SOC 14: Diamondback Redesigns the Mission – 27.5″ Wheels, Improved Suspension & More
Joining most of the other bicycle manufacturers, Diamondback is joining in on 27.5” with the all new Diamondback Mission. Originally built with 26” wheels, the medium wheeled Mission completely replaces the 26” bike and also replaces the Scapegoat. In order to accommodate the larger wheels, the Mission gets what Diamondback is calling the Knuckle Box migration where the link is getting lower, farther forward, and more compact. The result is a stiffer, lighter bike with a lower center of gravity that pedals with the benefits of the bigger wheels.
Intrigued? Set out on a new Mission next…
One of the biggest challenges to building bikes with bigger wheels is making sure there is plenty of tire clearance, especially for bikes like the Mission which will be run with meaty tires. In addition to a new seat tube angle, as mentioned Sotto group’s Knuckle Box suspension design has been completely revamped to not only provide clearance, but build a stiffer bike as well. The migration also results in a bump in travel from 150 to 160mm out back for a balanced 160 at both ends.
Additionally, the knuckle box has been flipped to sit lower in the frame and is set up to provide a low leverage ratio and a linear to slightly progressive spring rate. Combined with a custom tuned Fox Float X CTD Trail Adjust shock, the suspension is designed to offer as pedal efficient design as possible while still keeping the suspension feeling bottomless and plush over rough terrain.
Built from 6061-T6 aluminum, the new Mission frame hydroformed and butted with most of the features found standard on today’s Enduro bikes – tapered head tube, internal cable routing including stealth droppers, ISCG 05 tabs, 142x12mm E-Thru axle, and a low direct mount front derailleur.
Designed with a heavy slant towards Enduro or All Mountain riding, the Mission has a 66.5 degree head angle, a 73 dgree seat tube angle, and 451mm chain stays. Frame sizes will be offered in 15, 17, 19, and 21″.
As one of Diamondback’s sponsored riders who had a lot of input in the design of the new Mission, we asked Eric Porter where the 27.5” bike would fit into his riding. Known to rip a trail or two on the 29” Diamondback Mason FS Pro , Eric said the 27.5” wheels won’t replace the 29s but he will use them for different styles of riding. It will definitely replace the 26” Mission for aggressive Enduro riding, but when it comes to epically long days in the saddle, Eric will still reach for the (even) bigger wheels and slightly less travel of the Mason FS. Though he did admit that the Mission 27.5 is an extremely fun bike (with a big smile on his face).
While we didn’t get a long ride on the new Mission, we did have a chance to hop on Porter’s personal bike (equipped with the new Manitou McLeod). The first impression was of a bike that pedaled very well for its size and weight (the Pro model is around 30.5 pounds), while the long(ish) chainstays made it feel quite stable, yet slightly harder to manual or wheelie. The low slung frame and wide bars combined with the stable suspension made it feel like a ripper compared to previous 26” Knuckle Box models.
Missions will be sold in three complete builds in addition to a frame only that includes the stealth dropper post, rear shock, headset, and rear axle. The top end Pro 27.5 retails for $6500 with a SRAM X01 drivetrain, Fox 34 Float CTD Adjust FIT Kashima fork and Float X CTD Adjust Kashima rear shock, Shimano XT brakes, a RockShox Reverb stealth dropper, Race Face Next SL cranks, and Easton Haven wheels.
The Two drops the price down to $3,300 using a SRAM X9 type 2 rear derailleur, an 11-36 cassette and a Race Face Narrow Wide chainring for a 10 speed 1x drivetrain. Other components include a Fox Float CTD rear shock, 34 Float CTD Adjust RT fork, SRAM DB5 brakes, a CB Kronolog dropper, and Diamondback Wheels.
As the least expensive option the One uses a Shimano SLX Shadow + rear derailleur, 11-36 cassette, Race Face Ride Cranks with a narrow wide ring, Fox 34 Float CTD Adjust Fit fork, Float CTD rear shock, Shimano M447 brakes, no dropper post, and Diamondback wheels for $2,800.
Frames with a RockShox Reverb Stealth and Fox Float X CTD Adjust Kashima shock will retail for $2,700.