Love it or hate it, 2014 is going to be the year of the “Enduro” bike. Back in April at Sea Otter there were a bunch of newly released or soon to be released bikes that sported 160mm of travel, 27.5” (or 650B) wheels. Each is designed to pedal up the hill with efficiency and then rallied back down with some attitude.
I’m going to go with “love it” right now. I think that this is going to be a great thing for riders in BC and the Pacific Northwest with the type of riding we do here. Think of it as the evolution of the freeride bike with the addition of modern geometry for riding fast technical trails.
One of those bikes was the Diamondback Mission Pro. I got to take a quick spin on the bike at Sea Otter but we decided to wait until we could get our hands on one to ride on the home trails before forming an opinion. Here is a first look.
The folks at Diamondback did not want this bike to be missed at the trailhead. The Mission Pro is finished in an eye catching orange (being slightly colour blind I see orange but it is actually called Rocket Red). It is a purposeful looking frame with a massive headtube junction that screams “thrash me as hard as you can, you won’t break me”.
Stealth routing for the Reverb keeps the hose tucked out of harm’s way.
A SRAM X01 drivetrain gives plenty of gearing and smooth shifts. The rear end features a thru axle of the 142mm flavour. The rear pivot runs on cartridge bearings and a clevis joint helps to keep the rear end wag free.
This bike really is bright. The colour pops like crazy under the trees and isn’t for shy types. The Fox Float 34 up front gives 160mm of travel, matching the rear.
The Fox Float X suspends the rear of the bike and features the CTD modes that can be changed on the fly by using the lever on the shock. The Knuckle Box design of the previous Mission has been reconfigured, gifting the new frame design with a slightly lower centre of gravity and nice low standover. The leverage rate of the new linkage has been tuned to be more linear through the stroke, relying on the air shock to provide the end of stroke ramp up in rate. This should translate to a bike that has supple suspension on the smaller bumps but will ramp up nicely over the bigger hits.
This cockpit is not garbage. Raceface Atlas bars and stem make for a good place to command the bike. It is great to see a quality set up on a bike designed to get rowdy. No changes needed here.
This bike really has a well picked build, Shimano XT brakes deviate from the rest of the group set on the bike but are still the best disc brakes on the market in my opinion.
The WTB Silverado is one of my favourite saddles and another quality item on this bike. Here it sits on top of the Rock Shox Reverb with Stealth routing.
Yes those are very long chainstays… 451mm to be exact. They do contribute to how the Mission rides. Nice to see quality rubber fitted to the bike too, Schwalbe Hans Dampf doing the honours here.
A top of the range bike gets top of the line parts; the Pro is pimped out with choice parts like the Raceface Next SL cranks and the Easton Haven wheels seen here. The build really is a collection of everything that I would put together to build a bike with.
It’s tough to argue with the build on the Mission Pro, so getting on the bike and throwing it down something steep happened pretty quickly. It has taken a few rides to get the suspension pressures where I want them front and rear and the bike now feels nicely balanced. On a lot of local trails a 160mm bike is probably a bit too much, however on trails that are steep, rough, have drops with sniper landings and generally tax your bike handling skills by throwing a lot at you, the Mission Pro is proving to be good partner to have.
As you can see the Mission Pro is already being ridden hard and put away wet. Now that thing are set up it’s time to find some more rowdy lines to point it down.
Mission Pro 27.5 MSRP – USD $6,500.00
Mission Two 27.5 MSRP – USD $3,600.00
Mission One 27.5 MSRP – USD $2,800.00
What? No carbon? Is this your kind of aluminum sled?