Boasting clean lines on a classic black-and-red frame, Diamondback's brand new Release 3 Complete Mountain Bike is a pleasure to behold. As the highest-ranking build among Diamondback's Release series, the brand new Release 3 makes its grand introduction decorated with an enviable drivetrain and spec list, including SRAM X1, SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes, and a KS Lev Integra dropper seatpost. Most notably, this defining new addition to Diamondback's mountain line boasts the brand new Level Link suspension platform, marking a big step forward for the brand. According to the tester feedback we've seen, the Level Link suspension system delivers on its promise of a smooth, consistent ride through almost anything. Level Link is a short link, four-bar system that combines the chain growth management and anti-squat tendencies of other high-end systems with its own approach to balancing pedaling and travel forces. Essentially, Diamondback engineered the platform to act on pedaling forces while simultaneously responding to small bumps and other terrain changes. This translates to a smooth -- but not squishy -- and rooted ride on climbs encrusted with sharp rocks and root lattices. When it comes time for the descent, Level Link remains calm and level-headed when you brake, refusing to dive when you crush the hydraulic levers to avoid a sharp patch of brush or rock. All three of the Release models bring Level Link to a price range where they won't find much company, and we commend Diamondback for adding a collection of capable, aggressive bikes to the market that won't cost more than the car you're driving. It does this by relying on a tried-and-true hydroformed aluminum frame construction, rather than pricier carbon. Aluminum undeniably weighs more than carbon, but what you sacrifice in weight, you make up for in the reassurance that your frame will look a rock garden or ill-placed tree straight in the eye in the event of a crash with a better chance of emerging uns...
- Frame Material: hydroformed aluminum
- Suspension: Level Link
- Rear Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir
- Rear Travel: 130 mm
- Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3