Diamondback Sync'r 29 and Release 29 - Across the Pond Beaver

Sep 8, 2020
by Dan Roberts  
2021 Diamondback Sync r Carbon 29

Sync'r Carbon 29

The Sync'r 29 is Diamondback's most aggro hardtail, designed for cruising uphill and smashing chundery trails on the way down, all while being a bag of fun for the whole ride.

That aggro nature is combined with a carbon fiber composite frame to drop the weight that uses Boost spacing front and rear, with enough space in the frame to run 2.5" wide tires.

Sync'r Carbon 29 Details
• Wheel Size: 29"
• Carbon fiber composite frame
• 140mm travel fork
• Weight: 29.1lbs / 13.2kg (claimed)
• Price: $3,500 USD
• Available: September 2020

There's internal cable routing for the gear and dropper cables while the brake is all external for easier maintenance. Carrying on that theme is the threaded bottom bracket, and there are even ISCG mounts, with the bike coming specced with an MRP chain guide and bash guard.

The wheels are Diamondback's own Blanchard model, but are tubeless ready and the bike comes with a pretty trusty Minion DHF / DHR II combo.

The rest of the spec uses a Fox 34 Performance fork with the Grip damper, a predominantly SRAM GX drivetrain, with NX cranks, Shimano MT501 brakes with a 180mm front rotor and a 160mm rear and an X-Fusion Manic dropper post with 125mm drop on the S/M and 150mm on the L/XL.

2021 Diamondback Sync r Carbon 29
2021 Diamondback Sync r Carbon 29


2021 Diamondback Release 29 1

Release 29 1

The Release 29 takes the current Release platform and adds bigger 29" wheels.

The aluminum frame uses Diamondback's Level Link suspension system, a short link counter rotating system, to generate 130mm of travel and is paired with a 140mm travel fork. The system uses a top tube mounted shock and is reminiscent of the previous generation Santa Cruz bikes.

Release 29 1 Details
• Wheel Size: 29"
• Aluminium frame
• 130mm rear travel
• 140mm travel fork
• Weight: 33lbs / 15kg (claimed)
• Price: $2,300 USD
• Available: September 2020

There is a mount for a water bottle, but it resides on the underside of the down tube. Cable routing is all external, except for the final portion of the dropper post and it's all tucked out of harm's way on the top of the down tube.

The Release 29 1 comes with an SR Suntour Aion fork and Edge R shock, a full SRAM SX drivetrain, TRP Slate X2 brakes with 180mm rotors F and R, Diamondback Blanchard wheels, which are tubeless ready, with WTB Vigilante 2.3" tires F and R and a TransX dropper post with 100mm drop on size S, 130mm on size M and 150mm on size L/XL.

2021 Diamondback Release 29 1
2021 Diamondback Release 29 1


Across the Pond Beaver 2020

Author Info:
dan-roberts avatar

Member since Apr 6, 2019
137 articles

  • 140 0
 yay, a $3500 hardtail that weighs more than 13kg and comes with NX... like seriously, who on earth will buy this?
  • 12 0
 Diamondback, nonetheless
  • 47 19
 Some people will buy 7k bikes with a nx and a select plus lyric just cause it has Santa Cruz or Specialized written on it so I don’t see the problem. If they want to buy it then they can go ahead. Not my money, not my problem!
  • 93 2
 @isuckatridingbutmybikeiscool: the joke is - a carbon Santa Cruz Chameleon is actually $800 cheaper and 700g lighter
  • 7 1
 @f00bar: looks like they spent the money on the frame and were stuck with heavy spec to bring it in at a certain retail price. Maybe a good one for upgrading if you particularly want a carbon frame (and short reach).
  • 13 1
 I guess for 3500 I could easily build the Yeti ARC with a better spec
  • 19 24
flag philthyphill (Sep 8, 2020 at 4:00) (Below Threshold)
 @f00bar: the joke is you don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to. Nobody’s pointing a gun at your head right? If a customer feels like this is the bike for them then so be it. Live and let live my dude
  • 48 4
 I purchased my 2017 Release 2 on Amazon prime for $2,100 and was delivered to my house in two days with zero percent financing for 24 months. So to answer your question, the person who buys this is new to mtb, has watched seth on youtube, and has an amazon prime account and credit card. It's a fun bike and pedals great.
  • 13 14
 $3500, and not get the support from your Local Bike Shop, seems like a deal to me! I figure if I'm dropping $3,500 on a hardtail with a NX crank, I'd at least be drinking a beer, swapping stories at the counter as the guy at the bike shop is assembling my new bike.
  • 6 3
 @isuckatridingbutmybikeiscool: You buy it then...
  • 10 1
 @V8Interceptor: if your shop won’t service a bike you bought online, then they’re probably not doing very well.
  • 23 0
 @f00bar: be careful about assuming ride quality is equal simply because it's made of the same material. With hardtails, especially, the way a frame rides and flexes is one of the most important aspects to that bike.

The sync'r carbon has a much more forgiving ride than the carbon chameleon. And for $800, you're getting a better fork, bashfuard, and much better components.

Why would we assume the chameleon is the better bike, just because it says santa cruz on the side?
  • 5 0
 @f00bar nobody pays full retail on a diamondback. Still not impressed but this will likely be available for 2.5k
  • 26 1
 Not defending the overall price, but - it's clearly GX everything but the cranks, which is a smart spec if you want to maximize performance on a SRAM build. If they wanted to get a bunch of upvotes on PB, we all know if they put some deore 1x12 and squeaked a performance elite fork on there, this'd be lauded as the second coming (and nobody from here would buy it anyways).

Props to whoever specced that one out, unlike mainstream trek/specialized/yeti/rocky mountain who'll claim a "gx" or "x01" build and have a gx derailleur with sloppy NX shifter, and anchor of an upgradeable NX cassette. Cranks are the last place on the drivetrain you need to spend money, unless you care about branding and aesthetics. Shifter and getting up to an XD-based cassette are way more important on a SRAM build.
  • 1 1
  • 21 1
 It’s likely priced this way so that they can sell it at 40% off on experticity.com
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty: excellent point re. frame compliance and ride quality vs type of material. There are good quality alu frames out there that can outperform some cheaper carbon or steel frames.
  • 1 1
 @f00bar: haha
  • 5 4
 @hardtailparty: that was an example of a boutique brand costing less. Those slightly better components are not worth the $800 extra at all. The difference in groupsets between a NX and a complete GX (not GX with NX cranks) is around $150.

As for ride compliance - you can buy a *lighter* & better specced steel hardtail for half the price, or your can buy a cheap Titanium hardtail for the same amount of money. Both of which will be definitely more comfortable than this thing.

This bike is simply not worth more than $2000.
  • 1 0
 Seth Alvo
  • 9 2
 @f00bar: While this bike is at the pricier end of the spectrum, a lot of people want to knock it without trying it. I had the chance to demo one, and I went in with a similar attitude to yours. I left completely surprised with how well it rode. The frame feels great. It's one of the few carbon hardtail frames that didn't rattle my fillings out. I much prefer the ride over the carbon chameleon, and many steel, ti, and aluminum frames. Sadly, the geo isn't quite where I want it, but I have a lot of respect for DB with this bike, and I could easily have a blast riding this bike.

Also, don't forget that nx 12 speed uses an hg driver. If you ever want to upgrade an NX bike to GX or X01, it's going to require a hub/wheel upgrade, as well as a cassette.

I love the name-brand bashguard included, true minions front and rear, and raceface cockpit. I think DB did a great job on this bike.
  • 17 0
 Diamondback seems like the kind of company that creates artificially high MSRP's so they can sell things at a big "discount" the whole year.
  • 6 3
 @V8Interceptor: try that beer drinking part in Utah.
  • 1 0
 @parkourfan: is NX just heavier?
  • 7 0
Nx shifter has no matchmaker clamp, lots of free play before engagement in the shifter.
Nx chain is heavier and stretches out faster.
Nx cassette uses the HG hub standard, pretty heavy, and is in multiple pieces, as opposed to GX and up which uses the XD driver and is either pinned together+bailout cog or one-piece-machined+pinned to bailout cog.
NX rear der is heavier, with a bit more slop side to side.

For shimano, you want that XT shifter for the double-downshift. For SRAM, you want GX for the matchmaker compatibility, or XO for the adjustable lever and slightly more tactile feel. Both manufacturers lose weight and gain performance as you go up the line, albeit with SRAM you gain a ton of drivetrain durability at the x01 level and up.

Here, for posterity's sake, it may have made more sense to go with a reputable 3rd party crank from praxis or raceface if they wanted people to not complain about visible "nx spec."
  • 1 7
flag SkullsRoad (Sep 8, 2020 at 14:01) (Below Threshold)
 @V8Interceptor: lol what kind of romantic/unrealistic view do you have with buying a bike? If I saw my mechanic drinking beer on the job I would take my business elsewhere.
  • 2 0
 Yeah I just built a full custom Transition Throttle up from a frame with a Z1, Code R brakes, XT shifting, and custom xt/stans arch wheels for about that much. Weighs about 12kg and better in literally every spec.
  • 2 0
 @davidle03: I got the 18 Release 3 to counter my 17 Enduro. Such a fun little bike. Upgraded the wheels and put a bash guard on it, but otherwise totally stock and has seen several West Coast trips to big gnarly stuff. Just bought the new Rock Shox damper and air spring upgrade so now literally a 2020 fork. Don't see parting with this bike for some years to come.
  • 2 0
 @ryancartiers: Worldwide Cyclery has a video comparing all the SRAM drivetrains.
  • 3 0
 @stevemokan: I think he means when paying this much for a bike like this you get to hang out and drink a beer while they build it, kind of like how I got one of the shop tee's just for buying a $6K bike ... and then the equivalent service of a mail-order diamondback.
  • 1 0
 Not me I bought a Trance
  • 1 0
 @pdxkid: You must be hanging out at the wrong UT bike shops
  • 3 0
 Diamondback offers big corporate discounts and other deals. It’s the old “mark it up and then mark it down” sales model. I bet it’ll be selling for $2500 in the real world. We get a “deal” on D-back at work, and friends are always asking me, “hey, should I get this bike? It’s normally $5k but I can get it for $3k!” But it’s the same spec as a $3k bike from Canyon or YT or Whyte or whomever.
  • 1 0
 It’s not even new. This bike/frame been on market for over a year now.
  • 1 0
 @hevi: enlighten me
  • 1 0
 @pdxkid: Go-Ride, Over The Edge and Poison Spider Bicycles, Jans and White Pine come to mind.
  • 1 0
 @hevi: I'll have to look into this. These places will let you drink inside or serve you beer? Legally?
  • 43 12
 2010 called, it wants it’s geo back.
  • 10 22
flag DJ-24 (Sep 8, 2020 at 5:52) (Below Threshold)
 Not everyone is a geometry junky.
  • 15 0
 @DJ-24: If you don't care about geo, what do you look at when choosing a new bike? Best components for the money? Weight? Frame color?
  • 7 12
flag lifeofloon (Sep 8, 2020 at 6:33) (Below Threshold)
 @HollyBoni: quality components, warranty and a positive customer service reputation for starters.
  • 8 3
 @lifeofloon: I look at the bits hanging from the frame as well, I just thought it's pretty important how the bike rides and handles, but maybe i'm weird.
  • 16 1
 @lifeofloon: why not all that plus good geometry though? Geometry doesn't cost anything extra when building a frame
  • 9 0
 @HollyBoni: sadly, that's exactly how a lot of people buy bikes. I've seen so many people who prioritize:
- color
- looks
- component spec
- frame material
- bike brand loyalty/status
- weight

And then geo is the afterthought (if it's even a thought at all). Its too bad, because geo affects how a bike rides far more than sram vs shimano or nx vs gx. But geo is harder to compare for newer people to the sport, so it often goes unnoticed.

The truth is, marketing works, and it's easier to market a spec or a brand than geo.
  • 5 0
 @lifeofloon: 1 year warranty on swingarms on all FS DB bikes. Am I the only one that thinks that that's pretty lame?
  • 1 0
 @kamador: hey, I don't disagree. I never stated an opinion about the DBs. I answered the question as to what some people look at when buying a new bike. My five year old Rallon rides just fine. I don't need slightly newer geometry to justify a new purchase and if something with similar geometry numbers came about that fit my parameters I certainly would not rule it out because it was not the most current geometry trend.
  • 1 1
 @hardtailparty: the truth of geometry is that different geometry patterns do ride differently which means not everyone wants to adapt to a different style of riding just because that's what the current geometry trend is.
  • 1 0
 @lifeofloon: I have a 27.5 Diamondback from 2016-17 and can no longer get replacement derailleur hangers for it.
  • 3 1
 @HollyBoni: It's not that I don't care about geometry, I just don't have a preset set of numbers in my head and deem everything outside of that outdated.
  • 1 0
 @mdpetrie: and thus DB doesn't seem to fit my parameters for what I look for in a bike and brand. Just as I'll never buy another Orbea because their customer service is non existent but if I find a geometry similar to my Rallon that has good components and the brand has a good warranty/customer service I won't rule them out. I see you saw me answer a question that was unrelated to a particular brand and assumed I supported said brand.
  • 1 0
 @DJ-24: when you have average height and new to the sport - maybe.
When you either big or small guy and you have been riding for a few years - you'll have them, believe me.
For example, being very compact I won't buy a bike with chainstay longer than 430mm. Also you can see the new slash reviews from the big guys - everyone is bummed on the seat tube angle.
The problem is that you need to be stuck with a wrong bike for a couple of years to understand that.
  • 21 1
 I don't get what they were going for with the Release 29. There are many entry level trail bikes out there which have a more modern, more progressive geometry - with similar specs at a cheaper price than this. Just doesn't seem like a good deal at all.
  • 12 0
 I was really excited about this bike when I saw the spec. Suntour suspension and TRP brakes are a nice change of pace from the usual and the price point is pretty impressive, but that geometry is an absolute deal breaker.
  • 1 0
 I honestly don't understand what the thought process of that one was. The 27.5 release has a 66 degree head angle and only 10mm more travel up front.
  • 5 0
 DB was late to the whole 29 inch wheel party. So they just slapped 29" wheels on their Catch frame, which is a plus bike and called it a day. No changes to the Catch frame, they just re-used it.
  • 3 0
 DB really screwed up. When the Release was first released (ha), it was a great bike for a great price. Now they have been surpassed by everyone. Marin, Polygon, YT, Canyon, Fezzari, etc. All better bikes for the same price.
  • 11 0
 That bike would look 1000 times better and be able to carry a water bottle in the 'normal' position simply by changing the cable routing to run along the bottom of the chain stays. Maybe next time!
  • 11 0
 The cables are a bit of a mess.
  • 11 0
 Priced about double what they are actually worth paying for. Also 29 lb for a carbon hardtail is obscenely heavy.
  • 2 0
 My chro mo HT aint far off that weight!
  • 7 0
 Why have they not updated the Release's geo since it was released? They could at least fix that seat tube angle and move the cables out of the way to put the water bottle mounts inside the front triangle? The first couple years the Release came out it actually came with a pretty good spec too. Not a lot of value there anymore at all.
  • 12 1
 Drama-drop approved ?
  • 15 4
 I was about to criticize these bikes for having dated geometry, but then you made me realize that they don’t seem to hold Seth back. Sooo, I will shut up and go ride my bike. Bikes are rad.
  • 42 0
 Backing Seth must have been the best investment DB ever made.
  • 12 2
The geometry is straight out of 2015 though. Even if they don't want to go crazy with reach figures they could at least shorten the seat tube a bit.
  • 10 0
 In NZ diamond backs are bikes that you buy from our version of Wal-Mart
  • 1 0
 Where everyone gets a bargain
  • 1 0
 @browner: you know it!
  • 8 2
 Seth seems to prefer bikes with a not crazy progressive geometry. Since he ride mainly tight technicals features and jumps, that's kind of make sense and his Sync'r seems to the the job quite well.
  • 3 0
 Or should we call him Mr. Berm Peak now?
  • 2 0
 He's also like 155cm..
  • 3 0
 It should be noted they didn't update the frames other then the paint. Also, regardless of the geo, who wouldn't ride these bikes if they were sponsored by DB?
  • 9 0
 472 mm reach for XL? I am f.. giraffe and no, Diamond is no brand for me.
  • 8 0
 The release 29er has literally been available for over two years, same with the hardtail. Why is this on here?
  • 6 0
 Was literally wondering the same thing. It's a 2017 bike they slapped 29er tires on it. I love my Release, but they need to be updated. Same with the Sync'r
  • 5 0
 Really baffled at Diamondback's apparent lack of awareness for modern geo.
Their measurements for Reach/ STA/ ETT on the XL are something I'd expect on a Medium/ Large these days.
  • 3 0
 I understand the criticism on the Syncr, however I don't think the Release 29 gets enough criticism as well. The 27.5 model release has better geometry and is able to fit a water bottle in the front triangle, on the downtube, . Not sure the target they were going for, but it definetely seems like they missed it. Keep the geo/water bottle access the same and I'm sure at least the Release 29 would have been a hit for a lot of people.
  • 5 0
 I agree about the geometry, but the 27.5 model still has bottle bosses on the bottom of the downtube, unless you're talking about some anywhere-cage hack.
  • 1 0
 @Deoratwo: Ah that may be what I'm thinking of.
  • 1 0
 @Deoratwo: Yep, I put a Fidlock zip-tie mount on top of the top tube. Works fine.
  • 4 1
 67.7 HTA, 449 mm reach on a large. Does Diamondback even pay attention to trends and latest tech? Wtf were they thinking... People are already skeptical of their bikes. Maybe if they came up with something worth buying, that isn't as expensive (if not more expensive) than top competitors, people would actually buy their high end bikes. Guess not, they'll still sell a ton of their shitty box store bikes so it doesn't really matter for them....
  • 3 0
 DB hasn't changed their frames for years, still the same geo and everything since like 2016 or so. Release 29 is just a Catch (their plus bike) with 29" wheels slapped on it. Nothing fancy. They didn't develop a new frame for this bike. Being super late to the whole 29" wheel party, they just re-used the Catch frame, bumped up the front travel. That's how you get that 67.7 HA from Catche's 68. Everything else geo-wise is the same.
  • 2 0
 Their Mission freenduro bikes are pretty slick, but yeah the rest of their line could use a refresh. Ofcourse, all their bikes are sold out anyway, just like everyone else, so they're printing money using old R&D/molds. Good gig if you can get it Smile
  • 2 0
 I can see that and the fact that they sell their low end bikes at sporting goods stores, but if you look at reviews of their higher end bikes like the Release, Catch, Mission, and Sync’r they make bikes that offer a lot of bang for their buck. At least they did a few years ago. There value isn’t as good as they used to be. All I can say is my Release is a 30 lbs aluminum mid travel trail bike that has handled everything I can throw at it and hasn’t failed me in 3000+ miles with routine maintenance. It uses VPP suspension and had good geo when it came out in 2017
  • 3 0
 My steel 29er hardtail with 2.6 tires. All metal, coil fork weighs .5 pounds more... but I do like the looks of the syncr!
  • 1 0
 "Cable routing is all external, except for the final portion of the dropper post"

Doing it right!

If you're gonna do external for mech and brake, skip that bullshit of putting just the downtube portion of the dropper cable internal.
  • 6 1
 High standover and long seat tubes are a fail.
  • 3 0
 It looks like an old Santa Cruz! I don't think I have ever seen a company talk about how they look like a competitors outdated product.
  • 4 0
 Are those numbers a misprint or typo?
  • 3 2
 Im 6.4 and ride 465 reach w 450 chainstays , 66.5ha and love it.. the "modern" geometry is not a must its a choice, just like paying 3500$ for a bike with that spec & weight is.
  • 1 0
 Pinkbike? You guys mixed up the geometry of the bikes and everybody is upset with Diamondback for outdated geometry... You should probably get that fixed; the Release 29 has a 66 degree head angle, not 67.7.
  • 1 0
 Uh no, that is the correct geo of release 29 unless they changed it for 2021. Release 27.5 as a 66 head angle.
  • 1 0
 The part spec on the Release 29 is interesting. Suntour suspension bits, with TRP brakes? Would cool to compare that to the entry level Rockshox/SRAM stuff.
  • 2 0
 We ask for @inthehillsgang TheCult775 and this is what we get.... cmon Pinkbike
  • 1 0
 I rode a mason for several seasons. It was a great bike. One of my riding buddies is still on a 2014 mason. He’s broken everything but the frame!
  • 1 0
 Low end choices like the brakes, cranks and skinny fork on a $3500 bike is nonsense. Put full GX, TRP brakes, Marzocchi Z1 and sell for $2300 and you will get my attention.
  • 2 0
 My mate's cube stereo 140 weighs the same as this
  • 2 0
 Why the cartridge bb on a 3.5k bike???
  • 2 0
 I love my DB but both of these seem like misses to me.
  • 1 0
 I might be missing something, but they've got sooo much room for a dropper and only spec'd a 125mm??
  • 2 0
 Santa Cruz Bronson ht anyone?
  • 1 0
 A bike company aimed at the shorter with those numbers.
  • 8 8
 I'd never get a diamondback, can't take them seriously, a joke brand
  • 2 1
 Have you actually ridden one? For a while they were unmatched performance for the money. There high end stuff is excellent. I got a Release 1 in 2017 with Yari Fork, Rockshox Monarch, NX11 for $1500...you still can't beat that. That said, the prices have gone up
  • 2 2
 If McGazza can do multiple backflips on a DB at Rampage and land so hard the wheels explode but frame is ok then it's probably good enough for the rest of us.
  • 3 0
 @bmied31: i think because the way they advertise always makes them feel like a starter bike brand. I cannot see them as a company making higher end bikes
  • 1 0
 2015 called.

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