2012 seems to be the year of the 29er. What started as a revolution has evolved into the norm. The 29er craze has spread east to west, north to south and everywhere in between. Why you might ask? Well, there are some real tangible benefits from the larger diameter wheel:
- Angle of Attack – Larger wheels decrease your angle of attack by allowing you to roll over obstacles easier and faster. Bigger wheel = smaller obstacle.
- Momentum – A larger wheel enables one to carry momentum easier though obstacles.
- Surface Contact – 29”wheels are less prone to sinking in soft material such as sand and mud due to the larger contact patch causing lower ground pressure. The longer contact patch increases cornering and straight line traction
- Stability – The relative position of the bottom bracket/cranks to the axles in the wheels also means that your relative center of gravity is lower. This results in a feeling of riding “in” the bike rather than on top of it.
- Tire Clearance – with more tire choices than any platform, the 29”wheel easily accommodates off road as well as commuting tires.
- Taller Riders – 29" bikes tend to offer taller riders a more “natural” frame geometry.
The Sortie 29er was inspired by our bellowed Sortie 26” platform. Our goal simple: retain ride characteristics of the Sortie trail platform while adding the benefits of a larger diameter wheel. Not a simple task by any means but what we’ve come up with is a bike that’s being hailed as one of the best 29inch bikes on the market. We’ll take that!
Diamondback’s Design Philosophy is a no-nonsense approach to building quality bicycles. We want our bike designs to be straightforward: their hardware accessible and their suspension simple.
Diamondback’s Sortie29 3 brings affordability to a pro level build. Our 6061-T6 Weapons Grade Aluminum frame features a hydroformed top tube, a butted and formed downtube, a seatstay bridge, tapered headtube, a 142×12mm E-Thru Axle drop out and Diamondbacks legendary Knuckle Box Suspension technology.
The Knuckle Box, or bell crank, is the core of our single-pivot four-bar suspension platform. Optimally placed pivots equate to a low leverage ratio, and ultimately to superior pedaling efficiency and small-bump compliance. This also allows the shock to work more efficiently and reduces pedal induced motion. It also reduces overall load on the system which will lead to improved shock and bearing life.
Placing the Knuckle Box low within the frame, situates the greatest weight of the bike closer to the bottom bracket, which lowers the bike’s center of gravity and allows it to better track and corner.
Wheel-rate is also one of the most significant aspects of a suspension system. Wheel-rate is the effective spring-rate when measured at the wheel. A benefit of our four-bar linkage is increased control over the wheel-rate. Obtaining the spring-rate curves in shocks from Fox is necessary to allowing us to determine the wheel-rate. Working closely with Fox, we’re able to optimize the wheel-rate to be linear-to-slightly progressive. This results in superb small-bump compliance, more perceived travel and excellent bottom-out protection. For our Sortie29 series, we’ve chosen to run a 115mm travel Fox Float RP23 Air Shock with Adaptive Logic and Boost Valve Technologies. The extra volume “XV” 190×51mm air shock with rebound adjust and all new 3 position “adaptive logic” Propedal Platform keeps the rear riding plush without too much sacrifice on the pedal uphill. The RP23’s patented Boost Valve technology provides a feeling of endless travel and plushness like that of a downhill rig, but with XC pedaling efficiency.
The Sortie29 3 has essentially taken the “everyman’s” best componentry and created an affordable pro caliber build… starting with the Fox 32 Float 29 FIT RLC 120mm travel air fork. This top end fork comes with low speed compression, rebound, lever actuated lockout, alloy tapered 1.5 steerer, 32mm Easton aluminum stanchions, magnesium lowers, and a beefy 15mm thru axle. Fox’s isolation technology (FIT) employs a bladder system that simply keeps the oil and air from mixing to provide optimal performance in all riding extremes. The lockout function comes in handy for long sustained climbing. And at a hair under 4lbs, this little beast helps to keep weight down.
Complementing Fox’s stellar suspension package on the Sortie29 3, is stellar Shimano XT package. We call the XT Groupo the “everyman’s” pro build as its top shelf performance at a more reasonable price. The Shimano FCM780 XT, Dyna-Sys 10spd Crankset (24/32/42t) with outboard bearing is the prefect foundation to power the HG74 chain through the M771 XT 10spd Cassette (11-36t) and concurrently through the XT SGS 10spd rear derailleur. Likewise, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve not forgotten the XT 10spd Rapidfire nor the impressively powerful Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc ICE brakes. The XT brakes have incredible modulation for the ultimate control over your breaking power. ICE technology helps keep the 180mm front / 160mm rear rotors cool.
We did decide to go with a Sram high direct mount front derailleur for our entire Sortie29 series. In particular, a Sram X-9 High Direct Mount 3×10 for this bike. The reason for this was clearance. One of the great challenges in creating a frame that rides well and also accommodates a 700c wheel is many of the clearance issues that arise… from tire size within the stays, to derailleur options, etc. In order to accommodate and keep our chainstays short, enhancing the ride qualities of the bike, we went with a less intrusive front derailleur option that provides more clearance. Please note that if you choose to run certain derailleurs other than this, you may find that it conflicts with certain tire sizes.
Last but not least we’ve finished off the Sortie29 3 with a set of WTB Laser Disc Trail rims laced to sealed cartridge bearing hubs and an Easton EA70 cockpit and seat post.
Knuckle Box Frame Characteristics:
Tapered Head tube – Today’s longer travel forks generate more stress on the head tube. Add in today’s more aggressive rider and the need for additional strength in that region becomes imperative. Thus the 2012 Mission Pro frame is equipped with a tapered head tube for enhanced steering and extra strength.
142×12 mm Thru Axle – Employing Shimano’s new 142×12 mm E-Thru design makes for a stiffer and stronger rear-end on the bike.
Single-Sided Hardware – Single-sided oversized heat treated hardware is used for the three main pivot points allows for easy access to your 14 high-quality Enduro Max bearings simply with standard tools. No more removing the crankset to tighten or service your pivots.
Partnership w/ Fox – By providing suspension kinematics early in our design process, Fox is able to custom tune their shock to work precisely with our frames, improving performance.
Knuckle Box Technology
LOW AND TIGHT – The Knuckle Box platform was designed specifically to be low and tight:
- Low center of gravity: All suspension parts are positioned farther down on the frame for a stable and balanced ride.
- Low leverage suspension design: Lower air pressure results in longer shock life, less frame loading and better pedaling.
- Tight, compact linkage system of the Knuckle Box bell crank isolates and cradles the rear shock.
- Tight and large anodized aluminum hardware, matched with Force-Rated Enduro Max Bearings: Withstands higher loads and better handles oscillating motion.
The Sortie29 III comes in 4 sizes: SM (15.5"), MD (17"), LG (19"), XL (21") and is black with mustard yellow highlights.
If you are searching for the ideal full suspension 29er capable of sustained trail climbs or descents, super D’s, Enduro’s or all day in the saddle XC rides… you just found you bike my friend.