How does it compare?
Diamondback was on the vanguard of the mid-travel fun-based all-mountain revolution when it first launched the Release. At that time, there were few comparisons on the market, but that is not the case now. PB's reviewed impressive 120mm and 130mm AM/trail bikes from Rocky Mountain, Intense, Commencal, Transition, Trek, Kona, and the carbon version of the Release in recent times, and the ones we like most weigh under 30 pounds, have steep seat tube angles in the neighborhood of 75 degrees, and slack head tube angles near 66 degrees. Most of those were also upper-end carbon machines, sporting MSRPs, double that of our aluminum-framed review bike.
I'll compare apples to apples then, using Diamondback's carbon Release 5c
that I reviewed earlier against its aluminum sibling. Both bikes come up short on the seat tube angle. Their 73-degree angle is ergonomically perfect for efficient power output on level-ground and moderate grades, but that's a rare occurrence in the all-mountain environment. Push the saddle forward a half inch and you get something close to 74 degrees, but you'll lose room in the cockpit. Both the Release 5c and the '3 squeeze by on the weight, with the Release 3 at 30 even, and the carbon framed '5c at 29 pounds. Seat angles aside, the rest of Diamondback's numbers are spot on.
Looking at the bottom lines, then: The Release 5c weighs 29 pounds and offers a carbon chassis, a SRAM XO1 12-speed Eagle drivetrain and Fox suspension (Float 36 FIT4 fork and DPX 2 reservoir shock), and real tires (Maxxis DHF and DHR) for $4800 (*new MSRP as of May 2018
). The Release weighs only one pound more, features a SRAM 11-speed X1 drivetrain and RockShox suspension (Pike RCT3 fork and Monarch Plus RC3 shock) for $2849. So, if you upgrade to the carbon Release 5c, it will cost you about $1950 USD to get one extra gear, save one pound, enjoy slightly better suspension and get a real set of tires. That makes our Release 3 look like a pretty good deal, if you can live with an 11-speed transmission.