Editor choice

Diamondback Release 3 Review

Diamondback Release 3 Review

The Diamondback Release 3 sits at the top of DB’s 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.

RATING: Best DB Aluminum FS Bike!

BEST FOR: Pro Trail Riders

FEATURES: 150 mm travel front suspension, Shimano XT components, 11-speed drivetrain, Shimano XT hydraulic brakes…

Diamondback skipped over absolutely nothing when it comes to the Diamondback Release 3. This frame has been loaded with pretty much the best components on the market today.

The $3,500 price tag isn’t for the faint of heart, but it definitely delivers. So, here’s what we found to be the components that stand out the most on Release 3:

  • Frame: Release 27.5, 130mm Travel, Level Link Suspension Platform, Hydroformed Tubing, ISCG-05 Tabs, Boost 148x12mm Maxle Drop Out, 1.5″ Tapered Headtube
  • Fork: Fox 34 Performance Float, 27.5″, 150mm Travel, Grip 3 Position Dampener, Rebound Adjust, 1.5″ Tapered Steerer, 110x15mm Thru-axle
  • Rear Shock: Fox Performance Float DPX2, 3 Position Lever, LV EVOL, 200x57mm, 22.2mm Eyelet Width
  • Rims: Diamondback Blanchard 28R, Tubeless Ready, 32h
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5×2.3″ EXO, TLR, Folding / Maxxis Minion DHR 27.5×2.3″ EXO, TLR, Folding
  • Crankset: Raceface Turbine Cinch w/32T Direct Mount Narrow Wide
  • Cassette: Shimano XT M8000 Cassette, 11 Speed, 11-46T
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT M8000 Shadow Plus, 11 Speed, GS
  • Shifter: Shimano XT M8000 Shadow Plus, 11 Speed
  • Brakes: Shimano XT M8000, w/180mm Front /180mm Rear Rotors
  • Saddle: WTB Volt Race
  • Seatpost: KS LEV Integra Dropper, w/ SouthPaw Remote, 31.6mm
  • Pedals: DB CNC Platform, Sealed Cartidge Bearing w/Replaceable Pins
SM/15.5″ – 5’4″ – 5’7″ MD/17″ – 5’7″ – 5’10” LG/29″ –  5’10” – 6’2″ XL/21″ – 6’2″ – 6’6″

Diamondback – MSRP $3,500

What we like about DB Release 3
  • High-end Shimano components
  • 150 mm of front suspension travel
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes
Points of Improvement for DB Release 3
  • Not very versatile
  • Expensive

Full Review

Diamondback produces a wide range of bicycles. Everything from first-time hill climbers, all the way up to pro-level trail bikes.

The Diamondback 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? Let’s find out.

What’s Good About Diamondback Release 3?

Thumb upThe bikes from the Diamondback Release series are built for speed and curves. With the extremely responsive suspension, this bike can take massive amounts of trail abuse and continue kicking.

Compared to the old Release 3, the new one is fitted with a better set of components. The groupset is Shimano XT, which includes both the drivetrain and the hydraulic disc brakes!

Gearing & Drivetrain

TechnologyThe Shimano XT M8000, 11-speed, 10-46t cogset makes this bike take steep grades like a true champ.

Designed specifically as a mountain biking setup, the 10T to 46T ratio does wonders for hills that would normally take the wind out of your sales.

Frame

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 suspension system.

The progressive nature of this frame’s geometry also ensures that your weight is always positioned over a low center of gravity, which especially comes in handy when scaling steep grades.

Derailleurs

Shimano XT M8000, the 11-speed derailleur is at the top end of what cyclists would call “industry standard”, component-wise.

These derailleurs require very little maintenance and handle all weather conditions with ease. They change gears smoothly and reliably, even under severe tension.

Tires

Mountain Bikes sectionThe Maxxis Minion tires are puncture-proof and made to stick to smooth singletracks without loss of control.

They are 2.3″ wide which means they will give you more than enough grip no matter the terrain you choose to ride on. 

Brakes

Diamondback went with some of the best disc brakes on the market, the Shimano XT M8000 hydraulic discs.

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 the time comes to find replacements.

Saddle

ComponentsThe WTB Volt is designed with medium cushioning, specifically with mountain biking in mind.

A fairly standard saddle.

Other Release Models

Diamondback actually has 5 Release models, and although this review specifically covers the Release 3, we’ve outlined the differences in components that you can expect to find with the Release 2 below, which is the cheaper version:

Diamondback Release 2:

  • Rear shock: Fox Float DPS EVOL LV, Performance, 3 Position Lever, 200x57mm, 22.2mm Eyelet Width
  • Fork: Fox Rhythm 34 27.5″, 150mm Travel, Grip Dampener w/Sweep Adjust, 1.5″ Tapered Steerer, 110x15mm Thru-axle
  • Tires: The same
  • Brakes – Shimano SLX M7000, w/180mm Front /180mm Rear Rotors

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 higher, as they 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: Fox Float DPS EVOL LV, Performance, 3 Position Lever, 200x57mm, 22.2mm Eyelet Width
  • Fork: Fox 34 Performance Float, 27.5″, 150mm Travel, Grip 3 Position Dampener, Rebound Adjust, 1.5″ Tapered Steerer, 110x15mm Thru-axle
  • Tires: The same
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R, w/180mm Front /180mm Rear Centerline Rotors
  • Rims: Diamondback Blanchard 28R, Tubeless Ready, 32h

Diamondback Release 5C:

  • Frame: Carbon Release 27.5, Monocoque Carbon Front and Rear Triangle, 130mm travel, Level Link Suspension Platform.
  • Rear shock: Fox Performance Elite Float DPX2, 3 Position Lever w/Open Mode Adjust, LV EVOL, 200x57mm, 22.2mm Eyelet Width
  • Fork:Fox 36 Performance Elite Float, 27.5″, 150mm Travel, Fit4, 3 Position Dampener, Rebound Adjust, 1.5″ Tapered Steerer, 110x15mm Thru-axle
  • Tires: e*thirteen TRS Race SS 2.35 Tire Tubeless Ready Single Ply Apex Aramid Reinforced, Slow Rebound, Dual Compound
  • Brakes: e*thirteen TRS Race SS 2.35 Tire Tubeless Ready Single Ply Apex Aramid Reinforced, Slow Rebound, Dual CompoundSRAM Guide RS Hydraulic Disc, w/180mm Front / 180mm Rear Centerline Rotors
  • Rims: e*thirteen TRS Plus 30mm Aluminum Rim TRS Plus Aluminum 32h​

Should I Buy Release 3?

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 Diamondback’s 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 $3,500 required to have your own Release 3.

User Rating: Be the first one!