When Diamondback launched their two-tone Catch and Release models in 2016, the price and suspension platform had a lot of riders stoked to test out the new bikes. For 2019 Diamondback stretches the Release line by adding a 29er option, and keeps the well-loved Level Link suspension platform. The new 29er comes in two build options, both mounted on an aluminum chassis, though a carbon fiber version is likely not far behind. This is the first full-suspension (Level Link) 29er from Diamondback and currently the only full suspension 29er in the brand’s line.
Release 29 2 ($2,699 MSRP)
The Release 29 2 squishes on 130mm out back with a Fox Float DPS Performance shock, and a 140mm Fox Rhythm 34 fork up front. Apart from a Race Face Aeffect Cinch crank, the bike’s drivetrain and brakes are 100% Shimano SLX, giving the build an unmistakably solid and durable build. Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II 29×2.3″ EXO tires wrap Diamondback house-brand rims. Release 2 saddles drop on a KS E30i internal post, with 125mm travel on the size small, and 150mm on the medium through extra-large frames.
Squishing around on 140mm and 130mm of front and rear suspension respectively, the Release 2 29er looks like another solid offering from the long-running Diamondback brand. The 446mm chainstays are a bit on the long side for a 29er trail bike, and coupled with the shorter 449mm reach on a size large, these measurements should provide a stable and glued-to-the-ground ride. The 67.7° headtube angle leans 1.7° steeper than the original 27.5-inch-wheeled Release, giving the impression that Diamondback redesigned more than just the rear wheel spacing for this new frame.
Release 29 3 ($3,299 MSRP)
The Release 29 3 is the top-shelf build, with a descent-friendly Fox Performance Float DPX2 rear shock taking care of its 130mm of rear travel, and a Fox 34 Performance Float fork with Grip damper for the 140mm of front-wheel suspension. The Release 3 cranks forward with a Race Face Turbine Cinch crankset. The remaining transmission and stopping system is handled by Shimano’s XT 1×11 group, which sheds some weight from the more pocket-friendly model. The build is finished off with the same Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II tires, and a KS LEV SI internal dropper post.
The Release 29 will be available at select retailers and Diamondback.com starting in April.