BIKE TEST / DIAMONDBACK RELEASE 3
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
The Release 3 is the top model in the lineup and uses many
high-end components. The bike’s front and rear RockShox suspension is top-notch, and its 11-speed X1 drivetrain offers great
bang for your buck. A KS dropper post gives riders aboard the
Release a lower center of gravity, and the Southpaw remote,
normally sold aftermarket, adds a nice touch to the overall
look and feel. Diamondback’s Blanchard wheelset obviously
makes an eye-catching statement with its two different-colored
wheels, and these 28-millimeter internal-width rims were specifically designed by Diamondback for optimal performance and
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setting sag: Setting the sag on the RockShox Pike was as
easy as ever, with 30-percent sag being the ticket for most
trails. It took a little more effort to achieve a perpendicular upper
link. We landed with the sag around 35 percent. Centering the
rebound and low-speed knobs gave us a great baseline; however,
we turned the Pike’s low-speed dial back a few clicks for a plusher
Moving out: The Release 3 has a dialed cockpit thanks to its
long top tube, short 40-millimeter stem and 780-millimeter-wide
bars. The Release, although comfortable, is very aggressive-feeling
due to its slack 66-degree head tube angle. This long and slack
bike prefers to be ridden fast, and the short 16.7-inch chainstays
give this rig a nimble feel.
Climbing: The short-travel rear end and Level Link suspension
worked well together to help propel the Release up any climb. Its
rear end felt active in technical spots in the open setting of our
Monarch Plus shock, and we only needed the middle setting for
fire-road climbs. We hardly used the lockout setting. We assumed
the Release would have a wandering front end with its longer-travel fork and slack head tube angle, but we found the bike’s front
tire to be firmly planted to the ground for the majority of our
Where do I put my water bottle? External cables and the remote
reservoir on the Monarch Plus make fitting a water bottle on the
Release next to impossible. Throw out your bottles and get a
comfy hydration pack.
Dialed cockpit: The Diamondback Release answers the modern
trail rider’s every need with a long top tube, a short 40-millimeter
stem and a 780-millimeter-wide handlebar. Simply stating the
cockpit is dialed might be an understatement.