First Ride Impressions: Diamondback Carbon Release

Diamondback was smart in keeping the same geometry and suspension design of the aluminum Release and simply cloning it in carbon fiber—it’s a solid design that works really well. The 150mm fork, 66-degree head angle, longish front-center, and short stays give the Release a bit more of the capability that a 130mm travel bike would appear to have on paper.

Level Link suspension is a lot like other short, dual-counter rotating link designs that create a floating instant center, but its lower linkage is much higher and more inline with the chain than most others. Plus, the bike contains a patent-pending feature where the upper link is perpendicular to the lower link at sag—a feature Diamondback says lets bump forces easily activate the suspension and overcome pedaling forces, allowing for better traction and control while pedaling. Oversized pivot axles keep everything stiff, and they’re locked in place with collet-style fasteners.


Two Carbon Release models will be offered. The flagship Carbon Release 5C will cost $4,400 and will come outfitted with Performance Elite level Fox DPX2 shock and 36 fork, SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, Guide RS brakes, KS LEV Integra stealth-routed dropper seatpost, and Maxxis Minion WT 2.5” front and 2.4” rear tires. At just $3,000, the Carbon Release 4C will be built with a Performance level Float DPS EVOL shock and 34 fork, Shimano SLX 1×11 drivetrain, Deore disc brakes, KS LEV SI stealth-routed dropper seatpost and slightly narrower 2.3” Maxxis Minion tires. Three aluminum-framed Release models will also be offered.

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Diamondback brought out a Carbon Release 5C along with brand ambassador, all around nice guy, and total shredder Eric Porter for a weekend of riding on my favorite trails in California—Camp Nelson. These remote central Sierra trails offer plenty of rugged trail with high- and low-speed features that really put any trail bike to the test. After an initial…

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