Diamondback Release Carbon launched

Popular 27.5 trail bike makes jump to high-end market with two builds

27.5 News
Diamondback Release Carbon

The Release Carbon boasts a playful character thanks to its short stays, slack front end, and mismatched 150mm front/130mm rear suspension set-up.

Diamondback’s popular 27.5 Release trail bike is now available in carbon. The company is offering two stock builds of the 150mm front/130mm rear travel rig. It can also be semi-customized via their online Custom Studio program where consumers can choose from a selection components. The new Release 5c will sell for $4400, with the Release 4c coming in at $3000. (Note: All photos were taken after a very muddy Mtbr test ride, but the bike performed well throughout.)

Diamondback Release Carbon

The Release utilizes the bike maker’s proprietary Level Link suspension platform, which features a short-link, four-bar design that separates the drivetrain forces from the suspension.

For those unfamiliar, the Release utilizes the bike maker’s proprietary Level Link suspension platform, which features a short-link, four-bar design that separates the drivetrain forces from the suspension, allowing it to soak up hits without feeding back into the pedals. At the neutral sag point, the upper link is perpendicular to the lower one, which is parallel to the chain, isolating pedaling from the suspension.

Diamondback Release Carbon

At the neutral sag point, the upper link is perpendicular to the lower one, which is parallel to the chain, isolating pedaling from the suspension.

“We were also able to keep the spring rate very low so you don’t have to overwork the shock or have it overdamped,” explained Diamondback sponsored rider Eric Porter, who was heavily involved in the bike’s development process. “It’s a pretty light tune. Most people will be in middle of the compression and rebound settings.”

Check out these two illustrations and another video with Porter for further explanation on how Level Link suspension works. Click the images to enlarge.

Diamondback Release Carbon
Diamondback Release Carbon

The bike comes in four sizes (S, M, L, XL), with top tube lengths of 585mm, 610mm, 635mm and 660mm respectively. Reach is 406mm, 429mm, 451mm and 473mm. The Release Carbon also features a 66-degree head tube angle, short 425mm chainstays, and 73-degree seat tube angle, all conspiring to deliver a balanced bike that climbs efficiency and can rip descents.

Diamondback Release Carbon

The 5c model’s stock shock is a Fox Performance Elite Float DPX2 with 3-position lever and open mode adjust.

“The rear end is as short as we could get it to make it fun and playful,” added Porter. “I love to manual and this bike can do that so well. Of course we also lengthened the front end and slackened things out. But it’s not super long and stretched out. That comes in part from shorter rear end travel, which helps keep things tight back there. You end up riding over the front a little when climbing, but it’s totally worth it for everywhere else.”

Diamondback Release Carbon

Up front on the 5c is a Fox 36 Performance Elite Float fork with 150mm of travel, 3-position damper, and rebound adjust.

Spec highlight of the Release 5c include a Fox 36 Float 150mm fork, a 130 mm Fox DPX2 rear shock, SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, and 27.5-inch Race Face Arc30 rims. It also comes with SRAM Guide RS brakes, Maxxis Minion 2.5 front and 2.4 rear tires, and a KS LEV Integra dropper. The 4c has a Fox 34 fork, a Fox Float EV rear shock, and a Shimano SLX 11-speed drivetrain.

Diamondback Release Carbon

We didn’t have a scale handy, but figure this size L test bike was around 28-29 pounds.

The bikes will be sold consumer direct. After ordering online, the Diamondback ReadyRide system delivers it to the consumer’s door 95 percent assembled. Included tools and an online support system with chat and how-to videos mean that almost anyone can build their new bike. Buyers can also choose to have it assembled at their local bike shop, or built and delivered by Beeline Mobile Delivery Service where available. Either option comes with no extra charge.

Diamondback Release Carbon

Diamondback has nailed tire spec, opting for the Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5×2.5 front and Maxxis Minion DHR 27.5×2.4 rear.

One Ride Review

In the lead-up to the Release Carbon’s launch, the crew from Diamondback visited Mtbr test headquarters in Crested Butte — and let us pick the route. We opted for a 3-hour trail ride that included a wide mix of terrain. There were steep (and sometimes technical) climbs, smooth flowy sections going up and down, and plenty of high speed chunk. There was also a fair bit of mud, as witnessed by the post-ride photos you see here. (Sorry brand new bike…)

Diamondback Release Carbon

A tooled rear axle saves a little weight.

It’s hard to say too much about an unfamiliar bike after just one ride, but if first impressions are any indication, Diamondback has a legitimate entrant into the 27.5 carbon frame trail bike category. The combination of its short rear end, active suspension, and balanced climbing position allowed the bike to scoot up techy sections without bogging down or wandering off line.

Diamondback Release Carbon

The SRAM Eagle XO1 drivetrain means you’ll never run out of gears.

Turn it around and point it downhill, and the Release Carbon really came alive. As Porter said above, the short rear end makes popping the front wheel off the ground easy, while the slack front end engenders confidence (and capability) on steep drop-ins and fast chunder. And the mismatched suspension gives the bike a really snappy and playful feel, allowing it to cut in and out of corners with speed and precision. We’ll need to log more time before passing final judgment, but the price alone certainly make this bike very interesting.

Diamondback Release Carbon

A KS LEV Integra internally routed dropper post handles saddle position duty. Small and medium bikes get 125mm travel models, while large and XL opt for 150mm. Honestly, we prefer to see 170′s on the larger frame sizes. As you can see we still had plenty of post to work with.

Here are complete spec rundowns for both new bikes. The Release is also available in three aluminum versions, which this year receive updated spec and frame colors. To learn more about the Diamondback Carbon Release, please visit www.diamondback.com.

Diamondback Release Carbon

Both bikes are well protected on the downtube with shuttle protectors.

Diamondback Carbon Release 5c Spec
  • Frame: Carbon Release 27.5, Monocoque Carbon Front and Rear Triangle, 130mm Travel, Level Link Suspension Platform, Euro Standard Threaded BB, ISCG-05 Tabs, Boost 148x12mm Maxle Drop Out, 1.5″ Tapered Headtube, Post Mount Disc Tabs
  • Shock: Fox Performance Elite Float DPX2, 3 Position Lever w/ Open Mode Adjust, LV EVOL, 200x57mm
  • Fork: Fox 36 Performance Elite Float, 27.5″, 150mm Travel, Fit4, 3 Position Dampener, Rebound Adjust, 1.5″ Tapered Steerer, 110x15mm Thru-axle
  • Headset: FSA No. 57 Sealed Cartridge
  • Cranks: Truvativ Descendant Carbon, w/ 34T Eagle Chainring
  • Bottom Bracket: SRAM GXP
  • Chain guard: MRP XCG V2 Alloy Bash Guard, 30-36T, ISCG-05
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM XO1 Eagle, 12 Speed
  • Shifter: SRAM XO1 Eagle 12 Speed X-Actuation Trigger
  • Cassette: SRAM XG1295 Eagle, 12 Speed, 10-50T
  • Chain: SRAM XO1 Eagle, 12 Speed
  • Front Hub: Novatec XD641, 32h Alloy,110x15mm Boost Thru-axle, Sealed Cartridge Bearing
  • Rear Hub: Novatec XD642, 32h Alloy, Boost 148x12mm Thru-axle, 4 Sealed Cartridge Bearing, w/ CNC Disc Mount, XD Cassette Body
  • Spokes: 2.0/1.8/2.0 Butted Stainless Steel
  • Rims: Race Face Arc30, Tubeless Compatible, 32h
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5×2.5″ EXO, WT, TLR, Folding / Maxxis Minion DHR 27.5×2.4″ EXO, WT, TLR, Folding
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS Hydraulic Disc, w/ 180mm Front / 180mm Rear Centerline Rotors
  • Brake Levers: SRAM Guide RS
  • Pedals: DB4L CNC Platform, Sealed Cartridge Bearing w/ Replaceable Pins
  • Handlebar: Race Face Effect R, 780mm Wide, 20mm Rise, 35mm Bar Bore
  • Grips: Ergon GE1 Lock-On
  • Stem: Race Face Affect R 35, 40mm Reach, 35mm Bar Bore
  • Seat: WTB Volt Race
  • Seatpost: KS LEV Integra Internal Dropper, w/ Southpaw Remote, 31.6mm, SM/MD = 125mm, LG/XL = 150mm
  • Extras: Owner’s Manual, Assembly Guide, DB Shock Pump, Tubeless Valves, DB Torque Wrench w/ 3mm/ 4mm/ 5mm/ T25 Hex Bits, Diamondback Mud Guard, Extra Derailleur Hanger
Diamondback Release Carbon

The new Diamondback Release Carbon 4c comes in this sharp looking silver.

Diamondback Carbon Release 4c Spec
  • Frame: Carbon Release 27.5, Monologue Carbon Front and Rear Triangle, 130mm Travel, Level Link Suspension Platform, Euro Standard Threaded BB, ISCG-05 Tabs, Boost 148x12mm Maxle Drop Out, 1.5″ Tapered Headtube, Post Mount Disc Tabs
  • Shock: Fox Float DPS EVOL LV, Performance, 3 Position Lever, 200x57mm
  • Fork: Fox 34 Performance Float, 27.5″, 150mm Travel, Grip 3 Position Dampener, Rebound Adjust, 1.5″ Tapered Steerer, 110x15mm Thru-axle
  • Headset: FSA No. 57 Sealed Cartridge
  • Cranks: Race Face Affect Cinch w/ Steel 30T “Narrow Wide”
  • Bottom Bracket: Race Face Outboard Bearing
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX M7000, Shadow Plus, 11 Speed
  • Shifter: Shimano SLX M7000, 11 Speed
  • Cassette: Shimano SLX M7000, 11 Speed, 11-46T
  • Chain: KMC X11EL, 11 Speed
  • Front Hub: 32h Alloy, Boost 110x15mm Thru-axle, Sealed Cartridge Bearing
  • Rear Hub: 32h Alloy, Boost 148x12mm Thru-axle, 5 Sealed Cartridge Bearing, Cassette
  • Spokes: 14g Stainless Steel
  • Rims: Diamondback Blanchard 28R, Tubeless Compatible, 32h
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5×2.3″ EXO, TLR, Folding / Maxxis Minion DHR 27.5×2.3″ EXO, TLR, Folding
  • Brakes: Shimano Deore M6000 Hydraulic Disc, w/ 180mm Front / 180mm Rear RT-66 Rotors
  • Brake Levers: Shimano Deore M6000
  • Pedals: DB4L Alloy Platform w/ Replaceable Pins
  • Handlebar: DB35 Alloy, 780mm Wide, 15mm Rise, 35mm Bar Bore
  • Grips: Ergon GE10 Lock-On
  • Stem: DB35 Alloy, 40mm Reach, 35mm Bar Bore
  • Seat: WTB Volt Race
  • Seatpost: KS LEV SI Internal Dropper, w/ SouthPaw Remote, 31.6mm, SM/MD = 125mm, LG/XL = 150mm
  • Extras: Owner’s Manual, Assembly Guide, DB Shock Pump, Tubeless Valves, DB Torque Wrench w/ 3mm/ 4mm/ 5mm/ T25 Hex Bits, Diamondback Mud Guard, Extra Derailleur Hanger
Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympics, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the Mtbr staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.


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