discovering the sortie.

  19. #19
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    As an update... I hit a pretty serious trail yesterday for 7 miles. This bike is unreal. Climbs as well as it descends. The Fox suspension really shines and smooths out rough terrain. I found myself attempting obstacles I would usually bypass on my hardtail. This bike instilled confidence and I'm glad I bought it! Down the road I'll probably swap out the wheels for something lighter to shed a few pounds. Anyone considering the sortie 1 should not be afraid. Things a tank and feels like driving a monster truck!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2014 Diamondback Sortie 1... Legit bike?-img_20140419_181428.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Got a pro deal on a sortie 1 and I'm just waiting for it to be shipped. This will be my first 29er and first FS... Plenty of change all at once. Glad to hear you're enjoying the ride. I'm already scheming on possibly swapping the rear derailleur and cassette for a single gear and chain tensioner in back with the 3 gears up front, but that might just be a pipe dream.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchsingley View Post
    Got a pro deal on a sortie 1 and I'm just waiting for it to be shipped. This will be my first 29er and first FS... Plenty of change all at once. Glad to hear you're enjoying the ride. I'm already scheming on possibly swapping the rear derailleur and cassette for a single gear and chain tensioner in back with the 3 gears up front, but that might just be a pipe dream.
    That's exactly what I did. I'm running a 1x9 set up with an XT shifter, XT rear derailluer and Deore crankset with a raceface 32T narrow/wide ring.

    2014 Diamondback Sortie 1... Legit bike?-img_20140514_121510.jpg

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchsingley View Post
    Got a pro deal on a sortie 1 and I'm just waiting for it to be shipped. This will be my first 29er and first FS... Plenty of change all at once. Glad to hear you're enjoying the ride. I'm already scheming on possibly swapping the rear derailleur and cassette for a single gear and chain tensioner in back with the 3 gears up front, but that might just be a pipe dream.

    Actually... i misread... you want 3 up front and 1 in back? that seems like madness!

  23. #23
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    The 1x9 is my backup plan. I'm not hard core enough to commit to a single speed setup, so I thought that a 3x1 would still give me some wiggle room. :-)

  24. #24
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    I wanna see the 3x1!!
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  25. #25
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    I'm going to ride like I have a 3x1 before I commit to the conversion; I'll let you know how it goes. On another note, has anyone tried to go tubeless with the stock tires & rims? The WTBs are not on the recommended conversion list for Stan's, because they're "too tight"... I thought that would be good for tubeless.

    ***(added to OP)
    Part of a different discussion about switching the Sortie over to a 3x1 was a recommendation to use a chain tensioner like the Melvin in place of the rear derailleur, which seems like a very flexible option. One downside is that the Melvin in particular only works with a max spread of 20 teeth between gears, and the Sortie has a spread of 22. I'm going to keep looking for something that can handle the extra two teeth, but I may just get rid of the 44 tooth gear and replace it with a bash ring or something... we'll see.
    Last edited by twitchsingley; 05-15-2014 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Avoiding a double post

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