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  1. #1
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    Diamondback 2013 Recoil Pro 29er VS. Giant Anthem X 29er 4

    Hi MTBR Community! First of all, I would like to say that that this is a great forum/website and that I have been checking out the different threads here periodically in the last couple of weeks, since I started looking for an entry level 29er FS MTB.

    I am aware of the fact that generally speaking you get more bike when you choose front suspension versus full suspension, if both bikes are in the same price range (new bikes). However, I am strictly interested in an entry level FS bike (don't ask why lol) and ask for your opinion on the Diamondback 2013 Recoil Pro 29er.

    Since Diamondback is a division of Raleigh Bicycle Company, I would consider buying it online at Amazon for $1,199.00, $400 less than the MSRP of $1600 (wait, what? Amazon, are you crazy?). Spec-wise I like the fact that both, front and rear suspension are from RockShox and that it comes with Hydraulic Disc Brakes from Shimano.

    The other FS MTB that catched my attention is the Giant Anthem X 29er 4 for a MSRP of $1,995. The MSRP is $395 higher than Diamondback's MSRP of around $1600, but since the Diamondback is going for much less on Amazon, I would actually end up paying $795 more for the Giant bike.

    I already tried Craigslist, but it is really hard to find a good deal on a FS MTB here in New York.

    I would greatly appreciate your input on this!
    Last edited by Rey Diaguita; 07-14-2013 at 08:12 PM.

  2. #2
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    I would suggest that the Giant has the maestro suspension and is in a whole other league compared to the DB. The DB looks like a single pivot design, it doesn't even come with their "knucklebox design." I say you would love the Giant Anthem far and above the DB, to me this comes down to suspension design and GIant has the edge there. I suggest you ride one. The anthem is not too hard to find at a local shop.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick reply and for pointing out the differences in the suspension design! I will definitely go ahead and try to find a LBS where I can test ride this beauty!

  4. #4
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    You may be able to test the Diamondback at Dick's Sporting goods if you have one in your area. They carry Diamondback and I stopped into a Dick's in Chattanooga and was really impressed they carried much of the high end DB's like the Sortie, but for sure they had several Recoils in stock. Call ahead to see if they have one.

  5. #5
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    If it's between those, the Anthem. Hands down. The Recoil pro is a really heavy bike for the setup, doesn't come with really great kit even if you price spec it towards the top, and the suspension isn't in the same league either. The Maestro and iDrive were easily my favorite suspension systems that didn't involve spending over $2k for just the frame, I really feel DB is asking too much for a very heavy iteration of an older single pivot design.
    You mentioned you wanted the lowest spec iteration, but in this case Giant has foregone the not-quite-crap trim level on parts and starts basically where the DB Recoil top tier runs out in terms of components.

    At least on the 2013 specs, the Diamonback tops out with two parts from the Deore parts bin (and is running Altus and Alivio parts most places - two whole tiers down, into the Pleasure Bike categories if you read Shimano's site). The Anthem X 29er (4) starts off with Deore most of the way across, and the jump in quality is massive.

    Since you mention full suspension, I'm assuming you'll actually be looking to use some of the travel, and in my experience the Altus/Alivio parts are just not up to the sort of abuse that trails will throw at them if it's something a FS bike makes sense for. Deore is much, much better stuff, and you want more than just the rear derailleur at that level part quality. Mechanical disk brakes are nice for the adjustability, but on hard terrain my last set of Hayes MDB's were one rocky section away from just locking themselves up - I was shocked when I warped a rotor from moderate trail riding. There is NO comparison against how good the Shimano hydraulic brakes are.

    Take a test ride and compare, but if you find somebody knowledgeable at a LBS, pick their brain about the component quality gap between these, and you'll likely find they will be even more emphatic about what I've just told you.

    If you're comparing the two, one is 4x the bike for less than twice the price - I can go part by part and explain why spending more up front is smarter than having to pay more to 'upgrade' it just to meet the spec of the better bike, which comes with a better suspension setup.

  6. #6
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    In a direct, head-to-head comparison, the Giant comes out on top, but when you consider the price, I'm not sure the Giant will come out the winner here. It's not even simply a matter of weighting the price difference into the equation. Part of it depends on how and where the OP rides, and the fact that the Diamondback can be had for 60% of what the Giant costs, that could mean a great deal to a budget conscious buyer.

    We were asked to not ask why the OP felt he should go directly to a bike like this, but without knowing more about the OP, and his intended use and riding style, I am not sure the Diamondback wouldn't be a better value for him. Most beginners wouldn't be able to take the Giant to it's limits for some time, and probably not the DB either. But it would likely be a shorter time to find the limits of the single pivot suspension that the Maestro. However, we don't even know if the OP rides aggressively enough, or in terrain that would seriously challenge either bike. Could very well be that the DB is all the bike he'll ever need, and he could put that $800 to better use elsewhere.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    In a direct, head-to-head comparison, the Giant comes out on top, but when you consider the price, I'm not sure the Giant will come out the winner here. It's not even simply a matter of weighting the price difference into the equation. Part of it depends on how and where the OP rides, and the fact that the Diamondback can be had for 60% of what the Giant costs, that could mean a great deal to a budget conscious buyer.

    We were asked to not ask why the OP felt he should go directly to a bike like this, but without knowing more about the OP, and his intended use and riding style, I am not sure the Diamondback wouldn't be a better value for him. Most beginners wouldn't be able to take the Giant to it's limits for some time, and probably not the DB either. But it would likely be a shorter time to find the limits of the single pivot suspension that the Maestro. However, we don't even know if the OP rides aggressively enough, or in terrain that would seriously challenge either bike. Could very well be that the DB is all the bike he'll ever need, and he could put that $800 to better use elsewhere.

    The Diamondback is priced the way it is to entice budget minded buyers with the idea that they can afford a full suspension 29er bike, but the shortcuts required to reach that price aren't ones I recommend doing, I think they're borderline dangerous if the user doesn't realize that the components aren't mountain biking parts by design, but simply labeled as 'utility' bicycle parts. For somebody who is very easy on their bike, and knows how to really keep up with maintenance, and most importantly knows they won't explore the capabilities on intermediate and advanced trail riding then the Recoil might be a good value, but for the OP who didn't specify any of that reasoning (and all of it would need to apply) I really wouldn't recommend going with something which is that inherently compromised. If anything, the fact that Diamondback isn't offering a higher spec iteration of the Recoil frame worries me about their confidence level in the design, or confidence that it's possible to build that bike with better components and still deliver competitive value.

    I'm with you on the argument of not taking the bike to the limit, but I can't get past the idea of having a full suspension bike on sub-Alivio components. The use cases for those parts are mutually exclusive, period. Either the full suspension is superfluous, or the component specification is really sub-par. There really isn't a way around that.

    If you can afford the Anthem, I'm really sure you'll be happier with it. If your budget tops out at $1200, that puts you in some extremely nice hardtail 29ers. Without knowing more, I can't see recommending the DB Recoil bike as being the right answer, because it's only a good answer for a few limited needs, and is outclassed outside those.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehllama View Post
    The Diamondback is priced the way it is to entice budget minded buyers with the idea that they can afford a full suspension 29er bike, but the shortcuts required to reach that price aren't ones I recommend doing, I think they're borderline dangerous if the user doesn't realize that the components aren't mountain biking parts by design, but simply labeled as 'utility' bicycle parts. For somebody who is very easy on their bike, and knows how to really keep up with maintenance, and most importantly knows they won't explore the capabilities on intermediate and advanced trail riding then the Recoil might be a good value, but for the OP who didn't specify any of that reasoning (and all of it would need to apply) I really wouldn't recommend going with something which is that inherently compromised. If anything, the fact that Diamondback isn't offering a higher spec iteration of the Recoil frame worries me about their confidence level in the design, or confidence that it's possible to build that bike with better components and still deliver competitive value.

    I'm with you on the argument of not taking the bike to the limit, but I can't get past the idea of having a full suspension bike on sub-Alivio components. The use cases for those parts are mutually exclusive, period. Either the full suspension is superfluous, or the component specification is really sub-par. There really isn't a way around that.

    If you can afford the Anthem, I'm really sure you'll be happier with it. If your budget tops out at $1200, that puts you in some extremely nice hardtail 29ers. Without knowing more, I can't see recommending the DB Recoil bike as being the right answer, because it's only a good answer for a few limited needs, and is outclassed outside those.
    For a casual trail rider that just wants a cushy ride (for any number of reasons), sub-Alivio wuld do just fine. I have put thousands of miles on an Acera drivetrain and can't really complain about it. And the Hayes MX mechanical brakes would be my second choice for mechanical discs (right behind the BB7). I do agree, that it would be a small set of circumstances that would have me recommend the BD over the Anthem X 29, just thought I would play a little devil's advocate and point out that for some, the DB might make more sense. Not sure why the OP doesn't want to reveal his reasons, since that would make it less speculative for those wanting to make a valid recommendation.

    And, just to be clear, I have nothing against the Anthem X 29. I have been riding one for over 2 years and like it a lot.

  9. #9
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    I was in the same boat as the OP. I actually ordered the DB recoil (basic) on Amazon and just cancelled it altogether after sleeping on it.

    I have been mountain biking singletracks for 2 years. But I am an intermediate at best. Even if Amazon was going to pay for the return shipping (which they are) of the DB if I didn't like, I still didn't get it.

    One of the main reasons that If in the off chance I realized that I didn't like it after 30 days (amazon return period) It would be difficult to sell the DB. They don't hold their value well unlike the other main brands.

    As others have been pointing out in most of the beginners thread here, Dual suspensions less than 1k is better of spent with a hard tail. I could argue to myself that there is a recoil version that is more than 1k, I could upgrade to that eventually components wise but It would cost you more money. And the single pivot suspension as most have said is somewhat outdated.

    I got a Trek Marlin. Even tho the components are almost at par with the DB, I could sell it for a better price when the time comes thus having more funds for the "bike upgrade" eventually.

  10. #10
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    Check out the Airborne Hobgoblin as well.
    Airborne Bicycles. HobGoblin

    It is 1750 but has great specs and a really nice suspension design. Superior Fork and drivetrain compared to the giant or DB.
    2008 Redline Monocog 29er SS/Rigid
    2013 Marin Mount Vision XM7
    FS: 26" Black Flag Expert Wheelset (new), Reba 29 Fork

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