This stealth looking beauty is the first of only three prototype Diamondback DH rigs that are currently out there, with the other two being ridden by Diamondback's DF5 team riders' Kelly McGarry and defending NW Cup Series champ Kyle Thomas. While Kyle and Kelly are out shredding their rigs hard, this blacked out version is being used by Diamondback's engineers to measure and evaluate geometry changes.
Diamondback Prototype DH Bike details:
- 8 inches of rear wheel travel
- Single pivot with linkage activated shock
- Sealed bearing rearward shock mount
- 1.5 inch head tube
- Geometry undecided
Diamondback isn't shy about stating that they are aiming to put together a full-on downhill race bike for those looking to go from point A to point B as fast as possible. With that in mind, they are focusing on the two main attributes of any successful race bike: sorted geometry and suspension that is tuned to tackle tracks at race speed. This first generation prototype is likely to see many changes by the time version two is released, including different tube shapes and revised geometry. Diamondback isn't sure how many different test mules it will take before they are happy, but they are more concerned about making the bike a winner than making it available to the public anytime soon. It is likely to be a 2013 model when the time does come.
The single pivot swingarm uses a linkage to active the shock. The bike's designers have made an effort to have the suspension parts as low as possible in the frame. Aluminum pivot hardware is used throughout and it is worth noting that you can access all of the bolts without having to remove the cranks or chain guide. It is important to remember that it is the small details that can make all the difference in how a bike rides. Yes, the general layout is similar to some other sleds out there, but by changing the pivot locations by only a few millimeters, Diamondback's engineers can dial in the exact leverage ratios that they are looking for.
Jon Kennedy (right) explains the ins and outs of what they are aiming for with the new bike. Depending on how testing of future prototypes goes, it could look quite different than what you see here by the time it reaches production. While they could have gone the easy route and adapted their proven Knucklebox suspension to a longer travel DH platform, it proved to be better suited to their All-Mountain and Cross-Country bikes - despite the fact that it would have been easier and faster than designing a new linkage layout. Diamondback is committed to making the new bike a winner right out of the box.
Possibly the best man-cave that I've ever visited, Jon's shop is set up with everything that he needs to work on bikes, including a fully stocked beer fridge and a selection of tools that would make most shops blush. Add in a stable of mountain bikes for any occasion and you have a place that most of us would love to pass the time in.
Diamondback's new DB4L grips have a great story behind them. Listen to the audio to hear how they got their name:
Check out the Diamondback website
to see their entire lineup. Diamondback is putting quite the effort into their upcoming DH race bike - let's hear what you think of it!