First Ride: Diamondback Mission 27.5

Apr 10, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
FIRST RIDE
Diamondback Mission 27.5

BY: Mike Kazimer
A New Look For Diamondback's Mission

The name might be the same, but Diamondback's Mission platform has received a makeover, and the number 27.5 only tells part of the story. Yes, the new bike is rolling on 27.5” wheels, but the Knucklebox suspension layout has also changed, giving the bike a more ground hugging, low-slung look when compared to previous versions. The rear shock is now mounted on the down tube, nearly in line with the chain stays, a change that lowers the bike's center of gravity and also allowed Diamondback to shave weight off of the aluminum frame. The Mission's 160mm of rear travel and 66.5° head angle make it clear that this bike was designed with downhill performance high on the priority list. There will be three different versions available, from the top-of-the-line, SRAM X01 equipped Pro model at $6,800 down to the 1.0 model that comes in at $2,800 USD. Sizes run from S up to XL, and our size large test bike weighs in at 30.2 pounds without pedals.


Frame Details
The Mission Pro's curvy, Day-Glo orange colored frame is constructed from hydroformed 6061 aluminum, and includes all of the accoutrements you'd expect on a modern all-mountain bike – a tapered head tube, 12x142mm rear thru axle, and ISCG tabs. The rear derailleur and stealth dropper post line are routed internally, and the brake housing runs externally along the top of the down tube. There's no sneaking around in the woods aboard this bike, and whether you love it or hate it, the paint job on the Pro model is one of the brightest we've seen. The loud fluorescent orange color is even more eye-catching than it looks in the photos, especially on gray overcast days, when it glows brighter than anything found in nature.

Diamondback Mission 27.5 2015
  The Knucklebox suspension layout has been revised, losing the vertical orientation of the shock and moving it to a lower position on the frame.

Suspension Design
At its heart, Diamondback's Knucklebox suspension design is a link driven single pivot, relying on a large aluminum rocker arm to push the Fox Float X rear shock through its 160mm of travel. The Mission's rear suspension rotates on large, sealed cartridge bearings, and clevis pivots are found in several locations to help increase frame stiffness. There's also a thick brace joining the two seat stays together to help prevent undue flex from the rear end.

Geometry
A 66.5° head angle and a fairly low 13.5” bottom bracket height make the Mission's downhill intentions clear. There's been a push recently towards longer top tubes and shorter chainstays, but the Mission deviates from this, and at 451mm the chainstay length is on the longer side of what we've become accustomed to seeing, while the 416mm reach number for a large is on the shorter side of things. But what a bike looks like on paper doesn't tell the whole story, so we headed out to see just what this new ride was capable of.

Diamondback 27.5 2015
Diamondback Mission 27.5 2015
  Wide bars, a short stem, Kashima coated suspension, carbon cranks - someone at Diamondback knows how to properly spec a bike.

Build Kit
Diamondback went all out when picking the build kit for the Mission Pro, and the spec sheet reads like a mountain biker's dream list of components. Highlights include Race Face's carbon fiber Next cranks, a SRAM X01 drivetrain, and a set of Easton Haven 27.5” wheels shod with Schwalbe's Hans Dampf tires. Stopping duties are handled by Shimano's highly capable XT brakes, and a 785mm wide Race Face Atlas handlebar is mounted to a 50mm Atlas stem, a setup that closely mirrors what we'd chose if we were building up a bike of our own.



Riding the Mission 27.5



bigquotes It's on the downhills where the Mission 27.5 comes to life, with a well balanced, stable but lively ride feel. This is the kind of bike that encourages doubling up trail features, using a small lump in the trail as a takeoff and popping to a micro-transition a good distance away.

We received the Mission 27.5 a few days ahead of a local underground ride, an annual invite-only affair that covers over 40 miles of the Pacific Northwest's best trails and includes 9,000 feet of vertical gain. In other words, the perfect trial-by-fire to see how this new bike handled. The ride started with an extended climb up a gravel logging road where the Mission revealed itself to be a rather active climber, and even with the shock switched to the middle Trail setting there was still a decent amount of rear suspension movement, especially when climbing out of the saddle. On longer climbs we ended up using the Climb mode fairly often, which created a firm, almost locked out platform to work with, an easy way to make it feel like our energy was being used more efficiently. When things got technical, switching to Trail mode created more traction, allowing the rear wheel to dig in and claw its way over the root and rock filled trail. The Mission's mullet-like geometry (short in the front, long in the back) does mean that the front end can feel a little light on steeper climbs, but it's not anything that standing up and getting more weight over the handlebar can't fix.

Every long climb should end with a stellar downhill, and this particular ride didn't disappoint. Miles of of steep, loamy singletrack waited at the end of the dirt road, the perfect reward for pedaling a slack, 160mm bike to the top of a mountain. As would be expected, it's on the downhills where the Mission 27.5 comes to life, with a well balanced, stable but lively ride feel. This is the kind of bike that encourages doubling up trail features, using a small lump in the trail as a takeoff and popping to a micro-transition a good distance away. The Easton Haven wheels deserve some credit here, as their light weight makes getting airborne even easier, although they did emit were a few strange noises that seemed to come from the spokes loading and unloading during hard cornering. And what about those long chainstays? They didn't end up being an issue at all, and somehow the overall geometry of the bike works to make for a much more cohesive package than we would have predicted. Riding through rough terrain aboard the Mission reminded us of charging through chopped up powder on a pair of fat skis - there's a feeling of carving, of blasting through the chunder aboard a solid platform that makes for a highly enjoyable ride. Whether we were diving in and out of tight switchbacks or carving down steep, loose hillsides, the Mission didn't hold us back at all, and proved to be a competent descender no matter how gnarly the terrain.


Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesFor the rider looking for a bike that's designed with downhill performance as the top priority, the Mission is a solid contender. This is basically a modern freeride bike, although that term seems to have become less popular in recent years. Maybe 'aggressive all-mountain' would be the more contemporary phrasing, but in any case, the Mission is most at home on steep, technical trails, and wouldn't be out of place taking laps in a bike park. At the same time, it's light enough that it can be pedaled to the top without the need for shuttle assistance, opening up even more possibilities for riders searching out the most difficult, remote trails they can find.- Mike Kazimer


www.diamondback.com


104 Comments

  • + 119
 Did I just read a review of a 27.5, 160mm bike that didn't include the word enduro? Amazing. Looks a sweet ride; decent uphill and an absolute riot back down.
  • + 32
 "decent uphill and an absolute riot back down" all I've gotten out of literally EVERY 5-6 inch travel range bike. They all do the same thing, now make it look cool.
  • + 19
 That pro model is exactly how I would kit a bike if money were not an issue.

The $2800 version is a serious value bike! Narrow wide ring, Shadow plus Der, Shimano hydros, and fox front and rear.
  • + 0
 On the cool appearance subject, not so sure making it look like every other faux-bar bike was such a hot decision.
  • - 35
flag QQdownhiller (Apr 10, 2014 at 11:37) (Below Threshold)
 Another article about a new bike design and "new" 27.5 wheels! Rename this website it 27.5bike! 27.5, 27.5 and 27.5! BRAPPPP
  • + 4
 Motoracer, except for the Mach 6 which is killer up and down.
  • + 2
 Hey QQ. Pinkbike review the bikes they're sent. And those seem to be 6056B's at the moment.
Has Pinkbike reviewed the 26' Evil yet?
  • + 2
 Dont think they have but wish they would....
  • - 4
flag QQdownhiller (Apr 10, 2014 at 17:26) (Below Threshold)
 I am completely aware. Just joking about the new trend. Wow that joke got taken the wrong way. Neg props maximum
  • + 3
 im just saying this.... Looks like a slayer.
  • + 5
 I think it looks mint. You never see diamondback's over here. I remember them back in the mid 90's, they looked shite.
  • + 3
 I have owned a 2010 Mission and now own a 2012 Scapegoat - loved them all. This thing is beautiful...love it.
  • + 1
 The Mission is the the bike that got me in to this amazing sport!
  • + 31
 Pinkbike's been generating SO MUCH CONTENT all of a sudden, and GOOD stuff... Between school and rides, I can barely keep up! Keep up the good work, guys!
  • + 3
 I agree...now lets get those kona and norco range carbon reports out! I guess I could go get the new dirt issue tho..
  • + 3
 Welcome Spring =)
  • + 2
 ive got an alloy range and it is the business!! such a sick bike
  • + 2
 Sea Otter is just the beginning...
  • + 27
 I use to think Diamondback was a cheap company that only made crappy, walmart bmx, and mountain bikes. Obviously I was wrong, its pretty awesome to see them throwing out high-end mountain bikes! Makes me wish I had $6800 for one.
  • + 12
 I grew up around in the 80s bmx era always wishing to get a Diamondback, Hutch, Haro (Never could afford one until a buddy sold me his used old DB Apex). Sad how these Southern California bike companies "Sold Out" to the foreign companies.These companies got sucked into the bike manufacturing-wasteland of China/Taiwan/Thailand. Even though I had a little grass-roots sponsorship from DB, it was sad to see these crappy-ass, reversed engineered piles of steel tubing with their name on it getting pushed at Walmart .I do understand the marketing strategy...just don't agree with the low end products.

It is nice to see they are back producing good looking and well thought-out bikes again. Makes me want to get one.
  • + 1
 Yeah, this is BEAUTIFUL. I may be the only one, but I love it... And I rode a buddy's a couple years back, and it's a great platform that looks to be much improved too!
  • + 2
 I did too. Then I picked up a mission for a do it all bike. Yeah I've had to do a bit to it to get it up to par, but it's been a bomb proof bike. It's heavy the way I have it built, but I love it. Climbing makes you work for it. But the downs are awesome on the thing. A great trail bike for my riding style. If I have issues with my status, I have a spare park bike too!
  • + 3
 kelly mcgarry rides for daimondback simeon. flipped the canyon at rampage on one
  • + 7
 $6800??? You can get a carbon nomad 3 w/ XO1 and a pike & vivid.
  • + 24
 A complete 27.5 160mm bike for $2800... there you go you whiners!
  • + 11
 I used to have a mission but got ride of it because I could not put piggyback or coil shock on it so I sold it... The knuckle box is fantastic but was limiting for shock choices. This is the solution they needed...
  • + 3
 Not sure why you got neg propped, this is/was a serious and very frustrating issue with past models
  • + 1
 I tried putting up with the lack of Space but since the original missions were marketed as park/freeride/enduro bikes the fact that a piggyback could not go on was frustrating because beyond that the bike was killer! Throw in the fact I'm a bigger dude, a coil would have been awesome...
  • + 1
 My mission had a dhx air on it. No prob. See the my pics of it. I sold it to pay expenses. I mies it.
  • + 7
 Chainstay is to long for my liking. Am i the only one who likes short (425-430) stays??
  • + 4
 I'm with you dude! They're going for some very strange geo here. HUGE chainstays, and a really short front end for a large bike. Defo not stoked on this geometry!
  • + 2
 That rear looks flexy to me
  • + 3
 I was rhinking the same thing. Seems like the diagonal should head up more towards the seat. Looks like only half the triangle
  • + 0
 U will see a lot more of the short chainstay bikes now that shimanos new bits allow for it.
  • + 4
 My Mason HT will someday have one of these as a stable mate for sure. My not a brand biased guy, DB just happens to build stuff that fits my views within the sport.
  • + 4
 I put my Mason HT through hell. DH tracks at Copper Harbor to rock gnar in Pa, and throughout the South and East. Rarely left wanting for more bike. Mason loves to take on the double black...
  • + 2
 I own a Mason HT, it is the shit. It absolutely shreds Pisgah and surrounding areas, up and down. Most bang for my buck in a bike I could find.
  • + 3
 I ride a 2006 diamondback xts Moto, still holding in there. Love it for the downhill rides, goes to show that beside their crappy Walmart bikes... They have some nice high end products Wink
  • + 5
 Super long chainstays, I like it. A bike built for real trails, not just bermed-out bike park trails.
  • + 2
 Super long chainstays for the "real trails"? Are those not better for the DH in the parks? Sometimes there is steeps a 66.5 head angle is still not slack enough for and if you have short chain stays you got some insurance to not OTB. Because it's very important to not hurt yourself on these remote real trails in the wild. The "real trails" aspect I found most appealing with the bike is the very unnatural color. I get a sense of security (maybe false) knowing I'm wearing/riding colors not meant to be in a wild animals natural diet.
  • + 6
 Long chainstays make bikes feel sluggish on "real trails", but gives you stability on bike park laps. On the other hand it helps climbing if that's your thing. For me shorter CS equals more fun.
  • + 3
 I find the geometry of this bike the most interesting thing here. MAjOR trend bucking going on and it's worth noting. Everyone forget the trouble Gwin had with the super short CS on the demo? Remember that he one made with longer stays after trying a larger frame? Anyways, I'm starting to rethink the short stays/long front triangle is everything mindset. As modern trail bikes become more slack the wheelbase gets REAL long and chain stays can only do so much to keep wheelbase in check.
Wonder what the wheelbase is on this bike and if that contributed to how playful it felt? Maybe wheelbase is more important than CS length is how quick a bike feels on the trail?
  • + 2
 Yeah, a lot of the 'real trails' here are tight and twisty, good luck getting round them quickly with a 451mm chainstay.
  • + 1
 @gotshovel, Gwin only had his chainstays increased by a single-figure amount of millimetres, not by an inch and a quarter! Geometry trends are trends for a good reason, they work. Why would you want all that frame out behind you where it's difficult to control.
  • + 1
 Stability, less chance of rear end sliding out, which with slacker angles up front is less likely. If your real world trails are slow and twisty or like a slalom track its not an advantage, but everywhere else it is. Especially as the terrain gets steeper.
  • + 1
 As the terrain gets steeper? Only if you are Gee Atherton.
  • + 1
 How is there less chance of the rear end sliding out? With a super long chainstay you have less weight over the rear axle, therefore less traction; it's gonna skid and break loose far easier.

Stability. The front end is sooo short, riders that need to ride a large bike are gonna be all hunched over and upright on this. Sure the wheelbase might be long thanks to the chainstays, but the front is so cramped that the useable wheelbase isn't really that much.

You say it'll be good when it gets steep. Again, with that short front end your gonna have to hang way off the back when it gets steep, and with the long back end your weight distribution is still gonna be all over the front wheel. Have fun tryna get the front wheel up over a trail obstacle your about to slam.
  • + 3
 Sam rodda: "How is there less chance of the rear end sliding out? With a super long chainstay you have less weight over the rear axle, therefore less traction; it's gonna skid and break loose far easier. "

The increased stability doesn't come from more weight over the wheel, it comes from having a longer rear end, period. To get the point, think of what the bike would ride like if it had 800 mm stays. Having the rear wheel further back keeps it planned better. Your third paragraph is just nonsense.
  • + 0
 No it's not.

That quote was referring to your point about "less chance of rear end sliding out", not about stability. Do you not understand it?

Yes, increased chainstay length, and thus increased wheelbase, equals more stability for the bike. But on your 800mm chainstayed bike, and same reach (from BB to handlebars), are you gonna be any more stable as a rider? Barely, the contact points, pedals and bar, for your bodies weight on the bike are still the same. Therefore your base of support on the bike is still the same.

To try and get the point of the third paragraph, think of how fun your 800mm chainstay bike will be to bunny hop, and about the weight distribution of the rider between the front and back wheels.
  • + 1
 PB FIGHT?
  • + 1
 sam rodda: "But on your 800mm chainstayed bike, and same reach (from BB to handlebars), are you gonna be any more stable as a rider? Barely, the contact points, pedals and bar, for your bodies weight on the bike are still the same. Therefore your base of support on the bike is still the same."

Completely absurd statement. First you do acknowledge the longer chainstays will make a difference in stability, then in the very next sentance you pretend it doesn't. The contract points between you and your bicycle are a completely different subject than the contract points between your bicycle and the ground. I'm talking about traction here, I have no idea what you are talking about and I really don't think you do either.

I never said the imaginary bike would be easy to bunny hop, but a bike with slightly longer stays gets better traction during cornering. But there are trade-offs, I'll acknowledge. But for steep DH and high speeds longer stays are more of an advantage.
  • + 4
 DB is a standup company with great bikes and great riders. Very stoked for them in the future. Looks like they have a winner with this mission.
  • + 6
 Nice solid looking bike.
  • + 1
 Nice!!! I had 2 Missions back in 2008/2009. Loved the ride and feel but felt the knucklebox design put too much stress on the down tube. managed to crack both frames at the knucklebox pivot. 2nd bike not under warranty as second hand frame. This should have been how they were designed. Looking for a 27.5 but sadly Diamondback here are cheap nasty supermarket bikes.
  • + 3
 Wish more bikes came with bottle mounts, I've never been a fan of hydration packs personally. That said my slayer does have a bottle mount!
  • + 5
 Worst seatpost cable routing ever
  • + 1
 I didn't even notice until I read this...
  • + 1
 Looks like the days of flexy diamondbacks are over, anyone ridden an older mission will know what I'm talking about haha almost like having 2 wheel steering capabilities with the old mission swing arm
  • + 1
 nuff said. i've owned a 2009 Scapegoat, loved it. rode it to hell and back and it held up damn well. I dont know what it is about these bikes but they are soo sick!! Hopefully i can buy one soon cause they are sooo nice!!
  • + 4
 nice but can they release their downhill frame already!?
  • + 1
 Sea Otter isn't over yet
  • + 1
 This would be top three contenders for my next bike, but the geo here is a deal breaker for me. Short front and loooooooong rear is a bit too old school for me. I can't revert from modern geo.
  • + 3
 Always loved DB bikes, had one as my first bike. Would love to have one of these in my repertoire
  • + 2
 Nice to see an orange bike for once.All I see anymore is yellow Enduro bikes it seems .Nice to ser trusty diamondback is still in the game,looks like a fun whip..
  • + 1
 Long chainstay length, poor rear swing arm design, tiny pivot bearings. There is no way this thing isn't a noodle on the trail.
  • + 2
 A short chain stay on a single pivot bike makes a tighter arc axle path that will hit the seat tube upon bottoming out. The solution is longer chain stay.
  • + 1
 All the more reason to raise the pivot, better pedaling, better through the rough, and no need for overly long chainstays.
  • + 4
 Sweet Bike!
  • + 1
 That looks sick! I am glad they have changed the frame design as well. It needed a a fresh look . .
  • + 1
 Looks sharp! Spec'd just the way I'd want - FOX squishy bits, SRAM drivetrain, and Shimano brakes.
  • + 0
 I feel like DiamondBack could've done a better job with that routing for the seatpost. I feel like it'll get destroyed by anything that you hit in the general area.
  • + 2
 You mean diamondback doesn't only make walmart bikes?!
  • + 2
 I forgot diamondback still made bikes!
  • + 2
 Diamondback Mason is the Bees Knees!!!! HT or FS....
  • + 2
 does it come with the zip tie travel marker from stock?
  • + 2
 Did anyone else notice the ziptie on the rear shock
  • + 2
 I want a thin tubed steel 160mm 27.5 bike. Who's got one?
  • + 2
 $6800 for an aluminum Diamondback? Um no thank ya
  • + 1
 i would buy that purely because it fits easily onto a bike rack, nice simple geometry, so many bikes don't!
  • + 0
 If you want shorter chainstays, single pivot, burly burliness, and 0.5 degrees more slack, there's always Covert 27.5...
  • + 1
 Enduro Specific stickers would not look out of place on this one...
  • + 2
 yes more big wheels
  • + 2
 hot sex on a platter
  • + 2
 hot.
  • + 0
 I'm just wondering who makes this bike? I think it's DIAMONDBACK but not really sure.
  • + 3
 It has been designed from the ground up and made on licence by Diamondback, its isnt a catalog bike that is used by numerous brands like Commencal's, NS bikes, etc, etc. This is not rumour as own and run the Diamondback European factory team.
  • + 1
 how do you buy stuff on this site?
  • + 0
 That looks sick! I am glad they have changed the frame design as well. It needed a a fresh look . .
  • + 1
 it looks to much like a scott voltage for me
  • - 2
 Love that look. Reminds me of my 2008 Supreme. Travel is same, HA is same. Pitty its a pushrod rear instead of a solid rear triangle. Classic free ride bike but 6.8k and no decent coil damper and fork on a sweatshop frame?
  • + 1
 Holy shit, a diamondback that i don't have to go to Big W to buy, YAY
  • + 2
 so clean
  • + 0
 Anyone info on weight of the Mission 1?
  • + 1
 And 26" ?
  • + 1
 Nice Bike
  • + 1
 What a beauti
  • - 1
 frame looks cheap.
  • + 1
 Agreed, especially if you were going to drop $6800 on the xx1 build, you'd want something that looks like a quality piece
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.071793
Mobile Version of Website