Hands On: Diamondback Team Replica Podium Optum Road Bike

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Introduced all the way back in 2012, the Podium has been Diamondback’s top of the line road bike, and a good looking one at that. And it’s light and rides very well – a few of us have been on various versions over the years and generally liked them. For 2014, they introduced a Team Optum replica version that’s just a couple parts shy of what the team’s actually riding.

Starting with their 890g frame (56cm), the bike gets a full SRAM Red group, HED tubulars with Schwalbe 700x25c Ultremo Race tires, and high end house brand stem and seatpost (alloy and carbon respectively) with Easton carbon handlebar and Prologo carbon railed saddle. The paint scheme is team colors, but unlike most other replica bikes isn’t plastered excessively with team logos or other visual cues that mark you as a fan boy. In other words, it’s a bit more timeless should sponsorship and pro colorways change next season.

Hands on detail photos and more below…

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The frame uses their AMMP molding process, which results in a very smooth, clean interior. Little known fact: Diamondback controls their fibers from yarn to molding, doing their own resin impregnation to form sheets of prepreg. Most brands buy prepreg that’s already made.

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The only difference between the bike available to consumers and the team build is the HED stem, handlebar and post the team’s running.

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HED seems to have a pretty good relationship going with DB. Check out their custom build for Sea Otter last year for a modern/classic Campy vibe.

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Frames are ready for mechanical or electronic systems, but use slightly different ports. Note the rubber grommet on the top of the chainstay for Di2/EPS.

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Retail for the complete bike is $8,000 and frameset is $2,100.

Diamondback.com

Comments

someguy - 07/02/14 - 2:13pm

holy moly. I think it should have one more Diamondback logo somewhere.

Lev - 07/02/14 - 2:30pm

Guess who’s back. Back again. Diamondback. Tell a friend. DIAMONDBACKDIAMONDBACKDIAMONDBACKDIAMONDBACKDIAMONDBACKDIAMONDBACK, oo weee oo oo wee oo wee.

MarkV - 07/02/14 - 2:38pm

$8000?!?! For a gaudy Diamondback? Someone needs to break it to DB, this puts them out of the mix quickly. Up against Spec, Trek, Giant, etc they have no chance….no chance at all!

anonymous - 07/02/14 - 2:42pm

“Diamondback controls their fibers from yarn to molding, doing their own resin impregnation to form sheets of prepreg. Most brands buy prepreg that’s already made.”

I think the same could be said for every frame sourced from Giant.

CXisfun - 07/02/14 - 3:34pm

So if MSRP is $8000, that means Performance will be blowing them out for about $4500. Yikes, $4500 for this bike is too much.

Bill P - 07/02/14 - 3:45pm

$2,100 is reasonable for a well-engineered frame. Presumably, street pricing for components fills in the difference between the frame and as-built price.

No doubt the high-end bike market is very competitive and maybe harder to break into given some riders’ affinity for name brands. Personally, I like to think different. Value and performance has gravity. If you have the conditioning and skill to push it, it’s hard for the pack to argue with that decision.

I’d ride it.

Tomi - 07/02/14 - 4:34pm

The thing is, team optum is virtually anonymous. A high end / high priced replica will be hard to sell.

Speedy - 07/02/14 - 5:07pm

I have the original Podium 7 from 2012 with a full Campy Superrecord 11 build. 15.4 lbs with cages, pedals, and computer. This frame (in performance, not looks) can go toe to toe with anything from the major names. The geo is dialed in and it’s a rocket ship on the road. I have had saddle time on many high end bikes over the years from Specialized, Treck, Giant, Cervelo, and Pinerello. I scored the matte black stealth 2012 model for $4500 new and couldn’t be happier with the quality of the bike.

Ilikeicedtea - 07/02/14 - 7:06pm

It says Diamondback on the downtube (and many other places). How dare they charge a commensurate price relative to frames made exactly the same way in exactly the same place, but with Cervelo or Specialized written instead.

The gall of some people (companies).

anonymous - 07/02/14 - 7:37pm

@speedy
Pretty sure rocket ships such as the space shuttle needed cars to pull them when taxiing on the road. Rocket ship on the road! Not very impressive.

@Ilikeicedtea
Both companies put a lot of R&D into their bikes. Specialized has their own wind tunnel, Cervelo is a big player in the aero frame segment. Diamondback could spend the same R&D in designing frames, but they don’t.

Brattercakes - 07/02/14 - 8:58pm

Well said, @Bill P

BaconSexLobster - 07/02/14 - 9:42pm

Foccking tasty, et iS! Mmmm, I like some snake now and again. I’d take a crack at thi’ ole girl, you bet it would, I’d et her whole, with them tasty Hed wheels and wotnot!@

Velociraptor - 07/02/14 - 10:11pm

Maybe it’s a decent bike, but all the logos on the frame (and rims) are hideous. DB, please tone it down.

Speedy - 07/02/14 - 11:42pm

@anonymous – shows what you know, do a tiny bit of searching and you will quickly find that this frame from Diamondback was designed by the same firm that Cervelo used to do their bikes. Hmmm….what were you saying about R and D? Trust me, with bike riding is believing. Take the logos off and you wouldn’t know it from the competitors when riding.

anonymous - 07/03/14 - 12:35am

@speedy
What are you even talking about? Cervelo has a USA based R&D facility and utilizes a wind tunnel in San Diego.

If you mean construction, sure, but that’s not the same as R&D, and Cervelo is particularly well known for it’s work on aerodynamics. Even if it was the same company that was doing R&D, that doesn’t mean they bothered to spend as much. Or if you mean Daimondback took a designer that used to work at Cervelo, lots of companies pick up employees as various levels that had experience working for other companies.

Giant produces carbon frames of various qualities. You wouldn’t call their cheapest frame as good as their best rebadge frame just because they were made in the same factory.

You’re being absurdly daft.

Psi Squared - 07/03/14 - 1:38am

Please, anonymous, regale us with tales of from whence comes your knowledge of what Diamondback didn’t or did do when coming with their new road bikes and how much they spent to that.

anonymous - 07/03/14 - 2:57am

Fine, Diamondback spent many hours in the windtunnel testing their aerodynamics, but unlike all other major companies that bother to rent windtunnels, they decided not to market the fact that they used a windtunnel or how many watts or seconds you could save.

They didn’t just hire an engineer that previously worked for Cervelo and hope that would convince people they did their share of R&D.

No really guys, you can be in denial all you want but it is obvious. Unless they have terrible execs who don’t understand the slightest bit of marketing, if they did windtunnel testing, they would advertise the fact.

Instead they hired an ex-Cervelo employee to convince people it was aero since everyone knows Cervelos are aero. Apparently it worked.

I instead of making up fantasies how your chinarello is every bit as good as the real deal, just take comfort in the fact that there are massive diminishing returns the more you pay in cycling, and your cheap carbon frame from some cheap company is nearly as good as something that costs 10 times as much.

Pasabaporaquí - 07/03/14 - 4:13am

Every time I see this brand, a beautiful Axis TT comes to my mind, and gives me goosebumps.
That bikes were sweet!

bikermark - 07/03/14 - 9:04am

Not a bad price for the frameset. They either need to charge more for it, or less for the complete bike because this doesn’t add up to $8k worth of bike. Actually, it adds up to precisely $8k worth of bike and that’s the problem–if what Diamondback is trying to do is have a halo product that’s a good value. They’re not leading on weight or aerodynamics, so one has to assume that value is their angle.

d - 07/03/14 - 10:14am

As somebody with a Podium (not the 8k one) under their roof and has spent time with it under their butt, I can tell you that DB knew what they were doing when they made the frame. The Ultegra version rides better than my Ultegra (from one of the brands listed above) roadie and was nearly 1k less. I like the DB better except for the rear brake. Not a fan of how they routed the cabling because the sharp bend detracts from braking power. It looks fixed on this frame though…

Is it my favorite road bike under the roof? No. The one that is came at twice the price with nearly the same drivetrain though. Is the DB the best value under the roof? Yes.

The Podium with 105 is typically a screaming deal. There aren’t too many manufactures making a bike with 105 with as nice of a frame as the DB.

The big caveat would be paying full retail for any Diamondback. Their MSRP is really inflated. Is the bike in this article worth 8k? No. Count on it being 20% off (starting) like most of their bikes and I would call it competitive with most other brands.

Personally, I would go with about half of the amount of Diamondback logos.

Anonymous - 07/03/14 - 12:33pm

Where does it say in the review that this bike was designed as aero frame bike? Fromw the reviews I have read it has never been touted as an aero frame bike. As for the price, it is $250 cheaper than a Tarmac with SRAM red and Roval wheels, so how is the pricing not adding up? Most of the reviews I have seen on this bike have been positive regarding it’s overall ride quality and pricing.

Pancakes - 07/03/14 - 1:07pm

Nobody pays retail for a Diamondback, and at the price they actually sell at, the bikes are compelling enough. I wish it wasn’t BB30, but I’m having trouble thinking of a top flight bike that still has a threaded BB, and at least it’s not proprietary.

As far as aero, I still don’t understand it when people make compromises in weight/ride/versatility for an aero frame, it’s such a small factor in the speed of the combined rider and bike.

Bernard - 07/03/14 - 5:48pm

The fact that people are talking about Diamondback trying to cut corners to save money on the development of the podium bike and how Cervelo and Specialized spend the money to make the bike better is laughable. Diamondback is owned by the Accell Group, one of the largest bike companies in the world and when they decided they wanted to make this bike, they wanted a bike that could compete with the best, so they went out and spent the money to make a top level bike. Maybe they aren’t the best at marketing at the development of the bike but it’s not some open mould off the shelf bike painted in Diamondback colors.

Speedy - 07/03/14 - 8:22pm

@anonymous – from bicycling magazine when testing the bike – Fears that the frame was just another re-badged generic carbon design were put to rest when I learned that it was engineered in cooperation with Kevin Quan Studios—an independent bicycle design house in Toronto, Canada. Quant has about ten years under his belt working with brands such as Cervéelo, Raleigh, Cube, BH, Pivot, Parlee, and NeilPryde.

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