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Mountain biking is enjoyable when you have the right kind of bike. Each rider has different preferences – so the “right” bike means different things to different people. Read up on how Hook and Overdrive, two top-sellers from the stable of Diamondback can serve you in your quest for enjoyable, hassle-free mountain biking.
Diamondback Bicycles is a bicycle maker in the United States that started originally as a maker of BMX bikes in 1977. It sold its first thoroughbred mountain bikes in 1990. DB’s raw, true-to-the-trail approach to biking shows in the tough, tenacious machines they fashion. It earns them a reputation for commitment to delivering on performance tempered by reasonable prices mark-ups. What’s not to like for young, gung-ho bikers raring to go?
A simple factor is a difference in needs that comes from having different priorities.
Diamondback Hook: An Overview
We look at the Diamondback Hook first, a hardtail available online for a clear price tag. Fans of Diamondback bikes would appreciate the knowledge that this is among a bigger line of products under the names Hook, Line, and Sync’r. See what Diamondback did there? They offer something to every dyed-in-the-wool biker packaged elegantly and priced appropriately. The true connoisseurs among you will appreciate the attention to detail and finesse Diamondback Bicycles bring to mountain biking.
Diamondback Hook is a hardtail mountain bike fitted with 27.5-inch wheels. The tires are rugged and knobby, gripping on to dirt trails with an ease that you cannot miss from the word go. A unique 2.35-inch width gives it toughness at the top and traction support from the side. Within the tire, proprietary double-walled rims from Diamondback make the machine hardy in the face of sudden drops and durable for long-haul cross-country rides.
The medium height of the 27.5-inch wheel gives you a comfortable stance when you put your feet down and enviable control over the geometry when you’re in motion. A range of frame sizes from SM (16 inches) to XL (22 inches) allows you to find a stand-over height that makes mounting and control second nature to your individual frame and height. A dropper post is an additional fillip.
The bright red-colored frame and complementary black of the tires enhance the bike’s looks. That said, it is only the beginning of the appeal. You feel the lightness of the aluminum frame right away as you grip the wide handlebars.
The minimalistic single-chainring drivetrain of 1 x 8 makes shifting smooth and easy. Plenty of gearing options for a variety of mountain terrains nestle within. But you are spared the hassle of over-shifting or under-shifting thanks to the SRAM grip shifters that can be slid either way with two-fingers.
The 120 mm travel fork from Suntour is a cushy addition. It lets you roll over loose rocks and irregular earth with equal ease. You need not take your eyes off the beautiful scenery – your front wheel remains unperturbed. The suspension becomes your go-to instrument to thank as you race downhill with that heady rush that all mountain bikers hanker after. Never slack control with Tektro mechanical disc brakes.
- Wide range of sizing choices
- Low-slung geometry with high stem and low seat for rider comfort
- Mechanical disc brakes
- Suntour fork with 120 mm of travel
- Internal dropper post can be added (not included)
- Game for drops and quick acceleration
Overall, it’s a moderately-priced steady beast that’ll handle anything you throw at it.
If you thought that was glowing praise, you’d see that the Diamondback Overdrive is even better.
Diamondback Overdrive: An Overview
Why? In one word, simply because it gives you a range of options on each of the points on which you dissect a mountain bike.
For starters, it has an option between 27.5-inch wheels and 29-inch wheels, with the latter variant available in two distinct models. The regular 29er costs only half the price of Overdrive 29 2. All three variants are hardtails made of toughened, hand-modeled 6061 aluminum alloy that is hard to rival in tensile strength and durability. Since there is a range of products within the Overdrive line, Diamondback introduces pricing variants as well. You’re sure to find one that fits your budget and specification requirements.
Plenty of sizing options keep buyers happy. The basic specifications within the geometry are almost identical between the Hook and the Overdrive.
Diamondback Bicycles makes it easy for you to cross-over to tubeless riding with the help of Blanchard 25 wheels. They make your wheels lighter and the upgrade is not as heavy on the pocket as you’d imagine. You make your bike hardier against tough surfaces and the savings on peace of mind as you roll on lower tire pressure are tangible.
The single-chainring drivetrain is at play keeping shifting options clean and crisp. Depending on the variant you choose, you can have Shimano EZ-Fire shifters or SRAM GX. Both these
It’s a 35-pound bike with a 100 mm travel fork fitted into its front suspension. The apparatus from RockShox’s Recon Gold RL is light, flips lockout on and off as you pedal on and helps you enjoy your butted aluminum frame with agility and control. Speaking of control, depending on the variant you choose, you will either have Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes or Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. Control both axles with commensurate and unfailing stopping power.
In design, the geometry of the stylish Overdrive 1 and Overdrive 29 2 X is an ode to modishness, especially when you contrast it to the clean, no-nonsense lines of the Hook. The tapered head-tube turns heads. DB goes on to specify that the Overdrive is a Ready Ride, you can haul it out of the box, tick off the four final stages including inflation of the tires, and get on it!
- Choice of wheel size in addition to the usual sizing choices
- Specs similar to Hook in every respect excepting travel. The Hook is a shade better.
- Spend more to get hydraulic brakes and shifters – Overdrive is all about the luxury of choice
- Color choices are more in the Overdrive. Subject to availability, you can get yellow, blue or black, in addition to red.
- Single-track cruising and on-the-fly lockout work in a pinch, adding to your luxury
- Real users report lightness, speed, and they marvel at the sheer size of it
Settle the question of wheel size once-for-all
For a mountain biker who wants to try out speed, each size of the wheel has something different to offer.
Let’s examine the common-sense-led observations first. A bigger wheel is favored by a taller rider whereas a 27.5-inch wheel is better suited for the shorter rider who does not wish to miss out on the control factor. Naturally, you feel saucier on the 27.5-inch tire because you can speed up, slow down, or execute slick turns at high speed when you’re able to plant your feet flat on the ground.
Also, a 29-inch wheel is heavier than a 27.5-inch wheel. Not everyone wants to pedal around with the extra weight because it does mean extra effort for the rider’s legs.
That said, for the cross-country biker who wants to go the distance, a 29er is a sizeable advantage to have. The extra contact surface affords a better grip with the road and gives greater momentum thanks to the extra weight. Meaning once you speed up, it’s easier to maintain speed on a 29er. Whereas it’s easier to speed up on a 27.5-inch wheel.
Bike lovers can easily come to fisticuffs on whether the Hook is better than the Overdrive. If you were to consider suspension only, the Hook is a shade better.
But experts warn you against plunging all your faith into the suspension. It’s a cushion with different lengths of travel – and you choose the amount of travel based on where you plan to ride.
Speeding capabilities are almost neck to neck.
In the end, it comes down to the fine details. Both bikes are good for several miles. The Hook is for entry-level to well-versed riders. For that sophistication in braking and gearing, the Overdrive scores better. We pronounce a similar verdict on great packaging and ride-readiness. The variants also make it tubeless-compatible, another factor that gels well with discerning advanced riders.