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 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.
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