My first Diamondback bike was a BMX bike in elementary school. In the mid-80’s, Diamondback ruled the world with the likes of Harry Leary burning up the race track and styling on the cover of BMX Action magazine. The cool diamond-shaped accents on the dropouts and the shiny chromoly frames were the envy of every kid on the block.

Fast-forward to summer 1996, my sophomore year in college. I purchased an aluminum Diamondback hardtail. Still sporting a chrome finish and a sweet Manitou elastomer front fork (yikes). I only rode it for about 6 months because I tore my ACL in March of 2007 and didn’t want the temptation that summer while in recovery mode.

Sorry for the walk down Memory Lane, but I do this to show you how companies (and riders) can go in cycles and it appears that Diamondback is mounting a comeback once again with a solid lineup of mountain bikes based on their Knucle Box suspension design. The new 2009 Diamondback Sortie Black looks to be just the ticket to bring Diamondback into the spotlight and get some serious attention. Lets take a look.

2009 Diamondback Sortie Black Trailbike

2009 Diamondback Sortie Black

Essentially an entirely-new bike for 2009, the Sortie Black is the high-zoot trailbike offering from Diamondback. Travel has been increased to 5-inches front and rear and with some killer parts on top of the new Sortie platform, this trailbike tips the scales at just under 26.5 lbs! That is one light bike considering the amount of squish it offers.

The 2009 Diamondback Sortie Black is certainly one of the lightest, if not the lightest aluminum-framed 5-inch trailbike on the market.  There are lighter full-carbon bikes (like the overpriced Scott Genius Limited), but I can’t think of any other aluminum-framed bikes with this much travel coming in at that kind of weight out-of-the-box.

This limited-edition trailbike does come with a pricetag of $5200 and will be available at select Diamondback dealers starting in January 2009.

Highlights of the 2009 Diamondback Sortie Black:

  • Knuckle Box rear suspension with 5-inches of travel via Fox Float RP23 shock
  • Fox 32 Float RLC 130mm fork with 15QR (love the 15QR!!!)
  • SRAM XO drivetrain
  • Mavic Crossmax SLR wheelset (I rode these on the Rocky Mountain Altitude 90 RSL… awesome wheelset and super light)
  • Easton Monkey Lite carbon bars and EC90 carbon seatpost
  • Just under 26.5 lbs
  • Sizes: 15.5, 17, 19 and 21
  • Head Angle: 70-degrees (definitely made for the tight stuff)
  • MSRP: $5200

Looking for a solid trailbike that’s different from the crowd? Check out the new Diamondback Sortie. The Knucle Box suspension keeps a low center-of-gravity and adds extra rigidity to maintain a solid ride–despite the lightweight build. This bike is built to slay the singletrack on all-day epics or pound out long, punishing climbs. Your hardtail-riding brethren will be pushing a bike that weighs just as much, but definitely won’t be enjoying themselves as much as you will on the downhill.

More Info: Visit

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Well, the DB Sortie Black, at 26.5 lbs, is very light for an all-aluminum frame (no carbon trickery here). I’m sure there are several carbon-fiber bikes in this travel range (130-160mm) that may be lighter than that, but what about the aluminum Rize 3?

    If you have access to a Rize 3 and a Rize Carbon 1, could you weigh them and let me know where they stand? That would be good to know as a reference point. Thanks!

  2. I have a Sortie 3, 2008 model. It’s a great bike, but no 26.5 lbs. More like 30.5lbs. How did they make it so much lighter? I mean the wheels have to save at least 1 pound, but where’d they get the other three?

  3. Jake… after the wheels, the next stop is likely in carbon bits throughout. Add up the weight savings when switching to a carbon seatpost, crankset, bars, stem, brake levers, lightweight tires/tubes, etc. and it does add up fast, but so does the pricetag.

    Compared to the 2008, I’m not sure if they lightened up the frame or linkages too. 26.5 lbs is solid for a non-carbon trailbike. My Ibis Mojo tips the scales at that weight, but it’s carbon fiber.

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