Diamond DM-1 Pro Race Review - Twain Mein
- Toray T700 Carbon fiber frameset
- 73 degree head tube, 73.5 degree seat tube
- Claimed weights: Frame: 1030 grams, Fork: 380 grams. Actual total w/o pedals: 7460 grams (16lbs 7 oz)
- Price: $2295
- Oversize and tapered 1.25/1.5" fork
- Full Shimano Ultegra 6700 gruppo with 53/39 x 11/25 gearing and 172.5 cranks
- 57CM size tested
- Light weight components including Edge Design stem (95 grams), Vittoria superlight tubes, carbon bottle cages (22 grams), and 1490 gram wheelset.
Michael and David Diamond are the brains behind the new Diamond Bicycles DM-1 Pro. They've put together a great value with top-notch components and an impressive frame. Speaking of value, this Ultegra-equipped bike sells for $2295; compare this to a Trek Madone 6.2, which retails for nearly $4200 (and has a lower quality Shimano 105 cassette), and you can see this is a good value for the money.
The Diamond is well equipped with Shimano Ultegra 6700 throughout; the shifting and braking were flawless. And the Ultegra crank has to be one of the best looking of all time. Diamond specs somewhat unknown "Edge Designs" seatpost, handlebars, wheels, and stem. They appear to be well made and the stem and wheelset are very light. I had three complaints. First, the handlebars were too short when the bars were adjusted for optimal "perch" while riding on the hoods; there wasn't enough to grab on to when in the drops. Second, the saddle was extremely hard and uncomfortable; I switched it for an old Selle Italia. Third, the seatpost has an overly complicated two-bolt design which made switching the saddle more time-consuming than it needed to be.
How does it ride?
The most notable feature of the bike is the massive fork; it tapers from 1.5 inches to 1.25. Sure enough, the front end felt especially solid and instilled the desire to dive into the turns. It's remarkable how solid and secure the front end felt and it lends legitimacy to this emerging standard. Moving back, the rear stays look very similar to extremely thin ones found on a Cervelo R3. Also similar to the R3, the bottom bracket was massive. As a result, the bike had a very rigid feeling -- as if made from one solid piece. The ride was very smooth and bumps were muted. The bike seemed to hum along efficiently. The Ultegra components were excellent; shifting seemed second nature and braking was very powerful. Unfortunately, the bike was a bit larger than I currently ride; the top tube was longer than what I am used to. As a result, it was difficult to get into a really comfortable position.
Amazingly, though a seemingly stiff frame, I was able to elicit noticeable chainring rub when out of the saddle. There was some flex, either from the frame or the crank. Additionally, while a smooth roller, when bringing this rig up to sprinting speed, it seemed to take a lot of effort to maintain. Perhaps this was because the frame was slightly too large, but it was a bit of a disappointment considering how well it handled.
This bike offers a lot for the money. The Ultegra gruppo is beautiful looking and works great. The frame and fork offer a responsive ride that's fun to dive into turns. And the rest of the cockpit choices are well made and reasonably light weight. Unfortunately, it didn't fit me perfectly and I had some reservations as a result. Your results may vary.