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Boasting clean lines on a classic black-and-red frame, Diamondback's brand new Release 3 Complete Mountain Bike is a pleasure to behold. As the highest-ranking build among Diamondback's Release series, the brand new Release 3 makes its grand introduction decorated with an enviable drivetrain and spec list, including SRAM X1, SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes, and a KS Lev Integra dropper seatpost. Most notably, this defining new addition to Diamondback's mountain line boasts the brand new Level Link suspension platform, marking a big step forward for the brand.
According to the tester feedback we've seen, the Level Link suspension system delivers on its promise of a smooth, consistent ride through almost anything. Level Link is a short link, four-bar system that combines the chain growth management and anti-squat tendencies of other high-end systems with its own approach to balancing pedaling and travel forces. Essentially, Diamondback engineered the platform to act on pedaling forces while simultaneously responding to small bumps and other terrain changes. This translates to a smooth — but not squishy — and rooted ride on climbs encrusted with sharp rocks and root lattices. When it comes time for the descent, Level Link remains calm and level-headed when you brake, refusing to dive when you crush the hydraulic levers to avoid a sharp patch of brush or rock.
All three of the Release models bring Level Link to a price range where they won't find much company, and we commend Diamondback for adding a collection of capable, aggressive bikes to the market that won't cost more than the car you're driving. It does this by relying on a tried-and-true hydroformed aluminum frame construction, rather than pricier carbon. Aluminum undeniably weighs more than carbon, but what you sacrifice in weight, you make up for in the reassurance that your frame will look a rock garden or ill-placed tree straight in the eye in the event of a crash with a better chance of emerging unscathed — even if you earn a few new scars.
In terms of geometry, Diamondback focused its attention away from the enduro monsters we've seen covering the glossies and the trails lately, instead embracing a capable long-and-low front end backed by a snappy, Boost-reinforced rear triangle. This geometry combines the best of trail, XC and enduro for a new hybrid, and in a market where versatility is currency, the Release Three makes itself a valuable commodity. The head tube relaxes at a slack 66 degree angle, working with the lengthened top tube and burly 150mm RockShox Pike fork to devour hard hits and big bumps like a teenager staring down a buffet. The seat tube angle rests upright at 73 degrees, the same as many trail bikes, ensuring the power you mash into the pedals heading into a climb is delivered down to the bottom bracket and pedals. With the short, snappy 16.73in chainstays and Boost rear spacing, you'll be able to dance up climbs while heavier bikes get dragged down, popping over cruxes to nimbly whip around switchbacks on the backside before the others have caught up.
As the crowning member of Diamondback's Release line, the Three boasts the most impressive build kit, complete with a 130mm RockShox rear shock, SRAM's clean and quick 11-speed X1 drivetrain, and SRAM's Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes, complete with 180mm rotors. Tubeless-ready Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires, reinforced with Snakeskin protection, wrap around Diamondback's roomy 28mm-internal Blanchard rims, while a KS LEV Integra dropper seatpost promises to make every ride smoother with the push of a button on the included SouthPaw remote. To us, luxury on a mountain bike is not having to stop, dizzy and out of breath at the top of a climb, to lower a seatpost before we coast through our well-earned descent.
- Item #DMB003V
- Q & A
do it all trail bike
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Do you find yourself in multiple realms biking? Are you finding yourself climbing/descending long single track trips one day, and heading to the bike park to get airborne other days? If that is the case this is your bike! I have ridden this on long rides in Moab, Single track in salt lake, and freeriding at trail side bike park. This thing does it all!
Suspension:Diamondback took advantage of the VPP patent's expiration, and used it to inspire the linkage for the Release. They ended up improving vpp and designing a super efficient short-link, four-bar Level Link design. It ends up causing the suspension to sit upright when climbing and helps to offset the slack front end. It also creates a feeling of much more then 130mm in the back and feels much more like 150mm in the rear on the decent. This creates a bike that essentially climbs as well as it descends.
Build kit: This is an awesome build kit with a true parts build that is way out of the price range. Once the slack is properly tuned you can expect nothing but the best from rock shox. It is also equipped with the Scram X1, 1x11 drive train which provides a dependable drive train option, and also really helps out on the climbs. This bike also in the rear takes advantage of the new BOOST standard creating a shorter length 27.5 bike, that also makes the wheels feel much stiffer improving the overall ride. Finally the KS dropper post which is a necessity for long days in the saddle.
The only thing i wish is they had gone with different wheels on this bike. On the other hand they are tubeless ready and the bang for your buck on this bike is huge. For the money you cant get a better parts build on a frame this advanced.
Let me know if you have any questions about this bike! Would be happy to help with any questions or provide feedback if your looking into it!