29ers are here to stay, and we’re happy to say that the fire that bigger-wheeled bikes brought to the mountain bike world has been re-lit with the Sortie 29 Black. What’s going on?—why is everyone taking notice?
Well, there are some real tangible benefits from a 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 beloved 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 Sortie 29 Black is our crème de la crème top shelf offering as far as 29er’s go – heck, almost as far as bikes go… period. This 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 Diamondback’s 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 4.5” Fox Float CTD Air Shock with Kashima Coat, Adaptive Logic and Boost Valve Technologies. The LV 190×51mm air canister with rebound adjust and all new 3 position “adaptive logic” Propedal Platform keeps the rear riding plush with no 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 Sortie 29 Black has essentially taken the very best components in the world and built you a pro caliber race build… starting with the Fox 32 Float CTD adjust 29 FIT RLC 120mm travel air fork. This top end Kashima-coated 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 is essential for long sustained climbing. And at a hair under 4lbs, this little monster won’t weigh your rig down.
Complementing Fox’s stellar suspension package on the Sortie29 Black is the ultimate in mountain bike componentry… a full Shimano XTR package. Bam! A top of the line frame deserves to wear top of the line parts. Included in this are a set of XTR 10spd Rapidfire shifters, XTR derailleurs (front and rear), HG980 XTR 10spd Cassette (11-36t), a XTR Hollotech Dyna-Sys 10spd Crankset w/ XTR BB (26/38t) and an HG94 10spd chain. We spare none by adding Shimano XTR Hydraulic Disc Brakes with ICE technology. These brakes have incredible modulation for the ultimate control over your breaking power. ICE technology helps keep the 180mm front / 160mm rear rotors cool. This leaves nothing to desire and offers pro competition level quality in the lightest weight package available on the market today.
Last but not least we’ve finished off the Sortie29 Black with a set of Easton 24h EA90 XC, 29" Clincher/UST compatible wheels, an FSA No57 headseat, an EA90 Stem, an EC70 Carbon post and XC CNT LoRise Carbon 31.8mm wide handlebars.
We told you it was good!
Knuckle Box Frame Features:
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. The Sortie 29 Black 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.
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 Sortie 29 Black comes in 4 sizes: SM (15.5"), MD (17"), LG (19"), XL (21") and any color you’d like—as long as it’s black.
If you are searching for the top of the line 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 it.