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  1. #1
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    How's the Diamondback Outlook?

    so i'm considering buying this bike. my LBS has it for $230. i read some reviews online and they gave it very high marks. so i was wondering if anyone here had some opinions on it?

    here's the official page on it: http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp...=14&itemid=137

    and PLEASE don't just tell me to get the Specialized Hardrock instead. i want your opinions on the diamondback.
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  2. #2
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I used to own one I used for commuting for over a year. It's a pretty solid bike for smooth dirt, like running trails...but I would not take it on a trail with large roots or rocks.

    The fork that was on mine (an 04 model), was only 50mm of travel, but it was way too soft to be useful on a trail...it bottomed out just from poor pedaling techniques...stand up and mash to get the full pogo-stick effect.

    Fork aside, it's a pretty good basic bike. The geometry is very upright though, in my opinion almost comfort bike geometry. I put down around 8500 commuting miles on that bike, and it was still performing great when I sold it...so it is a durable bike. It had the "mega-range" cassette on it (14-34t cassette, huge jump to the 36t though), which is one of those things you either love or don't really care for....for me, I never used the 34t rear cog.



    I would look at the base model Raleigh though. It's the same company, but Raleighs tend to have better equipment at the bottom price points compared to DB. They used to call their base model the M20, but they seemed to have changed the names of the bikes recently. The M20 has more fork travel, and better brakes/levers.

    http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?...=11&itemid=205
    Last edited by catatonic; 06-28-06 at 09:51 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Ahh I honestly wouldn't bother with it. It is far from a mountain bike. Dont spend $230, save your money.

    Why? All the parts are very basic, mostly OEM, no name. The headset is...well the other style and the drivetrain is below average.

    Sorry to sound like an idiot, but dont buy the bike. Save up another $100 and please, try Trek, Specialized or Kona or Giant bikes. You see for your price range you should be buying off a big name company, they offer best parts for your money.


  4. #4
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_neon
    Ahh I honestly wouldn't bother with it. It is far from a mountain bike. Dont spend $230, save your money.

    Why? All the parts are very basic, mostly OEM, no name. The headset is...well the other style and the drivetrain is below average.

    Sorry to sound like an idiot, but dont buy the bike. Save up another $100 and please, try Trek, Specialized or Kona or Giant bikes. You see for your price range you should be buying off a big name company, they offer best parts for your money.


    they unfortunately don't sell trek, specialized, kona, and giant at my lbs. only marin, diamondback, raleigh, and redline. i'm just a beginner. so i'm not that picky about parts. if something doesn't suit my need i could just upgrade right? plus i dont feel like saving for the $300 price jump for the next step up. i'd like to get riding asap. besides, this diamondback can't be worse than my crappy Pacific?

    so i guess my main question will it hold together for some trailin? because i wont' be riding that hard at first. and then will i be able to upgrade it to suit my needs?
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  5. #5
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    Diamondbacks msrp is $200 on that bike. See if you can talk them down.

    Is it a 05' or 06'? 05's were actually more expensive and nicer bikes. I have two 06's sitting on the floor at our shop. They are a decent beginner bike, but expect it to ride like a $200 bike. The shift components are ok, but the fork is the weak spot of the whole bike, it is kinda cheazy.

    Note if the stem is 1" theaded or 1 1/8" threadless. If its the 06' it will have a threaded stem, and it will be hard to find a decent fork for it since most high end forks are 1 1/8'

  6. #6
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    is this bike a signifigant step up from an X-mart type mtb?
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  7. #7
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    Yes it is a step up from an X-Mart bike. Because of the stem you will have a very limited choice of upgrades for the fork. You probalby could almost forget about upgrading the fork on that with the headset. You CAN upgrade other parts. Still, like i said, i know you would love to get out riding now. But if you could somehow save up another $100 for it it will be much worth it.

    Marin seem to make a few good bikes aswell.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    You can upgrade it, but it would cost enough that you would have been better off with a better bike.

    A retail fork starts around $200 for one of the big 3 makers (Marzocchi, Rock Shox, and Manitou). Factor in $230 for your bike, and now it's got $430 dumped into it. At that point, I would say buy a $400 or 500 bike instead.

    Always buy based on what you want to be doing on it. If you play the incremental upgrade game you will end up paying fillet mignon prices for a strip steak. It may be satisfying, but you could have had far more for the cash. Plus the geometry is way wrong for any kind of technical riding....way too upright.

    It's what it is, an entry level bike for beginners to get their feet wet, or for those who want a good commuting/general purpose bike. The Raleigh M40 is a far nicer bike. The fork is a bit more solid...not as good as most bikes reccomended here, but it's a good step up from the fork on the outlook. The M40 also has better components, and a proper geometry for XC riding. There is also a disc brake version of the M40 called the M40DX.

    The bike shop that got me into riding was a Raleigh/Diamondback dealer...and I ratted around that place all the time...so I'm pretty familiar with their old lineup.
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  9. #9
    Member normdzn's Avatar
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    The raliegh Mojave 4.0 does look nice!

    The Marin is nice too but they are a little pricier. I was in the same boat about a month ago and ended up with a 3700 Trek 3700 for $300 including tax, I was just told by a friend to watch for the comp specs and get something better than a Tourney or Altus derailleur. He rated the drivetrains as follows (from best to worst), XTR, XT, LX, Saint, Hone, Deore, Alivio, Acera, Altus and Tourney. And that's how I ended up with the Trek. Are there other LBS in your area, I noticed that different bike shops would specialize in different lines. I visited an LBS with mainly KHS, the other Specialized and the other Trek and Gary Fisher. Well, you get the idea. Cheers.
    Finally, its all downhill from here!!
    normdzn—mtbiker wannabe

  10. #10
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Hmm, from that pic, the Mojave 4.0 is possibly the new M40DX. Pretty nice. Just make sure it has a 1-1/8" steerer tube. That way, if you do want a better fork, you have the most options.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Crono's Avatar
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    I'd go for a step up.

    I like my Sorrento, but the Response is preferred.

  12. #12
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    so i have two more questions. i might go make a purchase tomorrow

    - i went to the LBS and they have the 06 Outlook. so is the bike just crappy from a 'well there's always better' standard? or is it going to come apart like an xmart?

    - i also saw a Raleigh Mojave 2.0 for a bit more (and in RED! my favorite color!). how does this compare to the Outlook?
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  13. #13
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    It's an ok bike for dirt trails (no rocks/roots), and for townie/commuter use.

    It's not the parts as much as the geometry.

    The Mojave 2.0 is in my opinion a better bike. That is very similar to the M-20 I mentioned earlier....seems Raleigh went and changed M to Mojave, and the 20,30, 40, etc model # to 2.0, 4.0, etc. Same geometry though, but it's got a slightly better fork, and some lesser parts.
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  14. #14
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    I was in your position a few years ago - I couldn't wait to get outside and biking right away.

    Going for the quick fix, I bought a Diamondback Outlook 04. Half a year later I wished I saved up a little more for a better bike.

    Its not that bad of a commuter bike and if you're still set on one, I'd recommend getting a better saddle - I found that the stock one was too big and mushy. For the geometry make sure you test ride that bike and a few others, compared to other bikes, I found that the Outlook is more laid back which makes you ride in a more upright position. The fork on mine was way too stiff and I guess like most other bikes in this category, the fork is more for appearance and extra weight.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mlh122's Avatar
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    I've seen these at my local sporting goods stores too, i remember thinking I'd get one if they were $99 or less, but $230 was too much for me. Right next to it were Iron Horses and a Schwinn Mesa GT for $299. At my local LBS you can get a Trek 3700 for under $200 and I think the Trek 820 is $165. But I'd like to ask what everyone thinks of (I forgot what it was called) red plastic chain tension cog thingie on the rear derailleur? I'd think it would lose it's teeth pretty fast but would it hinder movement? or would it not even matter?

  16. #16
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rt_hat
    I was in your position a few years ago - I couldn't wait to get outside and biking right away.

    Going for the quick fix, I bought a Diamondback Outlook 04. Half a year later I wished I saved up a little more for a better bike.

    Its not that bad of a commuter bike and if you're still set on one, I'd recommend getting a better saddle - I found that the stock one was too big and mushy. For the geometry make sure you test ride that bike and a few others, compared to other bikes, I found that the Outlook is more laid back which makes you ride in a more upright position. The fork on mine was way too stiff and I guess like most other bikes in this category, the fork is more for appearance and extra weight.

    I found it the other way, too bouncy...but I did ride the hell out of it and went from 290lbs (plus 30lbs inthe panniers) down to 240lbs during the year I rode it....all 8500 miles of it....so the bike was pretty heavily loaded.
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  17. #17
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlh122
    I've seen these at my local sporting goods stores too, i remember thinking I'd get one if they were $99 or less, but $230 was too much for me. Right next to it were Iron Horses and a Schwinn Mesa GT for $299. At my local LBS you can get a Trek 3700 for under $200 and I think the Trek 820 is $165. But I'd like to ask what everyone thinks of (I forgot what it was called) red plastic chain tension cog thingie on the rear derailleur? I'd think it would lose it's teeth pretty fast but would it hinder movement? or would it not even matter?

    A deraileur cog is a deraileur cog is a deraileur cog. So long as it's made of quality materials, it will serve you well.

    Note that most of these cogs are plastic. Metal cogs are pretty much no longer in use....plastic doesn't wear on the chain as much.
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  18. #18
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    so... here we are again. sorry if this question is dumb, but i kinda want to clarify what you're saying. when you say that the fork is bad on the Outlook, do you mean that it's just not ideal for riding rougher trails? or that the bike is liable to break on me? and also generally when people make statements like that do they mean that the bike is going to break or is it just not ideal?
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  19. #19
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    It means it's not designed for rough trails. And do not even attemp to jump with it or clear large logs, etc. It's a fork meant for moderate to smooth trails. Think what a semi-rough hiking trail is. Jumps and drops will kill that fork. On rougher trails it will bottom out frequently, which will reduce it's lifespan.
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  20. #20
    Marin Rider slickhare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    It means it's not designed for rough trails. And do not even attemp to jump with it or clear large logs, etc. It's a fork meant for moderate to smooth trails. Think what a semi-rough hiking trail is. Jumps and drops will kill that fork. On rougher trails it will bottom out frequently, which will reduce it's lifespan.
    ok i understand a bit better now. could you recommend a more versatile bike in the price range? (i'm willing to go a little higher if necessary)
    "The bicycle is the most civilised conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicylce remains pure in heart." --Iris Murdoch

  21. #21
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I'd say find out if that Mojave 4.0 has a 1-1/8" steerer tube on the fork. That bike has a proper XC geometry, and a fork suitable to get your feet wet in XC. If it has a 1-1/8" steerer, then you can upgrade to a better fork later on with ease.

    If your bike shop loves you enough, you might be able to get a great deal on it too. Back when it was the M40DX, I could have gotten one for about $450. Yeah it's pricey, but that's about how it goes for a sporty mountain bike.

    XC bikes are not jump bikes, but you can roll off logs, curbs, and other small stuff with them.

    If you feel you must have one around the $200 range, look at the Mojave 2.0 again, and see if it has the 1-1/8" steerer. Even if it can't take it, it does have a fork with more travel on it.


    edit: note that the Mojave 4.0 also has the same geometry as my 2004 Talus, which was their top of the line hardtail XC bike at the time.
    Last edited by catatonic; 07-02-06 at 11:02 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Does anyone have the weight on a 2012 model 18-inch Medium-size Unisex framed Diamondback Outlook bike with front shocks? I've noticed the older Outlook's don't have any shocks and probably weigh less. The manufacturer doesn't give weight specs for this bike.

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