In today’s world it is difficult for anyone to efficiently scrutinize absolutely any product, some places you go you’ll read good things and other places terrible things. This is exactly the same when it comes to reading review about mountain bikes, however one thing that I always tell people is that you can generally rely on the best brands to deliver – brands such as Diamondback. The Diamondback Overdrive was produced with the intention of providing people with a high specification mountain bike for a very reasonable price. Now, there are certain versions of the Overdrive that cost well into the multiple-thousand dollar range – but today we are simply reviewing their basic model. The Overdrive is essentially the king within this price bracket and we don’t foresee that changing any time soon thanks to the massively inflated price tags found by most other brands around. The Diamondback Overdrive is a 29er that comes with a classically styled hardtail suspension, 24 gear speeds, a hand constructed 6061-T6 aluminum frame that has been heat treated. To add to this it also comes with high resistance tires, a Suntour XCT fork that is capable of transitioning through 100mm of suspension travel and of course the standard double-walled rims to provide that extra bit of support when you take it off-road.
[pullquote align=”full” cite=”Widely regarded as one of the finest mountain bikes for under one thousand dollars, and now I understand why! A beautiful bike that exceeded all my expectations…” link=”” color=”#960000″ class=”” size=”18″][/pullquote]
As you can see from my little introduction there, the Diamondback Overdrive mountain bike comes complete with a whole host of outstanding features. It has clearly been designed with the rider in mind and intentions of making mountain biking a true joy. I will be breaking down each of the features offered on the bike and then you will be able to make a truly informed decision of whether or not the Overdrive is the right bike for you. However, before all of that, I just want to put it out there that it is essentially impossible for anybody to locate a genuine mountain bike for less than five hundred dollars, but the Overdrive at six hundred is damn close. When it comes to comparing this model with the pro version of the Overdrive, you will actually see that they both utilize the same aluminum frame. For me this shows just how high spec this bike actually is, it’s crafted out of truly premium components just like bikes costing over three times as much. While the Overdrive certainly has had costs cut elsewhere on the bike, we genuinely believe that for the money this is about as good as you will get.
The most impressive feature of the Diamondback Overdrive for me personally was the frame, it promotes a perfect position when you’re on the bike. This is particularly important for those of us that plan on taking the bike both throughout the city but also off road up in the hills too. The last thing you want is to be stressing your body overly with a bad riding posture for hours at a time. Similarly, I felt like the center of gravity when on the bike was pretty spot on in terms of placement too, it made cornering extremely easy and it was a pleasure to handle on steep inclines and declines too. While the frame is made of aluminum, which is clearly heavier than carbon fiber based frames, this bike offers so much more durability that no carbon fiber bike can offer. It only weighs in at just a slither over 30 pounds and so it’s fairly easy to transport too and you can hold it without too much difficulty.
I loved the Tektro brakes on the Diamondback Overdrive, they performed extremely well time and time again, whatever terrain I found myself on. They are made up of a set of 180mm rotors that really do a fantastic job at stopping the bike swiftly and firmly, while we would probably be better off with a 160mm kit, they did their job extremely well. To add to this, the wheels and WTB Wolverine Â of the Overdrive are fairly weighty and this may prove a problem for some riders but we had no issues at all.
|Sizes||S/16″ M/18″ L/20″ XL/22″|
|Frame||Overdrive 27″ Butted 6061-T6 Aluminum w/ Formed Top / Down Tube, machined headtube, forged drop outs w/replaceable hanger, disc only|
|Fork||SR Suntour XCT 27.5 coil spring 100 mm travel, Preload Adjust|
|Headset||Integrated FSA Drop-in ACB upper, Zero Stack lower internal cup and cartridge bearing, 1 1/8″|
|Cranks||Suntour XCT, 42/32/22T|
|Bottom Bracket||Square Taper – 5pc|
|F. Derailleur||Shimano Tourney, top pull, 31.8|
|R. Derailleur||Shimano Acera M360 8spd|
|Shifter||Shimano Altus EF-51 8spd|
|Cogset||Shimano HG-31 8spd Cassette (11-32t)|
|Brakes||Tektro Aries Mechanical Disc w/ 160mm Rotors|
|Brake Levers||Shimano Altus EF-51 8spd|
|Front Hub||32h SL-7 Alloy w/ CNC Disc Mount|
|Rear Hub||32h SL-7 Alloy Cassette w/ CNC Disc mount|
|Spokes||Black 14g Stainless Steel|
|Rims||DB SL-27 27.5″ 32h Doublewall|
|Tires||Chaoyang Hornet 27.5×2.1|
|Handlebar||DB Flat Bar, 720mm wide, Flat Bar,31.8mm|
|Grips||DB4L 135mm Kraton|
|Stem||DB AL6061 Ahead, 31.8mm, 7Â°|
|Seatpost||DB Micro Adjust 30.9mm|
|Seat||DB Race s M-series saddle|
All in all I think that the Diamondback Overdrive is a fantastic entry level mountain bike, six hundred dollars may not seem to be entry level to many people – however it is in the world of mountain biking. This bike is one of the more fairly priced bikes out there, you get an awful lot of quality and it has been put together with care too (by hand). It would be the quintessential starter bike for someone who is new to mountain biking and wanted to give it a try. For the money you will find it extremely difficult to beat this bike, despite there being many cheaper models around they certainly lack the quality that the Overdrive offers.
Â Exceptional value
Â GorgeousÂ aesthetics
Â Lightweight (30lbs)
Â Plenty of gears
Very bouncy forks