Review: Diamondback Mission Pro 27.5 Enduro

New and improved Knucklebox creates a DH oriented ripper.

27.5 Enduro
Sunset rides really show off the day-glow orange finish.

Sunset rides really show off the day-glow orange finish.

Diamondback Bicycles released their all new Mission Pro earlier this year and we have had the luxury of riding and testing it for the past several months. We were glad to see this new iteration of their Knucklebox suspension design as we had ridden previous versions (with the triangle shaped linkage) and been somewhat underwhelmed by the previous performance. No such worries now, the new Mission Pro 27.5 is legit and delivers for the rider worthy of really pushing the limits. This is the bike that will help Diamondback build its core mountain bike following up.

New and Improved – The Frame

The Mission Pro is completely re-worked from previous versions with bigger tires, more travel and improved suspension design and performance. The frame is 6061 aluminum and provides 160mm of rear travel. The bike is built very sturdy and was always confidence inspiring in both durability and stiffness. The bike features single sided hardware on the non-drive side of the main pivots for easy access and maintenance. The frame has ISCG tabs and a direct mount front derailleur (if you choose to forgo a 1x drivetrain) and sports a standard 142x12mm rear thru axle for increased stiffness. The Mission Pro also has a short headtube which is especially nice for shorter riders (we rode the 15.5″). The chainstays are not super short at 451mm (17.75″) but for this style of riding, it struck a good balance of nimbleness and stability. There is plenty of standover clearance and tire clearance is also a non-issue.

It is also worth mentioning that Diamondback calls the color of the Mission Pro “Rocket Red” but this is clearly not accurate. As our photos indicate, the finish is much closer to a day-glow orange, than red. However, we much rather prefer the bright orange color anyway; it almost seemed to glow during our late dusk rides.

In this video, Diamondback Marketing Manager Jon Kennedy lays out the new 27.5 Mission Pro for us. Making the leap to 27.5 wheels necessitated some modifications to the Mission frame, including bringing the seat tube forward slightly and compressing the Knuckleblox linkage. This compression had the added benefit of lowering the center of gravity to provide better tracking and cornering.

Parts Spec Highlights

FOX 34 Float CTD fork has 160mm of rear travel to perfectly match the Fox Float X CTD rear shock and is one of our favorite combinations for all mountain riding. A remote lockout for the rear shock would be a nice upgrade, though since the suspension design is truly active. The SRAM 1×11 X01 drivetrain worked flawlessly and the 10-42 cassette and Race Face 30T narrow-wide ring allowed us to climb everything we normally ride with a 2x setup. Chain drop was not an issue for us, although there have been other riders who have experienced this (easily remedied with a chain guide). Shimano XT brakes are one of our favorites and we were happy to see it spec’d here.

The Mission features nice internal cable routing options as well as clean external routing.

The Mission features nice internal cable routing options as well as clean external routing.

The rest of the parts spec includes wide Race Face Atlas 785 riser bars (the bars measured more like 810 from the very outside with grips and plugs installed) and Race Face Atlas 50mm stem, FSA headset, DB house brand saddle and DB4L lock-on Kraton grips (although house branded, these felt great and stayed secure). Bonus points for the RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post. Also as a nice added touch, Diamondback includes a Knucklebox shock pump and DB branded aluminum platform pedals with replaceable pins and sealed cartridge bearings.

The Knucklebox is the heart of what Diamondback calls their single pivot four-bar suspension platform.

The Knucklebox is the heart of what Diamondback calls their single pivot four-bar suspension platform.

2014 Diamondback Mission Pro Full Specs and Geometry Highlights
  • Frame: Mission All Mountain 27.5, 160mm 6061-T6 Weapons Grade Aluminum w/Hydroformed Top Tube, Butted / Formed Down Tube / Seatstays, Under Arch Seatstay bridge, Tapered Head Tube Knuckle Box Technology, ISCG, 142x12mm E-Thru Axle Drop out
  • Fork: Fox 34 Float CTD adjust FIT, Kashima, 160mm travel, w/ ext. rebound, butted Alloy 1.5 Tapered steerer, 34mm Easton aluminum stanchions, magnesium lowers, w/QR15mm Thru Axle
  • Rear Shock: Fox Float X, CTD adjust, Kashima, “LV” eyelet, 8.5×2.5″ Air, DB Mission Spec, w/rebound adj, w/Climb, Trail, Descend, w/3 levels pedal platform
  • Headset: FSA No57 Taper 1.5 / 1 1/8″ Alloy cups, Sealed Cartridge
  • Bottom bracket: Raceface Outboard Bearing
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01, 1×11 10-42, 30T front ring
  • Brakes: Shimano XT, 180mm f/r
  • Pedals: DB Platform CNC, w/replaceable pins, sealed cartridge bearing
  • Wheelset/Tires: Easton Haven hubs and rims, Schwalbe Hans Dampf 27.5×2.35, folding, tubeless ready, snakeskin sidewall, TSC compound
  • Bars/Stem: Raceface Atlas 785mm riser bar 31.8mm/ Raceface Atlas Stem,50mm 31.8mm
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper 30.9mm
  • Head tube angle: 66.5 degrees
  • Seat tube angle: 73 degrees
  • Chainstay length: 17.75 inches
  • Bottom bracket height: 13.46 inches
  • Sizes: SM – 15.5″, MD – 17″, LG -19″, XL – 21″
  • Weight: 30.2 pounds – measured weight (size small, without pedals)
  • MSRP: $6500 US
Continue to Page 2 for more on the Diamondback Mission Pro 27.5 and full photo gallery »

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.

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  • Scott says:

    “The 66.5 degree head angle and 73 degree seat angle are on the steep side and show that the Mission Pro is definitely downhill oriented.”

    This statement makes no sense.

  • Nick hart says:

    Two words turner highline.

  • Mark says:

    “The 66.5 degree head angle and 73 degree seat angle are on the steep side and show that the Mission Pro is definitely downhill oriented.”

    “Downhill oriented” trail and AM bikes, because they don’t want you to understand how hard it will be to climb with this ‘trail bike’!

  • EL says:

    Slack like Deez for sure. I like the color but not the price is outrageous. Maybe some day they’ll lower the price so my boy Jaz can get one. :)

  • EL says:

    My boy Amaury and Orly love DB too, so I know for sure they would jump on this Red Rocket.

  • Shawn says:

    Gregg, I enjoyed your article so much that I’ve now added the mission to my list for a new bike. I am looking for an aggressive do it all bike. I am comparing this bike to my current front runner 2015 Kona Process 153. I have had the chance to demo the Kona but no one in my area has a mission for me to demo or even sit on. What are your thoughts on the geo of the mission? I am concerned with how the shorter top tube and longer chain stays vs the process. I am 5’11 with 31″ inseam. Thank you for your feedback.

    • Gregg Kato says:

      Hey Shawn, unfortunately the Kona Process is a model that I have very little knowledge of and zero experience actually riding one so I can’t compare the two. Geometry-wise at 5’11″ you might be on the edge of LG and XL. Unless you’re in to bombing fireroads, I’d go with the smaller frame that fits you to help keep the handling nimble. It’s really hard to say though, without at least sitting on one. Hope this helps.

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