Versatile, Agile, Stable, Durable, Adventurous
On the face of it, the Diamondback Yowie comes across as a mountain bike that's both an audacious adventurer and a trusty steed. It took half a decade to shape its character, the objective being to craft a versatile companion that stays nimble and energetic on both quiet and rowdy trails. In essence, the Yowie is a playful spirit wrapped in the armor of a racehorse.
This diamond in the rough, having been tamed by Eric Porter in the gnarled mountains of Utah and the lush wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, has endured 2,000 hours of rigorous testing, which is a testament to the painstaking development process.
It's fascinating how the Yowie takes its roots from Porter's experience coaching young cyclists in the Wasatch Crest area of Utah. Here's an environment where the trails are so formidable that many youngsters ride longer travel bikes, more suitable for the adrenaline-charged lift-served trails near Park City. And yet, this same heavy-duty machinery seems a bit too much for cross-country (XC) racing. This catch-22 scenario led to the birth of the Yowie, a bike designed to be thrilling on these challenging trails while remaining efficient for racing scenarios.
The Yowie's core design, with a 130mm fork and a 110mm rear end, caters to the evolving landscape of XC racing. More and more, riders are tackling demanding terrains filled with rocky obstacles and towering mountains. In this context, the Yowie seems to strike a crucial balance, embodying the essence of “downcountry” — the new face of “cross country”.
The Yowie is a 29er with a promising blend of geometry that, on paper, seems tailored to meet a broad range of trail conditions. It's fast-rolling for XC and marathon rides. The 67º head angle is designed for stability, while a steeper 75º seat angle and 435mm chainstays place the rider in an ideal pedaling position.
Diamondback's Level Link suspension is an intriguing feature. The lower link aligns with the chain throughout its travel, while the upper link runs parallel at the sag point. This setup should deliver a plush ride over the small bumps while mitigating the effects of pedaling forces.
But to fully appreciate the Yowie, one must dive into its backstory. Diamondback doesn't rush to release a new bike. Rather, they take their time, ensuring they're as excited to ride it as the people who will buy it. The philosophy behind the Yowie isn't about rushing to meet a market demand; it's about passion and dedication to delivering a bike that rises to the challenges of all terrains, all seasons.
Eric Porter's insights and feedback were instrumental in shaping the Yowie. This is not merely a bike that's been forged in the furnace of industry pressure. Instead, it's been nurtured and fine-tuned by the hands of a man who's ridden from the deserts of Utah to the icy expanses of Iceland.
In conclusion, the Yowie seems like a formidable package. It promises to bridge the gap between XC and trail bikes, offering a blend of speed, efficiency, and playfulness. Available in carbon and alloy models ranging from $3,100 to $5,550, it's ready to hit the market this summer.
As for the name, Yowie? It draws inspiration from the elusive creatures of Pacific Northwest folklore — a fitting tribute for a bike designed to conquer uncharted trails. So, if you're game for racing, exploring, or going on an all-day adventure, the Yowie might just be your new best friend. I'd say it's worth a shot. Adventure, after all, is in our DNA. And if adventure calls, who are we to resist the allure?
The Diamondback Yowie is a compelling offering in the realm of mountain bikes. However, like any product, it comes with its own set of advantages and potential disadvantages.
- Versatility: With its design and geometry, the Yowie aims to be an efficient cross-country bike while also being capable of handling more challenging terrains, making it versatile for various trail conditions.
- Thoughtful Geometry: The bike's 67º head angle, 75º seat angle, and 435mm chainstays suggest a balance between stability and agility, which is vital for both climbing and descending.
- Suspension: The Level Link suspension system is designed to smooth out bumps while minimizing pedaling forces' impact, which can lead to an efficient, comfortable ride.
- Durability: With 2,000 hours of rigorous testing under its belt, the Yowie promises a high level of durability and reliability.
- Range of Options: The Yowie comes in both carbon and alloy models, offering a range of price points to accommodate various budgets.
- Limited Travel: While the short travel of 110mm rear and 130mm front is part of the Yowie's design to keep it nimble and efficient, it may not be enough for those looking for a more downhill-oriented or enduro-style ride.
- Aggressive XC Trend: The Yowie aligns with the trend toward more aggressive XC racing, which might not be everyone's cup of tea, especially those who prefer traditional cross-country cycling.
- Price: While there is a range of options, the Yowie's price point may be high for beginners or those on a tighter budget.
- Availability: As a new product release, availability could initially be limited, making it difficult for interested buyers to get their hands on the Yowie right away.
- Specific Audience: The Yowie, with its specific design and feature set, targets a somewhat niche audience: those who want a bike that is playful and fun but still capable of serious XC racing. This might limit its appeal to a broader cycling audience.