Lightweight carbon frame with geometry designed for agility. 27.5-inch wheels provide stability when moving fast. 150mm fork travel and 130mm at the back, giving you control over any terrain. 12-speed single-ring drivetrain offers flexibility without complexity.
Though competitively priced, it’s still quite an investment.
High-quality aluminum frame (guaranteed for life) with geometry designed for long days in the saddle. Carbon forks and 700C rims reduce weight while giving good stability. Shimano 105 22-speed drivetrain. An excellent value.
Assembly is a little complex. Mechanical rather than hydraulic disk brakes.
Strong aluminum frame carries 27.5-inch wheels; a good compromise between agility and stability. 11-speed single-ring drivetrain is flexible yet straightforward. Powerful hydraulic disk brakes stop well in all conditions.
More physically challenging than all-round suspension; too hardcore for some.
Hand-built frame combines stiffness with good vibration damping and comfort. Versatile 18-speed drivetrain and 29-inch tires provide pace and stability. Hydraulic discs have great stopping power. Compatible with Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting (upgrade).
Takes longer to assemble than suggested.
Durable steel frame has balanced geometry for easy control on all surfaces. 21-speed Shimano drivetrain provides outstanding flexibility. Telescopic front forms and linear pull brakes help give controlled, confident braking on dirt and gravel. Surprisingly affordable.
Occasional quality control issues and manufacturing faults. A bit heavy.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
If you’re looking for an ordinary bike, you have a huge amount of choice: city bikes, cruisers, hybrids, and more. If you want to pop into town and do a bit of shopping, they’re great. But if you want to challenge yourself, that’s when you need to look at something like the range of women’s bikes from Diamondback.
Diamondback has always been committed to quality, but now its focus is very much on bikes for women who are serious about cycling, whether for regular exercise or competition. But while the current women’s Diamondback bike range is more specialized, that doesn’t mean there are fewer choices. The bikes may look similar at first glance, but at this level the small details take on greater significance.
We’ve been looking at the latest women’s Diamondback bikes, the components, and the configurations so we can help you choose the right bike for the way you like to ride. Our recommendations offer a snapshot of the pros and cons. In the following buying guide, we look into the details and answer some common questions.
With women’s Diamondback bikes you have two clear choices: mountain bikes or road bikes. If you’re picking a bike for a dedicated sport, the decision is obvious. If you want a bike you’re going to commute on as well, it might require a little more thought.
Road bike: If speed and distance riding are your thing, you want a road bike, no question, but it does limit your riding to some extent.
Mountain bike: A mountain bike is more versatile. It’s just as easy to ride on the street (and may be more comfortable). It might be sacrilege to some, but you can put a detachable basket on a Diamondback mountain bike.
You’ll be making a considerable investment in your women’s Diamondback bike, so make sure you’ve got adequate insurance. A homeowner policy may not cover the full value.
Once you’ve picked your style of women’s Diamondback bike, you can focus on the cycle components: frame, wheels, drivetrain, and suspension.
Cheap women’s bikes have steel frames. Diamondback frames are either aluminum or carbon. As with many of these considerations, it again comes down to how hard you ride. If you want a bike for regular exercise, aluminum is a good choice and significantly cheaper. If you’re going all out, choose carbon.
Aluminum is relatively low cost and certainly light compared to steel.
Carbon will typically save anywhere from 8 to 16 ounces over aluminum. That’s a significant difference, but the price difference is significant, too. Theoretically, carbon frames are slightly better at damping the vibrations transmitted from the ground. In practice, if there’s suspension fitted, it will likely negate any perceived difference. Pros might notice, but most people won’t.
Historically, the main argument for an aluminum frame over carbon was that aluminum can be repaired quite easily while a damaged carbon frame must be replaced. However, that’s no longer the case. It’s not cheap to repair a carbon frame, but if done properly, it’s indistinguishable from new. Good carbon repairers are happy to guarantee their work.
Not so long ago pretty much every women’s bike came with 26-inch wheels or smaller. Now you have 26 inches, 27.5 inches, and 29 inches (also called 700c). Which is best? The question should be which is most suitable.
26 inches: Being smallest, this size is also the lightest (if all wheels are made of the same material). A small wheel can change direction quickly. The drawback is the circumference. You have to pedal harder than you would with larger wheels to achieve the same speed.
27.5 inches: This size is a very good compromise and probably the most popular all-round choice.
29 inches (700c): This wheel is around 10% heavier than the 26-inch model. Diamondback women’s road bikes have 29-inch wheels. Their mountain bikes have either 27.5-inch or 29-inch wheels depending on the model. The latter demands a lot of effort to make the most of them. However, once you get it going, you have greater momentum and a higher top speed for less energy input. It also provides much better stability in a straight line, though at the loss of some slow-speed maneuverability.
Width: Another consideration is the width of the wheel. You don’t get any choice with a particular model, but you do between one model and another. Mountain bikes typically have wider tires than road bikes. The women’s Diamondback hardtail bikes, for example, have a particularly wide 38-millimeter rim, which allows for a fatter and thus grippier off-road tire. Like we noted, even small details have an impact at this level of specialization.
The drivetrain encompasses pedals, cranks, gears, chain, and derailleurs. The most attention is usually given to the number of gears because this gives you the greatest versatility when it comes to the energy you put in: low gears to help you climb hilly terrain, high gears for maximum speed on the flat and downhill.
All women’s Diamondback bikes all have either a Shimano or SRAM drivetrain, the world’s two leading makers. The number of speeds ranges from 10 to 22. Competitive cyclists will want to look more closely at the actual configurations, which vary from 1x10 (a single cog on the crank and a ten-speed rear cassette) to 2x11 (twin crank and eleven-speed rear). There are several other options, and it may be possible to swap out standard cassettes for custom ones. However, those are specialist options that go beyond the scope of this guide.
Road bikes don’t have suspension. The inherent flex in the fork, frame, and wheels — plus the shock-absorbing qualities of pneumatic tires — are considered enough for that kind of riding.
Mountain bikes have suspension either in front or front and rear. Though cost is a factor, the reason for the choice with bikes of this standard is that some purists simply prefer a solid (hardtail) rear end. If you mostly ride gravel tracks or moderate trails, a hardtail is fine. The sprung front fork (most have nearly 5 inches of travel) provides the handling you need, and there’s a lot less to look after. If you’re going for technically difficult climbs or descents, over rocks, and so on, then adjustable front and rear suspension that can be tuned to cope with varying conditions is definitely the way to go.
You’ll doubtless notice we haven’t mentioned brakes. All women’s Diamondback bikes come with powerful disc brakes, either cable operated or hydraulic. The pros and cons of each are addressed in the FAQ section below.
Helmet: Giro Montara Women’s Cycling Helmet
Made by arguably the best name in bike helmets, the Montara comes in a full range of sizes, four different colors, and perhaps most importantly, it has the advanced Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) that helps prevent the kind of rotational injuries that can cause brain damage.
Lights: Vont Pyro Bike Light Set
These super-bright lights offer four different illumination settings and have USB charging, so you can use your car charger, wall socket, or portable power bank. One big advantage for those who don’t like lights on their bike all the time is how easy they are to fit and remove.
Our usual approach when we review a range of products is to give you an idea of what you can get at the entry-level, mid-range, and high-end price points. However, with the exception of the girl’s youth Diamondback bike at around $200, the other bikes are all very much premium products.
That doesn’t mean they’re expensive for their type, and indeed, at around $1,500, there are women’s Diamondback bikes in both the road and mountain categories that are very competitively priced.
Carbon frame and other high-spec components increase the cost, as do hydraulic rather than cable disc brakes. Top-of-the-line road and mountain bikes cost around $5,000. Competitive triathletes can spend as much as $12,000.
If you order online, your bike will need some assembly upon arrival. Fortunately, Diamondback provides a number of clear, step-by-step online videos to help you.
Although women’s Diamondback bikes attract more experienced riders, it’s worth reiterating the basic safety rules that apply whether it’s your first bike or your tenth.
A. Diamondback provides sizing charts for all its bikes, so it’s quite easy to check. Some are offered in small, medium, and large (there’s plenty of seat and handlebar adjustment). High-performance bikes need to be a better fit, so you’ll find slightly more variety.
A. This largely depends on how you ride and how much work you’re prepared to do to look after your bike. Cable-operated disc brakes offer better progression and feel than older-style caliper brakes, but hydraulic is another step up again. If you’re looking to maximize control in all conditions, hydraulic is the way to go. However, these brakes are more complex. If something gets damaged, they’re more expensive to repair. If you ride for leisure, cable is probably sufficient. If you ride with a group that gets competitive, choose hydraulic.
A. Most bikes are supplied with tubed tires. They’re cheap, available everywhere, and easy to change or repair. Tubeless tires cost more but offer certain performance advantages: they’re lighter and provide better traction (particularly for mountain bikes), which in turn allows you to ride faster. Many ordinary bike wheels can’t take tubeless tires — the rim needs to form a perfect seal. On several of the women’s Diamondback bikes, tubeless-ready wheels are supplied with tubed tires as standard, but you can change to tubeless if you prefer.