A solid road bike, at entry level prices. The 2015 model was very popular, we loved it and now its been refreshed for 2016.
We review the 2016 Diamondback Century 1, the entry level bike in the Diamondback Century Range. With a sub $800 price tag (increased over 2016 – however discounts will take it lower), and custom design aluminium frame, it does look good. Diamondback have designed this bike with a large nod to comfort, so how does it fare on the road?
Features of the new Diamondback Century 1 Road Bike:
The first thing you notice is the frame, it looks great with a stock, and only, colour of dark Red. The top tube has a purposeful tapered look that has trickled down from the higher end bikes. Diamondback have shorted the cockpit, which would normally make the rider closer to the road. To balance this the saddle is mounted on an angled stem that eases the rider into a more comfortable upright position.
Made from aluminum this keeps the weight down, and provides a strong frame with minimum flexing.
The key components are from the range of Shimanos 105 groupset, rear derailleur, brakes and shifters. This will give a good balance between long reliable life, and price. The other components are either from the lower tier of the Shimano range, and the crank is an “FSA Tempo Triple″ FSA are known for their reliable strong cranks even if this one is slightly heavy. Still it’s stiff enough to do the job, even if the Shimano 2300 might be a slightly better choice.
To summarise the groupset. There has to be a balance between price and quality especially challenging at this price level. Diamondback have done a good job here, with money being spent on the key components. The lesser parts like the crank can always be upgraded as they wear out. The Shimano Sora rear mech is a good fit for the bike and performs well.
The wheels are built on Shimano hubs, with Equation SE rims same as last year. These are the house brand rims for Diamondback, and seem to perform well enough. The tyres are good, Michelin Dynamic Sport’s. This is a popular tyre, and performs well on a bike thats going to do a few miles. It’s strong enough to cope with the odd pothole, yet performs well enough to get up some good speed.
Overall the wheels are good for the price of the bike, If you value your comfort over speed you should be happy with this set up.
Of course the big change for this year is an upgrade in the stopping power with the addition of the AVID Disc Brakes. I have run with avids for years, and always find them smooth, powerful and easy to feather. A great upgrade, and worth the extra little weight for that increase in stopping power.
Other Features of the Century 1
If you buy online, you will have to assemble the bike. If you take it to a local bike shop they will typically charge about $150. However there is not really much to go wrong, and if you are confidant about assembly then its easy enough to do at home. I prefer to do my own bike maintenance and learn more about my bike (hence this site!) Its basically a case of attaching the wheels, pedals and straighten the handlebars.
The pedals are included along with a mount for a water bottle. The pedals come with toe clips, but if you have a favourite pair they are easy enough to change.
What are others saying about the Century 1?
This is a popular bike from a well regarded brand, for the price the components have been balanced to produce a comfortable commuting/ weekend bike. Despite being so new it has picked up a couple of 5 star reviews,
The reviewers like the slick shifting, comfortable frame and the ease of riding.
If buying online, rest assured its well packaged and takes less than an hour to assemble.
This is a great choice for someone looking for a bike thats going to become a proper workhorse. A comfortable mile cruncher, good for commuting or exploring the local roads of a weekend. It looks good with its red colour scheme, and is well finished off.
At this price it’s a great deal of bike that will last for years.
Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Century 1 Complete Road Bike with Disc Brakes, 52cm/Small, Dark Red Review Summary:
- 7005 aluminum alloy frame with Enhanced Performance Geometry--less fatigue on long rides
- DBR Podium Air formed Disc Alloy Fork with 1.5" tapered alloy steerer
- Avid BB5 road disc brakes, 160/140mm rotors: modulation and power in all conditions
- Shimano 105 2x11 drivetrain
- HED Flanders C2+ disc wheels, 24h