Diamondback Overdrive Pro: Out Of The Box

Diamondback Overdrive Pro 2008

Last week we broke the news that we had received this 2008 Diamondback Overdrive Pro for review/test. Now we are back to bring you our first impressions of this bike “Out Of The Box”.

I should note that I did actually ride this model out at Bootleg Canyon during Interbike’s Outdoor Demo days. So this might be a bit of a review as well as an Out Of The Box post.

Diamondback Overdrive Pro frontal shot
The Diamondback Overdrive utilizes a semi-integrated head set and a stealthy looking head tube badge

So, just what do we have here? Basically this is an aluminum hard tail, geared, front suspended, 29 inch wheeled mountain bike from a company that had one of the first 700c based production mountain bikes ever made by the same model name. (Overdrive) However; it is a far cry from that first steel framed effort.

It should also be noted here that Diamondback’s sister company, Raleigh, has 29″ers as well; however, the Diamondback is definitely not a copy of an XXIX+G. Even the geometry is different from Raleigh’s efforts in the 29″er bike game. No, this Overdrive has its own personality. From the use of a highly formed 6061-T6 aluminum alloy to a longer, more stretched out frame, this bike definitely has carved out its own niche.

Overdrive Pro fork
The familiar and trusty Reba SL graces the front end of the Overdrive Pro

The component choices take a somewhat of a less common approach as well. Sure, you’ve got your Reba, your Avid BB-5 disc brakes, and WTB tires, saddle, and rims. All solid and familiar choices. However, the drive train is a Shimano spec front to rear. A bit different than a lot of 29″ers out there. We see the excellent but almost archaic Octalink crank and bottom bracket, an LX rear derailluer, Deore front derailluer, and the new Multi-release Deore Rapid Fire trigger shifters. The shifters use the traditional two trigger Rapid Fire set up, but the “index” trigger can also be operated the other direction by pushing with your thumb, ala another popular four lettered companies shifters. A nice touch and one of those, “Why didn’t they do this a long time ago” ideas.

Finishing off the parts spec are Joy Tech hubs, Avenir handle bars, stem, and seat post, and the brake levers are Avid units.

LX rear derailluer
An LX rear derailluer does shifting duty on the Overdrive Pro and joins an all Shimano drive train.

The bike overall has a great sleek look to it with the highly formed squarish down tube swooping up into the integrated head tube to provide clearance for the Reba’s fork crown. The subtle checkerboard motif on the top tube is cool in a kind of The Specials way. (Hey, I’m into old skool ska!) The all black, stealth, under the radar look is disrupted by the garish down tube decal, but that’s my opinion. Others may not see it that way. I would have preferred a more subtle approach that would have been in keeping with the otherwise subdued graphic treatment throughout the rest of the bike. All in all it’s a decent looking rig.

clearance shot
The Overdrive Pro has a wide, beefy down tube that joins the bottom bracket shell giving the frame what looks to be a stiff platform for pedaling.

The clearance around the WTB Prowler 2.1″s looks adequate and a bit bigger tire shouldn’t be an issue should one want to try that. The frame we have on test is the 20″/large sized frame and is a lanky, longish frame with a 24.8″ effective top tube and 440mm long chain stays. The wheel base on our large sample is 1122mm long. The bottom bracket height is 313mm. The stand over height is 31.5″ and the head tube angle is 71 degrees with a 73 degree seat tube angle.

Our sample weighs in at the heaviest of any hard tail we’ve had through here at Twenty Nine Inches at 32.3lbs. I think that this is about what we would expect from a bike that is just north of $1000.00 retail though. It’s also worth mentioning that several parts could be swapped out (we’re thinking stem, handle bars, seat post and saddle here) that would be relatively easy and inexpensive upgrades which would most likely bring this bike down under the 30lb mark quite easily. Editors Note: I never would have guessed the bike weighed that much after riding it at Bootleg Canyon. It’s ride belies its weight for sure.

Our initial impressions are that Diamondback has a great design, decent looking, albeit slightly heavy bike that promises to be a solid performer out in the woods. We hope to explore that prospect, but winter may have some say as to how soon that might happen. In the meantime we plan on doing whatever winter riding we can and we’ll return with some first ride impressions soon.


No Responses to “Diamondback Overdrive Pro: Out Of The Box”

  1. EuroWheels Says:


  2. Guitar Ted Says:

    EuroWheels: You are reffering to your comment perhaps? A little bit vague there I’d say.

  3. Oderus Says:

    Kudos to Dback for putting together a decent bike at $1000. I think they put together a decent package for the first time buyer. It would be a good bike to have next to a Cobia on the sales floor. Hell, you even get a Reba, can’t complain about that at this pricepoint. I say good job.

  4. MMcG Says:

    you are right that a more stealthy approach to the “Diamondback” label would complement this frame nicely. But then again – it does let you know it is a Diamondback in a big bold way! šŸ˜‰

  5. Desert9r Says:


    What did you do glace over the review?? I found a lot of useful info to use in comparisons!
    1 thing I was hoping for was a shimano shifting system,
    Although the frame material and geo may be different I can tell Raleigh and DB are related, by the other components of the bike.
    Though I own 1 of each Raleigh/DB, I am going to go to another brand to get the specs I want.

    Thanks Ted

  6. Gino Says:

    That weight seems pretty comparable to the 2008 Cobia. I know it was over 30, but I don’t remember by how much.

  7. okiecalvin Says:

    Screw the bike; you mentioned The Specials! Just listened to ’em today. Maybe this bike is the Dawning of a New Era!

  8. Guitar Ted Says:

    okiecalvin: 2 Tone Baby! šŸ™‚

  9. Gabe Eiker (yes I'm joking) Says:

    I rode the bike at Interbike, and from a retail standpoint, it is amazing! It easy to make a great 29’er when it retails for 3K. Hell, my Salsa with Chris King wheels and XTR drivetrain is pretty fricking awesome…….and I am willing to bet it will get 6stars from any review. Then again, it would cost 3500.

    When I rode the overdrive at Bootleg Canyon, I was impressed. For the money, there is nothing better out there. My only crack on the bike would be the fork. The Reba sucks. And to know how much it sucks, try and get a ride on the new RST 29er fork. Yep, I just said RST. Seriously, the fork is amazing. I know you are all sitting there thinking, “what the hell does the wallmart dork know about bikes?” Trust me……find one and ride it…..the RST 29er fork should be speced by every brand manager. It is amazing!

  10. George Krpan Says:

    Just north of $1000? Screamin’ deal.
    Most bikes in this price range come with a Tora. Like the RST the Tora is a fantastic fork.
    The KHS Tucson is in the same weight range as the DB.
    Like the DB, it does not belie it’s weight.
    The flipside is that it handles the rough stuff very well. Every cloud has a silver lining.

  11. EuroWheels Says:

    What I’m saying is that this bike is pointless. It has nothing to offer that you can’t already obtain. A waste of time.

  12. Desert9r Says:


    you just smack down 1 particular bike! there are so many hard tails on the market now that can’t just say That bike is bad,
    Plus I am sure there are more to come, so are they going to be bad too?

    and the “you can’t already obtain” bit, look how many 26er are on the market! copy after copy after copy

    Plus, if you know your 29er history, the 1st overdrive was the original (or 1 of).
    so DB came out with it for nostalga.

  13. Guitar Ted Says:

    EuroWheels: Huh? Using your logic, there would be what………………..four bikes on the market from one brand. “Nothing to offer”? I don’t think you could be any further off the mark.

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