Diamondback Bicycles has unveiled a new electric bike category to their Spring 2021 collection. The four new pavement ebikes incorporate “reliable components, commuter-ready details, and Bosch high-performance motors to efficiently get riders to their destinations.” The new models will be accompanied by the brand’s “Get Amped” campaign, which pays homage to the electric guitar and the rich rock and roll history synonymous with its hometown of Seattle. As someone who grew up listening to Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Pearl Jam, I’m keen to see how this musical history turns “acoustic bikes to new electric rockstars!”
It’s important to recognise that whilst ebike technology is an exciting addition to Diamondback, it’s not unfamiliar to its parent company, Alta Cycling. The brand has a long history of ebike innovation with sister brands IZip, Raleigh, and Haibike. Michael Brown, VP of product development at Alta Cycling, states, “Our four new ebikes will hit a sweet spot in the Diamondback lineup, with a solid combination of high-performing components, streamlined design, and unmatched versatility. With options for a wide variety of users, in terms of both end-use and price point.”
I struggled with the concept of ebikes when first released, but I’ve come to realise the benefits, one of which is making cycling more accessible to those who’d perhaps struggle with a normal bicycle. Furthermore, I’ve seen a lot of hardcore cyclists adopt ebikes as part of their training to reduce stress on their bodies, also allowing them to increase weekly mileage. Additionally, it makes lengthy commutes more comfortable, assists those carrying a child or additional cargo, and incentivises this eco-friendly form of travel. I’m a convert, and whilst I’ve yet to own one, I believe the popularity of ebikes will grow exponentially. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the company’s lineup (details provided by Diamondback):
The Response is a Class 3 ebike with a 350w Bosch Performance speed (28-mph) motor and a 10-speed Shimano drivetrain to help maintain speed without breaking a sweat. The Magura hydraulic disc brakes and plus-size Schwalbe tires mounted on tubeless, compatible 27.5-inch wheels will give riders traction on pavement and gravel paths. Incorporating a 120mm travel RockShox Judy Gold fork will provide riders with a little extra cushion and comfort on a daily commute or a ride around town. $4,100
Built for a city commute, the Union 1 offers a sleek aluminium frame with internal cable routing, a Bosch Performance line speed (28 mph) motor, and a powertube integrated 400-watt-hour battery. This Class 3 ebike features a Bosch Purion on-board computer with a minimalist design that shows rider data at the easy touch of a button. The Union 1 also features a 10-speed Shimano drivetrain, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, and wide tires on 27.5-inch wheels. Coming equipped with an integrated rack and fenders to make commuting easy. $3,500
The Union 2 is a fully loaded commuter ebike powered by a Bosch Performance line speed (28 mph) motor and a Powertube 500-watt-hour battery. An integrated Bosch Kiox on-board computer provides rider data and uses a handlebar remote with an easy-to-read color display. The Kiox is also compatible with Bluetooth heart-rate monitors for the ultimate smart ebike experience. Built on a polished aluminium frame with internal cable routing, this Class 3 ebike has a 10-speed Shimano drivetrain and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The wide tires on 27.5-inch wheels provide extra comfort on rough pavement, and the built-in lights and integrated rack and fenders will get riders to their destination with ease and confidence. $4,100
The Current handles smooth roads with speed but is also more than capable of exploring. The 500-watt-hour, powertube-integrated Bosch battery allows for longer rides and responds to rider’s pedal pressure up to 28 mph. The Shimano 11-speed drivetrain provides riders the extra ability to climb hills regardless of the power assistance. The Maxxis Rambler 700x40c tires will give the Current a perfect balance of road-taming traction and rolling efficiency. With downturned handlebars and sleek design, the Current will take you to any destination. $4,100
The city/urban market is evidently Diamondback’s primary focus with their new pavement ebikes. Still, as the company broadens its range, I’m sure we can expect some rugged mountain bike options. Ebikes have been creeping onto the bikepacking/adventure cycling scene, and it’ll be exciting to see how this technology is incorporated into pedal-driven exploration. Lastly, as ebike performance and range improves, I see fewer overlanders opting to carry heavy motorbikes/mopeds on their vehicles, instead investing in one of these lightweight, pedestrian-friendly, rechargeable, and environmentally conscious modes of transport. Watch this space.