Diamondback produces a wide range of bicycles, everything from first-time hill climbers all the way up to pro-level cyclocross bikes. The Release 3 sits at the top of their trail model list, providing high-end components, a lightweight frame, wide gear ratios, and an all-around stable riding experience. According to Diamondback, this is absolutely the best aluminum trail bicycle they make. After taking a closer look ourselves, we’d have to agree.
So, what makes this bike such a rare animal? Keep reading.
Diamondback Release 3 Main-specs
Diamondback skipped over absolutely nothing when it comes to the Release 3. This frame has been loaded with pretty much the best components on the market today. The $2600 price tag isn’t for the faint of heart, but it definitely delivers. So, here’s what we found to be the most standout components of the 2018 Release 3:
- Frame: 6061 aluminum 130mm Travel, Level Link Suspension Platform, Hydroformed Tubing
- Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 – 150mm Travel, w/ External Rebound, Thru-axle
- Tires: Schwalbe Hans Dampf, SnakeSkin, 27.5×2.35″ (Tubeless Ready)
- Crankset: 11-speed, 10-42t
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM X1 X-Horizon, 11 Speed
- Shifters: SRAM X1 11 Speed X-Actuation Trigger
- Brakes: SRAM Guide RS Hydraulic Disc. 180mm Front / 180mm Rear
- Saddle: WTB Volt Pro
- Seatpost: KS LEV Integra Dropper, w/ SouthPaw Remote, 31.6mm
What’s Good About Diamondback Release 3?
The Diamondback Release series bicycles are built for speed and curves. With the extremely responsive suspension, this bike can take massive amounts of trail abuse and continue kicking. At 14kgs it’s a decent weight without pulling you back on steep grades. So, does the lineup of components do the price justice? let’s find out!
Gearing & Drivetrain
The SRAM XG1150, 11-speed, 10-42t cog set makes this bike take steep grades like a true champ. Designed specifically as a mountain biking setup, the 10T to 42T ratio does wonders for hills that would normally take the wind out of your sales.
The 6061 aluminum frame was shaped with stability in mind when hitting rough mountain trails. You’ll notice that the lines on this bike shorten as you get closer to the rear. This was done specifically to take full advantage of this bike’s newly designed Level-Link suspension system. The progressive nature of this frame’s geometry also ensures that your weight is always thrown over a low center of gravity, which especially comes in handy when scaling especially steep grades.
The SRAM X1 X-Horizon, the 11-speed derailleur is at the top end of what cyclists would call “industry standard”, component-wise. These derailleurs (once properly setup) require very little maintenance and handle all weather types with ease.
The Schwalbe Hans Dampf, SnakeSkin tires are puncture-proof and made to stick to smooth singletracks without loss of control. Produced in the U.S., they fold sideways for ease of storage when getting switched out for road slicks.
Diamondback went with some of the best disc brakes on the market, the SRAM Guide hydraulics. The redesigned squeeze triggers feature a larger amount of brake fluid in their master cylinder, which really comes in handy when your brake pads start to wear. Keeping the same caliper/rotor setup as their previous models, these brakes can take a lot of standard pads which will inevitably save you time and effort when it comes time to find replacements.
The WTB Volt is designed with medium cushioning, specifically with mountain biking in mind. A fairly standard saddle.
Diamondback actually has 2 models for the Release, and although this review covers the Release 3 specifically we’ve outlined the differences in components that you can expect to find with the Release 2 below:
Diamondback Release 2:
- Rear shock, RockShox Monarch RT3 DebonAir, 200x57mm
- Fork, 150mm RockShox Pike RC, Rebound and Compression Damping, Thru-axle
- Tires – Same
- Brakes – SRAM Level T Hydraulic Disc, w/ 180mm Front / 180mm Rear Centerline Rotors
- Seatpost – Same
Diamondback also makes a somewhat different offshoot of the Release series that come with carbon frames, called the 4C and 5C, respectively. The price point on these is at $3,600, and come with primarily the same components save for the upgraded frame:
Diamondback Release 4C:
- Frame – Carbon Release 27.5, Monocoque Carbon Front and Rear Triangle, 130mm travel, Level Link Suspension Platform.
- Rear shock – RockShox Monarch RT3 DebonAir, 200x57mm
- Fork – RockShox Pike RC, 150mm Travel.
- Tires – Same
- Brakes – SRAM Level T Hydraulic Disc, w/180mm front/180mm rear centerline rotors
- Seatpost – KS LEV Integra Dropper, 31.6mm
- Weight: 33lbs
Diamondback Release 5C:
- Frame – Carbon 27.5
- Monocoque carbon front and rear triangle
- 130mm Travel
Diamondback Release 3 Considerations
The sheer array of components would make this bike worth the price point, but the build quality paired with the ultra-stable new Level-Link suspension system really makes for an enjoyable ride. Once properly set up the Release 3 requires minimal maintenance, and can really help you step up your singletrack game.
Not meant for the faint of heart, riders who aren’t looking for a mountain specific bike should probably explore other options before dropping the $2,600 required to have your own Release 3.
|What we dislike about the Release||What we like about the Release|
|Not very versatile||High-end components|
|Expensive||Brand new Level-Link suspension|